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The end of movies on physical media?

  • 26-04-2021 11:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 626 ✭✭✭ Wedwood


    Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve bought a lot more movies via iTunes/Apple TV, than ordered Blu-ray.

    One added benefit of buying the movies on iTunes is that when the 4K version of a movie you’ve purchased is released, you usually get a free upgrade from 1080p. While 4K bit rates are higher on the disc, there’s not much difference in video quality to the casual viewer unless you really scrutinise the images.

    I was originally sceptical about ditching physical media for collecting movies, however I don’t see much reason to purchase a disc again anytime soon.

    Is this the end for movies on physical media ?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,344 ✭✭✭✭ NIMAN


    I'd say more than likely. Especially as broadband and ability to stream improves. Many of us aren't there yet.

    On a bigger note, I wonder could this be the beginning of the end for cinema's too? I know its great to go to see a film on the big screen, but I think in the future, people will value convenience, and being able to buy the latest releases and stream them at home might put a lot of folk off actually making the effort to go out to catch it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,863 ✭✭✭ mikhail


    NIMAN wrote: »
    On a bigger note, I wonder could this be the beginning of the end for cinema's too? I know its great to go to see a film on the big screen, but I think in the future, people will value convenience, and being able to buy the latest releases and stream them at home might put a lot of folk off actually making the effort to go out to catch it.
    I think 'the end' is maybe a little strong. Cinema trips are as much social occasions as a method to see a movie. I expect the industry will contract though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,678 ✭✭✭ joe40


    NIMAN wrote: »
    I'd say more than likely. Especially as broadband and ability to stream improves. Many of us aren't there yet.

    On a bigger note, I wonder could this be the beginning of the end for cinema's too? I know its great to go to see a film on the big screen, but I think in the future, people will value convenience, and being able to buy the latest releases and stream them at home might put a lot of folk off actually making the effort to go out to catch it.

    Previously I would have disagreed but since larger TVs with good picture quality are becoming more affordable a real home cinema experience is within reach of a large number of people.

    Obviously the social element is still there so cinema is still relevant, but family trips for example can be quite expensive.

    2 adults 2/3 kids going to a movie with food is quite costly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,163 ✭✭✭ santana75


    I think the biggest hit to cinema will be with families. I've been to screenings where it was mostly parents and their children and between the non stop trips to the bathroom, amateur dramatics, and all manner of acting out in the theatre, it all just seemed an exhausting expedition for parents to take on. Not to mention the expense, so I can't imagine many parents opting to travel to the cinema when it'll be so much more convenient and cheaper to stay at home with a big screen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,253 ✭✭✭✭ branie2


    I hope not


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  • Registered Users Posts: 983 ✭✭✭ Brother Andy


    I hope so.
    Just going through my attic yesterday. So many DVD boxes with dvds I’ll never watch again.
    Physical media is just not future proof.

    Having said that, no matter how good streaming is now, I still hate the compression.
    Would be nice to be able to buy high quality downloads.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,138 ✭✭✭ Decuc500


    I prefer watching movies on Blu Ray to streaming or downloading. Much better picture and sound quality.

    I also prefer owning my favourite movies on disc as opposed to depending on what streaming service has the rights to a particular movie an any given day of the week.
    The way ‘content’ is passed around the different streamers is maddening. Movies being exclusive to any one streaming company is very annoying as well.

    There are boutique Blu Ray labels like Criterion, Eureka, Arrow etc releasing classic and cult movies that aren’t on any streaming service.
    Yes, these are collectors things and can be a bit niche but how else can we watch these films when Netflix or Apple wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,226 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate


    My answer hasn’t changed over the last decade: as long as many great and interesting films are only available on disc, there’ll be a vital place for it. Specialist labels are ensuring that all kinds of films are properly remastered and released: indeed, the deeper they have to dive into film history to find new films, the more important it is.

    Yes, the quality’s better on disc too. And yes, I 100% support streaming too because it’s the easiest, cheapest and most accessible way to see many films. But for me modern film watching remains a mix of discs, cinema and streaming: certainly no sign of it changing any time soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,253 ✭✭✭✭ branie2


    Decuc500 wrote: »
    I prefer watching movies on Blu Ray to streaming or downloading. Much better picture and sound quality.

