How Will This Affect DVD Sales ?

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  • George Bellefontaine
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Jan 2001
    • 7637

    How Will This Affect DVD Sales ?

    The latest issue of The Perfect Vision has an interesting article on the new Windows XP software, and the Media Player 8 combo, and how Sony Pictures is going broadband and providing a service where users can download DVD titles over the internet. Once the movie is downloaded, the viewer chooses a rental period and pays. That's when the clock starts running. After the time expires, you can watch the movie again by going to the website and renewing the rental interval.

    Does any of this sound familiar ? And will it affect sales, or is it more likely to hit the rental outlets hard ?




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  • John Holmes
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 2703

    #2
    I doubt that this will have an adverse effect on sales. It probably do okay as it seems more and more people are using their pc for viewing movies. I just don't see it making a big impact though. But what do I know! :B




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    • rlabarge
      Member
      • Jan 2001
      • 67

      #3
      This is an interesting concept, but it is not very workable for the vast majority of consumers. I recently wrote a book called "DVD Authoring & Production", and there is a short section on this topic that may be of interest. Here it is (sorry for the length).

      Is broadband Internet an alternative solution to delivering high quality digital video content? Internet bandwidth is constantly increasing; in the United States consumers are rapidly adopting cable and DSL modems. Outside the Untied States bandwidth capacity is also increasing rapidly. However, Internet bandwidth is not increasing fast enough to keep up with advances in multimedia formats. DVD-Video requires an average bandwidth of 4.5 Mbps, and a worst case burst rate of 10.08 Mbps. High Definition DVD will require an average bandwidth of 16 Mbps and a worst case burst rate of 40 Mbps. By way of example, let’s see how long it would take for a consumer to download a popular movie using a variety of data rates available today. For this example lets assume that a consumer wants to download a copy of The Matrix, one of the most popular DVD-Video titles ever released. The Matrix is a dual layer DVD-Video disc with 8,393,390,060 bytes of data (67,147,120,640 bits). If the consumer had a standard dial up modem that can deliver approximately 28,800 bits/second of data over the Internet, it will take about 28 days to download all the data required for The Matrix. An ISDN link to the Internet that can deliver 56,000 bits/second would required 14 days of download time, while even a high speed DSL link at 960,000 bits/second would require a full day to download this 2 hour movie. These times assume the communication line is running at full speed, and there are no dropped connections during the file transfer, a somewhat unlikely scenario when connecting to the Internet. Thus it is easy to see that for the vast majority of consumers in the world the Internet is just not fast enough to use as a reliable delivery mechanism for high quality multimedia content.

      Many experts have argued that it will only be a matter of time before the Internet is improved enough to deliver high quality multimedia content into the home. While this argument seems true on its face, there is a problem with one of its underlying assumptions. It is not fair to assume that technological advances will deliver new capabilities to the Internet, but at the same time assume that DVD, and other optical disc technologies will not benefit from advances in technology during the same period of time. So while it is true that new technology will deliver increasingly faster connections to the Internet, it is also true that new technology will result in removable storage media, such as DVD discs, having much higher data capacities in the future.

      Let’s compare the growth of communications bandwidth to the growth of removable storage capacity over the past 30 years. This comparison, shown in Figure 7.2, indicates that both communications bandwidth and removable storage capacity have grown tremendously over the past 30 years. In growing from 300-baud modems to full T1 lines delivering 1,500,000 bits/second we have seen a growth rate of more than 500,000% in communications bandwidth.

      However over the same period of time removable media storage capacity has grown from 300,000 byte 8” floppy diskettes to 17 GByte dual layer, dual sided DVD discs, which translates into a growth rate of more than 5,000,000% over the same period of time. So while it is reasonable to assume that communications bandwidth will increase over the next decade, we must also assume that the capacity of removable media will increase as well, and as shown in Figure 7.2 the rate of increase in removable media capacity will be as much as 10 times faster than the rate of increase in communications bandwidth.

