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Movie Studios Purposely Crippling Rental DVDs In Misguided Effort To Get People To Buy

from the taking-away-features-is-not-a-strategy dept

What is it about the entertainment industry that actually makes them think that it's a smart move to take features away from consumers? They seem to focus on building business models by pissing off as many people as possible, and then wondering why those people seek out alternatives. Case in point, visual77 points us to the news that movie studios are increasingly offering up feature-limited DVDs for the rental market, and then encouraging you to buy the DVD itself if you want all the features. As Consumerist reports:
Consumerist reader Joseph brought this to our attention after he spent $3.99 to rent the DVD of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World from Blockbuster. When he went to the disc's main menu and attempted to watch the Blooper Reel special feature, he was greeted by a screen telling him: "This disc is intended for rental purposes and only includes the feature film. Own it on Blu-Ray or DVD to view these bonus features and complete your movie watching experience."
This is the same thinking that leads the studios to seek to have rental places delay movies for a month. The entire business model seems to be centered on creating artificial scarcities that piss off people. Is it really so difficult for the industry to realize that they can make more money by adding value and actually delivering what people want?


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:39am

    *sniiiiiifff* Ahhhh... The smell of corporate idiocy at its finest.

     

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    Derek, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    Leave it to the movie biz to stage a protracted, fitful, overly dramatic death scene.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    How exactly can they add value and drive revenue if they give all the added value away for free?

     

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    Wesley, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:54am

    I kind of wonder what the usage statistics are for special features on Netflix/Redbox type services.

    It seems to me that the audience for the services would skew heavily to the type of people who aren't a huge special features watching demographic. Personally I generally only watch special features of movies I REALLY like, which are also the type of movies I would end up buying anyway.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    ... Please tell me you're joking, right? Especially since the rules have worked for near 10-20 years about DVD rentals?

     

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    J.D. (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:55am

    Mike, I typically agree with your posts. You're usually spot on. But in this case I don't know if we have all of the facts. I would suspect that when people rent a DVD it's because they want to watch a movie and not the entire theatrical experience.

    That being said, I think it's pretty crummy to show the bonus feature menu items and then block them from playing.

    They'll soon realize that digital distribution is here to stay.

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:57am

    Seems apropos to give a pointer to this again:

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:57am

    Seems apropos to give a pointer to this again:

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    Here's news for the movie biz.

    The special features are only important to you. They are not important to me. If they are there, maybe I will watch them, maybe not. They are not worth paying extra for when all I wanted was to the see the movie itself.

    There was a time when I probably rented in the neighborhood of 15 movies a month. Now I rent absolutely zilch. I have the same problem with them as I have with the music industry. I'm pissed off at both of them for reacting like spoiled children and I refuse to support them for the crap they have pulled over the years.

    After being away from buying music and movies, guess what? I've found other things to do with my time and money. I hear none of the hype crap and am not interested in the next installment of the remake of a remake that was remade.

    I'm sure the movie industry has no problem with someone that doesn't want their product so doesn't need to pay them.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    In an effort to get people to buy what?
    "Own it on Blu-Ray or DVD to view these bonus features and complete your movie watching experience."

    You are only ever renting if you cannot do with it as you wish.

     

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    Geek Hillbilly, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    The media companies pull BS like this and then wonder-
    1.>Why are sales dropping?
    2.>Why are pirates winning?

    Like I have said many times before-Treat you customers like criminals and soon you will not have any customers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    And people wonder why BlockBuster is going bankrupt.

    So I pay 3.99 for a movie that I have to fetch during business hours, and return to the same location. Or I could pay $1 and get it from many 24 hour places and drop it off at a different box on my way home from work if needs be. Or I could flat rate it and just have to go to my mail box. Sure glad BlockBuster got that exclusivity deal for ahead of 28 day window for a rental DVD for an inflated price.

     

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    Punmaster (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    I dunno, Mike. I am a huge movie fan, and as far as I can see - this *is* what you keep talking about, albeit done poorly. I came to the conclusion that I was not going to buy any more pre-viewed DVDs at my local BlockBuster precisely because they don't tend to include the special features. I *like* the special features, the "Making Of..."s and the deleted scenes. I have no problem if they sell limited versions to BB - it seems in line with your "offer more than the free version", so what's the problem?

    Admittedly, it was uncool of them to have the same menu, and tease the viewers, but the idea of selling limited versions to the rental companies isn't all bad. IMHO

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:15am

    I've never used a special feature on a single DVD I've ever rented. Assuming Netflix and the like can get these DVDs for cheaper, I'm all for them.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:17am

    I've never used a special feature on a single DVD I've ever rented. Assuming Netflix and the like can get these DVDs for cheaper, I'm all for them.

