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Blockbuster BD rental discussion thread - Page 116

post #3451 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjk View Post

I was going to ask a question about this but see it answered here in a search. I'm fairly new to blu-ray, and I went to Blockbuster to rent The Hunger Games. I noticed that the back of the disc said the audio was 5.1 DD. At first I thought maybe they cut out the DVD back and put it on the Blu-ray case, but it also said the video was 1080p, so that couldn't have been the case. I put the Blu-ray back on the shelf and went to Target, where I purchased the Blu-ray with the 7.1 DTS track. More expensive but half the reason I got my Oppo was for the 7.1 output.
I take it from the post above by DJ that this is not common? My first thought was that Blockbuster got dummied down versions of Blu-ray movies, which would suck...is it just a few titles?
Its only a few titles and it seems to be titles from Summit who is now owned by Lionsgate. I am hoping this changes in the future considering there is no Lionsgate Blu-ray's that contain only a 5.1 DD track, at least not to my knowledge. The only movies I know of that have a DD 5.1 track instead of the high def audio on the retail versions are Red, Hunger Games and one of the Twilight movies. There may be more out there, but these are the ones that come to mind and Summit seems to be the only studio doing this. I would really like an answer as to why. If I were to take a guess I would say it could be cheaper for them to do this. Possibly cuts the cost down for them by going this route.
post #3452 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post

I would really like an answer as to why. If I were to take a guess I would say it could be cheaper for them to do this. Possibly cuts the cost down for them by going this route.
I really don't see the "cheaper" aspect of this at all--it means a little extra work during authoring, and a LOT of extra work producing a separate disk master, not to mention manufacturing and storage and distribution and...it actually makes my head hurt. They must instead believe that dumbing-down their rental discs will inspire renters to want to buy the Retail versions to get the full audio, or extras, or whatever.

This must work or they wouldn't do it? I for one don't "buy" any of it i.e. there are very few movies (maybe only hundreds IMO) that are special enough to warrant purchase for the sound, or even the extras for that matter.
post #3453 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laserfan View Post

I really don't see the "cheaper" aspect of this at all--it means a little extra work during authoring, and a LOT of extra work producing a separate disk master, not to mention manufacturing and storage and distribution and...it actually makes my head hurt. They must instead believe that dumbing-down their rental discs will inspire renters to want to buy the Retail versions to get the full audio, or extras, or whatever.
This must work or they wouldn't do it? I for one don't "buy" any of it i.e. there are very few movies (maybe only hundreds IMO) that are special enough to warrant purchase for the sound, or even the extras for that matter.
The only way it could be cheaper is if they have to pay per copy for licensing of the HD audio codec and if that codec is significantly more expensive per copy than the lossy ones.

Otherwise, it's all about making rental copies less appealing in hopes it will make us buy instead.

The latter goes against every rental model I've ever encountered elsewhere:

- When I rent a car, it usually has more features than a car I can afford to buy.
- When I rent tools, it's usually a better tool than I could afford, is usually well maintained and if it's broken, they'll exchange it. I don't have the skills to fix my power tools (if they can even be fixed by the user) and returning a broken one years later isn't an option.
- When I rent party or banquet supplies, I often get free stuff along with the rental.

If the studios really want to get people to buy instead of simply renting, they need to give the equivalent of "movie cash" with rental copies. In other words, you get the buck or whatever you paid to rent the movie back when you buy it. Netflix could give you an electronic coupon code and BB and Red Box could give a a receipt with a code on it. It would only be a buck or so, but I know plenty of people that would rather die than waste a discount of any amount.
post #3454 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post

Its only a few titles and it seems to be titles from Summit who is now owned by Lionsgate. I am hoping this changes in the future considering there is no Lionsgate Blu-ray's that contain only a 5.1 DD track, at least not to my knowledge. The only movies I know of that have a DD 5.1 track instead of the high def audio on the retail versions are Red, Hunger Games and one of the Twilight movies. There may be more out there, but these are the ones that come to mind and Summit seems to be the only studio doing this. I would really like an answer as to why. If I were to take a guess I would say it could be cheaper for them to do this. Possibly cuts the cost down for them by going this route.

