iTunes Gets Movies on DVD Release Date; Downloads Still Lagging

Apple announced today that they will have digital downloads
up the same day as the DVD release
. 
This is part of the download problem, but once again I don’t see
downloads being anywhere near ready.  Not
only the bandwidth problems, which has lead to non-HD downloads and/or poor
audio/video quality, but are the masses ready to pay $14.99 for a digital download
with convenience being the main factor?

I’d like to see companies embrace the fact that DVD is still
the mainstream format.  If I’m going to
pay $14.99 for a digital download, how about a digital coupon that I can print
out to go pickup the physical DVD for a discounted price?  Now is
the time to work with DVD, you’re not going to replace it yet.
  The same basic concept is at play with the
few DVDs that include a digital copy to copy to portable devices (Example). Remember that convenience of obtaining the content only goes so far, when your download fails to scale all of your devices (eg. DVD player at your friends house, or in the car) the concept dies.

Apple might finally be getting somewhere with the content
owners, but no one (Microsoft, Apple, et al) is going to replace DVDs with digital
downloads for several years to come.

8 thoughts on “iTunes Gets Movies on DVD Release Date; Downloads Still Lagging

  1. Hi Chris,

    Gotta disagree with you, I and many of my friends no longer buy DVD’s.

    It’s so easy to download movies, and the quality is good enough. If you really want high quality every HD disk is ripped on to the Internet the same day it’s released in 720p or higher quality.

    It’s just like the MP3 versus CD argument, MP3 is good enough, look what’s happened to retail CD’s.

    The change will happen quicker than you think.

    The movie distributors need to catch up before Bittorrent eats their lunch.

  2. So, you download illegally off the web and not buy from somewhere like iTunes, right? 720p rips and bittorrent threw you off the iTunes track. I’m not talking about illegal free downloading. When it is free, who is going to complain about quality over a paid physical disc with higher quality? Not too many people I know.

  3. Chris, you don’t have to donwload illegally off the web to get movies. There are plug-ins available for Media Center that let you download using bittorrent and then you can watch the video on your PC.

    And the quality is just as good as DVD, but you don’t need to insert a disc.

  4. I guess I’m not getting my point across.  I’m talking about Hollywood movies, which the studios are not giving away for free.  The fact that there might be a plug-in for BT/newsgroups/etc in Media Center or any other 10-foot UI really doesn’t matter.  Your still getting them from a tracker or server which doesn’t have the legal right to host them.

    If you getting Hollywood movies for free via BT or other sources, your not in the market I’m talking about.

    Apple and other companies want to replace physical DVD distribution with downloads.  This is why you are paying $15 for a download.  Downloading Hollywood movies illegally via BT and other sources is a prime reason Apple, Microsoft and others are only able to offer reduced quality downloads with very restrictive DRM.

  5. All I demand is to live in the 21st century..and be able to stream my movies around the home without having to fetch a physical disk. What can Microsoft do to solve that…

    a. Make downloads an option
    b. Add support for streaming HD/DVDs across personal home network and encourage OEM partners to sell disk changers.

    Although I think A is inevitable. B would eliminate alot of illegal activity as most people would rather just pop a 25GB blu-ray in a changer than spend the time to rip that to harddrive.

  6. I have to agree with Chris on replacing the DVD. I have a Cable-card wielding Dell XPS with over 2 TB of storage, blu-ray (and HD-DVD) with 2 extenders and 3 HD-Tv’s (I let the XPS drive one of them) and yet I still find myself having to burn DVD’s of TV shows (OTA) and taking DVD’s in the car for the kids. Yes I can rig the iPod to play videos in the car on the in-car DVD system but it’s a huge pain, my wife can’t do it and it doesn’t scale well for me (it’s so easy to have 20 DVD’s in the car for trips up and down the interstate.) Anyway, until I can easily transfer (or have an additional copy) the media to the car/and or a friends (or more particularly my folks) house the DVD is just not going to go away and I’d rather have that (that I can backup if I need to) rather than a lower-quality DRM file that I can’t move around easily.

  7. “If I’m going to pay $14.99 for a digital download, how about a digital coupon that I can print out to go pickup the physical DVD for a discounted price?”

    I’ve got a different idea. How about, GASP, if I buy a DVD I can also download it OR legally and EASILY rip it, without having to resort to 3rd party software that helps me to do what my PC should be able to do out of the box in the first place.

  8. David: Exactly. This is that concept I pointed to in the post with the Digital Copy included on the DVD. This flow should happen the other way too, as I should be able to buy a digital copy and still get a physical disc without buying two copies.

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