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DragonClaws

Physical, Digital, or Both: What Are Your Thoughts?

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There's never been more ways to watch a film than now, with multi formats across multiple technology. The big questions is which do you prefer? or do you have no preference at all?. For me it has-to be physical media, I'm still not interested in watching movies on anything but my T.V. If I'm out travelling, I prefer to listen to music or enjoy the view. Sure, this might not be the case, for many people who spend greater time traveling. People's different circumstances, will most likely have a big effect on which formats, you prefer to watch movies on?.

I'm not against digital formats, it's just something I'm not interested in, at the moment. Online film library’s dictate what releases you have in your collection, there's also no guarantee that the movie you want to watch will still be there?. Rights expire to certain titles, meaning the movie is removed from a service. While if its on your shelf, you can watch it anytime you want. You also have to subscribe to many online services to access all the shows and movies they have. Not everything on their will be of interest you. Whilst all the titles in your collection have been hand-picked by you, for you. Internet connections good or bad, will not effect-you putting on a Blu-Ray or DVD to watch either.

Picture and sound quality are also a superior on a disc, to digital. Not that this appears to bother many people anyway. Then there's the problem of which version of movie has been put on a given site. While you can have the choice of buying the best cut/release available on a disc. Niche genre also are a big problem with digital services, they simply don't cater enough for the Horror,Sci-Fi,Martial Arts fanatics out there, not yet at least. No doubt there will be another service on the way for each of those?. There's also the yearly increase in subscription fees, which like many other monthly bills, will keep on increasing.

Ok I feel I've been a little biased here, digital does have many benefits for people. Those who don't have access to big stores or shops nearby, for casual film fans and families its very convenient to use. Sure people can list other positive I've missed too. I'm not trying to start an arguement here, as many people here I know use both formats anyway. Just curious to hear what other Kung Fu Fandom followers/readers feel about the subject?.

Edited by DragonClaws

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7 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

The big questions is which do you prefer? or do you have no preference at all?.

I am in the camp of those who like both.

9 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

Sure, this might not be the case, for many people who spend greater time traveling.

That used to be me.

I used to travel extensively and the entertainment on airlines/lounges were not enough as I may have already seen them or wasn't interested so my tablet/laptop with downloaded entertainment/entertainment on SD cards was my best friend.

22 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

You also have to subscribe to many online services to access all the shows and movies they have.

There are 2 main types of digital services - one you subscribe to (Netflix, Amazon and the likes) and one where you actually own the digital movie or can rent (Vudu, iTunes and the likes). I have both type of services.

28 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

No doubt there will be another service on the way for each of those?.

I think that is the future as many people are leaving "traditional" cable service for streaming - at least here in the USA.

There are currently a lot of streaming services & more to come. The good part is there is a free trial period to see if a particular service is for you.

Youtube TV launched about 1-2 years ago, even channel like HBO & Starz are getting their foot in there. On a side note, expect to see Youtube doing more restrictions on what people can upload as they would like to limit "certain" contents.

Disney is expected to join (when the current contract with other services ends in about a year or so - they will not renew. So Disney, Marvel, Lucas and they other studio libraries will be exclusively theirs on their streaming service.

AT&T and Time Warner have announced a merger (The US Justice department is trying to block it), and if it goes thru expect to see a new service or consolidation of services. 

 

41 minutes ago, DragonClaws said:

Online film library’s dictate what releases you have in your collection, there's also no guarantee that the movie you want to watch will still be there?. Rights expire to certain titles, meaning the movie is removed from a service.

There is the option/other digital service where you "own" the movie.

There is Movies Anywhere which is like a "consolidation" (for lack of a better word) of the 4 major online video vendors (Amazon, Itunes, Google Play & Vudu) and is backed by just about all the major studios and I don't see that going away anytime soon. 

Movies, that I previously owned on one of the services is now showing on all of the services (with a few exceptions). Thus I can choose what service I want to view.

I created a thread on it back in October.

 

Also, UHD is now becoming more popular on the streaming services BUT (and to me that is a big BUT) it cannot compete with the physical UHD media, especially when you have the right equipment.

 

I too would like to hear what others think about the subject.

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I'm a physical media guy through and through. I'll buy a Blu Ray even if the film is on Netflix, which is probably a bit weird. I don't know; I'd just rather put a Blu Ray or DVD in my player than stream a movie.
only do this with martial arts movies, though. "Regular" films i'll stream happily. for example, I recent streamed the entire "Harry Potter" series for the first time.

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1 minute ago, TibetanWhiteCrane said:

I'm a movie collector... I collect movies. Not files or signals floating around in the air. Fine for some, not for me.

Music lost a lot of its visual side, when it went from big vinyl cvers, to tiny C.D cases, then it went digital, with the artwork taking a further step into the background.

