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DRM Entertainment

With Cinavia DRM, Is Blu-ray On a Path To Self-Destruction? 429

Posted by Soulskill
from the push-play-watch-film dept.
suraj.sun tips an article at AnandTech about a Blu-ray DRM scheme called Cinavia. The author makes the case that software like Cinavia is hastening the death of a Blu-ray industry already struggling to compete with online media streaming. Quoting: "In our opinion, it is the studios and the Blu-ray system manufacturers who have had the say in deciding upon the suitability of a particular DRM scheme. Consumers have had to put up with whatever has been thrust upon them. The rise in popularity of streaming services (such as Netflix and Vudu) which provide instant gratification should make the Blu-ray industry realize its follies. The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous, most of the titles owned by consumers would probably end up being stored in the cloud. ... The addition of new licensing requirements such as Cinavia are preventing the natural downward price progression of Blu-ray related technology. Instead of spending time, money and effort on new DRM measures that get circumvented within a few days of release, the industry would do well to lower the launch price of Blu-rays. There is really no justification for the current media pricing."
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With Cinavia DRM, Is Blu-ray On a Path To Self-Destruction?

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  • by Panspechi (948400) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:20AM (#39450855)
    I didn't know conglomerates were charities? Why would they lower their prices, unless forced to?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:22AM (#39450875)

      No, there is justification; it costs a lot of money to develop these new DRM schemes!

      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:09AM (#39452395)

        I view DVDs/Blurays as a convenient backup for my media.
        (DVD-Rs self-erase and HDDs stop spinning eventually.)

        And yes companies are "forced" to lower their prices because of pressure from the customers (the "invisible hand"). If we think $20 for a Bluray is outrageous, we'll buy it somewhere else (like the DVD for $5). That forces companies to lower their Bluray prices to remain competitive.

        • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Friday March 23, 2012 @01:00PM (#39453945) Journal

          And yes companies are "forced" to lower their prices because of pressure from the customers (the "invisible hand"). If we think $20 for a Bluray is outrageous, we'll buy it somewhere else (like the DVD for $5). That forces companies to lower their Bluray prices to remain competitive.

          Unfortunately, they seem to be going a different path where I live. Fairly decent newly released movies on BluRay tend to cost euro25 (or euro30 even). Fine, I thought, I can wait a while for the price to drop. But the price point appears to be very sticky, and instead of cheaper BluRay disks, they start bundling BluRay+DVD for euro25, then BluRay+2DVDs (theatrical + director's cut or "behind the scenes" interview trash) for euro25, or sometimes 2 BluRays (regular release + "collector's" release) for euro25.

          So nowadays, I rarely ever buy a BluRay, because I refuse to pay more than euro15 even for the few relatively good movies on BluRay, and there is generally only crap at that price. However, the DVD is usually available within a year of release for less than euro10, even for so-called blockbuster movies. Amazingly, my price point for a good movie on DVD is about euro10...

    • by boristdog (133725) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:24AM (#39450907)

      If blu-ray disks were $5 each I would have hundreds of them.

      As it is, I have none.

      • by Technician (215283) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:33AM (#39451037)

        At $5 per disk, I would not have them because of the player cost, unless I find a great price on a used one somewhere.

        I made the mistake of buying a Laserdisk player. The disks were supposed to be cheaper than videotape because they could be easly mass produced. Video tape prices fell and laserdisk remained expensive. DVD's filled the promise with many titles in the bins under $5.

        Blue-ray started at a higher price and remain at a higher price for the player and content. No thanks.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Blue-ray started at a higher price and remain at a higher price for the player and content. No thanks.

          Increasingly I'm seeing some older movies which have been re-released on Blu Ray coming down in price.

          I've seen some movies at Wal Mart for $9.99, and even re-bought a couple of titles now that I've switched to Blu Ray. Many movies I don't care, but "The Dark Knight" for the $12.99 I saw it for last week is appealing.

          I'm not looking to replace my entire library of DVD with Blu Ray, since I have literally h

          • If they were cheap, free of drm and free of region restrictions i would have lots of them...

            The players would be considerably cheaper if they were not forced to both license and implement the drm schemes...

