5 Ways to Improve DVD & Blu-ray Movie Releases

Published 1 year ago by This is a list post.

How to Improve DVD & Blu-ray Movie Releases

Improve Home Media Star Trek Into Darkness Cover2Going to the movie theater is a major part of a film lover’s life, but any movie buff worth their salt also has an extensive DVD/Blu-ray collection at home - and these days, the advancements in home theater technology (including big screen HD TVs and Blu-ray discs) have made watching a film in the comfort of your own residence more appealing than making the trip to your local multiplex. Unfortunately for consumers, movie studios have not handled this element as well as they would hope. Fans and reviewers are criticizing the Blu-ray release of Star Trek Into Darkness due to the four different versions that are available (as opposed to just one) - and this isn’t the first time a home media release has left people unhappy; it probably won’t be the last. With that in mind, here are 5 ways the movie industry can improve their home media releases in order to make buying a film more rewarding.

Put All Special Features On One Release

Improve Home Media Argo Target Exclusive2The biggest issue regarding the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray is that there are four different versions of the movie available – each with their own set of special features. The iTunes, Target, and Best Buy copies come with content that other retailers don’t have. It’s easy to see how this can be frustrating for fans, especially since bonus materials - such as director's commentary and behind-the-scenes featurettes -  are a main selling point for Blu-rays. This isn’t a new thing either. The first video release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon infamously included a coupon for the upcoming “deluxe edition,” (released a few months later) which included the additional content. Blu-rays for Argo and Django Unchained were also shipped with store-specific exclusives, indicating that this trend is here to stay. Shortchanging consumers on special features makes more sense when the industry is trying to push a new format, but now that over 40 million U.S. homes own Blu-ray players, it would just be easier to include everything on one release and put this pointless practice to an end.

Eliminate Advertisements

Improve Home Media Eliminate Ads2On most releases, viewers must first sit through a parade of trailers and advertisements for an upcoming slate of movies (and in some rare cases, random PSAs that have nothing to do with the industry) before they can access the main menu and actually watch the film they bought. When movie lovers dream about recreating the theatrical experience at home, this is not what they have in mind. Usually, a press of the “menu” button will do the trick, but recent Blu-rays have pesky unskippable advertisements. The anti-piracy messages actually serve a point, but there's no real reason to include that feature on previews as well. In a world where we have YouTube and iTunes Trailers, fans have instant access to these types of things, so it's antiquated to use home media as a way to promote new projects. Frequently, the ads are available via the bonus features menu, so interested parties can watch them that way instead of being force fed the content as soon as they put the disc in.

Have Two Versions: Just The Film & Film/Bonus

Improve Home Media Special Features2While we do not approve of studios giving certain retailers exclusive bonus content, we would like to see them separate the releases in a different way: Make one “collector’s edition” version with as many special features that will fit (and we mean as many. Looking at you, Terminator Blu-ray), and have one with the film by itself, which would be offered at a reduced price. Additional content may be a major selling point for home media, but there are some consumers who are interested in just the film and would rather not pay for an extra disc’s worth of bonus materials. Unlike the movies, the behind-the-scenes clips that break down the making of the film – while fascinating for cinephiles – do not have high replay value and most times they are watched only once out of curiosity and never seen again.  Giving people a stripped-down option could be beneficial.

Make Digital Downloads More User Friendly

Improve Home Media UltraVioletWith people constantly on the go, it’s becoming increasingly popular for consumers to acquire digital copies of their movies in order to view them on laptops, tablets, and smart phones. While this is nice in theory, it’s clear that the movie industry is not quite ready for an iTunes revolution. Studios are now pushing UltraViolet as the go-to digital format, but the process is a convoluted mess that’s more trouble than it’s worth. Customers must set up accounts at several sites just to stream one film - and they are not accessible on certain iOS devices. Downloading from Apple seems like a better option, but there is no way for users to import DVDs and Blu-rays in their library (like you can for CDs for music) and only select titles are equipped with bonus materials, which could upset some. To get people to completely buy in, someone will have to develop a gadget that allows you to incorporate existing physical copies with new digital purchases.

Have All Blu-Rays Be Compatible on All Players

Blu Ray LogoBack in the day of VHS and DVDs, watching a movie at home was simple. All you did was put the tape or disc in the player, sit back, and enjoy. While the HD picture and sound of Blu-rays are luxuries we enjoy, their players come with an extra wrinkle that can potentially be a giant hassle. Manufacturers are always developing firmware upgrades to make their Blu-ray players up-to-date and use the most modern software to make their products. Due to this, most Blu-rays come with a notice that informs the consumer that the disc may not be compatible with their player (assuming it’s not updated). Most times, this is a non-issue, but some people have found certain movies don’t work on their player – and there’s no upgrade available. Viewers shouldn’t need new software for their players to perform their most basic function. All discs should work on all players regardless of when it was made.