It's definitely not about cost, at least if you go by the Hunger Games release. That still used a dual layer disc. If it were about cost, it would have been a single layer BD with legacy audio, not a dual layer disc.

Although typically the rental only discs I've watched that had legacy audio were only single layer discs. At least those made sense from a cost perspective. The Hunger Games Rental only disc did not make sense if it was about the cost.
post #3455 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

It's definitely not about cost, at least if you go by the Hunger Games release. That still used a dual layer disc. If it were about cost, it would have been a single layer BD with legacy audio, not a dual layer disc.
Although typically the rental only discs I've watched that had legacy audio were only single layer discs. At least those made sense from a cost perspective. The Hunger Games Rental only disc did not make sense if it was about the cost.
Even single verses double layer are pennies on the bulk pressings they do. That can't come close to the extra time and effort to re-encode the stuff and strike an additional disc master (not to mention some studios having to rejigger menus to eliminate options).

This is purely a predicted cost to benefit ratio thing with the studios. They assume if the rental is a lesser product, people will be compelled to buy it. They simply don't have any clue about just how much people will tolerate to save a buck or two. If they can save $10 or $20, there's very little they won't accept.

People will eat a McDonald's hamburger instead of a good steak not because the burger tastes better, but because it's $1.80 instead of $18.00. The position of that decimal point is more important than quality.
post #3456 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Even single verses double layer are pennies on the bulk pressings they do. That can't come close to the extra time and effort to re-encode the stuff and strike an additional disc master (not to mention some studios having to rejigger menus to eliminate options).
This is purely a predicted cost to benefit ratio thing with the studios. They assume if the rental is a lesser product, people will be compelled to buy it. They simply don't have any clue about just how much people will tolerate to save a buck or two. If they can save $10 or $20, there's very little they won't accept.
People will eat a McDonald's hamburger instead of a good steak not because the burger tastes better, but because it's $1.80 instead of $18.00. The position of that decimal point is more important than quality.

I think it all depends. There aren't even many 7.1 audio tracks available, relative to the amount of 5.1 out there. So I got "suckered" into spending the additional $20 to buy the movie, figuring if I was so inclined I could get about 1/2 back on ebay, although I probably will never go that route.

I had read several reviews of the 7.1 DTS audio on the Hunger Games that mentioned it was spectacular. I have to say I was not disappointed, although I did not play the movie in 5.1 to see if it made such a huge difference.

So if it's a movie I haven't seen and was looking forward to, the ploy would probably work on me because I'd want to get full usage out of my setup. I'm probably (hopefully) in the minority though (what % of people renting have a 7.1 setup?), so I would hope that rental versions contain the full audio track otherwise I'll probably be buying more movies than I otherwise want to.
post #3457 of 4010
I've been renting discs online since early 1999 and using a 7.1 system since 2001. It seems like most people I run into are still running 5.1 systems. Of course this forum is not the norm so I would expect a high percentage of people here use 7.1 and higher systems.
post #3458 of 4010
I thought it may have been cheaper to ditch the HD audio for the rental copies. I was thinking more along the lines of licensing costs. I am unsure how things work in the business, but I am sure there are licensing costs/fees for the audio codecs and I thought maybe it was cheaper to do the standard dolby digital over the DTS HD track.

Also, not sure if anyone has noticed, but Blockbuster has the 3D Blu-ray version of Piranha 3DD for those of you with 3D, at least the one closest to me. I hope this will be a trend. Would love for them to eventually get more 3D Blu-ray titles.
post #3459 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post

I thought it may have been cheaper to ditch the HD audio for the rental copies. I was thinking more along the lines of licensing costs. I am unsure how things work in the business, but I am sure there are licensing costs/fees for the audio codecs and I thought maybe it was cheaper to do the standard dolby digital over the DTS HD track.
That's the only cost reason I can come up with for going through the expense of a separate encode, label, etc. The question is, how much cheaper would the lossy codec have to be to make it worth it?