            I imagine the time and money spent on implementing these ridiculous schemes is massively more than what the cracking groups expend to break them.

          • by iamhassi (659463) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:05AM (#39452327) Journal

            I'm not looking to replace my entire library of DVD with Blu Ray, since I have literally hundreds of DVDs. But some movies which I really like I've re-invested in them because seeing them in full HD is worth it if I can find the disk on sale.

            Doesn't matter, lowering the price is a stop-gap to what's inevitable. The consumers will get what they want whether the movie industry likes it or not.

            Music industry fought mp3, suing everyone, until Apple came in and cleaned their clock. Now instead of $15 CDs we buy songs for $1 and the music industry does whatever Apple says because Apple sells more music than Walmart. [arstechnica.com] Had the music industry stopped suing their customers and start selling to their customers they would be the ones with $100 billion instead of Apple. [forbes.com]

            Fast forward, and the movie industry is on the exact same path of destruction as the music industry. Doesn't anyone learn? Look, you can try and sell blu-ray discs for $20+ a pop, but that's just going to drive more people to streaming. Give us $5 BD and start a universal streaming service and make money again or someone else will and they'll take your money. It's your choice, but in the end we will have a streaming movie service and we won't be paying $20+ for discs just like no one buys $15 CDs anymore.

            Resistance is futile. We are your consumers.

        • by BLKMGK (34057)

          I agree the media price is too high but the hardware?! The very fact that you talk about laser disk introduction makes it obvious you're no child so you really ought to know better! I see refurbed BD players on Amazon as low as $25 and new ones as low as $42 with $8 shipping.

          Your strawman fails. I'm sorry but the industry isn't going to give this all away. When the movies aren't crazy priced I too buy them, otherwise I use NetFlix and RedBox. Personally I hate streaming and will not use it but it works well

          • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:04AM (#39451419)
            Sorry but no. Blu-ray content is absent from my computer because it requires HDCP protected equipment and DRM-laden OS, which while now ubiquitous in the form of HDMI connectivity on graphics cards, TVs etc, is absent from my home setup. My monitor doesn't support HDMI despite being over 1080p in resolution, and I've no intention of "upgrading" it any time soon.

            A Blu-ray player may well be $42, but the accompanying 1080p TV and speaker system are considerably more. I would expect a system which can actually make use of the improved video and sound quality of Blu-Ray to cost at least $1000, whereas my existing DVD playback system has no problems at all.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by gl4ss (559668)

              BLABLABLABLABLA etc.

              fullhd sets in 25" size range which do hdcp can be had for 200-300 bucks. basically, for a 1000 bucks you would be looking at going at a 46-50 plasma and a ps3(and a bundled speaker solution).

              it's cheap to buy a player... but why bother? it's not like you want one anyways. I don't want one, friggin physical discs? with region lock? who wants those.. but 1080p sets are peanuts when compared to buying hundreds of blurays at five bucks a pop.

              something the bluray sales guys really fucked up

            • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:34AM (#39451815) Homepage Journal
              The fact that your set doesn't do HDMI isn't in spite of being over 1080p, it is because of it. HDMI only goes up to 1080p, so it doesn't make sense for higher resolution displays. That's why monitors have plateaued at 1080p even though much greater pixel densities are possible and PC hardware is more than powerful enough to drive it these days. I think it's embarrassing that the 9.7" screen on an iPad has more pixels than the vast majority of full on 23"+ computer monitors.
            • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:51AM (#39452093)

              I view DVDs/Blurays as a convenient backup for my media.
              (DVD-Rs self-erase and HDDs stop spinning eventually.)

              >>>A Blu-ray player may well be $42, but the accompanying 1080p TV and speaker system are considerably more
              >>>
              You don't need an HDTV. I have an old standard-def CRT, and even there you can see a marked improvement in Bluray video quality (no more DVD artifacts/mosquitos/blocking).

              And frankly I'm surprised you don't have a speaker system. Even in the days of VHS and Laserdisc, buying a 5.1 surround system was worthwhile because it improved the movie experience. I've had mine since 1997.

        • by tgd (2822)

          The disks were supposed to be cheaper than videotape because they could be easly mass produced. Video tape prices fell and laserdisk remained expensive.

