Hollywood Got The FCC To Break Your TV Because It Thought You'd Pay $30 For A PPV Movie?

from the say-what-now? dept

You may remember that earlier this year the FCC gave Hollywood the right to break your TV, by enabling “selectable output control” on your television, to keep you from actually recording certain movies or shows (um, unless, of course HDCP DRM is broken… oops). Months later, people realized that despite these urgent pleas from Hollywood, no studios had actually moved forward to offer such films in this “new window” closer to the theatrical release, but before the DVD was released.

Reader cc points out that some studios are finally interested in moving forward with such offerings, but they somehow think that people will pay $20 to $30 to view such movies. Yes, you read that right. I’m half wondering if this is really Hollywood’s way of introducing this concept while trying not to piss off the theaters. They can basically say “hey, look, the only people willing to do this wouldn’t pay cheaper prices to go to the flick in the theater, so they’re not cannibalizing theater sales.” Of course, you have to wonder if they’re cannibalizing anything at such ridiculous prices.

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Comments on “Hollywood Got The FCC To Break Your TV Because It Thought You'd Pay $30 For A PPV Movie?”

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Coward (Anon) says:

Depends on how you break it down

If you are the only person watching, then $30 is insane. But if you have a family of 4 that works out to $7.50 per person which is less than movie tickets (at least here in the USA). Factor in the price difference in snacks and $30 is a bargain. But there is definitely some shock value in seeing a $30 charge for a movie. I doubt many people will see past their initial reaction. And yes, I’d guess it will drive more people to bit torrents especially since $30 and a DHCP crack will produce a perfect digital copy to upload.

interval (profile) says:

Re: Depends on how you break it down

“But if you have a family of 4 that works out to $7.50 per person which is less than movie tickets (at least here in the USA). Factor in the price difference in snacks and $30 is a bargain.”

Yeah, even with your marvelous break-down, for some reason that still doesn’t do it for me. Think I’ll pass.

Cynyr (profile) says:

Re: Depends on how you break it down

And we could just wait for it to come out on blu-ray and get all the goodies, and whatnot, and still pay only $30… If i buy the dvd it’s even better as they are easier to rip.

Most of the really early Torrents, are from ripping it from the theater gear, not from home. how many HDMI/DVI recorders do you know of?

Also, i think you meant HDCP, DHCP doesn’t need a crack, as it’s an open way for your computer to be assigned an IP address.

Narcuru (profile) says:

Re: Depends on how you break it down

$7.50 is cheap? Where I live its 5 dollars max for any new release in a nice theater with all the normal amenities. It used to be 4 dollars for a while too but last year they raised prices it might be $6.50 for regular adults (I’m a student) but that’s still cheaper than the $7.50 for four people price.

I’d rather go to a theater and save $2.50 per person and see a new movie (ok maybe not now cause all the movies out now aren’t ones that I’m interested in) than do that.

Coward (Anon) says:

Re: Re: Re: Depends on how you break it down

So we have one commenter saying $7.50 is expensive and another saying its cheap. I know that tickets in NYC are in the $12 range and are around $10 here in San Diego. Even discount Tuesdays moved from $5 to $6.50 a couple of months ago. At least those prices get you a pristine digital projection and decent (though not great) sound. Add a couple of bucks for 3D and another for D-Box (has anyone here tried D-Box seats? I’m not willing to spend the extra to find out that its just a gimmick).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Depends on how you break it down

You do not want to live where he lives. He probably lives in a city with 30,000 people or so. They have to keep prices low because the population doesn’t support $10 tickets. Other things the population won’t support include: non-chain restaurants, plays, a downtown that the city works to keep active, etc.

What do you do in that town? Eat at outback and go see a movie?

Chris Pratt (profile) says:


I’m convinced the people who make these decisions are all addicted to crack. Why in name of everything that is good and holy in this world would you pay $20-$30 to watch a movie once in your home when you could just wait 30 days and get rent it for $5 at Blockbuster or even cheaper from Netflix if you’re willing to wait 30 days more. OR you could just wait 30 days and BUY the movie for $15-$20 and have a physical hard copy that you could watch over and over again until the end of time.

I’ve never understood these outrageous pricing schemes for disposable digital media anyways. Why would I pay the same price for a digital copy of something as a physical hard copy? Not that I want another DVD on my shelf collecting dust, but at least I know that there’s some inherent value in that item since it’s an actual manufactured good.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Ridiculous...

