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Pay-Per-View to Provide DVD After Viewing? 179

Anonymous Coward writes to tell us that Comcast is entertaining an idea that would allow digital cable customers to purchase a pay-per-view movie for roughly $17 that would also include a hard copy in the mail a few days later. From the article: "The only snafu in the entire idea is the fact that only 40% of Comcast cable subscribers have the required digital box at this point in time. But still, that is 40% of 21 million customers which is not too bad. DirecTV and Dish, are you listening?"
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Pay-Per-View to Provide DVD After Viewing?

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  • Burners (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Crixus ( 97721 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:09AM (#13763660)
    They should just put DVD burners in the Cable Boxes and save postage.
    • Re:Burners (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They should just put DVD burners in the Cable Boxes and save postage.

      Brilliant idea, oh wait, the burner would have to burn in "real time". Well we'll just ship hd's with the units, turn'em into tivo's. Let's see, let's take a $10 cable box, add a $50 in burning hardware (more powerful cpu + actual burner), add $30 for a hd all to save $.50 in postage on an as needed basis.
      • Oh wait. Standalone DVD recorders are already available that burn in real time without a hard drive. You might want to check out some of the new electronics that have been released over the past five years...
        • > Oh wait. Standalone DVD recorders are already available that burn in real time without a hard drive.

          great idea. However if you want the equivilent of the store bought DVD, it needs to be Dual Layer, my understaning is 1) it won't be CSS encrypted (movie studio wont allow it) 2) can't be the streamed content (not as good of quality, different format) 3) My understanding was the DVD is read switching layers every spin, but is recorded top layer, then back layer

          I would much prefer a DIVX disc anyway, the
        • Oh wait. Standalone DVD recorders are already available that burn in real time without a hard drive. You might want to check out some of the new electronics that have been released over the past five years...

          But then what happens when a burn fails?

          I as a sort of DVD 'collector' think this is a great idea, it's a couple bucks more than I usually pay for a DVD, but still a good idea none-the-less and the convenience factor is unbeatable. If they're sending out the actual retail DVD as you would get in the st
      • Er, already did sans the DVD burner part, and that wouldn't really add much to the cost. They could even sell it as an expansion to the 8000HD STBs that have the expandability (FireWire/SATA ports on the box, not to mention a spare set of a/v connections to hook a vcr up to so you can use the "Send to VCR" feature without having to watch it while it records)
    • Re:Burners (Score:2, Informative)

      by LiLWiP ( 918943 ) es/05Apr02-1.htm []

      Building upon its award-winning Explorer® 8300(TM) digital video recorder (DVR) platform, Scientific-Atlanta today announced its new MCP-100(TM) Media Center DVR with a built-in DVD burner. This market-leading product will combine all of the great features of the current Explorer 8300 platform, including multi-tuner DVR, optional high definition DVR, DOCSIS (DSG) and Multi-Room(TM) DVR capability, with a new built-in DVD player and bu

    • They should just put DVD burners in the Cable Boxes and save postage.

      In addition to being more expensive and prone to breakage, burners would have lower functionality.

      - Burned CDs/DVDs have a shorter lifetime than pressed ones.

      - Mailed CDs can include the ancilary stuff - including program material that didn't make it and commercial packaging with its artwork. (Plus the coupons, advertising, etc. which makes it a better deal for the movie company.)

      Main upside to having a burner is you get t
  • The big question.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by almostmanda ( 774265 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:11AM (#13763665)
    If you watch it, and find out it sucks, can you cancel the order/send the hard copy back? How much do they charge you, then?
    • The alternative (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mynn ( 209621 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:18AM (#13763701)
      You pay $3 bucks to watch it; if you like it, you can upgrade at the end to a "hard" copy.

