Format preferences: DVD or BD

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
But when I see people getting harrumphy and indignant because the shows they feel they're missing out on are... [checks notes] Chrome Shelled Regios and Gasaraki, I really have to wonder.

Always struck me as weird that those shows have any kind of following, as they're both OBJECTIVELY TERRIBLE shows with horrible writing, atrocious characters and disastrous pacing. (I also doubt much would be served by having Gasaraki in HD. But that's by the by.)

Do people really want HD coffee coasters?! Really???

I think you would scream if you saw some of thing things I own multiple times over, since I'm sure most of the things I like are 'objectively terrible' in your opinion. But clearly you're working on a different direction of 'objectively' to some people, because every single anime out there is going to be precious to someone, even if most of us can't sit through more than five minutes of a genre we hate or a disappointingly-animated adaptation. Every show is somebody's first series. Every show has cosplayers and fanfics and websites and passionate defenders. Even the terrible ones. We devalue anime a lot in the west and treat it as disposable, forgetting that even the humblest of shows come out of large teams of hard-working creators and the fans who supported them. It doesn't mean that we have to like every show (I'm definitely not shy about turning my nose up at the bulk of what comes out of Japan!) but we should at least respect the passion people have.

While I agree that a lot of shows don't especially benefit from BD quality upgrades, where's the fun in telling someone that they can't ask for nice things because their personal taste is not objectively good enough? It seems awfully arrogant to act as though your taste is universal while other people are freaks for having different preferences.

Heck, there are several shows I could name with horrible writing, atrocious characters and disastrous pacing where the quality of the visuals is literally the only saving grace. Those shows need watching in higher quality more than anything! :p

R
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
While I agree that a lot of shows don't especially benefit from BD quality upgrades, where's the fun in telling someone that they can't ask for nice things because their personal taste is not objectively good enough? It seems awfully arrogant to act as though your taste is universal while other people are freaks for having different preferences.

I'd say there's no fun in that at all. Did it seem 'awfully arrogant' to you when I said that people should be free to watch and enjoy what they want to? (Which, by the way, I've made a habit of expressing everywhere online - even here a few times.)

FYI, I resent that response quite a bit, Rui. But beyond that, I'm really not looking for an argument. Although I will say it disappoints me somewhat that other folks have engaged with some of the points I've made here in good faith, but it's the SITE ADMIN who resorts to passive aggressive digs.

And that's my final word.
 

bangle

Completely Average High School Student
You buy a BD to get a BD, but have anyone ever bought a BD to get a DVD? I doubt it.
😂 That's where you're wrong, I have! I really dislike Blu-Rays so i'll only buy a Blu-Ray release if I really have to and I will watch the DVD of the Blu-Ray DVD multi sets. As a PC only user (I haven't owned a TV for years) Blu-Rays are a real pain for me, I need 3 different programs to be able to ensure I can actually play what I buy and they're so slow to load and never remember what episode I was on last. I've yet to watch a DVD and wish that the resolution was higher. I'll be buying DVDs as long as I can!
 
Yeah that's what I meant, if there's a BD and DVD release then the DVD releases end up in bargain bins, as why would you choose that version over the BD version? I only ever buy a DVD if there is no BD option. For BD releases I too wish they would stop including the DVD with them and instead placed other extras such as an art booklet.
I can’t play Region A, so I’ve bought a few US combo releases for the DVDs, shows like Kyousougiga and Princess Jellyfish. I also bought the combo Lucky Star for the DVDs even though I can play those BDs, because the Funi Blu-rays were a flustercuck of smearing and DNR, sharpening and whatnot upscale.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
I believe that the problem with ditching the DVD+BD packs is that some people genuinely do still want the DVDs, and having separate BD/DVD versions is a nightmare for inventory management and distribution costs. Sticking a cheap DVD inside the case works out cheaper overall than having separate products, as mad as it is. We're gradually seeing more and more DVD releases disappearing entirely due to a lack of demand (as with Discotek) though and that's probably where the change will happen, even if there will always be a few shows which are more popular on the cheapest format regardless.

I'd say there's no fun in that at all. Did it seem 'awfully arrogant' to you when I said that people should be free to watch and enjoy what they want to? (Which, by the way, I've made a habit of expressing everywhere online - even here a few times.)

