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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > When will it be here: The end of the DVD?

When will it be here: The end of the DVD?
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PeterParker
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Apr 2, 2017, 08:34 AM
 
Hey everyone,

I went shopping in the city yesterday with my sister and we went to a bookstore with DVDs and Blu-Ray DVDs. There were so many DVDs.
When will that end? Who needs DVDs? Quality is bad on big flat TV sets and they are now ancient - 20 years old, I think. Wasn't it 1999 when Matrix came out? My first DVD and we weren't early adopters.

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PeterParker
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And.reg
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Apr 2, 2017, 08:39 AM
 
Greetings.
One of my business mailings just this week was a DVD on climate change in Greenland. They're still around, because they're super cheap. And most people who have flat TV screens are using 1080p and on a screen size that they can afford to watch it on, not these giant 50"+ screens. Besides, if you're that worried about DVD quality on a flat screen, then you might as well complain about uploads on YouTube with the video quality maximum set to 480p.
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P
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Apr 2, 2017, 09:26 AM
 
Much of the appeal of DVDs is that they Just Work. Streaming needs network access, which you might not have while traveling, and Bluray is much the same because it wants to update the DRM software at inopportune moments. With a decent upconverting DVD player - such as just about any Bluray player - they look fine even on the big screen (I have a 52" myself). Yes Bluray looks better, but upconverted DVD is fine.

They are also cheap, and getting even cheaper. The last patent on AC3 (Dolby Digital) just expired. By my count there are 6 left for MPEG2, but two of them expire this month, and the rest within a year. With the DRM situation for Bluray being so crazy, I don't see them ever taking over.
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PeterParker  (op)
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Apr 2, 2017, 09:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Much of the appeal of DVDs is that they Just Work. Streaming needs network access, which you might not have while traveling, and Bluray is much the same because it wants to update the DRM software at inopportune moments. With a decent upconverting DVD player - such as just about any Bluray player - they look fine even on the big screen (I have a 52" myself). Yes Bluray looks better, but upconverted DVD is fine.

They are also cheap, and getting even cheaper. The last patent on AC3 (Dolby Digital) just expired. By my count there are 6 left for MPEG2, but two of them expire this month, and the rest within a year. With the DRM situation for Bluray being so crazy, I don't see them ever taking over.
Really? 'Never taking over'?? I thought they were just taking a long time. I like change, I wanted to see a good and full-blown change. I bought Life of Pi on Blu Ray and it looks so incredible on a 32" TV set, a DVD can't do that... (although, I admit, for instance some old Harry Potter movies look great here too).

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Apr 2, 2017, 10:07 AM
 
We rented a DVD just the other night. We don't subscribe to any streaming service.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 2, 2017, 12:04 PM
 
We rent dvds/bluray all the time from library. Some things you can't find streaming on amazon or netflix, and the rental fee online is almost as much as buying a dvd.
     
subego
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Apr 2, 2017, 12:31 PM
 
Physical media is dead to me.
     
subego
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Apr 2, 2017, 01:06 PM
 
In ancient times, I watched the TV show Supernatural on DVD, and then jumped to Blu-ray™.

I preferred the DVD. The Blu-ray™ was way harsh.

That may not be the format's fault, of course.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Apr 2, 2017, 01:13 PM
 
Never bothered with Blu-Ray. I don't even own a player. Its been years since I watched a bought DVD.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
starman
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Apr 2, 2017, 02:08 PM
 
DVDs are for most people that don't understand networking or streaming or Blu-Ray. The shit just works, and that's all they care about. The discs are cheap.

Me, I'm still buying Blu-Ray (including 4K) because:

1) Video/audio quality is vastly superior to streaming.
2) Have you ever read the list of movies that are leaving Netflix the following month and said "nooooooooooo!"? That's why.

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subego
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Apr 2, 2017, 02:18 PM
 
I don't think Netflix is supposed to be used that way. It's ironically a lot like TV used to be. This is what's "on" right now. Change channels until you find something you like.