      Or $3 to watch it, $10 to burn your own, or $17 to have a "good" copy sent to you (some of us don't realllly trust BYO DVDs to last, having had media/upgrade problems in the past).
      • Re:The alternative (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Threni ( 635302 )
        Doesn't seem to compare too well with Amazon's DVD rental deal, with which they are presumably competing even if you don't officially get to keep the DVD with Amazon.
      • " You pay $3 bucks to watch it; if you like it, you can upgrade at the end to a "hard" copy."

        This still doesn't beat the model I would use. Pay $20/mo to Netflix...3 movies out at a time, receive movie, rip movie, burn movie, return movie.

        For $20/mo, you can do this easily for 20+ movies a month....and the DRM is stripped off your copies.

      • This is definitely the way Comcast ought to do it. If they finished the movie with a screen showing some movie trivia and the option to buy the DVD "RIGHT NOW!" I bet they'd get loads of new DVD sales. A lot of movies generate a lot of excitement with nowhere for it to go right after watching, that enthusiasm could easily go to sales if they offer the DVD at a discounted price.

        That would be a very, very smart move.

        Buy before is pretty stupid though IMO.
  • Packaging? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yahweh Doesn't Exist ( 906833 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:11AM (#13763667)
    if it's in the normal DVD packaging then you could leave it unopened and resell if you didn't like the movie. but if it's a cheap copy with their own branding then I think it costs too much. if you're the type of collector who is proud of their collection you wouldn't want this, and if you don't care about your collection the hard copy wouldn't matter too much either.

    however it turns out at least it's something new.
    • Without the normal DVD packaging, or after opening, you could still legally resell it, provided you don't keep any copies yourself. Unopened packaging may help you get a better price, but it isn't a legal requirement.
  • I Like It (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SenFo ( 761716 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:11AM (#13763669) Homepage
    This sounds like a great idea to me. I've often watched a movie on PPV and wished afterwards I had purchased the hard copy. The best thing is that it sounds like they're selling the DVD at a reduced rate.
    • This sounds like a great idea to me. I've often watched a movie on PPV and wished afterwards I had purchased the hard copy. The best thing is that it sounds like they're selling the DVD at a reduced rate.

      Y'know.. I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it, but you're right... If I had this service offered to me blockbuster would lose my business (Assuming whatever I wanted from BB was on PPV) since there's been enough times where I rented something and then thought ", I wish I just bought it bef
  • ...Pay-Per-View comes out after the DVD release, so everyone who wants the DVD for home viewing probably would have it by then. I can't really see the point to this.
    • It seems that PPV comes out maybe a month after the DVD release, which really isn't that long a time. Not everyone watches the calendar and rushes out to buy movies the day they're released.
    • Presumably the people paying to view the film on PPV are people who don't own the DVD but might like the film. These are exactly the kind of people you'd want to target with bargain prices to shift on DVDs you can't otherwise sell. It's like impulse buying - nothing on TV? Watch a film on PPV. Hmm, I'll give this random film a try! Ooh, I liked that, gimme a copy on DVD... :)
    • by mblase ( 200735 )
      Pay-Per-View comes out after the DVD release, so everyone who wants the DVD for home viewing probably would have it by then. I can't really see the point to this.

      Because not everybody wants to go to Blockbuster to rent a movie to find out if they want to buy it first. This lets them watch it at home, then decide they like it and buy the DVD that way.

      Think about it, man. Not everybody sees the film in the theater first or uses the rental store. Many use PPV simply because it's more convenient, even if they h
  • by fmwap ( 686598 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:17AM (#13763695) Journal
    The only way I would ever find this useful, is if the option to purchase w/ a DVD copy would come *AFTER* you've watched the movie. That way you can tell if it's worth getting a hard copy.

    i.e. You purchase the movie for $3.95 or whatever, at the end of the movie, you're prompted to purchase a discounted hardcopy at 13.05 ($17 - $PPV).

    This is the only way I see it to be useful, otherwise you wind up with the same 'But I don't want to pay for a shitty movie' problem.
    • Instead, they could have a 2 tier scheme.