FYI, I resent that response quite a bit, Rui. But beyond that, I'm really not looking for an argument. Although I will say it disappoints me somewhat that other folks have engaged with some of the points I've made here in good faith, but it's the SITE ADMIN who resorts to passive aggressive digs.

And that's my final word.

Since it's your final word I'm not sure whether you actually wanted a reply but it feels weird to leave the direct callouts unanswered. My role here doesn't prevent me from having opinions about things, as many people have discovered over the years.

Also, there was nothing 'passive' about my feelings. I thought it was rude to insult people's entertainment preferences and responded in kind. It has not changed my overall opinion of you and will not affect any forum-related decisions I make.

R
 

NormanicGrav

Grav's End Harem
AUKN Staff
Time to throw my opinion on the topic of Blu-rays and DVDs.

First of all I can see why many individuals would continue to purchase DVDs due to being cheap and how easily accessible it is because pretty much everyone would have access to one. For me personally, when the High Definition era came to fruition I saw enough difference to jump forward to the newer formats and I would generally only accept the idea of DVDs continuing to exist or being bought still is if the Blu-ray format is not available for the specific film or series or certain specific content or audio did not make the jump to the Blu-ray format.

For anime the best examples are older English dubs. The English dubs for Millennium Actress, Vampire Hunter D and the British dub for Wicked City are still locked to their original DVD releases in the UK, while the Blu-rays have the newer or alternate dubs. The quality of the newer dubs you could argue is much better and accurate to the original but it's the nostalgia of the older dubs that keeps them interested in the anime and thus keep or search for the DVD instead.

The emergence of 'Standard Definition on Blu-ray' is honestly pretty genius because it provides a safe place for classics of anime that can't carry over into the HD era completely, and allows them to survive for future generations on current modern devices. Take Discotek's handling of 009 Cyborg as an example, there's no HD remaster and the DVDs were the only way to watch them but in a messy state in terms of the transfer. The SD BD version was able to restore the DVDs to a presentation that is not perfect but still offers a good viewing experience without the need of multiple DVDs or hunting down super out of print copies.

And then we have Fist of the North Star which I briefly mentioned in another thread. For DVDs, it required 21 discs to watch all 152 episodes whereas an SD BD release just needed 3 discs which is also shelf-friendly and improves on a couple areas. The other example I also mentioned in the other thread is Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, a series where it's use of numerous on-screen dialogue would reach its technical limit on DVD and thus would be impossible to get the right experience on that format. The SD BD format provided that solution and made it possible, and you have the dub also.

With 4K Ultra High Definition slowly grabbing people's attention, I do not consider that format to be the ultimate jump to be the new main format, due to not supporting content that presented in SD and even HD 720p. Blu-rays on the other hand is backwards compatible with SD content so in the future I expect Blu-rays to completely take over DVDs while 4K will take over the BDs in terms of watching newer films.

So overall do I think people should keep buying DVDs in an era where everything is ideally better on the other formats? Depends. I find many titles are better to experience on Blu-ray, but there will be some that are still stuck in the DVD era due to rights issues or content that can't carry over for various reasons. I would like DVD consumers to jump over to the Blu-ray scene sooner than later, but my assumption for them not going for it is likely due to lack of knowledge/understanding the idea and its benefits, and I feel because of that is why people keep going for DVDs regardless. Do I think DVDs are pointless in this current era? Almost, but we just haven't hit the point yet annoyingly.
 

Neil.T

Idolm@ster
Always struck me as weird that those shows have any kind of following, as they're both OBJECTIVELY TERRIBLE shows with horrible writing, atrocious characters and disastrous pacing.
See, I'm with HdE on this one. When you put your critic's hat on and break a piece of entertainment media down to the component level, some things do end up being shown up as objectively terrible on a technical level. That is, of course, a completely separate discussion from whether or not anyone actually likes it, mind.

It's like, if I took a portrait photo of someone but seriously overexposed the shot and cut the subject's head out of the frame, it is an objectively bad photo. That doesn't stop anyone from holding their hand up and saying they like it, though.