          I have a LOT of laserdiscs going back to the early 80's, and I can't remember anyone EVER claiming they were supposed to be cheaper. And *any* modern technology like DVD or BluRay would do *very* well to last as long as LaserDiscs did -- they had a 22 year run in the US. DVD will hit that soon, but probably at its very trailing edge as well. BluRay will never hit 22 years.

          LaserDiscs were always about quality and durability, not price.

        • by dwillden (521345) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:10AM (#39451521) Homepage
          Player cost? Really, that's your issue. When Wal-mart and other retailers are selling 1080p players for $89 or even less some times? Granted you can get a DVD player that upscales quite decently for $29 at Walmart. But if $90 is too expensive for you to handle I doubt you are buying many DVDs either.
        • by sqlrob (173498)

          There are Blu-Ray players under $100 at Costco.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:51AM (#39451257)

        THIS SO MUCH.

        These idiots in charge really don't understand very simple concepts like this.
        It has already been proved countless times in other industries throughout the decades.
        The lower the price, the more people will buy, when you reach certain prices, impulse-buys considerably increase to the point that it offsets potential losses from a much larger price.

        Not to mention that so many people buy 2nd-hand goods, which they get none of the profit from, simply because the price of the originals are so much higher.
        If they were to lower the price to typical prices you see 2nd hand goods at, the sales increase from that alone would more than make up for that lower price.
        People buy 2nd hand for a reason, it is more in their price range. Bring the initial releases down already!
        Piracy isn't even on the scale of how much they lose to 2nd hand sales due to their own greed.

        Whether it is films, games, music or whatever else, lower price points have already proven worthy causes in various different attempts throughout the media industry.
        A very good example of this is Humble Indie Bundle. Those things are absolute goldmines for indie devs, sales that indie devs could only dream of most of the time unless they hit it lucky like Angry Birds or Minecraft.
        I think from the last one alone, each group involved got around $90k+ from it. All from people donating on average around $6. That was barely 100k sales if I remember correct. Imagine if that was those millions from the rest of the games industry.
        $20-40 seems like the absolute sweet spot where most people can afford it and the best amount of profit gained, varying depending on the type of game it is. (popularity, basically)

        If you start to treat your customers as pirates, you make them pay a large price for said content when it is in fact your own mess you created by pissing off the stores and in turn forcing them to significantly increase the 2nd hand market size, of course you are going to lose sales.
        Adapt or die. Locking people out isn't adapting, it is dying.

      • by Ouchie (1386333) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:21AM (#39451653)

        If blu-ray disks were $5 each I would have hundreds of them.

        As it is, I have none.

        I will add the supporting evidence Louis C. K. [louisck.net]

        Rather than take a flat rate of $50,000 - $100,000 for his special from the industry where they would price the disks at $10 - $20 he just produced it himself and put it up online with no DRM for $5. By circumventing the major industry players and just doing it himself he has made more than double. He has effectively done what the media industry says is impossible without them suing and forcing people to pay out the nose.

        I have bought several copies for myself and gifts to support the idea of paying what the market really thinks the product is worth rather than forcing a higher market price.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      I didn't know conglomerates were law enforcement agencies? Why would they stop harassing and assulting citizens unless forced to?

      I'll buy your argument as soon as "conglomerates" stop getting special legal task forces and swat teams to enforce their copyright schemes.

    • by ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:27AM (#39450959)

      I believe the author means that there is no rational, economic justification. As in, the current prices are not maximizing return and spending money on DRM is not showing any return on investment.

    • The content providers would rather consumers pay a la carte like in iTunes or Amazon or Vudu rather than subscription like netflix.
      • by tepples (727027)
        If I can pay a la carte but pay Redbox prices ($1.28 per night), I might pay. But the studio-approved a la carte streaming services tend to want $2.99 or more a night.
    • Because that would increase their sales disproportionally, and would be the smart thing to do.

      Mh... never mind.

    • by residieu (577863)
      Because the author is saying it's the only way they're going to compete with various video on demand solutions.
  • by rootnl (644552) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:28AM (#39450965)

    The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection.

    Also the fact that Netflix and Vudu is only available in the USA. The rest of the world still rely on physical media.

    • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:30AM (#39451011)

      And on TPB, thankyouverymuch.

    • Also the fact that Netflix and Vudu is only available in the USA.

      Doesn't LoveFilm pick up a few more countries?

    • by Nemyst (1383049)

      I rent Blu-Rays and rip them if I can't find them for a price I consider fair.

      Though most of the time I end up renting them, watching them once and not even bothering to rip them.

      Sigh.

    • by mapuche (41699)

      Netflix exists here in Mexico, but their movie catalog is... old.

      • by speedlaw (878924)
        Same in the US. Don't feel put upon. Good for old TV series, though. You still need a disc for anything you may actually want to watch, movie-wise.
  • It's Sony again (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They're the one pushing this audio watermark in their movies. Piracy has nothing to do with it, they want to license this crap to others and get a Sony tax on every audio track and device that supports this offensive DRM (playback will stop if the source is from an unregistered device, so forget legal rips).

  • by LehiNephi (695428) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:29AM (#39450983) Journal
    The author throws this premise and assumption in without giving it too much examination:

    a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous...

    That's a big leap. Countries with high populations densities, such as those in Europe and the Far East, will have a much easier/cheaper time of building out the infrastructure for reliable high-speed internet to a vast majority of their population. Here in the US, however, it's a lot more expensive. Simply hand-waving the "once such connections become ubiquitous" ignores the cost of installing that infrastructure, and the time required to extend it to enough households.

    Besides, a 1080p movie is going to suck a lot of bandwidth, and I'm guessing most people won't want to pay for a connection fast enough when they can save a few bucks with a slower connection. Not to mention the whole throttling/bandwidth cap issue.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by qwe4rty (2599703)
      Author also forgets to take into account that the number of options available for streaming generally suck. I gave up on Netflix for movies when 85% of what I wanted to watch wasn't available. I'll use it for TV shows, but that's it.
    • by Nemyst (1383049)

      Thing is, most streaming services seem to exist in places with poor net. Netflix and Hulu are US only, while the BBC iPlayer is UK only. Where are the good streaming services for say, mainland Europe?

      Not that it matters much to me (I'm in Canada, land of the extortionate bandwidth caps), but I haven't really heard about serious streaming services in countries where bandwidth caps and/or speeds are not an issue.

    • by IICV (652597) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:08AM (#39451477)

      That's a big leap. Countries with high populations densities, such as those in Europe and the Far East, will have a much easier/cheaper time of building out the infrastructure for reliable high-speed internet to a vast majority of their population. Here in the US, however, it's a lot more expensive.

      Which is why we have such great Internet connectivity in our cities with high population density, like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston or Philadelphia?

      Face it, the "population density" argument just doesn't work. The real reason the USA is fucked in terms of infrastructure is because for some reason we prefer spending money blowing up other people's roads and bridges and networks over maintaining our own.

    • by nabsltd (1313397)

      Besides, a 1080p movie is going to suck a lot of bandwidth, and I'm guessing most people won't want to pay for a connection fast enough when they can save a few bucks with a slower connection. Not to mention the whole throttling/bandwidth cap issue.

      And, if you want Blu-Ray quality video and sound, and will stream a couple of movies at the same time, you would need a 50Mbps connection, and probably twice that to allow buffering.

      It's hard to get a 1080p movie down to less than 10Mbps and still keep the quality good on a very large display.

  • Agreeded (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:30AM (#39450999)

    You pick a movie on netflix, 5 seconds later your watching it. You download a pirated movie, open it and 2 seconds later your watching it. You put a blu ray in, you wait a minute for it to pass the security check, get notified you need to download a firmware update for your blu ray player, get that done, be forced to watch the fbi notice, non skippable studio notices, skip past the previews, get to the overly animated menu and have to wait 20 seconds before it get to the play / select chapters buttons.

    I have always wondered how much money the studios have spent (wasted) on copy protection and huge legal teams over the years. Just lower the prices, when people walk by the 5$ dvd bin at walmart, they stop and grab a few. Bring down prices across the board and sales will go up. Also, start making better movies people want to watch more than 1 time.

