Digital Copies

Discuss North American DVDs and Blu-rays or other DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Digital Copies

#1 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:28 am

Well, the digital release wound up being a week earlier so I just bought it for $14.99 on Vudu - these studios and services really need to get their ducks in a row with regard to their pricing model and availability of 4K content. For $24.99 you get a UHD disc that just has the feature, a Blu-ray that includes the bonus features, and a digital copy in 4K, but for 10 dollars less you get a 4K digital copy with all the bonus features... which for most people will be plenty for most films in 2018? But then having checked the Google Play store for this, they were charging a whopping $29.99 for the 4K digital copy of the film. $5 more than the disc copy, which... comes with a digital copy. :shock:

Maximizing the way I can watch films in HDR on my far too expensive LG television is proving to be pretty complicated and far too disorganized to appeal to most consumers. I hope studios (something like MoviesAnywhere is a great start, although of course a few studios are holding out because of course they are) and these many many online marketplaces start to work in tandem more as time goes along to make this more of a mainstream friendly process, or it might hurt UHD discs just by proxy.

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018)

#2 Post by tenia » Tue May 22, 2018 11:31 am

I guess this sums up quite well the current rolling out of new video techs and the implausible mess that goes with it. You'd think the industry would have learnt from format war and dilution of the consumers through too many access points, but nope.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018)

#3 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:36 am

Off the top of my head, there is:

Ultraviolet, which works with Vudu and iTunes, but not both at once
Vudu
iTunes
Google Play
FandangoNOW
Amazon
MoviesAnywhere, which links purchases from Vudu, iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNOW, and Amazon, but only from some major film studios, not all
Sony
Microsoft
CinemaNow
Roku has its own store, if I recall correctly

And I'm sure I'm missing some. It's ghastly. And I'm maybe the biggest proponent of a move toward digital on this forum! I can count on two hands how many disc releases I bought in 2017, and it'll probably go down to one in 2018.

User avatar
Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: The Future of Home Video

#4 Post by Ribs » Tue May 22, 2018 11:41 am

I know it's not really fair to pick out any one individual person's buying choices, but I see absolutely no reason even if it's substantially cheaper at first not to be buying every single UHD release that's available on disc that you're interested in. This movie really shouldn't have just barely gotten this release (and I say this as someone who's no fan of it), and I don't want to dissuade Paramount from continuing to embrace the format and focus on digital releases, which still have a huge way to go to even coming close to disc format.

Paramount isn't doing MA, but that's it. MA bills itself as a home for the big studios: Lionsgate and STX and whoever aren't invited, at least not at this stage. Which is interesting, considering Paramount's the studio that's been in the most financial trouble over the past year (by my estimates, Disney is on track to have at least four movies this year whose total domestic gross individually eclipse that of the entirety of last year's Paramount output) and yet is simultaneously the studio with the most catalog UHD releases by a big margin. I'm actually really bitter about MA: while it's great to have the sharing across platforms, I really appreciated how UV encourage friends to share libraries and miss that feature as newer and newer titles have become fewer and farther between.

(STX is a particularly bad one: for some reason, though they're not in the MA party, they've stopped using UV codes, which means Molly's Game only came with an iTunes code, which doesn't port elsewhere - if you were to buy the title on Vudu using Disc + Digital, you'd get a UV copy)

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: The Future of Home Video

#5 Post by tenia » Tue May 22, 2018 11:47 am

Ribs wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:41 am
I see absolutely no reason even if it's substantially cheaper at first not to be buying every single UHD release that's available on disc that you're interested in.
You're answering this by yourself, actually. I myself am buying lots of BD releases out of curiosity, including (within the novelties) some I'm likely to find OK-ish but not enough to justify shelving out some more money for a medium I'm not yet equipped with.
I'd be equipped with currently, why not, but I'm so unlikely to revisit these later anyway that money actually is the main culprit here.

And this goes for everything : either you wait for the newer support to be at a price lowered enough (in these cases, I'm not looking to wait), or you select which movies you're likely to revisit later (hence justifying the amount you're paying for it) or for which a BD will be plenty enough.

And I'm a technophile regarding movies, so I'm extremely likely to have specific buying strategies. Average Joes ? Why would they pay $25 for a 4K disc if they can pay $15 and have the movie in 4K ? It's still 4K ! It even has the extra features !
That's where the studios are inconsistent and should really tighten up their price points, and I suppose that was mfunk's original point (which I agree with).
As a whole, the whole UHD rolling out is a mess anyway, and the whole stuff with HDR10, HDR10+, and now DV only makes things worse. I can't fathom somebody interested in this but not knowledgeable enough trying to make its way through this.
Last edited by tenia on Tue May 22, 2018 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Future of Home Video

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:49 am

As far as sharing libraries goes, I don't have anyone in my personal life who I can conceive of going "hey, I own [digital movie X], wanna borrow it?" to, so that's out as a consideration for me personally. I know it isn't for some people, but that's something I wouldn't have even thought to check for.

Yes, I did consider that buying the disc would make an impact in terms of encouraging more UHD releases from Paramount, but by positioning it a week later than the digital 4K release (I'm just going with 'UHD' for discs and 'digital 4K' for digital, for the sake of my sanity) and making it a Best Buy exclusive (who wants to drive to the store to buy a disc anymore? Let me order it from Amazon, guys), they pretty much dug their own grave on that one. The $10 lower price point and the ability to watch it sooner sealed it for me, but it's all releative with regard to what film it is and how often I'm going to want to put it on and watch it - for as great as Annihilation is, it's not going to get popped into the disc drive every Thanksgiving in the ole mfunk household.

Phantom Thread was an essential purchase as a disc release because it's largely not the kind of film that's been getting UHD releases - regardless of the studio's woes and their relationship to the film, Annihilation is. Sci-fi and superhero pictures don't need my dollar nearly as much as costume dramas that were shot on film.

And yeah tenia - not just their price points, but their ability to surface "Okay, what devices do you have that you're going to want to watch this on in the long term? Here's where you should buy it, then." There's surely very little incentive for them to do that, but when I can only download the film on my Samsung phone at 1080p (or 'HDX,' gag me) from Vudu but the Google Play store would let me watch it at the max resolution of my phone in HDR, and the only reason I can only do the former is because Paramount doesn't play nice with MoviesAnywhere (for example, I can download the top quality version of Blade Runner 2049 from Google Play without issue despite buying that on Vudu too, since Warners has no problem with this)... I mean, this is a run-on sentence, but it's a run-on situation at the consumer level. It's a fucking mess.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Digital Copies

#7 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:49 pm

Posting this here because I have found it so incredibly useful - I see it pop up from time to time on the Blu-ray.com forum.

A Google doc that is an exhaustive guide to how to redeem digital copy codes for a huge list of films, including whether those films are available in UHD on any or all streaming platforms, whether they are UV or MA eligible, and much more. If you're ever looking to begin to build up a library of digital copies of films (say, you own a very expensive 4K HDR television, or are trying to buy fewer discs, or both), this is a very good resource to refer to before seeking out a discounted code or just figuring out which service to log onto and buy the film from in order to achieve the maximum value, quality, and flexibility with your purchase.

Also worth mentioning here: Microsoft has been added to the services that can be synchronized with Movies Anywhere, and if you link your Microsoft account up with it, they are offering a free 1080p copy of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which you can promptly never watch.

User avatar
TMDaines
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester

Re: Digital Copies

#8 Post by TMDaines » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:23 am

I guess this is another illustration of where backchannels somehow manage to offer an altogether more user-friendly and coherent experience, not that I have an ability, or particular desire, as of now to watch 4k.

Post Reply