If it's not enough of a savings to pay for those efforts, the only thing left is the studio trying to make us hate renting enough to suck it up and buy it.
post #3460 of 4010
Just watched Cabin in the Woods and was surprised when only standard DD was available on the BD. What's the deal with that?

With the huge wait times for new releases and now watered down discs, this is becoming sh!t service.
post #3461 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

That's the only cost reason I can come up with for going through the expense of a separate encode, label, etc. The question is, how much cheaper would the lossy codec have to be to make it worth it?
If it's not enough of a savings to pay for those efforts, the only thing left is the studio trying to make us hate renting enough to suck it up and buy it.

That's pretty much it .. with disk sales lagging, anything and everything is fair game ..
post #3462 of 4010
At this point I'm so happy to get any disc from Blockbuster, I don't care if the soundtrack is HD, DD, or MP3-8kbps. Seriously, if I don't get a new release on the first day, it will be 9 months before they ship it. I'm not exaggerating, I still have "Anonymous" in my queue from 2/7/12. Last week they shipped "50/50" from 1/24/12.

Thank you Blockbuster for changing the 2 new releases at the top of my queue today (The Avengers, and Tall Man) to "Unknown" status. Thank you for thwarting my effort of getting an empty slot ready today, so instead of seeing one of these movies this week I can stretch the anticipation for 9 more months.

F-O-A-D BLOCKBUSTER!
post #3463 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhnjp1 View Post

At this point I'm so happy to get any disc from Blockbuster, I don't care if the soundtrack is HD, DD, or MP3-8kbps. Seriously, if I don't get a new release on the first day, it will be 9 months before they ship it. I'm not exaggerating, I still have "Anonymous" in my queue from 2/7/12. Last week they shipped "50/50" from 1/24/12.
Thank you Blockbuster for changing the 2 new releases at the top of my queue today (The Avengers, and Tall Man) to "Unknown" status. Thank you for thwarting my effort of getting an empty slot ready today, so instead of seeing one of these movies this week I can stretch the anticipation for 9 more months.
F-O-A-D BLOCKBUSTER!
The service for me has overall been pretty good the past few months. I have been getting shipped movies in a timely manner, including new releases. There are still some I have to wait for, but I understand that everyone is trying to get it at the same time if its a new release. The Avengers was listed as available for me right away on Tuesday, but not sure what the status of it is now since I deleted it from my queue. On the other hand, Tall Man is listed as unknown. I think they have it on DVD, but not Blu-ray.
post #3464 of 4010
For anyone who is curious about 3D, your local Blockbuster may carry The Avengers in 3D. The store closest to me has Avengers available on not just Blu-ray and DVD, but on Blu-ray 3D as well. Looks like they had over 10 copies of it on the shelf. They also have Bait on Blu-ray 3D as well as Piranah 3DD. Nice to see them getting some 3D movies!
post #3465 of 4010
Sounds like Charlie might think buying Blockbuster was a mistake. "Ergen said Dish has no plans to continue pushing Blockbuster as a Netflix competitor in the future"

http://venturebeat.com/2012/10/05/dish-blockbuster-plans-on-hold/#GcsoJG2F0QrdIyUL.99

I assume everyone can read that link, not 100% Sure.
post #3466 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry J View Post

Sounds like Charlie might think buying Blockbuster was a mistake. "Ergen said Dish has no plans to continue pushing Blockbuster as a Netflix competitor in the future"
http://venturebeat.com/2012/10/05/dish-blockbuster-plans-on-hold/#GcsoJG2F0QrdIyUL.99
I assume everyone can read that link, not 100% Sure.
I'm pretty sure most everyone else realized it was a mistake back before the sale actually happened. Charlie seems to be the only one that thought it was a good idea - well, him and Blockbuster, that is...
post #3467 of 4010
I rented the blue ray of Cabin in the woods. The only option for audio was Dolby Digital 5.1? So I wrote an email to BB, and this is there reply,

Thank you for contacting Blockbuster Customer Care.
 