    Our house is rural, we can only get verizon 3G internet, with 5GB per month, we cant do any streaming. No cable, no dsl. We still need netflix (by mail) or download movies someplace else and being them home.
    Redbox has shown people are more than willing to pay for physical movies,well, upto 1$ or a bit more for blu rays.

    • I recently picked up an lg bluray player to use as a netflix machine. I think netflix is a nice service, and I wanted a machine my mother (who is afraid of computers) could figure out. So far it has been a crappy experience, and I can see why people are not lining up for blu-ray:

      -A few setup things were arcane, like having the aspect ratio stuck at 16:9 until I changed some other setting.
      -The wifi throws a fit every so often, claiming there is no connection. I have told my mother to restart the player as

    • Re:Agreeded (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rakishi (759894) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:21AM (#39451647)

      This info graphic sums it up pretty well I think:
      http://i.imgur.com/GxzeV.jpg [imgur.com]

  • The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection.

    To be honest I don't see that changing very much in the next 5 years. ISPs will continue to throttle the crap out of a user's connection. Does Netflix etc. only stream movies, or can you download them to watch later?

    • They only stream movies. You can pause it and let the buffer build up, but it will only buffer the next few minutes or so - nowhere near enough to leave it buffering, then come back that night and watch the movie from cache.

  • by rbrander (73222) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:32AM (#39451025) Homepage

    All the video stores - I mean all but three in a city of 1.1M, none within many miles of my house - have closed. And I don't get streaming, in every sense of the word "get".

    In Canada, at least, Netflix recently reduced it's bandwidth again, down below 1Mbps - sub DVD, much less Blu-Ray. Why bother having HDTV if you use it?

    I've become a steady browser at the library, where they have more DVD titles than any video store - but for anything popular, put the disc on a hold and wait 3 months, and all Blu-Rays (about 5% of the collection) are out all the time. And, no, I'm not paying $29.99 for "Contagion" to watch it once, possibly twice ten years later.

    The rental people had about the right number - $5 for an evening for something quite popular, a little less for the older ones. And there are few movies I'll watch twice, very, very few more than twice, so $10 as a purchase price is already high for most discs. For me.

    So I do seem to be trapped in some kind of market failure here, where I've got the money, want the product, and the one market mechanism for meeting product with customer at an agreeable price has just collapsed, beaten out by "good enough"....and if 1Mbps is "good enough" (is it really that people are too damn lazy to go to the mall to browse instead of clicking from the sofa??), then maybe BR is doomed because nobody appreciates resolution. And not having freezes and artifacts and glitches.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      I was under the impression that with NetFlix in Canada, they only reduced the default bandwidth due to the ISPs reducing bandwidth caps. I read when it first happened that you could change it back. This may no longer be true, but I remember it when the bandwidth drop was first implemented.

    • by doom (14564)

      I've become a steady browser at the library, where they have more DVD titles than any video store

      For a few years there, I was having some fun with my local library's DVD collection, but I was using the Mission District branch of San Francisco. Worked my way through the new Doctor Whos, and discovered "The Melancoly of Haruhi Suzimiya" and "Ouran Host Club" that way...

      "but for anything popular, put the disc on a hold and wait 3 months"

      s/popular/bad and overhyped/

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:32AM (#39451027)

    Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

    I have a rather vast collection of DVD's. Several hundred, in fact. I don't actually watch a lot of films, but I do enjoy owning the ones I like.
    When Blu-ray first came along, or rather when I first got a Blu-ray player (A PS3 I managed to grab on the cheap, back when they were still £350+), I started the transition to Blu-ray. If I bought a new film, I'd buy the Blu-ray version instead of the DVD. If I wanted to watch an old film, I'd see if I could find it on blu-ray before raiding my collection.
    Then the irregularities hit - obviously being a collector, I'd want to get the "best" version of the films in question. Yet for the longest time, you could get a "vanilla" DVD, a "Special" DVD (which often came with a second disk full of "Features" and maybe some art cards) or THE blu-ray. Which came with only some, or none, of the special features. And it was still £5 more than the special DVD.