For something specific, if it's not on, rent/steal/buy a digital version.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 2, 2017, 02:53 PM
 
what's frustrating is that the same movies are "on" neflix/amazon, because the studios make basically the same deal with both. They want us to be frustrated with the system and rent.
     
OAW
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Apr 2, 2017, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Physical media is dead to me.
Same here. I had a Blu Ray player for a few years. I used at a lot at first but soon found it sitting idle more often than not. It was just too convenient to rent a movie instantly on my Apple TV than wait a day or so for a disc to arrive from Netflix. Then one day it (and a lot of other equipment) got fried in a storm and I never replaced it. I think I have its predecessor ... a DVD player ... in a box somewhere in my storage room. But I never bothered to hook it up. I'm 100% in on streaming services now. I even ditched cable. Literally the only thing hooked up to my TV is the Apple TV.

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Apr 2, 2017, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Me, I'm still buying Blu-Ray (including 4K) because:

1) Video/audio quality is vastly superior to streaming.
Absolutely! But for me personally the convenience of streaming outweighed the marginal increase in video quality.

2) Have you ever read the list of movies that are leaving Netflix the following month and said "nooooooooooo!"? That's why.
A long time ago Reed Hastings the CEO of Netflix once said "We have to become HBO before HBO becomes us." And he was spot on! That's why you see Netflix's focus is on its own original content instead of redistributing the content of other companies. Now that they see how successful Netflix is the other content providers are squeezing them for significantly higher licensing fees. The only way for Netflix to fight that and keep its own prices low is to have enough of its own compelling content that its subscriber base stays loyal even if third party content gets scarce.

OAW
     
starman
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Apr 2, 2017, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Absolutely! But for me personally the convenience of streaming outweighed the marginal increase in video quality.
Marginal? Seriously? Have you not noticed the horrid banding on streaming video?

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Brien
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Apr 2, 2017, 08:45 PM
 
Like starman, I buy HD/UHD movies because I'm a quality nut (and HDR looks fantastic). DVDs look... not great upscaled to 4k.
     
subego
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Apr 2, 2017, 09:31 PM
 
I should note I have a 10-year-old, poorly calibrated 47" TV at a 12 foot viewing distance.
     
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Apr 2, 2017, 09:35 PM
 
I refuse to pay the stupid prices for bought discs these days.

Back in the 90s, the cost of a movie topped out around $200m for a mega blockbuster, a fair few non-blockbusters used to cost ~$100m. Nowadays, most of them don't cost half that. There are crazy outliers like Pirates of the Caribbean or Avatar that run nearly $500m but those are rare. You can make a pretty awesome movie for under $50m these days. Don't forget a lot of the cost in the 90s was the cast with the likes of Julia Roberts, Arnie and various others costing upwards of $25m a flick. Now the money goes on CGI whether its all needed or not.
Forgive me for switching currencies but back then it cost ~£5 a ticket at the cinema at the end of the 90s, and a VHS of a top end new release was ~£15. DVD was ~£25.

So even though the cost of making them has pretty much halved in most cases, the ticket prices have doubled, the cost of manufacturing and replicating the media for home distribution has fallen off a cliff (Multi-part plastic contraptions with magnetic tape inside which has to be copied to each V.s pressed into single disc of plastic) And we are still expected to pay Silly money for Blu-Rays and 4Ks and whatever. I get the quality is better, but to me its like punishing people who have bothered to shell out on better gear. You have what you have to play it on and the movie should cost pretty much what it costs.

Piracy would shrink if Hollywood stopped taking the piss.
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subego
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Apr 2, 2017, 11:29 PM
 
The music industry (usually) sets the pace. Albums are $10 (£8), so movies are $20 (£16). 4K is $25 (£20), which I think shows they're actually learning a bit by not making it $30 (£24) range.

However, I'm going to guess prices on the ground there don't quite match up with the exchange rate.
     
starman
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Apr 3, 2017, 02:30 AM
 
LOLing at people balking at Blu-Ray prices. Did we all forget that laserdiscs were upwards of $125 in some cases? Average was about $40.

