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GreenCine Tech Talk
Hardware, Software, Tech.
The nuts and bolts of movie making, home theater, and DVD.
76

HD-DVD rentals?
Topic by: Beerchan
Posted: April 20, 2006 - 12:20 PM PDT
Last Reply: January 10, 2008 - 1:47 PM PST

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author topic: HD-DVD rentals?
Beerchan
post #1  on April 20, 2006 - 12:20 PM PDT  
I would like for GreenCine to make available for rent HD-DVD titles that were recently (and will be) released. Anyone else here feel the same way?
GreenCineStaff
post #2  on April 20, 2006 - 2:44 PM PDT  
> On April 20, 2006 - 12:20 PM PDT Beerchan wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I would like for GreenCine to make available for rent HD-DVD titles that were recently (and will be) released. Anyone else here feel the same way?
> ---------------------------------

Hey there Beer,

GreenCine plans to offer both HD and Blu-ray titles soon - for sale. We would rather apply our rent-by-mail inventory budget more democratically to address the largest base of users, namely, members with conventional DVD players. And as always, we'll keep our eyes open for future developments.

thanks for the question!

Team GreenCine
woozy
post #3  on April 20, 2006 - 2:50 PM PDT  
> GreenCine plans to offer both HD and Blu-ray titles soon - for sale.

Pardon my ignorance. What is Blu-ray?

> We would rather apply our rent-by-mail inventory budget more democratically to address the largest base of users, namely, members with conventional DVD players.

Do HD-DVD's not play in regular players?
underdog
post #4  on April 20, 2006 - 5:08 PM PDT  
> On April 20, 2006 - 2:50 PM PDT woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > GreenCine plans to offer both HD and Blu-ray titles soon - for sale.
>
> Pardon my ignorance. What is Blu-ray?
>
Check this out: Blu-Ray. (Says them anyway.) And this.

> > We would rather apply our rent-by-mail inventory budget more democratically to address the largest base of users, namely, members with conventional DVD players.
>
> Do HD-DVD's not play in regular players?
> ---------------------------------

While HD-DVD players can also play regular DVDs, HD-DVDs can only play in HD-DVD players. And where have you heard this before? Yes, at the moment it's pretty restrictive, with very few people owning these machines. Some day, this could all change of course.

artifex
post #5  on April 21, 2006 - 9:03 AM PDT  
> On April 20, 2006 - 2:44 PM PDT GreenCineStaff wrote:
> GreenCine plans to offer both HD and Blu-ray titles soon - for sale. We would rather apply our rent-by-mail inventory budget more democratically to address the largest base of users, namely, members with conventional DVD players. And as always, we'll keep our eyes open for future developments.

Sounds good to me. Right now there aren't any rare, import, anime titles in either format :) I doubt there's any indies, either. Thanks for holding off.
kohnfused1
post #6  on April 21, 2006 - 11:45 AM PDT  
Frankly, I'm still on the fence about the "Betamax" or "VHS" wars, and now this..... "HD-DVD" or "Blu-ray" wars?

Talk about being....

underdog
post #7  on April 21, 2006 - 12:06 PM PDT  
> On April 21, 2006 - 11:45 AM PDT kohnfused1 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Frankly, I'm still on the fence about the "Betamax" or "VHS" wars, and now this..... "HD-DVD" or "Blu-ray" wars?
>
> Talk about being....
>
>
> ---------------------------------

And can you imagine if GreenCine had to do rent-by-mail for Laserdiscs? The envelopes would be fun to deal with...
artifex
post #8  on April 21, 2006 - 12:36 PM PDT  
> On April 21, 2006 - 12:06 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> And can you imagine if GreenCine had to do rent-by-mail for Laserdiscs? The envelopes would be fun to deal with...