      Both DVD & the Internet have some pretty compelling attributes. How can we take advantage of both? The answer is called Enhanced or WebDVD. Simply put, WebDVD is a process more than a product. High quality (high bandwidth) static multimedia content is stored on a DVD disc, and accessed on a local PC. Low quality (low bandwidth) dynamic content is stored on a web server and accessed through an Internet connection. Both the DVD and Internet content are accessed through a standard web browser in a seamless fashion. WebDVD utilizes the strengths of both technologies, but is not limited by their weaknesses.

      The primary strength of DVD is its ability to deliver high quality multimedia content, and large storage capacity, while its fundamental weakness is that content can not be updated once it has been published. The primary strength of the Internet is its ability to deliver real time updateable content, over large distances, and from a wide variety of sources, while its fundamental weakness is its moderate to low bandwidth that makes it difficult to download high quality multimedia content. WebDVD has the best of both worlds, the capacity to deliver large amounts of high quality multimedia content as well as the ability to deliver real time updateable content from a wide variety of sources.




      Ralph LaBarge
      Managing Partner, Alpha DVD
      Author, "DVD Authoring & Production"
      rlabarge@alphadvd.com
      Ralph LaBarge
      Managing Partner, Alpha DVD
      Author, "DVD Authoring & Production"
      rlabarge@alphadvd.com

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      • Lex
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Apr 2001
        • 27461

        #4
        I will just say "what Ralph said". lol. Nice exert from your book Ralph!

        I can't even get a Real Audio/Video track to play right across the net without "Buffering", that's with a cable modem and internal network T1 based connections! Now how you gonna feed me a DVD that works?

        Lex
        Doug
        "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

        Comment

        • George Bellefontaine
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Jan 2001
          • 7637

          #5
          Excellent article, Ralph.
          Lex- I have encountered similar problems.

          Personally, I would never watch a movie on my computer. Well, maybe if they start making 8 foot screens.




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          Comment

          • Lex
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Apr 2001
            • 27461

            #6
            LOL George, tell me your not spoiled.

            Yeah, I had one computer with DVD playback capability. But it was like, what's the point? Unless your gonna feed a quality progressive signal out of one, there's little to be gained.

            But that's not really the primary focus here. Back on that subject, given they could download me a movie in advance format, who has the time to wait at the computer on something like that? Certainly not me, my computer is busy doing other things at the time most likely.

            Lex
            Doug
            "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

            Comment

            • JonMarsh
              Mad Max Moderator
              • Aug 2000
              • 15277

              #7
              The things I've been hearing about movie downloads are *NOT* actually DVD quality. Yes, they'll play with a supporting player, but in general bit rates and data density is often quoted in the range of 1/4 to 1/8 of DVD. Thats, for example, where the DivX encoder/decoder comes in, where people will rip and re-encode a movie in a size that will sometimes fit on a CD.

              Now, have any of you ever tried to download a complete CD ISO image for a "full" CD, such as XP preview? Frankly, I don't think that's a practical delivery medium. Particularly since the result doesn't match DVD.

              The particulars of rental time and expiration seem reasonable, if the actual data charges (bandwidth) and rental cost are in the ballpark with other media- such as renting a tape or DVD. So, $2.50 or $3.50 for a limited time play? Why not, particularly if it's something you don't think you want to own.

              As an aside, my limited experience with the XP media player indicates it may be a fairly adequate media player for somethings- but it's not really fair to draw conclusions from XP beta's used in conjunction with DVD codec's from other sources. However, I've seen and heard a lot worse, so I'm curious what they'll deliver with RC1.

              Regards from Deutscheland (this week!)

              Jon




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              Comment

              • KennyG
                Moderator Emeritus
                • Sep 2000
                • 745

                #8
                I also think sales will be fine, may of us are not renters. (George for one)
                In fact I bet that 95% of the people with large video displays and/or dedicated HT rooms buy twice as much as they rent.
                Could you imagine walking into an HT room...there's that big RPTV or Ceiling hung projector, there are the 5 surround speakers...WOW over on that wall is a fine equipment rack, and that power amp, what is it...oh, 250 wpc, what a brute!
                Wait, where is your movie selection? You say you only own 50 movies...the rest you rent??? and your rental don't look as good as the ones you own???

