4K Blu Ray - Going in the same direction as Laserdisc ?

dhp

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Mar 2, 2016
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As someone who has built up a fair sized collection of Physical Media (4 K Blu Ray / Blu Ray / DVD ) I cannot help but Notice that the number of 4k Players / Blu Ray Players available seems to be in fairly rapid decline ! , Oppo, Samsung and pioneer / Onkyo appear to have stopped production of Physical Disc players. Only Sony and Panasonic appear to have a selection of players available and neither has launched any New Players in the last 18 months or so that i am aware of . I'm looking for a New 4k Player but there seems to be a dwindling selection of players available and many retailers seem to have very limited stock. The Covid pandemic may be an issue but still !

The Only New Players that have been launched recently are the 2 Reavon Players. Only the UBR-x200 at 1499.00 (ouch !) is a universal Player. I wonder what players are going to be available in 2 -3 or 5 Years from now ? . I Remember the Journey that Laserdisc took in so far as there was a wide range of Players from several Manufacturer's at Launch , but over time it dwindled to the stage where only Pioneer hung in but even then they eventually stopped manufacture .

Out of warranty Machines are not cheap to have repaired and rely on the manufacture's keeping a comprehensive stock of replacement parts.

I genuinely don't think there will be 8K physical Media , so 4k Blu ray could be the end of the line. I hate the thought of only having Streaming Media available , but equally hate the thought of having 1100 discs that I cannot play .

I'd be very interested to hear other thoughts on this subject.
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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Not much can be added to existing plyers that they have not already got, so bringing out new models (Where there is a limited demand for) is not cost effective.
There is not much to go wrong in a modern good quality player so they should last for years without any problems.

Bill
 

dhp

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
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Not much can be added to existing plyers that they have not already got, so bringing out new models (Where there is a limited demand for) is not cost effective.
There is not much to go wrong in a modern good quality player so they should last for years without any problems.

Bill
Hi Bill ,

Very good point you make about there being very little that can be added to existing players . I terms of things that can go wrong . The most common thing I suspect is the Laser in the Optical drive . I have a Cambridge CXU in for a repair at the moment . Fortunately I took out an extended warranty . Its stopped reading Blu ray discs but hopefully it can be repaired
 

Arron

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Aug 24, 2021
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I genuinely don't think there will be 8K physical Media , so 4k Blu ray could be the end of the line. I hate the thought of only having Streaming Media available , but equally hate the thought of having 1100 discs that I cannot play .

I'd be very interested to hear other thoughts on this subject.
Maybe you could go the same route as me? Bought a decent NAS (Qnap TS-451D2) and a huge amount of hard drive space then ripped everything except my 4Ks. No recompression so it's all exactly as per the original discs. They play using Plex Server on the NAS and the Plex Player on an Apple TV.

The end result is great. It's like having your own personal Nutflicks except you know everything is worth watching. Had an old BD drive kicking around but you can get 4K compatible ones these days. Though I think you have to get those flashed :\

There are downsides. A fair few very old DVDs (90s) had problems with letterboxing and similar. Running them through Handbrake fixed them. The ripping process took several weeks of pretty much constantly feeding discs.

Even though it took a huge amount of effort and a lot of cash, if it broke, I'd instantly buy/do it all again. Plex is outstanding.
 
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dhp

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
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Maybe you could go the same route as me? Bought a decent NAS (Qnap TS-451D2) and a huge amount of hard drive space then ripped everything except my 4Ks. No recompression so it's all exactly as per the original discs. They play using Plex Server on the NAS and the Plex Player on an Apple TV.

The end result is great. It's like having your own personal Nutflicks except you know everything is worth watching. Had an old BD drive kicking around but you can get 4K compatible ones these days. Though I think you have to get those flashed :\

There are downsides. A fair few very old DVDs (90s) had problems with letterboxing and similar. Running them through Handbrake fixed them. The ripping process took several weeks of pretty much constantly feeding discs.

Even though it took a huge amount of effort and a lot of cash, if it broke, I'd instantly buy/do it all again. Plex is outstanding.
Hi ,
Thank you for your reply . I can see the attraction of ripping your movie to a Nas. It removes equipment issues and would be very convient once done. If you don't mind me asking, what software so you use to rip content to your NAS ?
 