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Apr 3, 2017, 05:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
Really? 'Never taking over'?? I thought they were just taking a long time. I like change, I wanted to see a good and full-blown change. I bought Life of Pi on Blu Ray and it looks so incredible on a 32" TV set, a DVD can't do that... (although, I admit, for instance some old Harry Potter movies look great here too).
I don't think Bluray has a use case outside the "quality at all costs" niche, and that is a small niche. DVD Just Works even without networks, streaming is more convenient. Bluray is squeezed between them.

Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
We rent dvds/bluray all the time from library. Some things you can't find streaming on amazon or netflix, and the rental fee online is almost as much as buying a dvd.
You can find them on iTunes usually. The point about Netflix is that they have a bunch of movies available - not all by any stretch of the imagination, but enough to keep me entertained. If it is a movie I specifically want to see, I can either see it in the cinema or wait a DVD is cheap enough to just buy.

Originally Posted by starman View Post
Marginal? Seriously? Have you not noticed the horrid banding on streaming video?
Not recently, no. I do notice it when there is a network issue and the client drops the quality to compensate, but HD Netflix looks great. If it bothered me, I could pay a little more for 4K. Still more convenient than Blurays.

The case where a Bluray does look better is when there is a scene where everything is happening at once and the bitrate is not sufficient to encode it all well. That shows up in a screenshot, but not when I'm into watching the movie.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I refuse to pay the stupid prices for bought discs these days.

Back in the 90s, the cost of a movie topped out around $200m for a mega blockbuster, a fair few non-blockbusters used to cost ~$100m. Nowadays, most of them don't cost half that. There are crazy outliers like Pirates of the Caribbean or Avatar that run nearly $500m but those are rare. You can make a pretty awesome movie for under $50m these days.
You can, but blockbusters still cost something like that $200 million. Look at Avengers or the recent Star Wars movies - and even the recent Ghostbusters cost $144 million.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
So even though the cost of making them has pretty much halved in most cases, the ticket prices have doubled, the cost of manufacturing and replicating the media for home distribution has fallen off a cliff (Multi-part plastic contraptions with magnetic tape inside which has to be copied to each V.s pressed into single disc of plastic) And we are still expected to pay Silly money for Blu-Rays and 4Ks and whatever. I get the quality is better, but to me its like punishing people who have bothered to shell out on better gear. You have what you have to play it on and the movie should cost pretty much what it costs.
There are patent costs for the newer compression formats, and the format war with HD-DVD meant that they threw in everything and the kitchen sink to get companies to sign on to their format, but broadly I agree - it is too expensive, and it is counter-productive. I think Hollywood in general likes streaming because they think that people buy movies to watch them ten times and they get screwed - much better to get paid every time a movie is streamed. They're absolutely fine with Bluray becoming the niche format.

Piracy would shrink if Hollywood stopped taking the piss.
Piracy IS shrinking, I believe, because of streaming services being even more convenient.
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Laminar
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Apr 3, 2017, 09:42 AM
 
I'm just annoyed that I can't buy a Blu-ray disc without them shoving a useless DVD in the package. Just make it cost like $0.37 less and leave the DVD out of it. You already sell a separate DVD version for poor people.

Does it count as two movie sales if they include two formats (three if they throw in a code for a digital version)? Is it a way to artificially inflate sales numbers?
     
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Apr 3, 2017, 10:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
LOLing at people balking at Blu-Ray prices. Did we all forget that laserdiscs were upwards of $125 in some cases? Average was about $40.
1. It's difficult to compare something insane ($40 average for laserdiscs) to something sensible, which is the low cost of streaming titles (buy a new, HD movie for $19.99 on iTunes, etc.).

2. The marketplace has changed. Movies are mostly an afterthought, except for Marvel/DC/Star Wars. They're not making money or dominating the cultural conversation, so why treat them like a premium product? The biggest stories of the past few years have included Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and other shows which most people seem to have consumed by binge watching.