      Tier 1 would be buy before you view: Say 3.95 for the PPV, and if you preorder the DVD you get both for 14.95. (Just hit up or imdb to find out how others like it)

      If you chose to purchase the DVD after viewing, then you pay teh 16.95 price.

      This way, they have the ability to sucker you into buying a DVD for a movie that SUCKS, but you didn't know that till after you viewed it. Or if you liked the movie alot, you get to buy it, at a premeum b/c you faile
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:21AM (#13763711)
    I am willing to bet that if this goes into place, people will start buying DVDs that they would not normally want to own and will probably bypass going to see movies in the theater altogether. For instance, how many people would probably PPV & buy M. Knight Shyamalan's 'The Village' rather than just rent it or see it once in the theater? After seeing that so-so movie, I don't think I would want to own it on DVD, but if given that option when I first saw it, I might.

    People may just buy the DVD and own it through PPV, rather than go to the movie theater/store and deal with the hassle. Even if the movie is not that great, people will still purchase the DVD anyway as a convenient alternative to going to the local movie rental store or theater. The DVD then would sell at a greater profit, since it may not otherwise sell at full price or would just sit in inventory.
  • Hold the press! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dmayle ( 200765 ) * on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:22AM (#13763715) Homepage Journal

    Hold the press, folks!!! Comcast actually gets it.

    They're going to take a business model (Pay Per View), add value by giving more to the consumer, rather than less (the ability to purchase the DVD), and deliver it at market prices.

    You know, it's nice to see a company that actually wants to do business. Sure, you're paying top dollar prices for the media, but most movies you can buy on pay per view are new enough to still be charging premium prices anyway.

    If they're smart, they'll offer the option to buy the media after the movie has been seen as well. (For all those users who will want a copy after seeing how great a movie is.) I can think of a number of times when a movie I've seen once has turned out to be a must-own. For example, Fight Club. The movie wasn't about what public perception thought it was about. As soon as I saw it, I knew I would watch it many times, and so bought it

    • What's sad is that it's rare to see a company "get it". Why have we reached the point where we expect companies to be stupid? Was it always like this?
      • I don't see it so much as "stupid", it's more like "blinded by greed". We've reached the point where some of us (myself included) expect by default for something a big company does to be bad for the consumer/employees of said company. The problem is that that cynicism is well deserved.

        That being said, IF this is done right (IMHO doing it right would be $3 for the PPV, additional $14 for the movie on whatever media is convenient, either a retail disc in the mail or burn your own), and that's a BIG "if", I
    • I've been saying this for years. It's good to see comcast moving in the right direction. You can run and move faster on offense than you can on defense,

      CDs should come with better artwork and possibly ticket promotions and stuff like that in them (Camel cash anyone?) it helps defuse the piracy issue.

      PPV is easy, it's actually fairly cheap, especially compared to going to the movies. Making it more worth while seems like a great move. Movie theaters should follow suit, the MPAA is up in arms over t

      • Re:Hold the press! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dmaxwell ( 43234 )
        Even a five dollar off coupon on the upcoming DVD would go some little way towards easing that bruised sensation in my rear anatomy that going to movies gives me. And I'm not referring to the mere discomfort from those weedy airline seats all the theatres seem to be using these days.
    • Market Prices, eh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Famatra ( 669740 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:52AM (#13763877) Journal
      "They're going to take a business model (Pay Per View), add value by giving more to the consumer, rather than less (the ability to purchase the DVD), and deliver it at market prices."

      That would be a terribly interesting feat indeed - to some how arrive at a market price on a monopoly (though copyright) good. Make no mistake, even though some DVDs are less than others they are still maximizing profit by leverging their monopoly power by pricing the product to gain maximum profit given the demand *for each type of DVD*. This is not (free) market pricing, it is monopoly price discrimination.
      • In this case there may be a small number of players, but the free market allows you to choose a movie you like at a price you are willing to pay. If they price too high, their sales should drop.