Arron

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Aug 24, 2021
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Hi ,
Thank you for your reply . I can see the attraction of ripping your movie to a Nas. It removes equipment issues and would be very convient once done. If you don't mind me asking, what software so you use to rip content to your NAS ?
I used MakeMKV
~650 movies
~40 TV Series
~70% DVDs to ~30% BDs
Came to 12TB used of 15TB space on 4x6TB drives in RAID -- it's at least resilient even though it's not practical to back up.

If you're tempted, maybe try:
Download Plex Server and Player -- they're free
Rip a dozen DVDs (much faster than ripping BDs) that you haven't seen in a long while
Have a play

Given your collection, my bet is you'll fall in love with it :)
 

dhp

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
42
9
10,545
I used MakeMKV
~650 movies
~40 TV Series
~70% DVDs to ~30% BDs
Came to 12TB used of 15TB space on 4x6TB drives in RAID -- it's at least resilient even though it's not practical to back up.

If you're tempted, maybe try:
Download Plex Server and Player -- they're free
Rip a dozen DVDs (much faster than ripping BDs) that you haven't seen in a long while
Have a play

Given your collection, my bet is you'll fall in love with it :)
Thank you so much . I'll definately make a point of giving a try over the Christmas break. 😊
 
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D

Deleted member 196519

Guest
The cost of 4K Blu-ray discs is seriously expensive too! Sure there are some cheap that you probably don’t want but with the likes of Apple TV are undercutting them by some way. Still rarely any music 4K discs all but one I think.
 
The cost of 4K Blu-ray discs is seriously expensive too! Sure there are some cheap that you probably don’t want but with the likes of Apple TV are undercutting them by some way. Still rarely any music 4K discs all but one I think.
That’s what the public sees, as well as the convenience of bare shelves at home where they can place some ornamental plates. But what they won’t realise until it’s too late, if they care anyway, is that you can only watch the version they host. That could be a cut version, a TV version, an airline version, a Directors cut, a Theatrical cut, even a censored cut - someone posted up on Facebook a pic of a vampire film where the flimsy garment a female vampire was wearing had been blurred to obscure her nipples - it wasn’t even that bad in the first place (he posted a non censored shot too). But it looked stupid. And that’s the future we are facing. Just like music streaming services, where you can only listen to the most recent version of the album, which will most likely be a compressed remaster. Unless anything has changed over the last few months, you can’t listen to the original release of Roger Waters’ Amused To Death album - as amazing as the recent remaster sounds, I prefer the original, as he has changed too much of it and spoiled my favourite tracks (re-recorded some bits, removed other bits etc).

We can only listen or watch what they want us to listen to or watch. What sort of a future is that? With a physical collection, I can listen to whichever version of an album I prefer, and I can watch which ever cut of a film I prefer too.
 
D

Deleted member 196519

Guest
That’s what the public sees, as well as the convenience of bare shelves at home where they can place some ornamental plates. But what they won’t realise until it’s too late, if they care anyway, is that you can only watch the version they host. That could be a cut version, a TV version, an airline version, a Directors cut, a Theatrical cut, even a censored cut - someone posted up on Facebook a pic of a vampire film where the flimsy garment a female vampire was wearing had been blurred to obscure her nipples - it wasn’t even that bad in the first place (he posted a non censored shot too). But it looked stupid. And that’s the future we are facing. Just like music streaming services, where you can only listen to the most recent version of the album, which will most likely be a compressed remaster. Unless anything has changed over the last few months, you can’t listen to the original release of Roger Waters’ Amused To Death album - as amazing as the recent remaster sounds, I prefer the original, as he has changed too much of it and spoiled my favourite tracks (re-recorded some bits, removed other bits etc).

We can only listen or watch what they want us to listen to or watch. What sort of a future is that? With a physical collection, I can listen to whichever version of an album I prefer, and I can watch which ever cut of a film I prefer too.
I still watch Blu-ray and DVDs, just not 4K Blu-rays.
 
D

Deleted member 196519

Guest
I echo your thoughts David.
Also the likes of Apple and Co, can remove the content at any time they want.
Most of the films I have bought on Apple TV I have watched once if that. So being removed doesn’t particularly bother me, it would’ve be the same in watching if I owned the discs for me personally watch once then never again.
 

Arron

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Aug 24, 2021
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The cost of 4K Blu-ray discs is seriously expensive too! Sure there are some cheap that you probably don’t want but with the likes of Apple TV are undercutting them by some way. Still rarely any music 4K discs all but one I think.
They're not expensive, they're the same price as DVDs were in the 90s. If you take inflation into account, they're about half the price DVDs were in the 90s.