Going back to entertainment media, if you were to look back through the history of TV and film, you would be able to start to identify certain things that make enduring classics, and the things that make... the opposite. In fact, critics and studious types have already done exactly that. So when a lack of care has been taken with a film or show to get the basics right, I think that is absolutely open to criticism. Sometimes you're left wondering why something has its fans, and that's a perfectly fair discussion to have on an internet forum, too, to my mind.

I believe that the problem with ditching the DVD+BD packs is that some people genuinely do still want the DVDs, and having separate BD/DVD versions is a nightmare for inventory management and distribution costs. Sticking a cheap DVD inside the case works out cheaper overall than having separate products, as mad as it is.
I've read several arguments in support of BD+DVD combo packs, and they all strike me as being much more favourable for the distributor than they are for the consumer. "It saves the distributor from having to gauge how many of each format to press", for example, but that's not visible to the buyer. I've also read the argument that bundling the DVD version with the BD adds nothing to the cost, but that's so much nonsense; since Manga have done fewer combo packs, prices have come way down for each separate format, a stark difference from the, what, £45 price tag on Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto at release. If memory serves, season 2 of Mob Psycho 100 on BD was also notably cheaper than season 1's dual format offering.

Even if adding the DVD to the BD didn't increase the unit cost, that's still bad for DVD buyers, because it would force them to pay BD price for their normally cheaper format. It's another win for the distributor, though.

Lastly from me...
I would generally only accept the idea of DVDs continuing to exist or being bought still is if the Blu-ray format is not available for the specific film or series or certain specific content or audio did not make the jump to the Blu-ray format.
. . .
I would like DVD consumers to jump over to the Blu-ray scene sooner than later, but my assumption for them not going for it is likely due to lack of knowledge/understanding
For me, format choice is a personal thing and not really something for any one individual to make an overarching decision on on behalf of others. Personally, I buy both formats, and I would consider my decision on which to go with to be very much an informed decision taken on a case-by-case basis and certainly not something born of a lack of knowledge or understanding.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether any one of us "accepts" the existence of a particular format and whether people buy it or not: it'll continue to be manufactured until such time comes that it no longer sells. I think that's the bottom line when it comes down to it, really.
 

IdiomaticLynx

Student Council President
I practically only buy Blu-rays, unless DVD is really the only (sane) option for a given show. And even then, I've started becoming a bit reluctant in buying DVDs as it's quite often only a matter of time before a re-release on BD happens (all the while the DVDs sit unwatched on my shelf, looking at you Planetes).

What I fail to see is why the DVD or BD choice would be a preference? Apart from some strange edge cases, BD is strictly better in a technical sense. The most logical argument against it would be for economical reasons (either the increased price tag on the discs themselves, or the hardware required to play them). But given a similarly priced DVD and BD (and assuming one can play either), the choice should fall on BD for practically everyone. Where I think it went wrong, was that playback devices kept being developed that only supported DVDs. So BD playback support never really became a standard feature that would gradually reach every household over the years, but remained a deliberate choice for the consumer (at a premium). Game consoles were the only saving grace in that regard.

As a thought experiment, let's imagine that BD was launched as DVD-BD. In terms of branding it would've been hard to distinguish "old school" DVDs from these fancy new DVD-BD discs (no ugly blue banner, just some slightly different logo on the back). Before long people would make sure that when they buy a new device that it "could play the new DVDs as well". Companies would practically be forced to include DVD-BD support in their players (across the entire lineup, from budget to premium). It would've been annoying at the start, but might've resulted in a better adoption rate (and with that a reduction in cost).

Instead they went all in on distinguishing Blu-rays from DVDs. As a result we got the ugly blue banners and the feeling that Blu-rays are something "special". This is also my experience when talking about Blu-rays to people who aren't into collecting physical media. Often times they'll recognize the term "Blu-ray" as "those special/different dics", but aren't really aware of the differences (or rather benefits) it offers over DVD. In that regard UHD BD do it a lot better, often being marketed as 4K Ultra HD discs. Even though I would argue HDR is the bigger attractor with UHD BD, at the very least everyone who hears about it will remember the 4K aspect above all else.