    I also prefer owning my favourite movies on disc as opposed to depending on what streaming service has the rights to a particular movie an any given day of the week.
    The way ‘content’ is passed around the different streamers is maddening. Movies being exclusive to any one streaming company is very annoying as well.

    There are boutique Blu Ray labels like Criterion, Eureka, Arrow etc releasing classic and cult movies that aren’t on any streaming service.
    Yes, these are collectors things and can be a bit niche but how else can we watch these films when Netflix or Apple wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole?

    I'm a big fan of Blu-ray as well


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,207 ✭✭✭ brainboru1104


    NIMAN wrote: »
    .

    On a bigger note, I wonder could this be the beginning of the end for cinema's too?

    It's a choice. Watch a movie in a room full of obnoxious people talking, stuffing their faces with popcorn, looking at their ultra bright phones, etc?

    Or watch the movie at home, minus the above with all home comforts?

    Easy choice for me.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,032 ✭✭✭ Mr Crispy


    It's a choice. Watch a movie in a room full of obnoxious people talking, stuffing their faces with popcorn, looking at their ultra bright phones, etc?

    Or watch the movie at home, minus the above with all home comforts?

    Easy choice for me.

    For some of us, that's the experience we get at home. :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭ Eire Go Brach


    The end is close. I won’t buy any digital movies. If they lose the rights. You lose the movies. Does not happen a lot though.

    Blu Rays are better quality plus the extras. But they are slow. Streaming does offer convenience.

    Watched GOT on Blu Ray. Extras where amazing on that. Really filled in the gaps.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,226 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate


    I’m almost certain cinema will be rebound big-time later this year (assuming vaccination goes as planned). Getting out of the house has become a far more valuable prospect than before. When you look at some of the recent hits internationally (https://www.boxofficepro.com/demon-slayer-mugen-train-21-million-opening/)... there’s a potential boom a few more hundred million vaccine doses away.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,390 ✭✭✭ Dodge


    santana75 wrote: »
    I think the biggest hit to cinema will be with families. I've been to screenings where it was mostly parents and their children and between the non stop trips to the bathroom, amateur dramatics, and all manner of acting out in the theatre, it all just seemed an exhausting expedition for parents to take on. Not to mention the expense, so I can't imagine many parents opting to travel to the cinema when it'll be so much more convenient and cheaper to stay at home with a big screen.
    Not to be facetious but a trip to the cinema with family is often to fill time. Kids films nearly always do well at the cinema. Even poor fare will have an audience

    Staying at home is obviously cheaper, but it’s no more relaxing and if a cinema trip can keep kids occupied for 2/3 hours (with travel etc), it’ll continue to be a family pursuit

    Back to the topic at hand, we no longer have any disc players in the house. Suggest many families are the same


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,966 ✭✭✭ homerun_homer


    Funny to see this thread after I had tried to fix my blue ray player tray because it wouldn't open. I had just binged all of Lost on Disney+ and then got my US box set I've never played out of the attic to watch some extras only to find it doesn't recognise any disc at all now. Do I buy a new player when I don't intend to buy more, but have how many dvds and box sets that I rarely look to play? For music DVDs alone I just might.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 10,603 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Fysh


    My expectation is that we'll possibly see optical media go the way of vinyl for music (as in, yes you can get it but it's more spendy) but I doubt it'll disappear, why would the industry eliminate a chance at multiple-dipping on the same film? The main issue with physical media is the up front pressing cost (hence my anticipated pivot to a more vinyl-like "exclusive" offering), but it still has its benefits.

    I'm a bit of an odd case, though - I tend to buy physical media for stuff I expect to watch more than once, and rip it for convenience sake. Means I'm not entirely dependent on a single optical drive, but still a bit of a faff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,621 ✭✭✭✭ Skerries


    I'll pick up some of my favourite films on 4K Blu-Ray when I eventually buy a PS5 but it won't be as many as normal BR or especially not DVD


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,020 ✭✭✭ eviltimeban


    I haven't bought a DVD for a good while; last ones came with the Sky Box Office order. Watched the movie on Sky and the DVDs are still in the shrink wrap.

    I'm hesitant to get rid of my DVDs; I have a wall shelf full of them and I'm thinking, what'll I put on the shelves if they're gone! :-)

    Plus history has taught us well. All those people who threw out their vinyl for CDs, are now re-buying all the vinyl and getting rid of the CDs. Not saying DVDs are as "cool" as records, but there is something to be said for owning the item. Some deluxe boxes are quite nice and you get all the bonus features.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,929 ✭✭✭ Banjaxed82


    Maybe I'm wrong, but i presume the film industry has lost its bollocks on a lot of films with the absence of cinema. Do people drop money on VOD as quick as they would on a cinema outing? I'm guessing not by a considerable margin.

    I don't understand why there's this binary choice between home TV and cinema. They're not even in the same ballpark to me. There's an inevitability about watching a film at the cinema.

    If you click your fingers tomorrow and got rid of every single cinema like they never existed, I'd hedge my bets that it wouldn't be long before some bright spark will come up with an idea of sticking a load of people into a huge room with a massive fook off screen...etc, etc

    It's a communal experience. Some don't like to watch it that way, but given the worldwide cinema box office or even just the Irish box office itself, it proves there's a huge appetite, which I imagine will be turbocharged coming out of this pandemic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,701 ✭✭✭ NewbridgeIR


    Wedwood wrote: »
    Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve bought a lot more movies via iTunes/Apple TV, than ordered Blu-ray.

    One added benefit of buying the movies on iTunes is that when the 4K version of a movie you’ve purchased is released, you usually get a free upgrade from 1080p. While 4K bit rates are higher on the disc, there’s not much difference in video quality to the casual viewer unless you really scrutinise the images.

    I was originally sceptical about ditching physical media for collecting movies, however I don’t see much reason to purchase a disc again anytime soon.

    Is this the end for movies on physical media ?

    I buy BDs on the Indicator, Arrow, Eureka, BFI and Criterion labels. Many of them sell out of their print runs. No shortage of buyers. Still buy DVDs of television series (many of which are not on Netflix).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,306 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm


    I remember years ago, downloading movies from torrents, writing to DVD, downloading and printing CD covers.
    I never watched a single one twice and I hardly watched any of them, but the collection looked nice.

    If physical media is to survive, then it must be part of something collectible. This is before you even get into the area of how can I buy something to actually play it...


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,228 ✭✭✭ S.M.B.


    The only aspect of physical media I miss is the bonus content that often comes with it. There's absolutely no reason that I can think of why this content couldn't be made available outside of outside of physical releases beyond there being no major incentive to do so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,639 ✭✭✭ Nigel Fairservice


    When I first started working about 20 years ago one of my favourite things to do was to go into HMV after work on a Friday evening and pick up a few DVDs. I'd spend ages browsing and reading the backs of the cases.

    I haven't bought a DVD in a couple of years and all my DVDs are in a box in my parent's house. I still buy movies but I buy them on the Apple store these days. The physical discs don't take up space in the living room. Digital copies of movies are convenient. I saw Tom Cruise on Graham Norton recently telling a story from the set of the Colour of Money. I hadn't seen the movie in years and got the urge to watch it there and then (I do own the DVD but it's at my parents house in another county). I went on to the Apple app on my tv and bought it for €5 and was watching it less that 5 minutes later. I do love that element of digital media.

    I think physical media will become more niche as time moves on. Some people are attached to vinyl/cds, others like DVDs/blurays and others again like books. I have abandoned physical music and movies but I still love my books. I do have a Kindle but I still can't stop buying books.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,921 ✭✭✭✭ Buttonftw


    I’m almost certain cinema will be rebound big-time later this year (assuming vaccination goes as planned). Getting out of the house has become a far more valuable prospect than before. When you look at some of the recent hits internationally (https://www.boxofficepro.com/demon-slayer-mugen-train-21-million-opening/)... there’s a potential boom a few more hundred million vaccine doses away.

    Well I'd expect everything that hasn't collapsed to bounce back somewhat given the chance.
    But the real question is where it'll be in 18 months time. Will it be above where it was 18 months ago?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,701 ✭✭✭ NewbridgeIR



    Plus history has taught us well. All those people who threw out their vinyl for CDs, are now re-buying all the vinyl and getting rid of the CDs.

    A lot of people abandoning CDs for vinyl ignored or never bought the format in the lean years (1990-2007). However new CDs still outsell new LPs by a long shot. 83% - 17% in 2020 (UK figures). I still buy both formats and have done so for 40 and 35 years respectively. It's not an either / or situation as there are plenty instances when CD is more practical (multi-disc releases, live sets, ambient, classical, long form improv pieces, V/A compilations)


  • Registered Users Posts: 626 ✭✭✭ Wedwood


    Just to add to my OP, like many of the comments here, I’ve collected movies on almost every home format VHS/DVD/Blu-ray/VCD/HDDVD and don’t see physical media ever fully disappearing, however, it might reduce into niche areas while mainstream movie rentals and purchases go entirely online.

    Another sign of the times is the reduced choice of DVD/Blu-ray players in stores. 5 years ago you had a great choice of disc players and 5.1 speaker systems ranging from budget to high end, nowadays it’s a few cheap disc players, very few 5.1 systems and loads of sound bars.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,534 ✭✭✭✭ the_syco


    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr matie. I'm pretty sure I've still VHS somewhere. And a few DVD's. Don't think I've any BluRay.

    Physical format will stay. VOD is great, if you have the broadband. And there's plenty of places that don't. Also, boxsets. Netflix may have your favourite show now, but not forever.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 315 ✭✭ coinop


    This is a forum for film buffs so of course most posters will laud the benefits of physical media and brag about their extensive DVD collection. The general public, however, will opt for the convenience of streaming as evidenced by the explosion in popularity of Disney+, Netflix and the rest. Looking at my own DVD collection, there are not too many I've watched more than twice. All they're doing is gathering dust these days. I think some people like to use their collection to express their personality and virtue signal to their peers, same way a hipster might wave his obscure synthwave vinyl collection in your face to show the world how quirky and individual he is.

    Regarding the future of cinemas: that's a separate topic. I predict the industry will hobble along for a few years rather than die off completely as casuals will still go see a film maybe once a year instead of five times annually which they may have done pre-pandemic. Studios will pump money into blockbuster sequels that are more likely to turn a profit rather than take a risk on new ideas. Thus cinema will become more homogenized and saturated with cape-shiit while pandering to a global audience to attract the growing middle class in China and India. Expect to see a Chinese Spiderman soon.
    I remember years ago, downloading movies from torrents, writing to DVD, downloading and printing CD covers.
    I never watched a single one twice and I hardly watched any of them, but the collection looked nice.

    You can thank yourself for playing your part in the death of the film industry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭ PommieBast


    NIMAN wrote: »
    On a bigger note, I wonder could this be the beginning of the end for cinema's too? I know its great to go to see a film on the big screen, but I think in the future, people will value convenience, and being able to buy the latest releases and stream them at home might put a lot of folk off actually making the effort to go out to catch it.
    Sounds like home video all over again. I also remember the howls from the music industry about iTunes/Kazaa/etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,604 ✭✭✭ dublinman1990


    Do I think that movies being sold on physical media will end soon. Far from it because I love buying physical media.

    I think Blu-rays have been a relevation to my eyes over the past few years. The picture quality coming from them have been absolutely outstanding. There is nothing else out there that beats physical media because I still think that streaming lacks a lot of bonus features to gain a better insight to film or TV series BTS. My opinion on cinemas is that they will return to a resurgence of returning demand after the pandemic has died off. People do prefer to be together when they are out doing things outside of the house. We do have one of the highest cinema attendances in the EU. I think that status will be still be retained once we are getting back to normal. But it will still be a while before we get back to that point in our lives.


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