I suspect you'd use boxes with peel-off labels, or something.
I have a stack of these (LDs, not labels) on the shelf over my head right now :)

Speaking of messing with envelopes, look at this.
Airholes? In a mailer?
I like GC's mailers better. Substantially fewer cracked discs due to that cardboard.
artifex
post #9  on April 21, 2006 - 5:57 PM PDT  
I'd be happier in the short term if they started making thin-film discs that are compatible with existing DVD players. Just look. Say goodbye to cardboard, this will flex a lot better :)
krisalm
post #10  on December 6, 2006 - 7:59 PM PST  
I'm sad Greencine has decided to hold off on renting Blu-Ray DVD's. I'd love to see the House of Flying Daggers Blu-Ray DVD on my new HD TV without having to own it or join Netflix just to rent it. I'm an avid fan of Greencine - it's selection of foreign, indie, anime and criterion titles can't be beat, but my better-half wants us to switch to the other guy so we can get Blu-Ray DVD's too. I get that you want to buy more content that the majority of your users can rent, but how about carrying just a select few?

Some other Blu-Ray titles out that I would rent: Full Metal Jacket, Superman II:The Richard Donnar Cut, Ultraviolet, Sleepyhollow, Underworld Evolution, The Fifth Element, Stargate, The Terminator, Terminator 2, Aeon Flux, The Princess Bride, The Usual Suspects, Robocop, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Coming soon: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, American Psycho, the Discovery Atlas series, Gattaca, Hero, Resident Evil.
Ookseer
post #11  on February 5, 2007 - 2:37 PM PST  
I'll give a cheer for Blu-ray rentals. The only reason I have a Netflix account.

As soon as someone gets a full (1080p) HD TV, they get really thirsty for real HD content.

Unfortunately a lot of the Blu-Ray content out there just doesn't rate "Buy" for me right now. Sure I'll buy Blazing Saddles (I can watch that movie hundreds of times) but maybe 2% of the current catalog is rated "Buy", with another 20% "rent".

We're thirsty, and would appreciate a drink.
artifex
post #12  on February 5, 2007 - 3:31 PM PST  
Hey, us 720p owners want content, too :)

I can see why logistically it's difficult for GC to offer either format, yet. Maybe GC could float a few trial titles as requests, for purchase if a number of people agree to rent them? That's a process they already use on DVD titles, so it shouldn't be too hard.

Personally, I don't have either drive, yet, but as I have a 360 I will probably end up with that HD-DVD. But I also use NF, too.
underdog
post #13  on February 5, 2007 - 4:02 PM PST  
We plan on offering a number of titles in both Blu-Ray and HD for sale soon. And then we'll indeed to a trial for rental - selecting a few flagship/demo titles to add for rental to gauge the demand. As you've noted, it's a little tricky to commit to one or the other without knowing a "winner" in that arena yet, but offering them for sale will be easier. And we will rent out a few select titles to see how they do. Look for that in the near future.



artifex
post #14  on February 5, 2007 - 4:55 PM PST  
If you're not aware already, the 360 HD-DVD player initially shipped with (and apparently still comes with) King Kong. So you might not want to make that one of your first HD-DVD titles available to rent :)
underdog
post #15  on March 23, 2007 - 12:00 PM PDT  
Help us out with a new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray poll, as we attempt to gauge interest out there.


Vote here
.

At first it seemed like HD was going to have a lot more titles available, over Blu-Ray, but now the latter has caught up and may even have overtaken HD.

So vote, and chime in here. Real soon we'll have a few of these titles available here.
artifex
post #16  on March 23, 2007 - 4:11 PM PDT  
> On March 23, 2007 - 12:00 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Help us out with a new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray poll, as we attempt to gauge interest out there.
>
>
> Vote here
.
>
> At first it seemed like HD was going to have a lot more titles available, over Blu-Ray, but now the latter has caught up and may even have overtaken HD.
>
> So vote, and chime in here. Real soon we'll have a few of these titles available here.
> ---------------------------------

Cool, hopefully we'll have Beta tapes for rent! :P
kheim
post #17  on May 28, 2007 - 1:27 AM PDT  
For the record, I just bought a HD DVD player for less than $300, and it absolutely plays "regular" DVD's. Also, I did much investigation, and found that most playback units manufactured in the last 3 years do; I couldn't find one that didn't. (but that doesn't mean at least one didn't)

The only question is if it you use an HDMI cable to do upconversion to 1080i, etc. etc.