Personally I think the market segment that still buys DVDs will mostly move to streaming/digital instead of going down the Blu-ray road. It's a pity as it really feels like the "divide" between DVD and Blu-ray has no real reason for existing. If they were combined, I'm sure the (production) cost of Blu-rays would've been a lot lower by now. And we would not have those dreaded Combo releases.
 

Neil.T

Idolm@ster
What I fail to see is why the DVD or BD choice would be a preference? Apart from some strange edge cases, BD is strictly better in a technical sense. The most logical argument against it would be for economical reasons (either the increased price tag on the discs themselves
You got it. 👍

Put simply, there are just some anime that I assess I might never get around to rewatching. In those cases, I'll opt for the cheap and cheerful DVD option. That gives me the chance to see it, but without having any big ambition about having everything I buy in HD.
 

cyborg 002

School Idol
😂 That's where you're wrong, I have! I really dislike Blu-Rays so i'll only buy a Blu-Ray release if I really have to and I will watch the DVD of the Blu-Ray DVD multi sets. As a PC only user (I haven't owned a TV for years) Blu-Rays are a real pain for me, I need 3 different programs to be able to ensure I can actually play what I buy and they're so slow to load and never remember what episode I was on last. I've yet to watch a DVD and wish that the resolution was higher. I'll be buying DVDs as long as I can!
This a first time. I never use my PC for my movies, I stricktly use my DVD/BD player and my TV is in the middle of the room like it's an alter. I actually think it's cool you are so relaxed about the DVD resolution.
 

Robin91

Great Teacher
In my personal opinion I always go for the "best" format, as in the one with the best quality of image and sound. Since BD is a big step up from DVD I never buy DVDs and I don't think I've bought one in 10 years or something.

Now that 4k is becoming more readily available for more stuff I get it sometimes for my favorite movies etc. But then again I'm a person that like technology and games etc. so I'm passionate about that.

That doesn't mean that I don't understand people who only buy DVD'S. I get that the story and how good the series is, is the most important factor when it comes to which shows I get. Although, if I have a choice BD will always be prefered over DVD 🙂
 

RadFemHedonist

Death Scythe
Oh I neglected to mention that I like BD/DVD combo packs because then I get DVDs to play on my old LCD 4:3 standard def screen and multi-region DVD player in the living room, and BDs to play in my room where my 1080p 32 inch HD TV, PS3 (so can play all those Sentai Geolocked discs etc. as well as obviously UK releases) and multi-region BD player are :)
 

TakamakiJoker

Adventurer
I can see why people would buy DVDs especially if are not collectors or have a small budget but I feel in 2020 it has gotten to a point where BD are dirt cheap in the UK.
You can get a PS3 for £50+ on Cex/eBay and use it as a BD Player.

Don't get me wrong I use to be a DVD junky back when I first started buying anime but it all changed when I brought Flip Flappers DVD and Assassination Classroom S2 Part 2 DVD.

Flip Flappers video pal masters were so terrible that I couldn't finish the first disc.
It was so blurry and the high pitch was annoying.

As a person who likes watching extra features it broke me that Assassination Classroom S2, Part 2 did not have any extra features whatsoever. The other parts had DVD extras features in them.

Since then I been buying BD and never looked back.
Buying new releases as upgrading the majority of show's that I previously owned on DVD. Fruits Basket 2001, Toradora, Watamote, Outlaw Star, Code Geass, Assassination Classroom, Cowboy Bebop, Eureka 7, Little Busters, Gurren Lagann, Kill La Kill etc.

DVDs were cool for it's time but I feel that in a couple of years time DVDs will sadly not be thing for anime.

I respect Manga's decision to still ditch out DVDs to Blu-Ray only titles in the US like Cop Craft, Fairy Gone and that Sumo isekai but, eventually at some point in in the Manga has to phase out on DVDs minus One Piece and gateaway shounens like BC and MHA.

I still buy DVDs from time to time like DNB, Hyouka (from the AL sale) and Aria The Scarlet Ammo but, those very rare cases.

This is my take on this
 

zrdb

Adventurer
I could never get never get behind the concept of sd on bluray. If an sd bluray is released of anime I already have on dvd I'm not getting it. I jumped on the bluray train almost 10 years ago and never looked back BUT I haven't gotten rid of my extensive dvd collection either.
 