    ^^ Likewise.

    Well, once or twice I've peeked at them, but never really bothered much.

    Does this mean that the movie industry will sell us 'abridged' DVD's for cheaper now? I'd probably buy more movies if they were cheaper.

    Of course, this in no way lessens the value of used DVD's, lol

     

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    interval (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:17am

    Re:

    Well, you have to be creative. Sorry, but making money is, and should be, rather difficult. Its easy to layout the same old crap on some physical media, demand a ransom for it, and then bludgeon people over the head and haul them off to jail when technology catches up and give everyman the ability to be a content producer too. Do you really think that's a viable business model looking forward into the future? Do you really think people should will still be filling up cars with fossil fuels to go from place to place in 200 years? 300? Do you really think that stodgy, uncreative corporations will be able to demand premium prices for crap on a plastic disk in 100 years? 50? Even if the technology allows an entire, fully automated production studio that can be placed on a bit of plastic the size of your thumbnail that can churn out stunning 3D original videos by anyone with an imagination? WHAT THE HELL is WRONG with your type?? How do you not see that you can't continue to force people to pay you a bunch of money for the same old crap ad infinitum? Its a losing proposition played by people with a stunningly horrible lack of imagination and a will to keep technology and income streams static just long enough for them to reach retirement. Sorry, that model can't fly anymore. Time to come to grips. Some distributors are offering both regular and Bluray disks with their retail packages. One of my favorite bands, the Pixies, recently offered a limited release premium package with all their releases re-mastered with a really great art book and some other items, one sub-collection of objects featured every band member's autograph. I think these efforts are a step in the right direction. Not the same old "We'll sue each and every fan who makes a copy of our studio dvd" nonsense.

     

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    Paul, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    I can see why you're annoyed, but in this case I think the industry is actually trying to do exactly what you suggest: offering a "value-added" product for purchase, while still giving you the ability to view the film itself inexpensively. They may just have chosen the wrong tone for doing it. What I think they're trying to accomplish is to advertise the product for purchase: they're trying to make sure you realize there *is* additional content you could get, that there's a reason to buy something you can already rent.

    But I agree that, as is, the DVD comes off feeling crippled. Maybe the better approach would be to offer a rental disc that doesn't even include the missing features in its menus, but plays an ad at the beginning or end of the movie: "Own it on DVD or Blu-Ray today and receive these added bonus features..." That way they still let you know what you can get without making the product you rented feel broken.

    But rental is a different business model from sales, and I don't see that we're particularly entitled to the same disc that's sold directly to consumers when we rent. (Though if people are concerned about this, perhaps rental stores should put a sticker on affected titles.) I can't get annoyed about this any more than I'm irritated by the lack of bonus features with Netflix streaming. Sure, it would be nice if they were there, but I'm not entitled to them or anything. The special features are the very definition of "added value."

    (Of course, this process has an added bonus for the film industry: it limits the resale value of a former rental DVD.)

     

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    armando, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    re: Movie Studios Purposely Crippling Rental DVDs

    i see where punmaster is coming from. this "added value" material seems like the same thing musicians are adding to their cds/box sets. i think it's unfortunate that the movie companies were including this for rental, and now they're not. i remember being able to get extra feature vhs rentals for free!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:20am

    Re:

    Netflix has rental ones. It is kind of annoying really because some of the first ones shipped to me, you couldn't turn the subtitles on. Or choose a chapter to jump to. I might as well dl it, probably would have gotten here faster and I woudl still have it.

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:20am

    I think the problem would be that they do not distinguish the DVDs on the site. You can choose to buy right below where you choose to rent with nothing stating that the content on the DVDs are different.

    If you rent MW black ops, can they block the zombie chapter and the Dead Ops Arcade?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:21am

    Re:

    I think the issue is that the rental places don't consistently inform the renter that these things are disabled. If you're told up front then there's no reason to complain.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    this *is* what you keep talking about, albeit done poorly

    I think there's a key difference between what Mike talks about and what is happening here. Mike typically suggests that you add value, whereas what the movie studios are doing here is removing value. If you pay a higher price for an album, but are entered into a drawing where you can spend a day with the artist, that is adding value. It's something new. But with DVD rentals, people have already come to expect the extras. They're taking away something that used to be included in the price, not adding something new.

    On a related note, even when the movie studies do attempt to add something new, they fail terribly. Case in point: BD-Live, Sony's attempt to make movies interactive. Maybe other people use this feature, but if I want to look up some trivia about a movie, I pull my phone out or walk to my computer.