So with all due respect to GC, the statement made regarding playing "regular" DVD's, is almost not valid.

If anything, the main issue is to decide between investing with Blue Ray or HD DVD (GC). Unfortuantely, it doesn't look like we will see a definite end-all decision on that any time soon.

Competition amongst rental companies may pressure each to actually invest in BOTH; if a primary goal is to harvest as many rental customers as possible - more than their competitors. (as seen by reading some of the posts here, regarding leaving GC, and going to Netf%$#x). <---I wont spell that word here!!!)

Cheers to all!
KHeim

> On March 23, 2007 - 4:11 PM PDT artifex wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On March 23, 2007 - 12:00 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Help us out with a new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray poll, as we attempt to gauge interest out there.
> >
> >
> > Vote here
.
> >
> > At first it seemed like HD was going to have a lot more titles available, over Blu-Ray, but now the latter has caught up and may even have overtaken HD.
> >
> > So vote, and chime in here. Real soon we'll have a few of these titles available here.
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Cool, hopefully we'll have Beta tapes for rent! :P
> ---------------------------------

woozy
post #18  on May 28, 2007 - 4:42 PM PDT  
> On May 28, 2007 - 1:27 AM PDT kheim wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> For the record, I just bought a HD DVD player for less than $300, and it absolutely plays "regular" DVD's.

The issue wasn't whether HD-DVD players play "regular" DVDs, but whether "regular" DVD players play HD-DVDs.

They don't.
underdog
post #19  on May 29, 2007 - 12:34 PM PDT  
UPDATE: We're ordering some HD and Blu-Ray titles. Expect to see those here within a week to ten days. We'll update with links when the first ones are in.

It does indeed appear that many HD discs also have a standard version on the other side so that even if someone rents one by mistake they should be able to flip it over and play it. Our concern was only to make sure that people without HD players won't be too confused and rent an HD disc by mistake. Concern is probably overstated and unnecessary. We'll start with a few for each format to start and see how it goes. Expect those in early June. Thanks!
hanage
post #20  on June 1, 2007 - 10:38 AM PDT  
High def disc rentals this month! Great news!

Yeah, HD DVD combo discs have standard DVD (that play on standard DVD players) on the other side, but those are usually only newer titles.

Speaking of compatibility, you might also consider that HD DVD, as opposed to Blu-ray, is a REGION FREE system (as far as HD DVD discs and players go--still region locked for standard DVD playback). In fact, because of the patchwork nature of worldwide distribution deals, some supposed Blu-ray "exclusives" are available on HD DVD in other countries! And since they are all mastered at 1080p24, the whole NTSC/PAL-60Hz/50Hz issue gets left behind in SD land, for films shot at 24fps anyway.

From what I've read in other forums, the four gotchas so far with importing some discs are forced subtitles with certain audio tracks, lack of English (or your preferred language) subs, sped-up sounding audio, and shipping. Shipping from amazon UK isn't as bad, as long as you order two or more discs at a time. I've browsed amazon UK's HD DVD selection and noticed they also stock US HD DVDs, so be careful you don't import something you can get cheaper locally.

That audio thing seems mainly confined to some of the first Studio Canal releases of older films, probably an artifact of the old PAL (SECAM?) days when the film was sped-up to 25fps to match the 50Hz refresh. I guess it's just how people in Europe were used to hearing those films on video before it was possbile to speed up the audio without shifting the pitch. I hear word got back to Studio Canal and they've supposedly fixed this with newer HD DVD releases.

Yeah, yeah, tl;dr.

My point is, would it eventually be possible for GreenCine to rent and/or sell import HD DVDs?
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