Spending $30-40 on a special edition Bluray movie with previews you can't entirely skip, piracy warnings, loading screens, and other intrusions becomes incredibly irritating when you're adjusted to just pressing play on Netflix and getting on with it.

I can't remember which title it was, but I timed how long it took me to get a movie playing for my 5-year-old about two months ago. It was one of the Pixar movies. What I do remember is that it took over 3 minutes from the time I entered the disc until the time the movie actually started. My son would periodically ask, "Daddy, press play, please." I'd say, "It's loading, buddy, hold on." "No, daddy, press play. Please?"

I eventually turned around and said, "Buddy, if you ask one more time, Daddy's going to have a nervous breakdown."

Yes, we're spoiled, but the studios should be more aware of what century it is.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 3, 2017, 11:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I'm just annoyed that I can't buy a Blu-ray disc without them shoving a useless DVD in the package. Just make it cost like $0.37 less and leave the DVD out of it. You already sell a separate DVD version for poor people.

Does it count as two movie sales if they include two formats (three if they throw in a code for a digital version)? Is it a way to artificially inflate sales numbers?
I think this was because they wanted to transition people from dvd to bluray and they got criticism from buyers having to buy it twice... also for the people who have bluray in living room, but dvd in car or laptop for travel. Also one less inventory to keep track of. Usually they do sell a plain jane bluray without bells whistles and dvd version.
     
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Apr 3, 2017, 11:50 AM
 
https://www.amazon.com/John-Wick-Blu...ords=john+wick

BR + DVD + Digital: $12.49
DVD: $7.59
4K (BR + digital): $15.96

https://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Awa...+force+awakens

BR + DVD + Digital: $17.99
DVD: $14.99
3D (BR I assume): $24.99

https://www.amazon.com/Transformers-...1234499&sr=8-6

BR + DVD + Digital: $14.64
DVD: $6.50
3D (BR I assume): $22.29
BR only: $35


These are just the first three I looked at. It seems for any recent movie this is the case.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 3, 2017, 12:46 PM
 
BR + DVD + Digital:

This combo is for the folks who like I said have bluray at home, but dvd for travel. Plus parents who don't know how /have time to rip a dvd. This is what I would buy for kids movies, totally, unless I really wanted that quality for a grownup movie Lord of the Rings type thing.

I guess I was wrong about the cheap BR version, or they've changed the bundling.
     
subego
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Apr 3, 2017, 01:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
"No, daddy, press play. Please?"
This is good parenting.

Your son thinks you're a total moron for not realizing the solution is to press play, but still thinks you deserve a please and thank you.
     
Doc HM
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Apr 3, 2017, 01:35 PM
 
That said iTunes has some pretty funky pricing for movies. Sometimes it like they just add an extra zero for fun!
This space for Hire! Reasonable rates. Reach an audience of literally dozens!
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 3, 2017, 02:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
I can't remember which title it was, but I timed how long it took me to get a movie playing for my 5-year-old about two months ago. It was one of the Pixar movies. What I do remember is that it took over 3 minutes from the time I entered the disc until the time the movie actually started. My son would periodically ask, "Daddy, press play, please." I'd say, "It's loading, buddy, hold on." "No, daddy, press play. Please?"
I'm old enough to remember that when DVDs first started, a big selling point was not having to fast forward thru trailers and ads like you did on VHS tapes. It burns me that they've made it so difficult to press play.

We were going on a tripa while back so I ripped a bunch of dvds so we wouldn't lose our pixar collection in a foreign country. So satisfying in Handbrake to only select the movie tracks not the adverts. Now I have generic sharpie-labelled dvds that play instantly.
     
subego
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Apr 3, 2017, 02:39 PM
 
I'm old enough to remember when the VHS for Burton's Batman was launched at $20, and toppled the $40-$60 VHS movie market.
     
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Apr 3, 2017, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is good parenting.