     

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    Erin B., Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:30am

    You know, this idea actually sort of appeals to me. The implementation is a bit goofy, but the "added value" of a purchase copy actually does make sense to me. And as far as crippling the resale market: the actual core media is still present and available. The lack of special features means that the copy is less attractive to an emotionally invested party; however emotionally invested parties are less likely to purchase resold copies anyway.

     

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    Jason, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    My reaction exactly. This seems to be a vaguely implied acknowledgement that the rentals will be the most likely to be pirated, and they are at least aiming for RtB. It's just that they fail on the CwF.

    And they definitely DO fail on connecting with me if I'm renting a DVD and don't get the bonus features. When I do rent, usually I'm renting it for my film club who will then view it under an MPIC (or other, I think we've actually got a couple different ones) license for non profits. Part of doing my homework when it's my turn to present is to watch all the bonus materials, especially cast/director commentaries and deleted scenes. I purposely choose films that have this content because it makes our viewing and discussion more interesting.

    Too bad, they seem to be so close to getting it, but crap!

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    Mike suggests adding options and giving a reason to buy, not taking options away and giving a reason to go somewhere else.

     

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    Jason, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re:

    I beg to differ. If you'll note my comment below, our film club also purchased annual licenses for non-profit viewing where part of the pitch on the licensing is that we can screen any rental (any rental that falls under one of the licenses that we hold, and for non-commercial use only). This change cuts the value of our licenses that we've already paid for, and it also cuts the value of our netflix membership if we start getting half of the DVD shipped to us.

     

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    interval (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re: Seems apropos to give a pointer to this again:

    Yes! But why two references? Got stuck in CGI-processing-delay-and/or-error hell?

     

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    grumpy (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re: Seems apropos to give a pointer to this again:

    Exactly. It makes me want to cry sometimes to realize that there are actually people out there who see option 2 as added value... They have completely lost sight of what customers want and become psychotic to the point where they're hurting themselves and their surroundings. Can we have an intervention team please...?

     

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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    Because it's was they way they always did it.

    A big huge part of the movie industries business model is that you must pay before you see. And, they don't give you back your money if you don't like what you see. So to see the extra features (which I mostly don't care about anyway), you have to pay first. The reason I don't care about them, is that in reality, they are mostly very lame. Certainly not worth paying for the plastic just in case they are any good.

     

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    hegemon13, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    This is fine

    Actually, I don't mind this at all. Rental companies aren't forced to rent the rental discs (unless they sign a contract that limits them), but I would guess they get them at a lower price than the full discs. (If they didn't, why would they switch?) So, it keeps rental prices low and offers a more premium experience to people who buy the movie.

    Yes, you can just download it. It won't stop pirates. BUT, for those who are big fans of a movie and do still buy discs, it gives them incentive to purchase a movie they have already seen in another form. After all, no one complains that the special features aren't present in the theater or on pay-per-view. While I agree with most of your posts, Mike, I can't agree here. As others have noted, those who spend time on special features are probably big enough fans that they're likely to buy the movie, anyway.

    On the other hand, the companies DO need to make sure their implementation does not ruin the experience of the feature film. The Clash of the Titans and Splice rental Blu-rays are examples of horrible implementation. The menus had two options: Play and Languages. No scene selection. So when I stopped a movie halfway and came back to finish it later, I had to fast-forward to the point I left off. It took me back to the days of having to wait for tapes to rewind. I don't think that's the association that the studios want to create for a "premium" format, and I will be quite hesitant to put another Warner Home Video movie in my queue.

    On the other hand, Repo Men used a strategy similar to that described for Scott Pilgrim above. The full menu was intact with some features missing. I was a little disappointed, but it didn't really bother me because at least the feature worked as expected.

     

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    Robert Ring (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Somebody went to a Blockbuster?

     

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    hegemon13, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    I like your implementation, except for the fact that it already takes several minutes to get to a Blu-ray menu because you have to sit through all the unskippable crap they put at the beginning. The worst part? Most of that unskippable crap is advertisements for Blu-ray and anti-piracy warnings. Hello? If I am already watching a Blu-ray, I'm probably not the one you need to sell on the technology. And if I am watching the disc, I'm one of the people who is watching it legitimately, so I don't need an warning telling me to...watch it legitimately.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I was speaking on the experience related in the Consumerist article linked in Mike's write-up:

    "I didn't pay $3.99 to just watch the movie itself; I paid $3.99 to rent the physical DVD for a week. To have full access to the entire DVD and everything contained within the menus. What made it worse was that Blockbuster gave me absoutely no warning that the DVD had its Special Features locked. There was no warning label or sticker or anything of the sort.