I understand your concern with regard the audio quality of the title "The Cabin in the Woods [Blu-ray] (2012)."
 
We do not edit or otherwise alter movies ourselves; we offer all movies for rent or sale exactly as we receive them from the studios, so we leave the methodology as to how ratings are applied specifically and completely to the studios involved.
 
As new Blu-ray discs are released, your Blu-ray player may need a firmware update to be able to play newer Blu-ray discs. To find out how to update your Blu-ray player, please contact the manufacturer of your Blu-ray player.


This is BS. Are these rental company's buying lower grade BRs form the movie company's to save $$? is there a possibility that BR players don't have the latest firmware. I doubt it because I played the movie on both my PS3 and my OPPO 83se? if this is the case I will never rent a hard copy again and cancel my subscription!,mad.gif
post #3468 of 4010
"This is BS. Are these rental company's buying lower grade BRs form the movie company's to save $$?"

Yes, but they would see it as tiering the product . Without seeing the license and being in any of the negotiations, it may be that BB is taking advantage of a lower priced tier, the studio is only offering that title to that channel with that audio or some combination.
post #3469 of 4010
Join us for discussion over audio issues seen cropping up in some rental BD's ..

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1430959/netflix-bds-without-dts-hd-master-audio-dd-5-1-instead
post #3470 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeffeMusic View Post

I rented the blue ray of Cabin in the woods. The only option for audio was Dolby Digital 5.1? So I wrote an email to BB, and this is there reply,
Thank you for contacting Blockbuster Customer Care.
 
I understand your concern with regard the audio quality of the title "The Cabin in the Woods [Blu-ray] (2012)."
 
We do not edit or otherwise alter movies ourselves; we offer all movies for rent or sale exactly as we receive them from the studios, so we leave the methodology as to how ratings are applied specifically and completely to the studios involved.
 
As new Blu-ray discs are released, your Blu-ray player may need a firmware update to be able to play newer Blu-ray discs. To find out how to update your Blu-ray player, please contact the manufacturer of your Blu-ray player.
This is BS. Are these rental company's buying lower grade BRs form the movie company's to save $$? is there a possibility that BR players don't have the latest firmware. I doubt it because I played the movie on both my PS3 and my OPPO 83se? if this is the case I will never rent a hard copy again and cancel my subscription!,mad.gif

Redbox and Netflix have the same legacy audio on their BD of "The Cabin in the Woods". You need to talk to the studio if you have an issue with it. It is not the rental companies fault. This is the disc the studio decided to provide the rental companies. The studio has the say in this, not the rental companies. This is nothing new.
post #3471 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeffeMusic View Post

I rented the blue ray of Cabin in the woods. The only option for audio was Dolby Digital 5.1? So I wrote an email to BB, and this is there reply,
Thank you for contacting Blockbuster Customer Care.
 
I understand your concern with regard the audio quality of the title "The Cabin in the Woods [Blu-ray] (2012)."
 
We do not edit or otherwise alter movies ourselves; we offer all movies for rent or sale exactly as we receive them from the studios, so we leave the methodology as to how ratings are applied specifically and completely to the studios involved.
 
As new Blu-ray discs are released, your Blu-ray player may need a firmware update to be able to play newer Blu-ray discs. To find out how to update your Blu-ray player, please contact the manufacturer of your Blu-ray player.
This is BS. Are these rental company's buying lower grade BRs form the movie company's to save $$? is there a possibility that BR players don't have the latest firmware. I doubt it because I played the movie on both my PS3 and my OPPO 83se? if this is the case I will never rent a hard copy again and cancel my subscription!,mad.gif

The reply you got from BB is correct .. We do not edit or otherwise alter movies ourselves; we offer all movies for rent or sale exactly as we receive them from the studios,

Contact Lionsgate and let them know .. BB buys from the studio .. it's what Lionsgate sells them ..
post #3472 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn View Post

The reply you got from BB is correct .. We do not edit or otherwise alter movies ourselves; we offer all movies for rent or sale exactly as we receive them from the studios,
Contact Lionsgate and let them know .. BB buys from the studio .. it's what Lionsgate sells them ..

I personally have no problem with the disc versions I am getting from Blockbuster. Many time, the BD rental has HD audio. Few times it has had some kind of other uncompressed stream, or something else. Sometimes, I settle for a DVD version since BB doesn't have the BD version.

I don't see a problem with any of this. I am renting the movie. When I see a BD disc I'd like to add to my library at a reasonable price, then I try to look into how good of a BD disc it is (audio and video), as best I can. If I am satisfied, I purchase it. If I am renting it, I just watch it and return it.
post #3473 of 4010

I just don't get the indignation. If BB can save money by purchasing the lower priced BD and have more available, would that not be preferable than having less copies available to rent?

post #3474 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

Redbox and Netflix have the same legacy audio on their BD of "The Cabin in the Woods". You need to talk to the studio if you have an issue with it. It is not the rental companies fault. This is the disc the studio decided to provide the rental companies. The studio has the say in this, not the rental companies. This is nothing new.

Thanks for the clarification.
post #3475 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamian View Post

I just don't get the indignation. If BB can save money by purchasing the lower priced BD and have more available, would that not be preferable than having less copies available to rent?
Blockbuster or any rental company does not have the luxury or a say in the matter on what they receive from the studios. They are sent the discs as is. They simply can not tell a movie studio to give them DTS HD MA on the Blu-ray's if the studio is sending them a bare bones stripped down disc with just the main feature and DD 5.1 audio. As far as pricing on these discs I am unsure if they are charging the same per Blu-ray disc as before since the audio is stripped down and/or the special features are missing or if they are actually charging less for these discs. The movie studios such as Warner, Universal and Fox are sending bare bones discs without any special features, but I believe to this day they have at least included HD audio. To the contrary, Lionsgate is now sending discs to Blockbuster, Netflix, and Redbox with standard DD 5.1 audio ringing in at 640kbps. I believe Blockbuster has a studio agreement with Lionsgate and they get send discs from the studio so Blockbuster is SOL when it comes to Blu-rays now released through Lionsgate. What is sort of interesting is that I wish Blockbuster did not have rental agreements in place with Lionsgate because if they didn't they would have to go most likely purchase the discs which you would then have a retail version of the disc as a rental. I believe Blockbuster is still doing this with titles released through Warner. When I got Dark Shadows (which is a Warner title) it was not a rental only disc because it did not say rental on the bottom of the disc and you could actually get the special features too. Same thing with next week as Chernobyl Diaries is released. That is a Warner title and will include the special features on the Blu-ray disc.
post #3476 of 4010
I haven't had a shipment all week. I'm sure early in the week it was hurricane related, but it seems like they could get there act together faster.
post #3477 of 4010
After some very poor service over Summer, it looks like service is back on track for me. I've been getting a movie from the one or two of my queue consistently every week. Quite happy right now, but I don't know how many fellow members are still Blockbuster members.

Scott
post #3478 of 4010
Blockbuster By Mail has a new option, now you can get a disc by mail without a monthly subscription. You get one movie (or game) for 7 days for $4.99 (includes round trip mail). You do have to setup an account, select a title then click 7 - DAY RENTAL. Since I am a subscriber can not offer anymore details.
post #3479 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

Blockbuster By Mail has a new option, now you can get a disc by mail without a monthly subscription. You get one movie (or game) for 7 days for $4.99 (includes round trip mail). You do have to setup an account, select a title then click 7 - DAY RENTAL. Since I am a subscriber can not offer anymore details.

I'm not a gamer, so no comment on that, but why rent a disk by mail when you can stream for the same money or less and get it instantly .. ??
post #3480 of 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn View Post

but why rent a disk by mail when you can stream for the same money or less and get it instantly .. ??

Several reasons, Vudu is generally acknowledged as the best quality streaming and I agree but Vudu ain’t no Blu-ray!!! And most people from well served large metro areas tend to forget there is a very large part of the populace that does not have what it takes in terms of IP service to stream HDX. People only need to look at how well Redbox is doing to know physical rental still appeals to large base of consumers.
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