    I stopped buying either. I found that I could just as easily spend £10 a month on a newsgroup subscription and download whatever film I wanted in whatever quality I wanted, whenever I wanted. Why rebuy my whole collection when I can just watch what I want, when I want? If I wanted the extras, I could have them as well - at no extra cost. What's more, I could play them wherever I wanted, including streaming them to various other non-bluray capable devices. Much how people preferred MP3's simply because anything could play them, I now prefer downloaded copies for the same reason. I'm sorry that "crooks" are getting my money instead of the people who made the films, but it all just got too much. I will switch to a streaming service as soon as one offers a decent catalogue of films without charging stupid amounts. I refuse to "rent" films for anything more than £1 a pop - particularly as brand new DVDs can be had for less than £5 and most streams are NOT actually HD quality (they're often about as good as DVD quality, maybe a bit better - certainly no 1080p). The content is the killer though - why does Netflix US have 10x the content than Netflix UK does? Oh yeah, because the Movie companies are plainly greedy. They want licensing rights done on a per-country basis so they can squeeze as much out of everyone. Well fuck you, how about you let anyone access all your content for a set price and let competition do the work.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      You didn't need to post anonymously. A lot of people do what you do, for the same reasons.

      Pretty much every geek I know has been downloading and ripping movies and music for the last 15 years. As far back as 1996, I remember ripping a bunch of my CDs to WAV files - disk space permitting - so I could play them without shuffling discs. Back then, we used things like the ATI All-In-Wonder cards as makeshift DVRs and for their TV-Output capabilities. Today, we all have set-top media players, HTPCs and huge

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a big thing - DVD and Blu-Ray have lengthy startup sequences that you are not allowed to skip (they kindly say "not available" if you try, but might as well say "neener neener"). Add that to the time it takes to locate a disk, insert it into the drive, let it spin up, etc..

    Netflix lets me watch something *now*. No startup, just right into the movie. That's exactly what I want.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:37AM (#39451079) Homepage

    The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous, most of the titles owned by consumers would probably end up being stored in the cloud.

    Some of us have no interest in streaming our media. And many of us have no interest in storing our stuff in the cloud.

    I want my movies stored local, offline, and accessible when I want it and without asking permission. Streaming is just going to lead to 'monetizing' each view. Storing it in the cloud means I can't watch movies on the plane, in bed, or by the pool.

    I'm probably old fashioned, but I still buy Blu Ray discs and CDs which I rip to MP3. With ISPs adding bandwidth caps and the like, I'm not going to pay to stream down a movie I've already bought, and then pay my ISP again for the bandwidth for re-watching the movie again. Everyone wants a piece of that action, and I'm not playing.

    So, for many of us, the physical disk is going to remain as the way we play these movies for a long time yet.

    • by doom (14564)
      "Streaming is just going to lead to 'monetizing' each view"

      Until you learn how to capture the stream, and burn it in DVD-ROM format.

    • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:53AM (#39451291)

      I'm probably old fashioned, but I still buy Blu Ray discs and CDs which I rip to MP3.

      I download ripped copies and put the original in a box in my loft, often unopened.

      If I'm ever sent a C&D letter from a protection racket^W^Wlaw firm, my response will more than likely be a photograph of the original disk and the receipt (also stored in the box), accompanying the words "I refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram."

      • by Jim Hall (2985) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:19AM (#39451615) Homepage

        I had no idea what you meant in your "Arkell v Pressdram" comment, so I had to google it. Perhaps this is well-known in the UK, but I didn't know it. For the benefit it others, it's a reference to a British satirical and current affairs magazine called "Private Eye". From wikipedia:

        An unlikely piece of British legal history occurred in what is now referred to as the "case" of Arkell v. Pressdram (1971). The plaintiff was the subject of an article relating to illicit payments, and the magazine had ample evidence to back up the article. Arkell's lawyers wrote a letter which concluded: "His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply." The magazine's response was, in full: "We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off." In the years following, the magazine would refer to this exchange as a euphemism for a blunt and coarse dismissal: for example, "We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram".

      • by Hatta (162192) on Friday March 23, 2012 @12:00PM (#39453099) Journal

        The scam these days focuses on uploaders. The fact that you purchased the disk doesn't grant you the legal right to distribute it. So if you're downloading your copy via torrents, you are still liable.

      • If I'm ever sent a C&D letter from a protection racket^W^Wlaw firm, my response will more than likely be a photograph of the original disk and the receipt (also stored in the box), accompanying the words "I refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram."