    The average individual renter may not have the particulars up front.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re:

    BD-live was never about adding value, it was about getting you to attach your BD player to the internet so they can spy on you, and change the abilities of your player.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re:

    No, the movie companies are adding value to the "full purchase" DVD, and keeping a limited (but still complete movie) on the rental discs. This is a true "upsell".

    The extras are just that, extras. Buy the disc, get the extras. It isn't like the rental disk only has half of the movie on it.

    I have to say that if the Movie companies did everything that TD suggests they should do, there would still be posts whining about this or that.

     

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    PRMan, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re:

    Aren't they making it easier for the pirates?

    If you have bonus features, you have to get rid of all that stuff with DVDShrink when you copy the disc to a non-DL DVD.

    Now, they can just copy the movie as is. It's so much simpler.

     

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    Spointman, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    So here's a fun question. I haven't been to Blockbuster in years (last time I went, they still had more VHS tapes than DVDs). But I do recall that they frequently had the actual, retail case on display for those DVDs, and if you wanted to rent, you'd take one of the Blockbuster-tagged boxes from the rack behind the display box. Now, retail cases have a lot of info on the back about the special features for the DVD. If they put up one of these retail cases, but inside the Blockbuster case you get one of these crippled DVD, has Blockbuster just committed fraud? After all, you made your renting decision based on the retail box, but what you got didn't include all the advertised content and features.

     

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    Punmaster (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re:

    re: "Mike typically suggests that you add value, whereas what the movie studios are doing here is removing value. "

    Well, true - you could say that they're removing it. That's a function of them "getting" the concept of RtB:CwF a little late in the game. If, from day one of DVD rentals, they had offered DVDs with no special features to BB, and sold ones with Special Features through retail, this would be totally a RtB implemenation. It's just that they're coming at it late.

    The Special Features are the major reason why I buy movie DVDs though - if I just want to watch the flick, there's a number of different venues to see it much cheaper. But if I'm willing to pony up $15 or $20 for a DVD, there had *better* be something other than the movie on it.

    Case in point - the Iron Man 2 DVD that I recently purchased, pre-viewed from BB, had NO special features at all. I was, to put it mildly, disappointed, and will be purchasing fewer DVDs from BB if this trend continues. I'll probably still buy DVDs, but I'll more carefully examine the boxes to see if it's worth spending the greater amount.

     

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    duderino, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:13am

    I don't mind...but

    Apparently Disney went as far as removing CLOSE CAPTIONING, which is blatant rights abuse towards the hearing impaired.

    Other than the CC instance, removing bonus features is fine by me. If I like a movie enough to want to see the features, it usually means I like it enough to want to own it.

    also, Netflix rocks!

     

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    Hulser (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, the movie companies are adding value to the "full purchase" DVD, and keeping a limited (but still complete movie) on the rental discs. This is a true "upsell".

    To quote Monty Python, "An argument isn't just contradiction." You've merely contradicted my statements, but didn't give any clear justification. I repeat, people are already used to DVD extras, so when you remove them, you're removing a feature which has always comes included by default. To use your logic, car companies would just be "upselling" if they started charging you extra for a steering wheel.

    I have to say that if the Movie companies did everything that TD suggests they should do, there would still be posts whining about this or that.

    There's a fundamental difference between whining and pointing out ways that someone can improve their business.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    I thought this already had happened. The last time I rented from RedBox all I got was the movie and no special features, not even links to special features on the menu. To me the annoying thing is telling you something is there, rather then just not putting it there. You dangle the link and the sucker bites and gets nothing but anger. That's a stupid move on their part.

    But really is this new? They've done this stuff for years with movies. I remember when I was younger when we rented VHS they were front loaded with a lot of previews. And then if my parents decided to purchase one of the movies the retail version didn't have all those previews.

    One other thing, I have to wonder what they are losing by not including the features. Rental copies of films cost multiple times over what retail sells. I know VHS back in the day it was $90+ for each copy. Blockbuster (as small as they are now) is still giving the movie industry big business. And as PRman said it makes things easier for priacy. Why are they so short sighted?

     

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    Hulser (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    BD-live was never about adding value, it was about getting you to attach your BD player to the internet so they can spy on you, and change the abilities of your player.

    Firmware updates and access to Netflix are much more compelling reasons to connect your Blu-ray to the Internet than BD-Live. If a movie studio cabal planned on luring in people to spy on them using connected Blu-ray players by relying on just BD-Live, they were not only nefarious, but stupid.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    Mike suggests adding options and giving a reason to buy, not taking options away and giving a reason to go somewhere else.

    ^^^^ This.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    Not to mention that the stuff they're removing (or adding, if you insist) is still freely avaialable on pirate sites. They're still not adding scarce value, no matter how you look at it.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:31am

    I reported this several weeks ago.