Your son thinks you're a total moron for not realizing the solution is to press play, but still thinks you deserve a please and thank you.
I'm pretty sure 90% of what he says to me is spoken in a patronizing tone.

Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
I'm old enough to remember that when DVDs first started, a big selling point was not having to fast forward thru trailers and ads like you did on VHS tapes. It burns me that they've made it so difficult to press play.
Same here. Family-genre DVDs are some of the most egregious offenders.

I remember Sixth Sense was the first DVD I purchased. My family didn't understand what the big fuss was, so I showed them how clear the picture was when you pressed pause. The just shrugged their shoulders and walked away.

We were going on a tripa while back so I ripped a bunch of dvds so we wouldn't lose our pixar collection in a foreign country. So satisfying in Handbrake to only select the movie tracks not the adverts. Now I have generic sharpie-labelled dvds that play instantly.
Same, although I've had some trouble with Handbrake recently.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm old enough to remember when the VHS for Burton's Batman was launched at $20, and toppled the $40-$60 VHS movie market.
That is why the business model deserves to die. That's exactly what they wish they could still do.
     
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Apr 3, 2017, 03:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
That is why the business model deserves to die. That's exactly what they wish they could still do.
Of course, a $40 VHS in 1989 is $80 in current dollars.
     
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Apr 3, 2017, 05:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
That said iTunes has some pretty funky pricing for movies. Sometimes it like they just add an extra zero for fun!
You mean the studios have funky pricing.

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Apr 3, 2017, 05:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm old enough to remember when the VHS for Burton's Batman was launched at $20, and toppled the $40-$60 VHS movie market.
Nope, it was Star Trek III (for $30) that toppled the $100 market in 1985.


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Apr 3, 2017, 06:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
You mean the studios have funky pricing.
yes that. It's almost like the marketing/sales exec's are idiots!
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Apr 3, 2017, 11:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Nope, it was Star Trek III (for $30) that toppled the $100 market in 1985.

They're not really mutually exclusive, however Batman was a much heavier hitter.
     
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Apr 4, 2017, 03:45 AM
 
The drop from $100 to $30 was more significant than $30 to $20.

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Apr 4, 2017, 07:11 AM
 
Except the market didn't really react to it, because it wasn't a heavy hitter like Batman, which earned close to five times the box office.

Taking a quick peek, in 1987 Robocop listed for $90, and so did Spaceballs.

Zombie High, whatever the **** that was (I assume it included Virginia Madsen's boobs), listed for $80.
     
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Apr 4, 2017, 10:46 AM
 
If you look at the ad, Raiders, Footloose, and a bunch were also cheap. It was Paramount. Remember, Star Wars was like $30 at one point too. Some studios were still clinging to the rental pricing but a lot had woken up.

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Apr 4, 2017, 11:31 AM
 
I remember the Batman hype. That thing was an absolute marketing juggernaut. I used to collect these stupid trading cards (I was 9 or so). I remember seeing bat banners on every football terrace across Europe. I can't imagine how bad it must have been in the US.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Apr 5, 2017, 07:47 AM
 
So, what a debate! Very differentiated actually, with everyone chiming in and even telling personal anecdotes. I definitely don't remember a time when a VHS was 100$, but after all, I'm from 1986, so I probably shouldn't know.

I still like Blu Rays, just because it feels like the DVD successor. I don't like Netflix, personally and I think I'm opposed to watching TV series all the time. Do you remember you originally just walked to the TV set every week to catch the next single episode of StarTrek DS9?

So, I still think Blu Rays will succeed DVDs sooner or later, I see no market for low quality cheap stuff and it's a mess - even stastically - to keep DVDs going.

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Apr 5, 2017, 09:59 AM
 
Yeah, I wanted to buy Arthur for a friend's birthday and the guy said "it's $100". Dafuq?

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Apr 5, 2017, 10:38 AM
 
     
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Jun 13, 2017, 09:55 PM
 
Not only are the plastic cases paper-thin and full of cutouts, lately the slipcovers have been paper-thin as well. Cheapskates.
     
   
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