        When I am at the store and I see a movie I liked a few years ago for $5, I often buy it. I have to be very interested in a movie to spend $20, and haven't in several years.

        DVD's and movies are not something we need, so competition isn't required to set the market price.
        • "DVD's and movies are not something we need, so competition isn't required to set the market price."

          You are going down the difficult path to try and determine if monopoly exists or not. You could make a nice arguement about there being substitutes to CDs and DVDs but economists being the lazy, i mean economizing ;), people they are have a simple way to determine if monopoly exists. Monopoly power exists if a producer has the ability to control/set the price.

          The ability to absolutely set the price to whateve
          • Lot of geeks on this site. Apparently not a lot of economists.

            Monoplolists don't have the "ability to absolutely set the price to whatever the producer wants". If Microsoft charged a million dollars for each copy of Windows, would they sell any? There's still a supply and demand curve, and the producer still optimizes profit by setting the price where the curves meet. The only difference with a monopolist is that the supply curve is further out (higher price at any quantity) than in a market with perfect co
    • My prediction is that, as usual, MPAA members will look this gift-horse straight in the mouth, and force Comcast and other cable providers into a contract where they can only put movies on PPV and subsequently sell the DVDs if they sell the rental versions of the DVDs, i.e., the ones with tons of unskippable ads before the movie itself starts.

  • It's about time a company came up with a mutualy beneficial product for customers rather than the take-em-for all their worth.
  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:25AM (#13763732)
    If I have to pay $17 for a PPV movie, I'm not likely to use it. If I pay $4 for one, and have the option to shell out another $13 after it for the DVD, thats something I'd use. Thats a try-before-I-buy sort of option.

    Comcast is definitely a company that "gets it" though. The on-demand works well, they're pushing out more and more HD content. 5+mbit cable modems, etc. If they could only get reasonable software on the digital PVR cable boxes, I wouldn't even be entertaining a switch to satellite. That and if they got Universal HD, so I could see BSG in HD :)
    • I agree the DVD needs to be an add on after the film is over. An option in the menu somewhere that lets you buy the DVDs of PPV movies you've watched. What I would really like to see, tho, is for Comcast to add an optical drive to their DVR boxes. You could get 2 hours of HD quality movie on a DVD9 with the right codecs, and THAT would make the Comcast model the most attractive movie distrobution scheme in town.
      • "What I would really like to see, tho, is for Comcast to add an optical drive to their DVR boxes. You could get 2 hours of HD quality movie on a DVD9 with the right codecs, and THAT would make the Comcast model the most attractive movie distrobution scheme in town."

        This made me think a little about the article that mentioned that only 40% of the subscribers there had digital cable boxes. I'm not with Comcast...but, with Cox cable in NOLA. I don't know how it is with Comcast, but, I didn't find that with C

        • Comcast is pretty decent in terms of HD and SD digital quality. They offer INHD, INHD2, Discovery HD, TNT HD, and ESPN HD to all digital subscribers who have the right box ($5 a month, and it replaces the digital box you would otherwise pay ~$3-4 for anyways). The have varies states of network HD channels, based on the deals with the local affiliates. In my area, it's just NBC, Fox, and PBS. In the other parts of my state they get CBS and ABC as well, and a few places have a part time WB HD feed.

          The non-HD

          • "Comcast has in the past made commitments to not degrade signal quality beyond what they get fed from the source (wether it be a national network like NBC or a cable only channel like FX). It's got some definate pixelation from time to time, and it's not as good as a really strong/clean analog signal."

            Well, like I said previously, I was with Cox cable, not Comcast. And it has been a couple of years since I tried may have changed for the better since then.

            "I'm personally excited as hell about

    • If you're a HD junkie (like me) I'd avoid satelite. HD is only available (with some very rare exceptions) on a small number of national channels, none of which are networks. Under very rare circumstance you can qualify for HD content on a select number of national broadcast locals like CBS out of LA.

