Has apple lost the digital download war?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Dunk the Lunk, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Dunk the Lunk macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2007
    This Christmas I got three blurays, two of which included UV copies (inc Breaking Bad Season 1). My sister got one which also had a UV copy. No sign of any iTunes copies. As a UK user UV appears to be a bag of balls so I tried blagging iTunes codes from Flixster but had no luck. I’m tied to flixster so no HD versions, no extras, and I have to download extra apps for my Mac and very overcrowded iPhone. Plus I can’t stream to my TV as there is no support through my PS3 un the UK. Great.

    However I really think Apple has dropped the ball on this one, and has already lost the war without putting up much of a fight. UV only launched two years ago in the UK and is now dominating the market. Although I would much rather have the films in iTunes I’m not prepared to pay again. Plus as I understand it they are also introducing a legal disc to digital service (already launched in the states). I can't see apple introducing this as none of their own computers have optical drives anymore.

    So what future for the film and tv sections of the iTunes store? I can’t see them being a commercial success if people are getting UV copies. And what future for the ATV and any future full size TV. I can't see Apple supporting UV anytime soon but I doubt they’re ever going to be successful without supporting it.
  2. QWERTYMac7 macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2012
    Why not rip them into iTunes?

    Many of us do it all the time (418 movies here).

    Try it!
  3. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    Apple is just one company, often with disney/pixar's backing.

    UV was made by the DECE group:

    Check out how many companies are behind it. There's quite a few movie studios behind that standard too. Kinda disappointing, but I'm guessing Apple probably didn't want to give up profit margins or the other companies were asking for too many privileges/restrictions.

    Movies are a bag of hurt lol.
  4. Dunk the Lunk, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013

    Dunk the Lunk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2007
    Because they're blurays. I know the next response will be buy a bluray drive but sadly for most lazy users, including myself, we can't be doing with the faff (and time and expense). The reason I like the Apple ecosystem is everything is easy and works together, and ripping is not part of this. If there was a disc to digital option built into iTunes I'd probably use this, at least for my dvds, but I can't see apple doing this as they've sold so many macs in the last few years without an optical drive.

    If Apple had heavily supported digital downloads from the off large numbers of people would have large iTunes libraries full of movies and shows, and many would probably now be buying directly from the iTunes store. However I think UV is forcing many of us, including Apple users, into another ecosystem and leaving apple behind.
  5. alexjholland macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Bali, Cambridge, Sydney.. anywhere.
    Isn't the real (unmentioned) problem here, that our relatives haven't yet twigged that they should be buying as iTunes vouchers instead of blurays for Christmas?

    I'll still have a placed for large box sets on my shelf, but am strongly considering ripping and ditching my entire DVD collection; and possibly even doing the same for stand-alone (non box set) blurays.

    I own no physical music any more.

    Books, however, will continue to fill my home.
  6. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    The trend seems to be streaming the movies/tv shows instead of owning them with a all you can eat type of service: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, cable on demand solution, etc.

    iTunes video quality is not comparable to Blu-Ray.

    There are other services like vudu, that allow you to redeem UV codes:
    Not sure if it works in the UK, but it supports the PS3 and other devices.

    Maybe another way you can try is with a VPN service to obtain an IP address in the US.

    There are many alternatives out there that are making a difference in the market, this is interesting even it is not dominating the market:
  7. neilmacd macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2010
    I really want to switch to iTunes only for movies, but not until they a) improve iTunes Extras to include ALL extras, and more importantly b) get iTunes Extras working on Apple TV 2/3.

    There're loads of things I'd like to buy, but I'm holding off in hope something's done about it.
  8. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Books on a bookshelf are a decorative enhancement to your home and make you look smart/interesting. CDs, DVDs and Blu Rays on a bookshelf look terrible, and make you look like a nerd with no life.
  9. alexjholland macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Bali, Cambridge, Sydney.. anywhere.
  10. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    don't know if apple wants too much money for their digital copy but Warner is all UV now. other studios are split.

    i buy some digital movies but only at a big discount from the physical copy. this week itunes had the LOTR extended editions for $30 for all three movies.

    otherwise smart blu ray players are dirt cheap now so having UV only digital copies is no big deal
  11. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    The question is whether Apple even wanted to stay in that market. They have been pushing us away from physical media since the iPod, so it wouldn't be surprising if they will completely phase out these digital copies with the purchase of a bluray.

    I am personally a fan of the disc to digital service since it gives me a cloud copy of some of my DVDs and Blurays. I wish UV would completely take over that segment of the industry and then I could backup more of my DVDs/Blurays in the cloud. Right now, the main problem with the service is that it only works with some movies, so you can't go to Vudu/UV/Flixter to access all of your movies, which is a pain when you sit down to watch a movie and find out it wasn't one of the movies you could back up to the cloud. It is also the main reason to still use Plex.

    I currently have a few movies on Apple, Amazon, and several on Vudu, so I hope someone becomes the "go to" service for digital copies from DVDs/Blurays so I can consolidate eveything.
  12. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
  13. aced411 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    I struggled with the idea of adopting Vudu, which seems to be the push from movie studios. I sure love the idea of playing my content on any device. In the end I decided the pro's of sticking with iTunes outweighed the cons. Having all of my "owned" content in iTunes ensures that I always watch the highest quality regardless of internet conditions. It also conserves bandwidth which is helpful b/c we are otherwise a 100% streaming household (no cable tv). On top of all that, if I feel like streaming to my iPad or iPhone, I will get HD quality...VUDU only supports SD on mobile devices.