Teach your kids why you want to wait. This is a glorious teaching opportunity for you. Tell them all about movie studio greed and why you are not just going to roll over. It is a mighty privilege and a pleasure to grow your own kids up. Your kids will respond really positively to you having a serious talk to them about this. Kids absolutely love being told how the world really works. Your “cool parent” status will be off the scale, afterwards, if you do it properly. That means no shouting, no hostility, allow enough time, no talking down, explain carefully and answer any questions from the kids honestly.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Ridiculous...

“But why wait at all? For $30 you may as well go to the cinema and get the whole experience. It might cost more, but there’s the experience some people like.”

That is the key point here. People will pay 30$ for the theater experience, The community, the shared memories, the ice cream afterwards. They won’t pay for it in any serious numbers to see it on the tele at home.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Ridiculous...

My kids are grow up already but if I were to teach them I would do the following.

Give them an allowance and put a big event that cost money the exact same amount they would get having to save 50% of their allowance like a big vacation somewhere or a big event, then they will understand why people save in the first place and why money doesn’t come from tree’s. Of course the first year they will fail, and no trip or no show or no new game consoles or TV or whatever the second year they may fail too, but on the third they probably understand they need to sacrifice things to get other cool stuff. You don’t actually need to tell them anything they will figure that out for themselves or start stilling, that is when you get to talk to them about the evils of not being honest, not learning to save and not working for what you want, in some rare instances I saw some kids that didn’t have the money to do something and found a way to build something equivalent, now those kids show promises what would your kids do in that situation?

Besides ostracism is bad why? did they loose the family?

Many many people I know where ostracism as kids, obviously they didn’t like it, but they seem to be doing ok and those experiences may have build their character, don’t shield your kids from bad things, teach them to deal with it.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Ridiculous...

I would love for my kids to be ostracized for not seeing the latest fad.

I would rather build a little character than get the bratz dolls or see some bad film. Being able to survive being different from the crowd is a personal strength.

This strength can later manifest itself in the form of being comfortable and self-assured, making ones own decisions, and being less swayed by the mob. A worthy goal, and I save $30!

reboog711 (user link) says:

Ticket Price for a Family of four?

That was my first thought when I heard the price too.

But, on the other hand, If you’re a family of four, or getting together with a bunch of your friends. $30 is a steal. And you don’t have to deal with the horrible movie theater going experience,

It’s not uncommon for me to go to movies w/ a group of 8-10 friends. With this we could save a bundle and get a much better experience.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Ticket Price for a Family of four?

Yeah, except they’ve said that it’s not going to be contemporaneous with the theatrical release, which means $30 for something that’s already out on the 2nd-run circuit for $2 per seat. Even with a family of four, there would be enough left over for like five whole ounces of popcorn.

scarr (profile) says:

Foolish game

Is this part of some elaborately idiotic plan to demonstrate that “we tried to offer a legal alternative, but people won’t pay for digital copies, so we need to make it more illegal to copy”?

I mildly see the value for families, but if you’re waiting for video anyway (i.e. not concerned about seeing it when it is first out), why wouldn’t you wait the extra month? If it’s cheaper to *buy* the thing a bit later, I would think most cost-conscious families would go that way. Or Redbox it for $2.

There’s no way anyone could think this would actually work, do they?

And then... says:

In the fall of 2010 those of us who KNEW, rejoiced, for the foul denizens of the land of HOLLYWOOD had blessed us with the NEWS that their greed and hubris was without LIMIT, and surely would be their END, and that soon we would hear no further of entertainments drawn from childish stories of robots throwing buildings at other robots, and thus it was that we settled in with our snack cakes and our microwaveable popcorn and waited…

Geoffrey McCaleb (user link) says:

Limited Market

I personally would pay this price point, but I doubt many others would.

I live in the UK so a movie night for my wife and I would include:
– babysitter (about $25-40)
– parking (about $10)
– tickets ($25)
– Snacks ($20)

For us, $30 would be cool to see a first run film at home. HOWEVER, did anyone notice the quote from the Bloomberg article?

“…for as much as $30 per showing soon after they run in theaters”

In Hollywood-speak, this means they still won’t offer it anywhere close to release day so they can hold onto their opening weekend bonanza. So, if it takes 60-90 days for a first run film to make it to PPV, my bet is Hollywood will screw this up and make this type of service available around 30 days after release.

I’d pay $30 to watch a film at home the day it comes out, 30 days later? I’ll wait for a torrent or Netflix/LoveFilm.

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