      There were some rumors a few months back that DirecTV was planing on upgrading portions of their broadcast apparatus to allow locals in HD nationwide, a feat which I'm still not sure is even possible with exis
      • I had a UHF antenna in Boston, and grabbed all 6 networks with HD feeds, plus my nationals, all piped through my HD and later HD-Tivo box. In Florida, I needed to get a VHF/UHF antenna. Right now, the antenna only feeds through one line, I just need the 15 minutes to hop in the attic and switch the 4x8 multiswitch for the 5x8 multiswitch, and I could do HD on ANY drop...

        Nothing with with OTA HD, it generally is at a higher bitrate than cable or satellite will give you (my local CBS looks much better than
        • ++

          I have the HD TiVo as well with an antenna to pick up the HD locals in Seattle, and I couldn't be more pleased. And you're right about HD looking better OTA than over satellite. It makes me wonder how much more DirecTV is going to compress the signal when they eventually add more HD content. There is no comparison watching football on my local CBS channel vs. one of the SuperFan channels.

          That being said, once Comcast gets their TiVo based PVR and DirecTV finishes moving away from TiVo...I may have
      • DirecTV supporting locals in HD is not a rumor -- its the point of their Spaceway launches. They're starting a rollout of MPEG4 boxes this year, and by the end of next year will have transitioned the entire country to MPEG4 (at least for those who want HD).

        Their claimed capacity is 500 channels per satellite at 19mbit. I don't recall the number of satellites being launched, but I know they require a 5LNB dish, so presumably its two additional satellites, unless they're going to EOL the others.
  • insanity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by v1 ( 525388 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:25AM (#13763734) Homepage Journal
    On one hand we have companies like this trying to extend our view time of their media by sending us a hardcopy to watch later.

    Then we have twits trying to make self-destructing DVDs that only work for a couple days before turning into coasters.

    They need to collectively make up their mind.

    It seems to be a case of them not wanting to charge for the media, but wanting to charge for each viewing of the media. Yet another in the endless examples of why the concept of "licensing" sucks.

    Though i suppose in 20 years every video the consumer can get will be pay-per-view. What a mess.
    • Re:insanity (Score:2, Insightful)

      I though the Microsoft self-destructing DVD story was just a rumour? That aside, I don't see anything wrong with Comcast's idea - provided (a) you can return/refuse the DVD if the movie was crap and (b) the DVD you get isn't an inferior copy (lacking some of the extras perhaps).
    • Making up one's mind is your duty, not theirs. See, the way it works, these companies offer you all these different ways in which you can buy something, and you decide which one makes sense for you.

      Comcast's offer makes a lot more sense than many other business models; I think I'll give it a try.
  • If it's an actual DVD complete with package like you would get in the store (for collectors and such) then I think this would be a great idea as long as you could cancel the order and they take off a certain ammount. (So it would be more like renting) That way, if I watch the movie and don't like it, I'm not stuck with a crappy DVD but it's also better than renting a movie because I know there have been a few times I wished I bought a movie I rented because it was so good but usually I'm not inclined to go
  • Too expensive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:37AM (#13763787) Journal
    I think this is too expensive. Here's why. The majority of people that watch a movie Pay-Per-View do not go out and buy the movie, nor do they watch it on Pay-Per-View again. Now there are always exceptions - people that really like a specific movie so they go out and buy it. However for most it is about watching something new and different, not watching the same movie over and over (think about how many movies you've rented from the movie store more than once).

    So the extra cost is pure profit for Comcast and the movie producers. It's another a way of getting someone to commit to buy a movie before they've watched it - before they find out it is another one of the mindless, forgettable flick comprising 95% of what Hollywood produces these days.

    Why do you think they've started premiering movies world-wide? So as many people can see it as possible before negative word of mouth spread, reducing ticket sales. This is similar, but more on an individual scale.

    Now if they put a burner in their box, and let the customer burn their own copy for say $5 extra, then that would be reasonable.