Conclusion

Improve Home Media Star Trek Into Darkness Cover2Home media allows people to have their favorite films available for viewing at any time and gives those interested an opportunity to appreciate the craftsmanship via bonus materials. However, as we have just shown, there’s a long way to go before this element is perfected so it can reach its full potential. Even in 2013, there are still issues. It will be interesting to see if any of these problems are remedied. Digital downloads in particular is the one key area to watch, as customers continue to look for efficient ways to store their collections. Of course, our list is not meant to be all-inclusive, so let us know in the comments what changes you would like to see be made to home video releases. Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90 Star Trek Into Darkness is now available on Blu-ray/DVD. Choose your version wisely.
TAGS: blu ray, star trek into darkness

62 Comments

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  1. Yes, please stop including previews & ads on Blu Rays. Its extremely annoying.

  2. All players should be region free. We should be able to see Blu Ray discs as well as DVD’s without that annoying aspect.

    Personally, I don’t mind having different versions of films. It appeals to different people and budgets.

  3. Im sorry i like my Empire of Dreams which came with Star Wars trilogy. That thing is SAWEET. I watch it every now and then. Get the original theatrical cuts, along with the enhanced versions, along with that bonus DVD like I have and its perfection.

    • Oh yeah. That documentary is awesome. It’s a great watch.

      • Yeah man, I love that they have told the story of how they made the greatest trilogy ever!!! And I love that narrator!!!

  4. Personally, I’d just as soon see Standard DVD be phased out of the market altogether in favor of Blu-Ray, or perhaps 4K sometime in the future. The picture quality of standard DVD is now about the same as basic cable TV broadcasts ( 480i ) and the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. I’m a home theatre enthusiast, and the sound and picture of DVD ( even upconverted ) is something I’d just as soon not bother with. For my money, it’s very discouraging to buy a new release Blu-Ray and have to pay for the included Standard DVD and/or Digital Copy. Neither item is something I’m ever going to use. Going to a retailer to buy a new release movie and finding a stand alone Blu-Ray release, with or without a slew of available extras, would be ideal for me.

    • I’m the opposite and prefer DVD format and can’t stand when Blu Ray is pushed into my face like a hooker desperate for my custom but without offering much more than I could get elsewhere and still be satisfied.

      I’ll only switch to Blu Ray if movie studios are willing to pay for copies of everything I currently have on DVD, a player that works so i can watch them and if they come with the bonus stuff that are on the DVDs I have, not to mention the sentimental value of some of them that were received as gifts.

  5. When I worked at Blockbuster, blu-rays first hit and so many customers would come back in and say that ‘ this copy I just rented doesn’t work.’. We would try it out on our instore model, and it would run perfectly. My boss would remind us to ask customers if they had recently updated their players, most would answer ‘uh, and what I just bought it at Best Buy.’. This was a great article Chris, I just wish more people would do research before buying new tech toys.

  6. I WAS going to buy Into Darkness on Blu-ray. I really love the film. But, I was also looking forward to the bonus features. So, in retaliation to the studio idiots, I will DOWNLOAD FOR FREE all of the bonuses that I want, THEN I will purchase the film from whom I see fit. There are people online right now going through the effort of compiling the bonuses for us all to have, so it’s just a matter of time. Up yours, Paramount!

  7. Additional note: The artwork above shows the name ENTERPRISE as being curved. That is incorrect. It’s supposed to be straight across. Just sayin’.

  8. The above post about studios paying for all their old DVDs was the dumbest thing I ever heard. Sounds like the guy who eats half a hamburger at McDonald’s and wants his money back because its now cold.

  9. Totally agree with all 5 points listed in this article. Again it the movie studios trying to make people play their games and no wonder the buying public gets pissed-off over and over and over again.

  10. All of this is going to be a moot point in 5-7 years once they phase out hard copies of videos completely. An extensive DVD/ Blu-Ray collection is going to be about as practical as VHS tapes.

  11. I only buy Blu-Rays for their special features, and most of the time it isn’t worth the extra money. As far the the “HD” I never wear my glasses so it doesn’t make any difference to me.

  12. Stop putting out versions with both DVD and Bluray discs. Just release one or the other seperately. Star Trek Into Darkness didn’t have to cost $25 if they had released a DVD only or Blu Ray only set.

  13. The do not copy notifications suck. I already own the movie and am expected to sit through this. I copy my movies solely to get rid of this crap.

    I detest that there is no digital copy as standard. To have to buy a special copy sucks. If I have purchased the movie it should be automatic that I can watch it how I wish. And when you do purchase a digital copy version and then when you open the box it says it has to be registered by a certain date, which has sometimes passed, how is that even legal. You have purchased based on what’s advertised on the packaging. Get a digital copy, not might get a digital copy.

    I consider Blu-Ray a premium product. I t should come with every feature available end of story. I don’t buy these expecting to discover I have missed out on options.

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