    The rental version of "Toy Story 3" had both the short feature "Day and Night" and the commentary tracks missing from it.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If, from day one of DVD rentals, they had offered DVDs with no special features to BB, and sold ones with Special Features through retail, this would be totally a RtB implemenation. It's just that they're coming at it late.

    Agreed. In your scenario, people would most likely have shrugged and accepted it. But once people get used to something, taking it away is just going to piss them off.

    The Special Features are the major reason why I buy movie DVDs though

    Typically, if I really like a movie, I'll watch the "making of" segment, if they have one. But there are very very few movies that I like so much that I would buy the disc after I've already rented it, just to see the extras. On a related note, I've stopped watching deleted scenes after I realized that almost all of them were deleted for a very good reason.

    will be purchasing fewer DVDs from BB if this trend continues

    Wasn't there a story recently about how Redbox employees were walking into Target and buying every copy of popular movies? Of course the movie studios freaked out, but here's yet another reason not to buy the crippled rental versions from the studios: they'll have a harder time selling the discs after they're done renting them.

     

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    Comboman, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    Since when are movie rentals free? Please give me the address of this magic Blockbuster.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Jeremy, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    It was bound to happen sooner than later

    Any way the movie studios can make money from consumers they are going to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    I don't see what's wrong with this

    Sorry, Mike, but what's wrong with the movie studios renting the movie and not renting the extra features? They're not obligated to offer the same product for rent and for sale. When you buy a house you can tear down the walls and gut the kitchen, but you can't do that if you're renting. Seriously, they're a BUSINESS and they're in business to make money, not to make the consumer happy. They will do whatever they can to make the most money they can from their product. You want the extras, buy. Don't bitch.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Seems apropos to give a pointer to this again:

    My apologies; I was doing something evil and underhanded to one of the firewalls while posting that and apparently managed to aggravate it enough to generate a timeout.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: It was bound to happen sooner than later

    I'd put it as:

    Any way the movie studios can make money from their few remaining consumers they are going to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Eugene (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:09am

    Re:

    THAT'S the real story here.
    This is like something you'd find on the front page of The Onion, "BREAKING: Area Man Still Uses Blockbuster to Rent Movies"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Jason, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    "Wait so it's...

    FtF + RtB? Got it, thanks Mike, NOW we can make money!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What they're trying to do is more about price differentiation. Thing is, it comes off as gimped. Since people have alternatives to the rental (Netflix, piracy) that get rid of this inconvenience, it just comes off as intentionally pissing people off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re:

    The poster above is talking about the extras. That's the added value. The same thing Masnick is always saying must be there to justify purchase.

    So, they do that, and then Masnick bitches about it.

    This article is fucking retarded, as is anyone that agrees with the premise of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Matthew (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Fuck 'Em

    It would take something really special for me to want to buy a physical dvd nowadays - a gag reel ain't gonna cut it. I'll stick with Netflix.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    jjmsan (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Value Added

    The point is that you charge more for added value. Taking away a feature and then charging for it is like raising the price on an by 100 dollars and then advertising it on sale for 100 dollars off. You have added no value and anyone who knows what is going on will know you are ripping them off.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Revelati, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Think of it this way.
    Every time you buy a movie, god kills a kitten.

    And if you don't give a rats ass about kittens then think of this.
    Every time you buy a movie, you are giving these idiots money...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    FormerAC (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    For 20 years, the DVD rental business offered you a chance to rent a DVD for a small fee. The DVD you rented was exactly the same as the one you could purchase.

    Now, the studios are removing value from the rental DVD, yet still charging the same price for the rental. I have never purchased a DVD for the deleted scenes, or alternate endings, or blooper reels. Sure, they are nice, but nothing I would pay money for.

    It is analogous to McDonalds selling a Happy Meal without fries because you went through the drive thru, and telling you that if you want the Happy Meal with fries included, you need to come inside. All I would do, is drive away.

    On another note, Mr. Coward, if you want anyone to take anything you say seriously, stop the personal attacks and vulgarity. You come across as a petulant 12 year old. Just because you cannot think your way through the problem and I can does not mean I am "fucking retarded." Quite the contrary.

     

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  60.  
    icon
    Hulser (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If, from day one of DVD rentals, they had offered DVDs with no special features to BB, and sold ones with Special Features through retail, this would be totally a RtB implemenation. It's just that they're coming at it late.

    Agreed. In your scenario, people would most likely have shrugged and accepted it. But once people get used to something, taking it away is just going to piss them off.