    Dan East
  • I have Comcast and I used to have a Digital box. It was pretty decent, but I gave it up because it just wasn't worth the price.
    • Comcast needs to implement a PPV system for regular TV. Charge $10/month to have the service and box. Then charge like $0.25/hour (or a pricing scheme depending on the cost/popularity, maybe $0.50/hour for HD content). I'm sure your average moron would gobble up enough content to make Comcast more money. But at least I could just pay $20 / month for the little bit of content I want to see on Discovery HD. I don't even have DTV or HDTV right now, just regular basic cable which is about 75 channels. And I don
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If Apple sent me a CD when I bought an album from ITMS, I would buy all my music from them.
  • I see the infomercial in the middle of the movie already in front of me:
    This is Paul Jones, former frontman of the whatever music band. I have brought you the great collection CDs of the carpenters, and now I have for you the DVD of the movie you are watching right now. If you call the number in the bottom of your screen in the next 10 minutes, you will get it for $17 instead of the $24.95 usual price.

    Wait a moment, watching at it like this: Is this PPV + DVD sale really new, or are we just fooling oursel
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Circuit City's divx program did this - after purchasing your 48 hour disc, if you enjoyed it you could "purchase" it and fully unlock any time constraint DRM built into the system.
    • Except that it's not the same thing.

      - Divx, even the unlocked discs, were not playable on DVD players (nor could you take unlocked discs to another divx player and play them for free) . These discs, on the other have, have zero restrictions.

      - Divx still required you to drive to the store and put down a whopping $5 for the first 48-hr rental (with typical unlocking fees of $20-25). This has much lower total fees, and does not require you to leave the house.

      Honestly, if they allowed me to pay regular PPV pr
  • Netflix it for 20 a month, get upwards of 20 films in that time frame, burn what you like for next to nothing.

    Is it illegal? In some places it is, but have you ever heard of anyone getting a visit from The Man for taping a show off of TV?

    Even if you don't want to take that route I still would think that Netflix and a visit to a local Best Buy would be less expensive for the type of DVD consumer that buys more than one film a week.
    • Netflix it for 20 a month, get upwards of 20 films in that time frame, burn what you like for next to nothing. Is it illegal?

      Yep. It's also undetectable, unless Netflix start grassing up their best customers. Enjoy.

  • Price too high (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DeanFox ( 729620 ) * <spam.myname@ g m a> on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:11AM (#13764004)

    For $17 one could easily go through 10 movies a month at Netflix. Granted you don't get to keep a hard copy unless you burn one. Walmart has shelves of it's movies at $9.

    I suppose there's a market. This might appeal to a single mother who wants a copy of a Disney movie for her kids (assuming they're shown on PPV) or Spiderman. If someone only wants one movie a month I guess it's okay. But at two movies that's $34, three is 50+. I suspect this is going to get real expensive for some households real fast. But, then again, these are households that are already spending $90 a month for cable in the first place.
    • Well, the DVD's for $9 are not the first-run new releases that are on PPV. Those movies are not too far off the $17 mark. So, there is nothing that Comcast is doing for more than the current market price. I don't know too many people that purchase more than one movie a month, for the reason you stated. It is expensive.
    • Some poster on Slashdot always has to declare the price is too high. DVD for $17? Too high! Music track for $0.99? Too high! Lexus luxury SUV for $50? Too high!

      What matters is what normal people think of the price, not what Mr. Every Price Too High on Slashdot thinks.
  • Comcast's Plan? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ChrisF79 ( 829953 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:13AM (#13764023) Homepage
    What interests me the most about this article is how Comcast plans on delivering the movie. Will they keep a large inventory of DVD's in a warehouse, ready to ship to the customer (incur carrying costs), partner with another company that can ship the movie such as Amazon, or just have the movie drop shipped from the manufacturer? I think those would be the three most logical choices but all have their own unique hurdles. I really couldn't imagine Comcast keeping inventory of the movies they show on PPV but it seems like the best route to me if they truly wanted to offer this service. Just keep checking Ebay for a user named "Comcast" selling 100,000 copies of 13 Going on 30.
    • Netflix faces similar issues. The vast majority of 'rentals' for any given DVD occur in the weeks immediately following the DVD's release. So while 10,000 customers want to watch Harry Potter 12 the week after it comes out, a year from now, no more than, say, 100 customers will want to 'check it out' concurrently.