        Are you tired and emotional? If they decided to go after you anyway, you'd bakrupt yourself paying for a defense while they argue that "your ripped copy doesn't contain the mandatory FBI anti-piracy warning and is therefore in violation of the EULA that you agreed to when you purchased the video" or some other bogus stupidity that a judge (from the court they'll pick) might even eat up. It sucks, but whoever has the most money wins. Even when they lose, since a poorer opponent just can't afford to play. And

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:43AM (#39451171) Homepage Journal
    that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection.

    While certainly there are large portions of the U.S. who for various reasons do not have fast or reliable net connections, there is also the issue of costs.

    In my area, to get 25/25 by itself costs $70/month. That's if you have a verizon phone line. Without the line you can add another $5/month.

    If you want 50/20, that will cost you $140/month ($145 without phone).

    Even 15/5 is expensive at $50/month with a phone line).

    So people have to think: do I want to shell out $70/month just to have a high speed connection? Do I need that high speed connection?

    Right now, there is a large portion of the population who says no, that is too high and not worth the money.

    Until some form of TRUE competition is injected into the marketplace (2 providers is not competition), the cost/benefit ratio is not consumer friendly.
  • by Zoson (300530) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:45AM (#39451195) Journal

    After updating my PS3's firmware, I could no longer play my blu-ray backups that I had ripped with AC3 audio.
    I didn't hesitate. I sold my PS3 and bought parts to build an HTPC - and never looked back.

    I don't regret the decision at all. Neither will you.

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:45AM (#39451197)

    When will we be able to stream bluray quality to our homes over an affordable internet connection? Given that a bluray based 1080p movie is about 15GB in size, to stream that amount of data to your house in 2 hours would require an internet connection of about 17Mb/s.

    I know, I know, most people can't tell when you're getting heavily compressed, downsampled whatever using H.264 ogg-something-or-other. But when someone invests a couple grand into their TV+stereo+speakers, we'd like to be able to get a high quality input into it and not a something that's sufficient for the 6 o'clock news.

    I'm not a audiophile, but a believer in garbage-in = garbage-out. I hope the media companies or movie studios don't force us down the path of the lowest common denominator which would be low quality streams fit for an iphone. It's a shame that in order to get a high quality stream you need to pay a ton for the internet connection and then most likely pay a ton for a 1080p stream.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:46AM (#39451209)

    That's exactly the point. Yes, the vendor dictates the terms, but I decide whether I accept them. And I don't.

    I don't quite get the idea why throwing more shit at my face is supposed to make me buy it.

  • by doom (14564) <doom@kzsu.stanford.edu> on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:49AM (#39451253) Homepage Journal

    You mean, after they sell this crap to some clueless people with lame net connections, the format is going to die, and they get to sell something else?

    And they're supposed to regard that as a problem?

  • The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection.

    I can think of two other reasons:

    * Consumers who for whatever reason aren't willing to go "grey market" or "black market" can't access titles that aren't licensed by streaming services.

    * Many collectors and some other consumers like a factory-made, factory-authorized physical medium.

  • ... it has come down in prices since inception for sure. I have yet to own an BR machine but I just came across some recent release concert BR+CD combo is just $22. I'd prefer $5 but this is not too bad. I recall in the early days it's just stupidly expensive like upwards of $35-$40.
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:00AM (#39451377)

    One slight problem .. Iron Man 2 is available for streaming, but Iron Man is not. No high speed streaming solution is going to help out when there is a legal roadblock to streaming movies.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:05AM (#39451441)

    What I want to know is why Blurays take so long to load.

    When I want to watch a movie, typically, I want to watch the movie, not wait sevefral minutes for the disk to load, then try to skip through 15 minutes of commercials (if it's possible to skip through them at all).

    When I first got my Bluray play, I upgraded my Netflix membership to Bluray. 2 weeks later, I downgraded back to DVD because DVD's are more usable. I've bought a few movies on Bluray, but for the vast majority of what I watch, DVD quality is more than sufficient (even Netflix streaming quality is more than sufficient).

    The operating system on my laptop boots up faster than the time it takes most Blurays to load on my bluray player.