    The Special Features are the major reason why I buy movie DVDs though

    Typically, if I really like a movie, I'll watch the "making of" segment, if they have one. But there are very very few movies that I like so much that I would buy the disc after I've already rented it, just to see the extras. On a related note, I've stopped watching deleted scenes after I realized that almost all of them were deleted for a very good reason.

    will be purchasing fewer DVDs from BB if this trend continues

    Wasn't there a story recently about how Redbox employees were walking into Target and buying every copy of popular movies? Of course the movie studios freaked out, but here's yet another reason not to buy the crippled rental versions from the studios: they'll have a harder time selling the discs after they're done renting them.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Jeff Rife, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re:

    I have no problem if they sell limited versions to BB

    I do.

    Copyright law has no prohibition against video rental, and this has been upheld in courts. Basically, the first sale doctrine applies.

    But, the studios weren't happy that they were getting tons of money from the sale of videos to rental stores, so they stopped selling to them until they agreed to share the income from each rental. Now, they have decided that they still aren't getting enough money, so they have to castrate the "rental" version while taking more money from the retailer, which is the same thinking that has led to $15 movie tickets and $10 popcorn, theaters closing, and Blockbuster declaring bankruptcy.

    Like everything else that movie studios do, "rental versions" of DVDs are an attempt to garner more short term profits, then remake copyright law into their own wishes, so that they can keep the outdated business model. All it really does in the long run is stop people from giving them money, even though people want the product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    123, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    or rent the full dvd for an extra dollar

    -

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    the proper solution in this case would, i think, be to have the rental version Just Not Have The Option for the extra stuff. it's not there. then on the version you can buy, have big lables on the back of the case 'includes extra stuff!'

    the problem is, you cannot, EVER, give the impression that you have made a standard product and then Stripped Parts Out. this is done by either obvious attempts to get people to give you More money for what you have given the impression they've already payed for, or by taking standard features, stripping them out, and then demanding more money to return them, which is what is happening here.

    also, the main complaint here is the artificial divide between the rental and bought versions of... exactly the same thing, combined with the sillyness of 'windows'. the reality is that standard consumer behaviour seems to be, in this situation, to be annoyed at the feature not being there, followed by either deciding they don't need it, or going out and pirating it because it's more convenient/cheaper.

    the big, MAJOR distinction is: Mike says 'add value'. the movie industry insteads Removes value then tries to charge you more to put it back.

    can you see the distinction?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    you say that as if they haven't proven to be both time and itme again :-S

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: I don't see what's wrong with this

    Nobody said they CANNOT do this. He's saying it's STUPID and will not get very many people to buy anything.

    Seriously, they're a BUSINESS and they're in business to make money, not to make the consumer happy.

    You really don't see how those things go together?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    anothermike, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    spotted in the wild

    I encountered this same thing with the Repomen DVD. This was just after the rental window (another rant for another time) and the store was selling off the stock. I knew the store did this but I thought the redesigned box art was odd; it said "Rental" across the bottom. I didn't think anything of it until I finished watching the movie, enjoyed the twist at the end, then went to watch some of the extras. That's when they pulled the "This is a rental disk. Go buy the full version." I did buy the disk; I should've just used bittorrent.
    This was the end. I've pretty well finalized my media habits. Now I don't pay for a copy that costs nothing, I watch a movie to watch the movie and I buy a package that has value worth paying for. I'll buy the 'special directors extended unrated cut edition collectors box set'. I won't pay extra for 'digital copy disc' because I can already get the movie on all my other devices. I will pay to meet the actors and have them autograph a movie poster. I won't pay for just the poster.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    icon
    duffmeister (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

    Re: re: Movie Studios Purposely Crippling Rental DVDs

    You can't call something already there added.

    If I let you breath air am I allowed to suddenly charge you for it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    lostalaska (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 1:56pm

    Silver Lining? hmm... not so fast...

    "This disc is intended for rental purposes and only includes the feature film."

    God if only that were true, but I'm sure they kept the unskippable previews and warnings about piracy that you have to sit through for 10 - 15 minutes before getting to watch the movie. I've gotten so used to Netflix instant watch that when I get a DVD or Blueray disc I sometimes forget to pop the disc in the player well before i want to watch it so i don't have to sit through all the garbage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Good ol' AyC+RtP. (alienate your customers + reason to pirate)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

    Studios are waging a war they want to harass the supply lines of the enemy(their customers).

    Great strategy continue the wonderful job.

    ps: I still not buying LoL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Logical fallacy. It's on pirate sites ILLEGALLY. That's false scarcity.

    Besides, what could they offer with each sale that WOULDN'T be on the pirate sites? Dinner with the star? What a joke...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Monopoly Rents

    Imagine if this is how it worked for other markets.