I still watch Blu-ray and DVDs, just not 4K Blu-rays.
I started buying 4Ks then stopped. There are so few where the difference is noticeable between 4K and standard Blu-Ray upscaled to 4K. Even most of the CGI blockbusters fail to make any worthwhile use of HDR and anything from before about 2010 has almost no chance of fully using the colour space. The only films that seem to be worth buying in 4K are the Marvel movies 2010 onwards. Even then, James Gunn seems to be the only one of their directors who understands how to put on a show using HDR. Maybe others will catch up.

The vast majority do not watch a film for the second time. Streaming is too convenient for most to be bothered about whether it's a Director's cit or extended edition etc.
Yeah but we're keen enough to commenting about movies here on the WHF forum. We're not part of the vast majority :D
 
D

Deleted member 196519

Guest
The vast majority do not watch a film for the second time. Streaming is too convenient for most to be bothered about whether it's a Director's cit or extended edition etc.
Agree. (y)
 
Yes, we're a minority. But we're too small a population for manufacturers to be catering to our need for 4K blu rays for too long.
But that’s no reason to take away the best looking and sounding formats for those that want them. What it the point in spending billions developing 4K formats and manufacturing, only to drop it all and switch to offering lower quality 4K streaming? It’s just plain wrong. I appreciate it from a business point of view, but you can’t provide with one hand then take it away with the other.

Films seem to be following music. In the 90s, Napster screwed the music industry and everyone was downloading compressed music for free, and that hasn’t really changed that much - if anything it has grown due to torrent sites. Now that streaming services have come along for films and taken quality back to Napster’s decade, people now want to watch movies for free, and again rely on torrent sites and Kodi to watch films for nothing.

And what it the point in nuying a top notch 4K TV only to watch a compressed 4K film on it? Or not even a 4K film in the first place?

I’ll tell you one thing now - if movie studios expect me to pay for compressed 4K movies (compared to UHD Bluray) in the future after discontinuing physical media, I’ll turn to torrent sites myself - I’m not paying for something that firstly has gone backwards in quality, and secondly that I don’t actually own after paying money for.
 
It seems to me that the market for films will tell you all you need to know - no films, no players, but hopefully many films means there will always be players. It looks like most new, big films get a 4k release, and the back catalogues are gradually being released.

4K Ultra HD Release Dates, 4K Ultra HD Release Calendar (blu-ray.com)

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray: upcoming UK releases and dates – Film Stories

Richer Sounds shows a couple of LG players too, though I don't know how recently they were released. Sounds like a back-up player at some point might be in order to be on the safe side, though!

I stream the odd thing from Amazon and Netflix in 4k, but black depth is still not on a par with physical media. It's good overall, though.
 

Arron

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Aug 24, 2021
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Yes, we're a minority. But we're too small a population for manufacturers to be catering to our need for 4K blu rays for too long.
They'll probably be around for at least another decade. A 4K Blu-Ray is up to 100GB of data. That means to replace it, people all over the world will need to have a huge amount of bandwidth available. Remember that these things sell in lots of countries that are much lower income than us and where bandwidth will be scarce for a long time to come.

Perhaps 4K Blu-ray will start to get more music releases:
Great big meh! Blu Ray and 4K Blu Ray are both able to use Dolby TrueHD so there's no audio advantage to 4K. [Edit: thinking about it, let me tone that meh down a little. 4K would be worthwhile if it's a recent event recorded on HDR cameras and there's a good light show. Even though it's only on DVD, Gary Numan's When the Sky Came Down is a hoot on the projector because of the atmosphere the light show creates.]

Sounds like a back-up player at some point might be in order to be on the safe side, though!
Go with Plex if you can? Rip the discs then keep them safe. Maybe stick a player in the box with them if you want to sell them to an antiques shop in 40 years time but you might as well wait until the players are in the bargain bucket if you want to do that.
 
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Arron

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Aug 24, 2021
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I'd have to file that under 'can't be bothered', though that could just as easily be stated as 'don't want to try something new', I suppose.
Fair enough. I moved my collection over to Plex in Jan and have never looked back. If it gives you some confidence in players still being around and there being no need to worry, think about vinyl. It should have died in the 80s but it's still here and you can still go buy a new deck. While DVD/BD/4K will probably be replaced by streaming eventually, there are vast numbers of discs out there that people will want to play for decades to come.
 

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