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Sony, Disney Give Asia What it Wants

June 25th, 2013 - 7:50 am

I should very excited about this story, but I’m not. We’ll get to the why not in just a moment:

In a bid to limit movie piracy in Asia, Disney and Sony have quietly begun testing a bold new on-demand service in South Korea which offers movies to rent while they are still playing in theaters. As noted by the Wall Street Journal, the two companies are the first US studios to provide consumers anywhere with the option to buy a ticket to see a movie or watch it in their own home using their cable, internet, or satellite-TV subscription. Django Unchained, Wreck-it Ralph, and Brave had all been made available as part of the trial.

These are 2012 movies here in the States, but I’m assuming based on the story they’re in current release overseas.

But why make this a piracy-fighting move? Why not just …I dunno… give audiences what they want? Increasingly, that’s to watch movies in the comfort of our own homes, with a picture quality better than many movie theaters of just ten or 15 years ago.

I’m still counting on Hollywood to screw this one up, however.

Do you know why Blu-Ray has failed to take the place of DVD in lining Hollywood’s pockets? Because Blu-Ray sucks. The picture quality is outstanding. And the sound is an audiophile’s dream. But the discs are so locked down that they’re a total pain in the bottom to actually use. Loaded with FBI warnings we can’t skip, menus that can take forever to load, and years-old previews you’re forced to watch again and again. And — oh, yeah — most of the movies are crap.

So we rent from Red Box or stream from Netflix or download from iTunes. Or we just pirate the stuff.

Because as nice as it sounds to be able to stream a current summer blockbuster release like Melting Flying Zombies vs The Buxom Flamethrower Pirates, I’m pretty sure Hollywood would fill it up with all the same, lame stuff they cram onto shiny new Blu-Ray discs.

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All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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I would love to see a streaming service like that, as long as the DON'T add all the crap Stephen fears they will.

Then again, I'm easier to please since I'm still in DVD-land over here, even with a high-res monitor.

This reminds me: if I add a Blue-Ray player to my computer, will it work at best resolution automatically, if I set it up properly?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem with seeing movies in cinemas is you are stuck for a couple hours. At home you can "watch" the movie, surf the web, talk on the phone, eat your meals at the same time. If something really interesting happens in the movie then you can rewind and re-watch. Most of the time, you can switch to something else after the first ten minutes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hollywood loves selling physical media, almost as much as merchandise. Namely as the margins are huge, costs for distribution are relatively small, and controlling the distribution channel is easy. See: Disney taking films out of print when demand goes down, waiting a few years, then re-releasing.

A precious few of the major studios are finally waking up to the iTunes model being what we want. The only thing keeping it from happening are the lawyers. Yes, you could just crank out a simple distribution agreement and let people sell your stuff. Yes, you could in-house distribution and play nice with the major boxes and services. However, when you're a contract lawyer, that is much less fun than taking three years at $150 an hour to figure out what kind of logo the affiliates get to use to advertise your films.

Were it not for the comically litigious nature of the major studios, you'd see a lot more rapid adoption of modern content delivery. Take my word for it-- I built such a system six years ago, only to watch it sit in a back room somewhere because legal couldn't figure out WTF to do with it.

The flip side of that is when you're talking galactic craploads of revenue, or lack there of, people tend to be cautious. The end game of studios killing their revenue will be the Linux of cinema. And no, that isn't a good thing. So it isn't especially surprising that nobody wants to shoot the golden goose until they need to.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I believe that, with very little effort, one can find the tools needed to do what Mr. Collier mentions on the interwebs. Some are rumored to remove all of the extraneous crap, too.

So I'm told.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've been told that if you Google "Handbrake" and "MakeMKV" that some people might find the sort of solutions they're looking for.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Googling "DVDFab" will help out as well. Pretty close to a one step solution, too.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can vouch that Googling "Handbreak" and "MakeMKV" will solve your problem. I do it regularly for my jobs. But it's such a PitA. Easier to Google "bit torrent". Then one good night sleep later, problem solved.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Hey now, don't go knocking The Buxom Flamethrower Pirates.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's exactly right. I've ripped all of our DVDs and Blu-rays to our home server, just because that was actually LESS PAINFUL than having to sit through all the useless crap on the discs before getting to the actual entertainment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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