    "This dwelling is intended for rental purposes and only includes walls and a roof. Own it to enjoy the bonus features of indoor plumbing and heat and complete your dwelling living experience."

    "This vehicle is intended for rental purposes and only includes a chassis, wheels and a gas pedal. Own it to enjoy the bonus feature of stopping and complete your vehicle driving experience."

    I think these guys have forgotten what "value added" feature you really get with buying the DVD-- you don't have to give it back in 2 days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hulser, you miss it entirely.

    When you rent the movie, you rent the movie. When you buy the blu-ray, you get the extras that come with it. It is exactly the same upsell as they use against people who might see the movie on HBO or through Netflix instant.

    The extras are an upsell, a reason to buy, a way to connect with the real fans. It might not be important to everyone, but real fans will pay to see the extra stuff.

    The Movie companies are doing exactly what has been preached here for years. It's the whole CwF+RtB done to the very end, providing additional value to true fans who pay to own a copy of the full Blu-ray.

    The extras on a DVD are not a "default". You are renting the movie. If it would make you feel better, perhaps the rental places can make it more clear that the rental version is the movie only, not the complete owners only DVD with all the extras (RtB!).

    It is a very smart move by the movie companies, who have a very limited number of upsells to work with to push people from rent/downloader to being buyers. Further, it limits at least some of the value in rent-by DVD rips, as the rips of a rental video will not include the extras.

    It's a very smart move, it is everything TD has always preached, and still there is whining.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Logical fallacy. It's on pirate sites ILLEGALLY. That's false scarcity.

    How does that make it any less available? How does the illegality of it affect the economics of it? You're right though, it absolutely is false scarcity. Meaning it's false to call that scarcity.

    Besides, what could they offer with each sale that WOULDN'T be on the pirate sites? Dinner with the star?

    I don't know, but it's their best interest to figure something out.

    What a joke...

    The joke is thinking you can continue to annoy your customers indefinitely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    Montezuma (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    My girlfriend purchase the latest installment of the Twilight series(Eclipse?). She paid $20 USD for it, but it only offered the full movie; there are no special features. She was rather unhappy, until we returned to the store and found that we would have to pay an extra $10 USD for these "special features".

    I told her and the clerk that those features are not special enough to warrant an extra $10 USD. Studios should be ashamed. This is beyond ridiculous. This has brought me to the decision to never purchase another movie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 1:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Extras are added value? Yeah, right. Have fun paying for the blooper reel, sucker. Wanna buy a bridge?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Bull. It's not upsell because as someone wrote above both sold and rental DVDs had the exact same features for YEARS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:22am

    DVD vs Blu-ray

    Another move of them is to degrade DVD quality to upsell people to Blu-Ray. I couldn't believe it but almost all of my latest DVDs are a 3-4 GB whereas usually I could never find any under 5-6. So they are using way less bitrate for the movie and it shows.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Re: DVD vs Blu-ray

    Aren't DVDs limited to 4.5 GB?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: DVD vs Blu-ray

    They also have dual layer and two-sided.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: DVD vs Blu-ray

    Recordable, yes; do movies come on dual layer discs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 10:05pm

    Sure they do come on Dual layer, at least pretty much all R2 releases. That's why tools like DVD Shrink got so popular in the first place. DL blanks were way to expensive so ppl had to shrink their backups to fit on single layer discs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: DVD vs Blu-ray

    Yes, and two sided.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re:

    For perhaps a very short period of time, it's a reason to "go somewhere else" (although there are no legal places to go to get the same material, breaking the law is a different issue).

    But just like any change of product, over time people become use to things being packaged in a certain way. BB and Netflix are probably happy to have a slightly lower holding cost per unit, and over time the market is more clearly deliminated.

    If you want the full big screen experience, the sound, and the mumbling of a few hundred people, see it in a theater.

    If you want just the movie, rent it, or wait for it to turn up on cable.

    If you want the full blu ray experience with deleted scenes, commentary, or any other extras, then buy it.

    Basically, you can pay for the experience at whatever level you are interested in. For a short period of time, the people who were mistakenly thinking they were renting a DVD when in fact they were renting a movie will miss certain things they might have otherwise checked out. But in the long run, it will create more value for the "added features, available only on the full retail disc".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:32am

    Re: Monopoly Rents

    "This dwelling is intended for rental purposes and only includes walls and a roof. If you wish to enjoy the full ownership experience, you should buy the property"


    "This vehicle is intended for rental purposes and only includes a chassis, wheels and a gas pedal. The vehicle does not include high end luxury features such as a custom interior or dubs. For those options, purchase the car from one of our dealers."