I feel its the same with movies, probably why we have such poor looking generic movie posters these days?. Some DVD/BR releases are a work of art, when you look at the covers alone.

 

1 hour ago, thekfc said:

I too would like to hear what others think about the subject.

Great post @thekfc, opened my eyes to some things I'd not considered, or really known about.

NetFlix has used its service to see what people view, how much of it they view, and what times they are viewing it. With some much instant customer information, they then start to tailor their fresh content and new productions around this.

 

11 minutes ago, Drunken Monk said:

I'm a physical media guy through and through. I'll buy a Blu Ray even if the film is on Netflix, which is probably a bit weird. I don't know; I'd just rather put a Blu Ray or DVD in my player than stream a movie.
only do this with martial arts movies, though. "Regular" films i'll stream happily. for example, I recent streamed the entire "Harry Potter" series for the first time.

Many fans, I guess you included?, would most likley have any of the Martial Arts movies Netflix offers anyway.

 

Apprciate the responses everyone, nice to hear others opinions from genre fans. From conversations I've had with freinds and people I've met, digital, at least in the U.K, appears to be more popular with the general movie fan, who just wants the latest Hollywood movie, rather than the niche fan/collector.

 

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Personally I do use both, but I favour physical. Unfortunately I feel as though we might well be in the twilight of movies being released on physical media. I wouldn't be too surprised if within the next 15 years new physical media will barely be released, except maybe for some very limited editions ('Limited Physical Version' is a term I started seeing a few years ago for video games).

One thing that particularly bothers me with streaming is the lack of special features. I feel as though special features might be decreasing on DVD and Blu ray as well. I didn't really know I wanted, the option to change the colour and size of subtitles until I used amazon video, though I was thinking more along the lines of commentaries, the making of, interviews etc.

On 1/11/2018 at 7:56 PM, DragonClaws said:

From conversations I've had with freinds and people I've met, digital, at least in the U.K, appears to be more popular with the general movie fan, who just wants the latest Hollywood movie, rather than the niche fan/collector.

Yeah it's got to the point now, where I feel like I have to point out that physical medias still an option. I even spoke to someone who's a teacher of media about HK action, art house, giallo etc and they said they've still got physical media players but had none of them hooked up.

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On 13/01/2018 at 1:12 AM, Silver and Gold Dragon said:

One thing that particularly bothers me with streaming is the lack of special features. I feel as though special features might be decreasing on DVD and Blu ray as well. I didn't really know I wanted, the option to change the colour and size of subtitles until I used amazon video, though I was thinking more along the lines of commentaries, the making of, interviews etc.

Thats a fact, the latest Marvel releases, in the U.K at least, often come with no extras. Recently piked up Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2 for the missus, not a single extra on there.

 

On 13/01/2018 at 1:12 AM, Silver and Gold Dragon said:

Personally I do use both, but I favour physical. Unfortunately I feel as though we might well be in the twilight of movies being released on physical media. I wouldn't be too surprised if within the next 15 years new physical media will barely be released, except maybe for some very limited editions ('Limited Physical Version' is a term I started seeing a few years ago for video games).

I'm not a gamer, but many friends are, none of them speak too highly of the way its all gone, in terms of having to pay more and more for the full game. Sure the Software companies are counting the extra dollars/profits though.

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It depends on the subject. In terms of movies, I'm all for physical although I now only collect absolute favorite movies. However, when it comes to music and video games I've already converted to digital. So overall, I like both.

Edited by DiP

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4 hours ago, DiP said:

It depends on the subject. In terms of movies, I'm all for physical although I now only collect absolute favorite movies. However, when it comes to music and video games I've already converted to digital. So overall, I like both.

Still got all my C.D's, and to be honest I'm amazed there still selling these, but even Vinyl's made a come back after all these years. Which I never saw coming.

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7 hours ago, DragonClaws said:

'm not a gamer, but many friends are, none of them speak too highly of the way its all gone, in terms of having to pay more and more for the full game. Sure the Software companies are counting the extra dollars/profits though.

Yeah game companies have been more exploitative in recent years, so much so they've been putting out buggy that wouldn't have been considered passable years ago, just because they can patch it later since most gamers are connected online now.

One thing though that I think is great about non-physical games is that indie developers who wouldn't have been able to afford to press discs and the like, can more easily get there games out to the public. IMO not all but a lot of indie games are actually more innovative and creative than perhaps most of the big companies who are trying to appeal to the more 'mass market'.

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On 1/14/2018 at 8:28 AM, DragonClaws said:

Thats a fact, the latest Marvel releases, in the U.K at least, often come with no extras. Recently piked up Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2 for the missus, not a single extra on there.