    I was also concerned about longevity of either service. I know that if the UV locker or VUDU goes belly up, they will not give two ****** about the customer's content. If iTunes movies go belly up, Apple is far too visible of a company. They will find a way to make it up customers.

    Now that iTunes is being shut out of the "digital copy" market, I just buy iTunes direct. I used to convert from disc if it was a better price but I've wasted far too much of my life doing that. I admit I'm rolling the dice a little. I suppose the worst way this will play out is if the iTunes movie service sticks around but only offers a small selection of releases. Then I would be forced to have my movies fragmented across services, which is the last thing I want.
  14. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Studios are flocking to UV kind of how Sony threw a lot of stuff on MiniDisc. It's not that UV is in any way better. They just want control over their stuff instead of watching Apple do it so well and call the shots.

    Don't forget that these are merely included digital copies from people buying physical media. You've got a ton of people ripping BDs they purchase into iTunes. Then you have a ton buying straight from iTunes.

    I tried working with a UV copy once and wanted to rip my hair out. If Apple ever cracks the code with a more enhanced :apple:TV or full out TV set, look out. I'm hooked on disc-free now even with the few drawbacks. I'd much rather spend the extra money buying small hard disks to store downloads instead of bookshelves and boxes storing discs. I just wish all of this had existed a decade ago, because I have an old dresser filled with DVDs.
  15. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Has apple lost the digital download war?

    As vain as it sounds I completely agree. When I first picked up reading (I didn't actually read books until my early 20's) having the physical copy on a shelf gave me a sense of accomplishment. I just never stopped since.

    Bluerays, dvd's, games I keep in a drawer in my guest bedroom out of sight.
  17. rlu929s macrumors regular

    May 17, 2011
    I went to buying BR's only when I can get it REALLY cheap. If I have a choice and want something around release day (I just buy it on iTunes).

    I agree with the posts above that state we need to convince family to move towards iTunes gift cards rather than BR's:)

    I personally save up for the Christmas Season as you always see the $100 iTunes cards for $80. I load up on a couple of those and end up paying about $15 for a new release film. If it's a old movie I always try to find it on disc though as it's always much better than buying off iTunes.
  18. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Just write gift cards on your wish list instead of BR's. ;)

    Personally I am still not satisfied with the quality of HD movies on iTunes. I'd like them to raise the bitrate.
  19. mrholder macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2009
    I have ripped a few movies from dvd into itunes for my iphone using handbrake's universal setting. I find that movies purchased directly from itunes have a much better and louder sound than the ripped ones, so I like buying on itunes for that reason. Is there a better sound setting (louder) I should be choosing in handbrake?
  20. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Use Apple TV 3 and then move the Constant Quality slider down to 24. That's what I did. Seems to be a nice compromise between quality and file size. Just using ATV3 made the files huge.
  21. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    Under the Audio tab there is a "Gain" modifier.

    But don't go too high, you can distort the channels if there is a lot of bass or other loud sounds. 1-2dB might be a good starting point. 3dB is "double" the volume in the sense of the scale.
  22. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Just saying: 3 TB external hard drives can be found for £70. Storing a DVD on a hard drive, at an average size of 7 GB, costs you about 16 pence. A lot cheaper if you compress them with Handbrake.
  23. aced411 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    I went through this exercise. Converted about 200 DVD's and 70 blu rays. Everything was boxed up in the garage for a few years until I finally said screw it and disposed of all the movies. My only regret is that I didn't get 1080p conversions of all my blu rays. I was doing 720p for awhile (before ATV3 came out). I wish I would have kept those blu rays I wanted to re-rip for 1080p conversions.
  24. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    They haven't lost it at all. All UV is, is the movie studios attempting to prolong the life of optical media. While I agree that the quality of BD is higher than an iTunes HD download, on the average person's TV/Home Theater the difference is negligible at most. This means that for most people (who consider standard DVD to be outstanding) you have two competing platforms.

    The studios created UV specifically to keep people out of iTunes. There are major advantages for them with the physical media model.

    Here they are:

    1. In large quantities physical media costs very little to produce. For full priced content studios see a higher margin than when they give Apple 30%.

    2. Studios sell at wholesale, in bulk. Unsold copies are usually simply marked down by retailers and sold at a loss rather than returned. This means that even if the DVD/BR is a flop, the studio makes money because retailers want to have the latest titles. On iTunes, if the movie stinks, no one buys it...that's it.

    3. DVD/BR are used by mass market retailers as loss-leader promotional items. Target or Wal-Mart know that they're losing money when they sell DVD's for less than wholesale, but they don't care because you'll buy a cartload of other crap when you come into the store to get it. This is a HUGE benefit to studios over iTunes.

    4. Studios know that retailers stock 95% or more of nothing but big hollywood movies. No competition from smaller indie studios or distributors. On iTunes, that competition exists and may influence a consumer's spending.

    Of course, all of those benefits for the studios aren't really benefits for the consumer or even for the industry as a whole in the long run. The days of optical media are ending, it's just a question of how long it will take. The convenience and rapidly improving quality of digital movies outweighs the old format, there's no way around it. It's just a matter of the majority of the population moving off of the old formats, which takes time.
  25. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Thanks to iTunes I found out about Europa Report. I have heard NDT talk about wanting to go ice fishing on Europa to potentially find life, then I saw this movie before it even hit theaters. It was science nerdy awesome. I think it's a great service for indie movies to get noticed. The place in Atlanta that shows them a lot is way too far away, and who knows what the quality is. But for $8 I rented it.

    I do wonder if people will switch media backed by big studios or if smaller ones will support digital delivery and take over. Macklemore created his own label and was one of the best-selling artists of the year. That's just one guy and music is a cheaper production. But I could see it happening in the midrange future.

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