                Comment

                • George Bellefontaine
                  Moderator Emeritus
                  • Jan 2001
                  • 7637

                  #9
                  Ha, ha... so true , Kenny.




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                  • JonMarsh
                    Mad Max Moderator
                    • Aug 2000
                    • 15277

                    #10
                    A lot of folks who are much more "casual" about the music or video thing don't realize the investment entailed in the software. Even my girlfriend and daughter make jokes occasionally about the unopened DVD's I have, but then I like to point out, "Gee, ladies, you wouldn't want to have a wine cellar with a bunch of empty or half full bottles, would you?"

                    And when I leave town on business, like last week, both of the them want to stock up on disks so they'll have a selection to chose from while I'm gone. Limited time Downloads will never replace that kind of convenience.

                    It's funny; on another site, I saw some discussion about what constitutes an "audiophile" vs. a music or HT lover; the consensus of their (strange) discussion being that "audiophiles" aren't sofware oriented and don't buy very many music or video titles- and then referenced collections a quarter of the size of mine as examples of people who are into the media, not the hardware.

                    The other funny part of that arguement was about why music tweaks didn't matter for home theater, because you only needed loud explosions and clean high volume sound to do HT.

                    I wonder if any of those guys had heard an HT setup that is really clean in spatial reproduction and balance, in the way that a great music system has to be; then, the effects stop sounding like effects, and sound more like reality- you can even get confused because you're not sure if something unexpected you hear is from the movie or in real life. Then you cross the border between watching the movie and being immersed in it.

                    Regards,

                    Jon




                    Earth First!
                    _______________________________
                    We'll screw up the other planets later....
                    the AudioWorx
                    Natalie P
                    M8ta
                    Modula Neo DCC
                    Modula MT XE
                    Modula Xtreme
                    Isiris
                    Wavecor Ardent

                    SMJ
                    Minerva Monitor
                    Calliope
                    Ardent D

                    In Development...
                    Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                    Obi-Wan
                    Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                    Modula PWB
                    Calliope CC Supreme
                    Natalie P Ultra
                    Natalie P Supreme
                    Janus BP1 Sub


                    Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                    Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                    Comment

                    • GregoriusM
                      Super Senior Member
                      • Oct 2000
                      • 2755

                      #11
                      I very much like Ralph's idea of WebDVD.

                      I like to buy and have control over my media. But the idea of interactivity, enhancements, etc. from the web combined with the bulk of the bits and bytes on the DVD to me seems perfect!

                      Get the message out, Ralph! I hope you're on a few boards or advisory groups!
                      .
                      Gregor

                      Comment

                      • rlabarge
                        Member
                        • Jan 2001
                        • 67

                        #12
                        GregoriusM

                        As a matter of fact I am a member of several working groups that are studying the WebDVD concept. I have also released several titles (Mars, StarGaze and soon to be released Oceania) that have WebDVD features.

                        The DVD Forum has established an official working group to recommend a standard for how DVD-Video players should connect to the Internet, and how we can extend the DVD-Video format to let title developers like me design highly interactive titles that use the best features of the web, combined with the best features of DVD.

                        It will take a few years for all of this to become mainstream, but it will eventually happen.

                        Thanks




                        Ralph LaBarge
                        Managing Partner, Alpha DVD
                        Author, "DVD Authoring & Production"
                        rlabarge@alphadvd.com
                        Ralph LaBarge
                        Managing Partner, Alpha DVD
                        Author, "DVD Authoring & Production"
                        rlabarge@alphadvd.com

                        Comment

                        • GregoriusM
                          Super Senior Member
                          • Oct 2000
                          • 2755

                          #13
                          That is excellent, Ralph!

                          As I said, it seems to me to be the way to go!

                          And if the quality of your DVDs has anything to say about it, I'm GLAD you're in those working groups!
                          .
                          Gregor

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