They are doing you guys wrong.

Here for us in the US it is the retailers who are are requesting extra features. They are actually competing with each other for exclusivity, sometimes folks end up buying a release from all three. 

With almost every major release, the 3 major retailers (Walmart, Target & Best Buy) usually have a content, booklets, memoribilia or packaging that is exclusive to them.  

For example, for Guarding of the Galaxy Volume 2, Target had an exclusive digital bones content (Meet The Ravagers), Best Buy had their steelcase (4K UHD + 3D + BD + Digital...that one I got), while Walmart had their Cinematic Universe Edition plus an exclusive content of 2 packs of collectible Upper Deck Marvel trading cards & Rocket & Baby Groot O-Sleeve; also every retailer had a different packaging/art work. They may have had more but this is what I can remember of the top of my head.

 

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28 minutes ago, thekfc said:

They are doing you guys wrong.

Tell me about it, not to mention charging us extra at the cinema, jutto see a Star Wars movie. I've been stupid enough to pay it, but I dont go to the cinema that often these days.

To be honest, I've not checked out the other releases, the BR might be another story. Disney are currently trying to sell all there Mvel films again, with wait for it?, limited edition cardoard slipcase covers.

This sounds like a small quibble, but the quality of the DVD cases themselves, are also getting much cheaper and flimsy. Even budget/bootleg releases from a few years back, came in much larger and tougher cases. The same thing happened with VHS covers, towards the end of the format.

 

22 hours ago, Silver and Gold Dragon said:

One thing though that I think is great about non-physical games is that indie developers who wouldn't have been able to afford to press discs and the like, can more easily get there games out to the public. IMO not all but a lot of indie games are actually more innovative and creative than perhaps most of the big companies who are trying to appeal to the more 'mass market'.

There must be a lot of othe positives about th arrival of digital media, and the above sounds good, even to me as a non gamer.

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I prefer physical over digital because you don't have to worry about Netflix taking it out of circulation, whatever streaming service you use going down and etc. Plus, streams usually don't have behind the scenes, commentaries, deleted scenes or alternate cuts.

I have a mixed opinion on video games. Steam Early Access is nice as everyone can beta test and give ideas to the developers on how to make the game better. Steam in general allows easier portability of PC games from computer to computer as well. I have one digitial game on the PS4, Abzu, which sold well enough to get a physical release.

Some of the physical PS4 releases have some real cool bonus swag now. Take the upcoming Yakuza 6 Song of Life Premium Edition which comes with an art book, coasters, glasses and ice stones or the Tekken 7 Collector's Edition that came with a soundtrack cd and statue of Heihachi and Kazuya. Also, different stores offer different free dlc for preordering with them.

Physical media will always be tops in music as the rich sound of vinyl is much better than compressed mp3s and remasters often are too clean.

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On 1/14/2018 at 8:46 AM, DiP said:

It depends on the subject. In terms of movies, I'm all for physical although I now only collect absolute favorite movies. However, when it comes to music and video games I've already converted to digital. So overall, I like both.

 

This.

 

Speaking as a man with a 65" LG OLEDE7P 4k HDR WebOS Smart tv, I'm "ok" with streaming in general, but for certain movies where visuals are a premium, I want that ~36Mbp/s(sometimes as high as 90Mbp/s!), minimum bitrate of UHD Blu-rays that my Oppo 4k UHD blu-ray player delivers in resolution to my monitor that Netflix & other streaming sites w/lower, compressed bitrates simply cannot atm... Outside of say, Google fiber or FIOS, for example. "Streaming" 4k content starts around ~20Mbp/s, and over time this will rise with the UHD codecs(like VP9) getting better.

You can see the improvement when it's lossless indeed.

 

...But bottom line, I want physical media for the flawless resolution achieved watching those few "classic" films that I love.

Edited by CoolBlackKnight

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There is more to Digital service than just streaming a la Netflix, Amazon, etc,..

There is the option where you actually own a digital copy of a movie. We even have a thread on Shaws you can buy & own on itunes 

 

You have Vudu, FandangoNow, CinemaNow, Flixter, Google Play, itunes, Amazon Video, and Movie Anywhere which links most of them together thus your movie shows across different platform. Some of them now even support 4K. Note: streaming 4K will not look as good as a physical 4K disc.

With the exception of cell phones & tables, I seldom use wifi at home - all my connections are wired. 

I have a ton of movies that I have ripped/downloaded to hard drives (VHS/VCD copies, movies never made it to DVD, customs, etc,) so I am actively looking into adding a NAS server. I have my eye on a QNAP or Synology unit, very likely a 5 bay unit. I could get my hands on a few 8TB "red" hard drives for a good price.

