My Two Cents

Displaying items by tag: physical media

All right, so... I’ve got some interesting follow up on our Disney and Warner news from the past few days.

First though, we’ve got another review for you and more announcement news...

Tim has just turned in his thoughts on Steve Beck’s Thir13en Ghosts (2001), coming soon to Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory. Check that out here.

In release news, Lionsgate has just officially announced the 4K Ultra HD and Digital 4K release of Mamoru Oshii’s landmark anime Ghost in the Shell (1995) on 9/8, as expected. The 4K presentation will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio (in both English and Japanese, along with the original Japanese 2.0 LPCM audio), as well as both new and legacy special edition material. [Read on here...]

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Well, the new week is here. And unfortunately, in the wake of our post on Friday about Walt Disney Home Entertainment’s catalog 4K plans (or lack thereof), the news today isn’t good either...

Per Deadline this morning, WarnerMedia has begun a round of layoffs and restructuring meant to help the company survive the pandemic and its resulting economic downturn. Jeffrey R. Schlesinger (President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution), Ron Sanders (President, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution & Home Entertainment and EVP, International Business Operations), and Kim Williams (EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment) are all “exiting” the company per this arrangement. Ron Sanders has been with the company for almost thirty years, going all the way back to the early days of DVD. So his departure is a big deal. (Our friends at Media Play News have a good profile on Sanders up today here.)

But here’s the rub from the linked Deadline piece... “about 600 employees across multiple divisions are expected to be let go, starting today. Warner Bros Entertainment is believed to be heavily impacted.[Read on here...]

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What a way to follow-up my state of the home video industry report circa CES 2020 yesterday!

The news is breaking this morning that Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures are going to be merging their physical media distribution operations. The combined venture will distribute Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD discs in North America over the next decade, beginning in early 2021.

The merger will first have to be approved by the United States Justice Department.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment president Eddie Cunningham will lead the new venture. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got some news and more perspective on CES and the state of physical media here at the start of 2020. But first, we have more new Blu-ray reviews for you...

First of all, Dennis provides another perspective on Todd Phillips’ Joker on BD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. He seems to have liked it a little more than I did. Do check out his thoughts.

Dennis has also turned in a look at Aaron Schimberg’s Chained for Life on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

And Tim has a review of Richard Franklin’s Road Games (1981), now available in a new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

Speaking of Scream, the company has just announced that their forthcoming Blu-ray Collector’s Edition of My Bloody Valentine is going to include new 4K scans of both the original theatrical edition and also the Uncut version mastered from the original camera negative. [Read on here...]

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All right, we start today with a bit of news for gamers that will also make physical media fans happy... or at least it should.

Sony has begun to reveal details about its forthcoming PlayStation 5 game console (and yes, that is the official name), which is due in late 2020 (in time for the holidays), and the great news is that they’ve confirmed it will have an optical 4K Ultra HD disc drive for movies and 100 GB optical game discs.

Other details include an SSD drive, an AMD Ryzen CPU, Navi GPU hardware with ray-tracing acceleration, controllers with adaptive triggers and improved speakers to boost haptic feedback, and more. You can read all the details here at Wired.

Now, here’s the thing: Physical media is in decline. There’s just no doubt about it. Sales are down, studios are getting more choosy about what they release on disc, and studios like Disney are dumping catalog titles on 4K disc ahead of paywalling them all as Digital 4K streams with HDR on Disney+. [Read on here...]

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You know… Hollywood certainly isn't going out of its way to reassure its consumers that purchasing home video content is a good or safe investment these days, is it?

Now, we are obviously big fans of digital entertainment here at The Digital Bits, whether that entertainment is served up on a disc or a download. After all, the word “digital” is right there in our name and has been since 1997.

And despite the fact that we often expound upon the value of purchasing physical media over digital, we are no strangers to enjoying a good online streaming or download experience. After all, there’s much great digital-only content these days. Movies like Roma on Netflix, TV series like Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime… these wouldn’t exist without those streaming services and you can’t buy either of them on disc. Digital is convenient and it’s awfully nice to be able to access it anywhere from any device.

But like any format, it has its drawbacks… and once again today, those drawbacks have made themselves rather inconveniently obvious for the 30 million customers of DECE’s UltraViolet digital movie locker service. You know… the service that managed all those codes that came on slips of paper with your Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K titles for years. [Read on here...]

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Every now and again, we talk here at The Digital Bits about the need to fight for the preservation of physical media. Meaning discs.

And every time we do, we get a few emails from our younger readers saying that we sound ridiculous for doing so, because discs are for dinosaurs and digital is awesome and that’s the future and you can watch it on your phone.

But we continue to fight for physical media for a very good reason... and older readers will know from experience why we do.

If you own all your movies and music on discs, you’ll have them indefinitely, whenever you want to watch or listen to them. You can still rip those discs to a digital file to watch your content on whatever device you want to. Sure it takes a little more effort to do so, but you still have that disc sitting on a shelf or in a box. And that’s very important.

Here’s why: If all your content is digital only, and your library exists only in the cloud, you don’t actually have those movies. You don’t own them, even if you’ve “purchased” them with your hard earned money. And the studios or streaming services can take them away from you whenever they want to. [Read on here...]

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

Okay… back to CES 2015. Let’s talk 2014 home entertainment numbers today. The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) released its preliminary year-end report and the findings are interesting, if almost certainly what you would expect.  [Read on here…]

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