      So, does netflix by 10,000 copies at full price, and keep them all in stock? Do they buy 1,000, and make most customers wait for weeks before shipping them the films?

      I was told (second hand, and
  • I can already get pretty much any new movie at WalMart for $17 for the first release week.
    I can see any movie I want via NetFlix for $17 per month. More than 5 and I'm doing better than pay-per-view.
    This new scheme saves me going to Walmart sometime in the week i want to see a new release DVD.
    Which for most people, you already know you want to buy that movie, so planning to get to a store in the next week isn't a great burden.
    Comparing Netfilx - I've had it for a year, I've purchased two movies that I didn
    • Well, the "planning to get to the store" is the sticking part. Wouldn't it be so much nicer to pay your PPV cost (which as you mentioned equals Netflix after 5 rentals), then buy the movie if you liked it? If you don't get more than 5 movies a month, you are coming out ahead still.
  • the hardcopy will just be a copy of what was transmitted, adverts and all...
  • Just record it with my VCR for free.
  • by samkass ( 174571 )
    They should just have a "Buy DVD" button attached to every television show, movie, superbowl advertisement collection, movie preview collection, whatever. DVDs are so cheap these days, with that kind of volume and throwing in a few ads, you could probably charge a lot less than retail.

    Actually... maybe they shouldn't. That might be something too tempting for me.
  • by WidescreenFreak ( 830043 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @12:14PM (#13765657) Homepage Journal
    My concern is what kind of DVD it would be. I don't mean factory-pressed versus DVD-R. I mean, it is the same kind of DVD that I would see in the retail store or is it some kind of Comcast-branded version?

    More than that, the majority of pay-per-view that I see is in pan-and-scan/open-matte [] format. For example, if a movie was intended to be seen in 2.35:1 widescreen [], that's how I want the DVD. Since most pay-per-view that I've seen is 1.33:1 (and a few 1.77:1 here and there), would the DVD be in its intended 2.35:1 aspect ratio or would it be in the pay-per-view 1.33:1/1.77:1 AR?

    Same with audio. If a movie is Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS but the PPV version is two-channel, is the DVD going to be in the intended audio format or the PPV format?

    The article didn't mention how these particular issues would be handled and it needs to be a concern, not only for those of us who want to see movies in the way that the film makers intended but also for the opposite. What if someone who doesn't like widescreen watches a pan-and-scan/open-matte PPV movie then receives a widescreen DVD? What if someone who tolerated the non-widescreen version on PPV expects to get the widescreen DVD and instead gets the pan-and-scan/open-matte (euphemistically called "full frame") version? Will customers be given the option of the widescreen or P&S/OM version?

    Unfortunately, TFA doesn't address these issues. I think that a lot of people will want to know this before they decide whether it's a good thing or not. This is an idea that we in the home theatre community have discussed for several years; but Comcast needs to make its customers very aware of what kind of DVD they will be getting or else Comcast risks getting a lot of complaints and returns.
  • One issue not addressed is who wants a DVD with the transition to HiDef DVD (take your pick HD-DVD or BluRay) just months away? Comcast is basically selling old technology according to this announcement.
  • Is it just me or would this be like buying the plates and silverware when you go out to dinner?

    I am not hard to please - At the end of many (most) movies I can give them a thumbs up and then move on with my life. Very few times have I said, yea I want to buy that movie and watch it a thousand more times.

    Even in this day and age when I could pop a DVD into my laptop and "click rip and burn" -- I don't even bother doing that. It's not like the movie is going to end any different or have a different plot li

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham