Is 4K physical media dead? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 56 Old 04-18-2019, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Is 4K physical media dead?

Other than new releases it seems as if only a handful of older titles get released in 4K physical media each month. How many are true 4K ports is a different topic and I understand not every title was shot in 4K but the 4K title “boom” is not taking off as fast as the “blu-Ray HD” boom where the number of titles in the library is concerned.
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post #2 of 56 Old 04-19-2019, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Julez23 View Post
Other than new releases it seems as if only a handful of older titles get released in 4K physical media each month. How many are true 4K ports is a different topic and I understand not every title was shot in 4K but the 4K title “boom” is not taking off as fast as the “blu-Ray HD” boom where the number of titles in the library is concerned.

A good question. I don't think it's dead by any means. Studios are releasing new movies in 4K, but older titles I think are a question of economics a lot of times. Does it make sense to invest time making a new 4K transfer from the master, potentially doing an all new audio mix for atmos, etc. for an old movie if there is not a high demand for it, etc. Studios are doing it but I expect it's low priority most times.
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post #3 of 56 Old 04-19-2019, 06:06 AM
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Every time a format changes there are titles that don't transition, it happened with Dvd's and it's still happening with Blu-rays. Most of the time it's studios that don't smell money/see a market/ new market for a title.
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post #4 of 56 Old 04-19-2019, 09:40 AM
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post #5 of 56 Old 04-19-2019, 01:38 PM
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I have to laugh at the OP's question if only because we are, after all, getting Batman and Robin - one of the worst movies of all time - on 4K physical very soon.
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post #6 of 56 Old 04-20-2019, 12:22 AM
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Well, physical media sales are down - I believe I saw sales today are around 50% of what they were just 5 years ago.

Of course, what's replaced it is digital streaming - the convenience of having it immediately, not having to visit a store, and being able to sit on the couch and pick from a list rather than find it on the shelf.

And given the expense, a lot of releases are being limited - tv series that were on Blu-Ray are getting just DVD releases or even just MOD (manufacture on demand) burned DVDs.
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post #7 of 56 Old 04-20-2019, 12:40 AM
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Yawn.
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post #8 of 56 Old 04-20-2019, 05:34 AM
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Yawn.
If this thread doesn't perk you up there are others.

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post #9 of 56 Old 04-20-2019, 12:31 PM
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I expect most older titles that have had decent quality BD releases look improved when played on a 4K system.
These may not be worth a 4K media purchase.
I started buying 4K+BD combo releases of new titles before I had a 4k system. I rarely purchase a 4K release of older BDs I already own, with a few exceptions:
. Air Force One - complimentary reviews and dirt cheap at Best Buy around Thanksgiving.
. Blade Runner - I cringe at the thought of how many times I have purchased this title but the 4K reviews convinced me.
. Grease - positive reviews convinced me to sell off my unopened BD and go for the 4K.
. I Am Legend - positive review + my HD-DVD of this title misbehaves these days.
. The Martian - positive reviews + the BD I had was not the extended version caused me to spring for this.
All these purchases were at attractively discounted prices and I do not regret any of these 4K purchases as they are all terrific.
And I look forward to more 4K new release titles!
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post #10 of 56 Old 04-23-2019, 06:05 PM
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If there is money to be made surely they will still release titles.

I think the lack of decent extras for new films is pretty sad with discs now, seems like most studios can't be bothered. Sometimes this made me want to buy the discs over just a download.
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post #11 of 56 Old 04-24-2019, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nigel1210 View Post
I think the lack of decent extras for new films is pretty sad with discs now, seems like most studios can't be bothered. Sometimes this made me want to buy the discs over just a download.

I used to be disappointed if the extras on the releases weren't something interesting but now I don't care. I never watch the extras. I actually wish they would just do 4k releases with the 4k discs only. Stop packing in the blu-rays also, I don't care about the extras. Just give me the 4k movie on the disc and then make the extras available with the online streaming copy. Save some of the packaging and costs of printing those extra discs that just take up space.
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post #12 of 56 Old 04-25-2019, 09:33 PM
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A tiny subset of movies released on HD Blu-ray will ever come to UHD Blu-ray. The major studio have all but given up on catalogue releases on Blu-ray or DVD all together. And with respect to the the boutique labels, only a very small percentage of their titles will ever see a UHD release. Expect mostly new blockbuster or award winning films with the occasional catalogue sci-fi/fantasy/horror release. Only very rarely will you see something like Bridge on the River Kwai.

Silver lining: There's a decent chance that any movie with a 4K master could see a release on a streaming service in 4K HDR at some point.
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post #13 of 56 Old 04-27-2019, 02:19 PM
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There are a lot of issues with UHD physical media.

  • The studios release a LOT of crappy titles instead of classics... How they choose what to release is beyond me...
  • Streaming is getting to be a bigger monster than people realize. Blame it on the kids who don't care about quality but prefer convenience on their smartphones and tablets, that's why CDs are dwindling while crappy MP3 downloads are rocketing.
  • Retailers such as Best Buy, WalMart and Target are definitely reducing their store inventory (my BB at Honolulu downsized their inventory by 50% in one week)
  • Manufacturers such as Samsung, Denon, Marantz and Onkyo no longer or have not released any UHD players
My prediction is that in the future, the younger gen will prefer watching everying on a small portable screen instead of getting a large screen television. What is this world coming to?
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post #14 of 56 Old 04-27-2019, 02:48 PM
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^^^ Keep in mind that a lot of movies shot the last 15 years had 2K intermediates so can't really be 4K. So better to drag out negatives from older films that will look great remastered for 4K (cost less too). Case in point, "Alien: 40th Anniversary" which looks great (and didn't cost me a lot).
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post #15 of 56 Old 04-27-2019, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post
There are a lot of issues with UHD physical media.

  • The studios release a LOT of crappy titles instead of classics... How they choose what to release is beyond me...
  • Streaming is getting to be a bigger monster than people realize. Blame it on the kids who don't care about quality but prefer convenience on their smartphones and tablets, that's why CDs are dwindling while crappy MP3 downloads are rocketing.
  • Retailers such as Best Buy, WalMart and Target are definitely reducing their store inventory (my BB at Honolulu downsized their inventory by 50% in one week)
  • Manufacturers such as Samsung, Denon, Marantz and Onkyo no longer or have not released any UHD players
My prediction is that in the future, the younger gen will prefer watching everying on a small portable screen instead of getting a large screen television. What is this world coming to?
I've been asking myself the same question for some time now.

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post #16 of 56 Old 04-27-2019, 03:16 PM
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Maybe no one is buying discs like they used to because the quality of movies lately ain't what they used to be. I'd bet the last title you bought was a really good movie and that movie wasn't a 2019, 2018, or 2017 release. It's no wonder sales decline because not much is worth buying and owning considering the onslaught of disposable watch it once and fuggetaboutit one hit wonders. Add to that, newer generations don't even watch TV let alone movies. Facebook socializing and youtube rap videos on cell phones replaced TV and movie watching long ago and continues to gap. I think many streamers only have the subscriptions just to have something for rare occasions. Installing an antennae on the roof would suffice but since the motto is work smarter... not harder, throwing money some other direction is the norm.
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post #17 of 56 Old 04-27-2019, 05:33 PM
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Actually, I buy movies at a pretty steady clip... This month I bought "Glass", "Spider-Man and the Spidey-verse", "Mirai", "Vice", "Aquaman", "The Green Book" and "Mary Poppins Returns"... I buy UHD when possible since the price difference is pretty small but some releases are only available on HD.

My library consists of about 2,000 discs, from DVDs, Blu-Rays and UHD. The DVDs are limited as i normally buy the HD version when possible. I only keep about 100 DVDs titles unavailable in other formats. My UHD collection is about 300 movies and the balance is BR discs. If a UHD disc comes out and I have a previous BR version, I will only buy the UHD disc if it is a favorite movie. I only keep a couple hundred recent movies near my TV, the rest are in a closet in boxes... A lot of boxes... In multiple closets...
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post #18 of 56 Old 04-28-2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by brazen1 View Post
Maybe no one is buying discs like they used to because the quality of movies lately ain't what they used to be. I'd bet the last title you bought was a really good movie and that movie wasn't a 2019, 2018, or 2017 release. It's no wonder sales decline because not much is worth buying and owning considering the onslaught of disposable watch it once and fuggetaboutit one hit wonders. Add to that, newer generations don't even watch TV let alone movies. Facebook socializing and youtube rap videos on cell phones replaced TV and movie watching long ago and continues to gap. I think many streamers only have the subscriptions just to have something for rare occasions. Installing an antennae on the roof would suffice but since the motto is work smarter... not harder, throwing money some other direction is the norm.
Great post. I find an occasional new film I like ; although not the film I hoped would be made about Neil Armstrong I think First Man is a very good film but boy they are few and far between for me.

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post #19 of 56 Old 04-28-2019, 08:23 PM
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The litmus test for me has been going to get the Marvel movies on 4k. Biggest movie franchise ever and you gotta import a German 2k low effort disc for the first 3 Iron Man movies. I got a ton of blurays and UHDs and I'll keep adding to that collection but the writing is on the wall for physical media. Hope a few of my favorite make it to UHD before it goes out (Abyss i'm looking at you) but I give the format another 5 years tops before new movies stop being pressed to disc.

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post #20 of 56 Old 06-04-2019, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by nathanddrews View Post
I have to laugh at the OP's question if only because we are, after all, getting Batman and Robin - one of the worst movies of all time - on 4K physical very soon.
As someone once said "Never mind the quality, feel the width!" In this case it's the width of the wallet that'll count. Studios have no interest in releasing obscure but brilliant movies that will only appeal to a select market niche (e.g. a period costume drama) when they can release the latest and greatest (sic) Marvel Superhero CGI masterpiece and sell it to the plebs by the container (ship) load.
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post #21 of 56 Old 06-04-2019, 10:56 AM
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the last couple months sales have been brutal. 5%

also on that batman release, they changed the audio which virtually kills any chance there was of me buying it.
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post #22 of 56 Old 06-04-2019, 11:35 AM
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I asked the other day on another section here why movies in this 4K era still do intermediates in 2K? Answer was because the money is still theatrical play and most of the digital systems in theaters are still only 2K. Suits for ya.
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post #23 of 56 Old 06-04-2019, 04:02 PM
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I did like The Green Book. Looked very good, not spectacular and a very good film. I just can't watch endless almost mindless battles in films, honestly, I just get bored.

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post #24 of 56 Old 06-04-2019, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post
I did like The Green Book. Looked very good, not spectacular and a very good film. I just can't watch endless almost mindless battles in films, honestly, I just get bored.

Art

I agree. I find so many movies these days fall into the "run over here and fight, run over there and fight" category that I lose interest quickly.
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post #25 of 56 Old 06-04-2019, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Julez23 View Post
Other than new releases it seems as if only a handful of older titles get released in 4K physical media each month. How many are true 4K ports is a different topic and I understand not every title was shot in 4K but the 4K title “boom” is not taking off as fast as the “blu-Ray HD” boom where the number of titles in the library is concerned.
Last I checked, sales of 4K UHD discs continue to be on the rise. So I wouldn't call it dead.
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post #26 of 56 Old 06-04-2019, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post
Great post. I find an occasional new film I like ; although not the film I hoped would be made about Neil Armstrong I think First Man is a very good film but boy they are few and far between for me.

Art
I feel the same way about the scarcity of good new films. I wonder if it's just getting old or the quality really going down. Past a certain point you feel like you've seen it all. When I was a teenager I would get impressed by horror/slasher/vampire movies, intricate plots and reversals. Now I greet those with a yawn, hardly anything surprises me anymore and even if it does it seems contrived. What I find enduring is films about human relations/emotions/predicaments, those never get old for me even though they don't have the wow factor.

I don't know if it's my preferences getting narrower or the quality going down overall. I get the feeling there are too many remakes of old movies, copying of popular themes, recycling comics heroes and lack of fresh ideas overall. I'm interested to hear what younger people think of the recent crop of films.
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post #27 of 56 Old 06-04-2019, 07:26 PM
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I asked the other day on another section here why movies in this 4K era still do intermediates in 2K? Answer was because the money is still theatrical play and most of the digital systems in theaters are still only 2K. Suits for ya.
Why 2K intermediates? Because the computer processing power to render 4K CGI special effects is pretty hefty even with today's faster CPUs. Plus a well made 2K intermediate is pretty tough to tell from a standard 4K intermediate. And this is the beauty of all those older movies shot on film stock, just scan it at a higher resolution and you have a better digital rendering.


Plus just look at all you old fogies complaining about modern movies, you sound like my parents complaining about the Beatles and Rolling Stones. We only remember the best and forget about all the bombs they made back then too.

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post #28 of 56 Old 06-05-2019, 07:22 AM
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Plus just look at all you old fogies complaining about modern movies, you sound like my parents complaining about the Beatles and Rolling Stones. We only remember the best and forget about all the bombs they made back then too.
Give me the films the last ten years that you consider to be great films (just for fun). No doubt there were plenty of bombs I've seen my share , just more great films also.


PS I've been called many things but never a fogy

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post #29 of 56 Old 06-05-2019, 10:20 AM
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Give me the films the last ten years that you consider to be great films (just for fun). No doubt there were plenty of bombs I've seen my share , just more great films also.


PS I've been called many things but never a fogy

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Looking through my collection I would recommend these to anyone. Are they all great? We could argue all day about that be they would hold up with movies of any era. I have more but you get the picture. Plus was the percentage of great films more or is selective memory taking hold? PS I was borne in 1959 so I've also been watching for a few years.

Blade Runner 2049
The Big Short
Boyhood
Blue Valentine
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Dark Knight
12 Years a Slave
Manchester by the Sea
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
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post #30 of 56 Old 06-05-2019, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheddarhead View Post
Why 2K intermediates? Because the computer processing power to render 4K CGI special effects is pretty hefty even with today's faster CPUs. Plus a well made 2K intermediate is pretty tough to tell from a standard 4K intermediate. And this is the beauty of all those older movies shot on film stock, just scan it at a higher resolution and you have a better digital rendering.
I know that well. I bought a game PC with an Nvidia card that supports 4K. I do 3D animations in 4K. Perhaps it's that the studio suits like to buy "really expensive gear" for prestige to do such projects. Back in 1993, I was at a meeting at the Fairmont in San Francisco about the coming world of 3D graphics. A rep from the company that was doing those football game 3D logos gave a talk. They wanted to be able to hire contract artists who could work at home using Windows NT.



But Windows wasn't there yet for that. That took two other consortiums, Games PC and Skills Net to bring it to fruition. Games PC resulted in the creation of DirectX which gave Windows the ability to handle 3D. Skills Net was a consortium between Silicon Valley and Hollywood to get more 3D artists trained in the US. Most of the world was being done offshore.
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