    I fixed those for you. Your arguments are silly, because you are not getting half of the movie, you are getting the whole movie. The movie isn't crippled.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Monopoly Rents

    I think you're confused, friend. What they are doing is taking something away that people (customers) have come to expect and requiring them to pay to get it back. This is not the same as an upsell.

    They are trying to rewrite history, and clearly the customer isn't fooled.

    Furthermore, they have crippled the rental product to make it less desirable than a pirated copy, as now you get to sit through the 20 minutes of crap to get to the movie, but the extras are gone.

    All around a stupid move my the movie studios, but we are used to that by now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Liked the post, but running into the wall of text gave me a headache.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It is analogous to McDonalds selling a Happy Meal without fries because you went through the drive thru, and telling you that if you want the Happy Meal with fries included, you need to come inside."

    This, 100x this! Love it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    needy, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 8:37am

    Re:

    digital distribution has been around for years. it's just getting better now than before. the industries haven't learnt anything in all this time and still refuse to adapt!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Steve, Jul 12th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    keeping features off of rental movies is STUPID!

    Stupifd move. I weould RENT a movie I had already seen in a theater just to see the features. I would never BUY a movie just to see the features! Stupid!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    GM, Jul 14th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    I went to the theater the other day...

    I went to the theater the other day to see that new action film everyone is talking about. When the last reel started, all I saw was a black screen with the message; "If you'd like to see the conclusion to this film, please purchase it on DVD and Bluray when it's released next month."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Breed7, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    This is fraud

    Late to the party, I know, but after reading so many of the comments here, I have to wonder why so many people are just total morons...

    Yes, you might not be the type of person who watches bonus features -- I do watch them. I don't want to watch them 50 times, which is why I don't BUY the DVD. I RENT it, because I want to watch the featurettes and commentaries ONCE.

    If you feel that it's OK for movie studios to do this to renters, then YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. You aren't smart enough to care that the consumer is short-changed.

    Movie studios get away with this crap because of stupid consumers. Netflix gets away with this because they don't warn consumers and don't provide a way of leaving feedback; I just went through and removed a bunch of DVDs from my queue because I suspect they'll be "rental-only" copies, but I don't have any way of letting Netflix know that I did this and for what reason I did it.

    I have to agree with everyone here who says that movie studios actually encourage people to pirate movies. The movie studios seem to be trying everything in their power to make sure that consumers are unhappy with the product that is PAID FOR by the consumer (and yes, renting a DVD is still PAYING for it).

    Can't we start some sort of class-action thing against the studios that do this, and against the rental agencies that don't disclose this?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Cate, Mar 26th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

    Rental no special features

    I like the special features usually. Maybe they should just charge a little more for fully featured rentals? There is no way I have room to store hundreds of movies in my house by having to pay for them nor do I have the money for that. This totally sucks.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    mike, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:32pm

    Bad Idea

    If I like the movie I might watch some of the bonus features ONCE! I understand wanting to add value to increase the sales unfortunately this type of trickery doesn't make me want to buy the movie just makes me want to rent less and pirate more... Not that I would do anything like that of course because pirating is wrong you know like jay walking something else I would never do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    identicon
    FrAnk, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 9:28pm

    Class action

    Im in shock no one has started a class action againest movie and rental companies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    identicon
    Noah1111, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:43am

    can't watch unrated version

    This pissed me off last night. I rented a blu-ray from Redbox which advertises unrated version in the description. I put movie in and have option of theatrical version or the unrated version of and of course all the extra options. It told me since it's rented that I can't watch the unrated version unless I buy the movie. Then why the didn't they mind charging me for the bluray price if I can can't see the bluray content. That's bullshit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 1:16am

    Re: can't watch unrated version

    Old thread but still valid...

    The issue got worse where the Blu-Rays are missing now the unrated version of movie (like Noah1111 indicated). I have encountred at least 3 such BluRays over the last 6 month. This shows that Mike was a bit ahead of his time bringing this news and that a lot of early posting on how they don't watch special features are from ignorant persons who do not see that a trend has been set (of taking away features of a rental disk). Next they might even add commercials and tell you do buy the disk if you want to watch it commercial free.
    Also, as indicated before, it is really nasty to rub it in your face: there is a link to an unrated version that tells me that I have to buy it to watch it... I could really do without that link... It's presence is what infuriates me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    Mark Weiss, Jul 28th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Neal's are like going to the theater

    I don't see what all the complaints are about. When we go to the movies, we don't see this bonus material, and we pay $12 per person to watch. For $1 disc rental, you get to see the same movie you would see in the theater.
    Bonus materials are an incentive to own the disc. Nothing wrong with that. Do 't like it? Don't rent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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