    And what's with the firmware updates that are needed for some disks to work!? My 8 year old DVD player has never needed a firmware update and it plays all of the DVDs I own but I've already run into a couple disks that refused to work without a bluray player firmware update.

    I'm sure the Bluray gives content producers much more freedom to produce rich content, fancy menus and other features (which includes enhanced DRM), but all I want to do is watch my movie.

    • by speedlaw (878924) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:33AM (#39451799) Homepage
      DRM. The various chips and virtual machines are having a conference to determine if you are worthy to watch the movie before scrambling it again on the way to your screen. DVD got cracked and is now trivial with modern computers. They realized that any standard would have to be flexible, so yes, you are waiting while your player is running totally unnecessary code. This is courtesy the same folks who removed your "record in' inputs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What I want to know is why Blurays take so long to load.

      Simple, first they have to use and check the now broken AACS copy protection scheme to decrypt the content on your disc. Then they have to check for your player's code to see if it has been blacklisted so they can disable playback on your player if it is on the blacklist. Then it has to load up the customized Java like code which handles things like, secondary copy protection scheme since AACS was broken, any fancy menu coding, and of course BDLive stuff. Then it has to connect to the internet after that if

  • I will just use the DRM to implement my magic hood of invisibility. Just some content signatures on it and i will be invisible for all surveillance equipment. Project Wulgaru proceeding nicely....

  • >There is really no justification for the current media pricing.

    It's called collusion and price fixing, something that companies like Hynix and Hitachi and Samsung get his with fines for when they collude to keep prices artificially high on phones and RAM and whatnot.

    But the Media companies are "different." Somehow collusion and price fixing and other Sherman Act violations are just fine with the Government when it comes to them.

    Well, fuck them. Pirate away. Yo ho ho.

    And I will continue to haunt used

  • by msobkow (48369) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:22AM (#39451673) Homepage Journal

    When people say that media is obsolete and downloads are going to replace it, they have no grasp on the reality of the situation. The vast majority of people I know do not stream their video -- they buy it. Because in Canada, when you buy media, you OWN the media. But if you pay for a download, you don't own schite.

    Furthermore, although high speed access up to 10Mbit is available here, even 6.4Mbit downloads will cost you around $60/month and it takes hours or even DAYS to download a full 1080p video. So for many people (myself included), downloading a torrent to check out a 480p preview is one thing, but when we want to buy and keep a movie we like, we want the BluRay disk to have that physical OWNED copy and to save on the download time.

    But then again, I've always been rather different in my attitude on the purpose of preview "piracy" than the typical freetard. I'm not trying to avoid purchases; I'm trying to decide what's worth purchasing.

  • How about 1080p (Score:4, Interesting)

    by speedlaw (878924) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:25AM (#39451705) Homepage
    I have a VERY fast internet connection with a VERY fast wifi node. I get Netflix best HD stream but Blu Rays still look better. Netflix also sends down a stereo audio feed, not 5.1 or Master Mass market won't care, they are still watching fat people (stretch) on the HD set, but if you do care, Netlfix is a movie, but the Blu Ray can be an experience. Depends on the movie if that matters.
  • Hogwash (Score:4, Informative)

    by kimvette (919543) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:44AM (#39451979) Homepage Journal

    The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection.

    Wrong. There are many reasons:

    * Not everything is available for streaming

    * When a film or TV show is available for streaming today, it doesn't mean it will be available for streaming one month, one year, or five years from now

    * An Internet connection is required for each and every device you wish to view movies on

    * No extra features such as commentaries, deleted scenes, etc.

    * inferior video quality

    * Few streamed movies offer DD 5.1, let alone DD7.1, 9.1, 9.2, or 11.1 or 11.2 nor do they offer DTS nor other enhanced surround standards

    * With a DVD you OWN that copy (evidence: Sony, Disney, etc. all advertise "Own it on DVD today!" or "Own it on Blu-Ray today!" They never say "rent a revocable license on DVD today!" You BUY that COPY and OWN that COPY, just as you OWN a book.
    (yes I could have used bold for emphasis but this needs to be drilled through pundits' heads so "yelling" is appropriate)

    * Bandwidth caps

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