For me that would be better option than just having them on hard drives connected to my desktop thus taking up USB connection space. An other added benefit would be that I would have remote access to my files as well as back ups.

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Over the last year or so I've remuxed all my physical discs to digital versions, mostly because I don't have the space to keep the physical copies anymore. Same with all my CDs. The only thing I cannot get rid of are books - I don't enjoy reading e-books and probably never will.

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3 hours ago, Gaijin84 said:

mostly because I don't have the space to keep the physical copies anymore

This is an issue that I am running into.

I have 5 wall units of DVD's / Blu-ray & 2 units of CDs. As I have a pile of DVDs & Blu-rays just sitting there, I would love to add an other wall unit that holds 630 Blu-rays/531 DVDs or similar but I do not have the space for it. And to make space I will have to sacrifice somewhere. My kid is growing and his toys/books/stuff are adding up and I do not want to sacrifice any of his stuff as well as none of my wife's stuff, so my stuff it is. I do not like to keep stuff in boxes. Also having 4, 5 or 6 different versions of the same movie do not help, but I like to have them.

So now I am selective in what physicals I buy and what digital. 

For Hollywood stuff I would buy a digital if possible but for the Asian stuff I go the physical route.

 

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1 hour ago, thekfc said:

I have 5 wall units of DVD's / Blu-ray & 2 units of CDs. As I have a pile of DVDs & Blu-rays just sitting there, I would love to add an other wall unit that holds 630 Blu-rays/531 DVDs or similar but I do not have the space for it. And to make space I will have to sacrifice somewhere. My kid is growing and his toys/books/stuff are adding up and I do not want to sacrifice any of his stuff as well as none of my wife's stuff, so my stuff it is. I do not like to keep stuff in boxes. Also having 4, 5 or 6 different versions of the same movie do not help, but I like to have them.

So now I am selective in what physicals I buy and what digital. 

For Hollywood stuff I would buy a digital if possible but for the Asian stuff I go the physical route.

If we all lived in masnion size houses, I'm sure we would still have this problem, there's never enough space.

As a younger fan of Martial Arts, I was frsutrated to hear my Dad gave away his collection of related magazies from the 70's boom era. His answer always went something like this, you will one day be married with a house of your own, and some times you dont have a choice about things.

From reading your posts, I've been educated a lot more in the ways of digital media and film.

Edited by DragonClaws

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Still no sign of a U.K Blu-Ray/DVD release for The Foreigner. Do NetFlix pay companys to hold back the physical releases?, if they obtain the rights to screen the movie?. Big fan of the Vikings T.V series, and the DVD/BR boxsets used to come out pretty quickly, until that is, Netflix stated screening the show here. Then the releases dates fo the latet seasons on physical media, began to get longer and longer.

Orignially posted this in the Foriegner thread, butfelt it was relevent here too. Anyone have any thoughts on the above question?

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I don’t mind digital,Netflix is good for films I know I won’t buy but if it’s a film I have seen and loved I would buy the blu Ray because I love to own the physical copy.I recently saw the outsider with Jared Leto on Netflix and thought it was ok but if I thought it was great I would hunt it down especially if there are extras on the blu Ray.With regards to Netflix slowing down the release of the DVD/BLU-RAY of certain films/programs they probably do ask the company’s to hold them back,but that will just lead to more illegal downloads but I don’t think they give a shit anyway.Lets face it they seem to be making a ton of money as it is.

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For music I don't mind having digital only, as heck I'm a music maker myself and I know it is not cheap to do physical releases. For movies and shows, I don't mind streaming off the netflix app on the tv, but I'd rather have a physical release in my hands. Streaming will probably never get to being as good looking as physical media, which I got reminded of again when I got Star Trek: The Next Generation on blu ray last year. Digital is fine for me if there's no physical release in this region, but still for movies and shows and most music, I'd rather it be physical media.

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20 hours ago, sym8 said:

With regards to Netflix slowing down the release of the DVD/BLU-RAY of certain films/programs they probably do ask the company’s to hold them back,but that will just lead to more illegal downloads but I don’t think they give a shit anyway.Lets face it they seem to be making a ton of money as it is.

Sadly this is too true, in regards to them not caring about illegal downloads, not even sure if legit digital film services have made any difference to piracy anyway?. Like music streaming services, they were very late to catch on to what was happening. Not that matters, becuase like you said the profits keep coming in, and thats their number one priority.

Netflix and Amazon have grown massively over the last decade, and now have enough money to pursue other things, such as film making and tech etc. Like all big business's there's also been a few scandals, such as Amazon avoiding paying a lot of tax. Imagine a member of the public doing the same thing, I'm sure they wouldnt have gotten away with it for as long.

 

 

Edited by DragonClaws

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