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Onosume

That Aikatsu Person
AUKN Staff
DVDs are still around as they still sell to the more casual market (i.e. probably not the people who are members of this here forum). Think parents buying them for their kids on a trip to the supermarket, or are in town and pop into HMV; or teenagers on a very limited budget. With Manga focussing on mass market shonen this audience fits squarely in their ballpark which is why they haven't dropped DVDs yet.

I do know a couple of people who still buy DVD releases over the Blu-rays but their main reasoning is that they aren't bothered about the video quality, just want to watch it once, then sell it on.
 

bangle

Completely Average High School Student
As a thought experiment, let's imagine that BD was launched as DVD-BD. In terms of branding it would've been hard to distinguish "old school" DVDs from these fancy new DVD-BD discs (no ugly blue banner, just some slightly different logo on the back). Before long people would make sure that when they buy a new device that it "could play the new DVDs as well". Companies would practically be forced to include DVD-BD support in their players (across the entire lineup, from budget to premium). It would've been annoying at the start, but might've resulted in a better adoption rate (and with that a reduction in cost).
I really wish your thought experiment was what actually happened with Blu-Rays, had this happened I would probably be quite happy with them, it's the continued poor integration for PCs that really irks me. First you have to physically buy the player, but that isn't enough, then you have to get the programs to play them on. There is no definitive player to actually run them on, you have to find a program that just about does the job and if you don't want to go for the subscription model your options are even worse. It seems to be that on a PC at least, internet access is required to get past the encryption for the first play, so what happens when they're no longer supported? Do they all become useless junk? You can play a DVD on anything with a drive and as they are such a cheap product for many other things I feel DVDs will be supported on PCs for quite a while so I feel they may even outlast the Blu-Ray format.
 

Girls with Guns

Mad Scientist
I haven't purchased a DVD-only release since I moved on to Blu-ray back in 2008, except for the few anime series I like that haven't been released on Blu-ray yet. And, I hate having all those unwanted DVD's included in combo sets; they most definitely will never be removed from their hubs. I would much prefer all the combo sets I own were Blu-ray-only. DVD-only anime releases make up less than 5% of my total physical anime collection. I have two region-switchable Blu-ray players, and three computers with Blu-ray drives and Leawo installed in them - my home PC, my HTPC, and my "luggable laptop" All-in-One PC - so I can play Blu-ray anywhere in the house or even when traveling, as easily as anyone can play a DVD.

I never even owned any live action movies on DVD; 15+ years ago I used to burn "backup" DVD+R copies of Netflix rental DVDs, I must have had about 1100 of them, all in thinpak DVD cases with self-printed cover sheets, but I ended up giving about half of them away and tossing the rest of them in the trash years ago. I don't even watch live action movies anymore.

Here is an old photo from 2012 of my Hollywood movie collection on Blu-ray and DVD+R about a year before I started collecting anime; Blu-rays on the left shelf unit, and the homemade DVD+R on the right shelf unit. The DVD+R have all long been purged from my collection and my home, and the Blu-ray movies are all boxed-up in storage in a closet. My anime collection now fills almost 5 of these media shelves, including these two:

mediashelf.jpg
 
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bangle

Completely Average High School Student
Who says you have to pay for a program for playing blurays on your computer? I use Leawo and it's totally free.
I tried Leawo first becase it was free. Out of the 3 programs I have it's the one I will only use if the other 2 fail which thankfully isn't too often. It's a horrid program to use, the only way I found to get it to play was to go down the chapters on the side and keep picking them until I find the first episode. Sometimes it can be very difficult to get it to play the English dub or have subtitles. It never comes up with a title screen. This is exactly the kind of issue that makes playing a Blu-ray a horrible, frustrating experience.

I use the Corel Win DVD pro as my primary and that at least comes up with a proper title screen, but never remembers which episode you just watched. The one in the middle Aurora at least has a title screen of sorts but it's still not great to use and won't always find everything on the disc. For all 3 I find there is a considerable start up lag as it trawls through all that encoding which you just don't get with DVD.

On the other hand plenty of decent non-buggy, free programs are available and will play a DVD perfectly fine with none of these issues, and it remembers where you left off. That's how my Blu-Ray experience should be!
 
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