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(Chicago Trib)   Rentals of physical movies down 10% in the first half of 2012. What's truly shocking is there are still Blockbusters around   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 79
    More: Obvious, rentals  
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1115 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 09 Aug 2012 at 3:57 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-09 11:03:22 AM  
Happy Hours:
Blockbuster doesn't have adult videos unless there's a special door to a back room I haven't found yet.

Try asking for a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

/that was the urban legend at a greasy spoon restaurant (Lino's, Kingston, Queen's University) to ask to go upstairs to the hookers
 
2012-08-09 11:05:00 AM  

limeyfellow: This! AT&T adsl limit my bandwidth to 150GB a month. At streaming rates of 2GB hour, that would give me 75 hours of video a month, so about 1 movie a day if I do nothing else. The limitations are so slow so they can drive netflix and similar companies out of business and try and push uverse instead on the people for much more limited choice at much greater cost.


Won't happen. The courts will step in.
 
2012-08-09 11:09:26 AM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: limeyfellow: This! AT&T adsl limit my bandwidth to 150GB a month. At streaming rates of 2GB hour, that would give me 75 hours of video a month, so about 1 movie a day if I do nothing else. The limitations are so slow so they can drive netflix and similar companies out of business and try and push uverse instead on the people for much more limited choice at much greater cost.

Won't happen. The courts will step in.


The courts and state assembly in NC is so much in the pockets of AT&T and Time Warner, that it will have to come from the Federal side to block it. They already banned Municipals from providing internet access since a few cities had set up ftth with no restrictions for about the same price as dsl and coax cable around here. Massive amounts of campaign contributions from the two companies got laws passed banning any other city from setting up a similar project. You don't challenge their monopolies.
 
2012-08-09 11:12:59 AM  
farm8.staticflickr.com

c.800,000 sqft Blockbuster head quarters (I think) office/warehouse near my work in McKinney, Texas. Over past 2 years there have been less and less cars. A couple days ago, only one car in parking lot.
 
2012-08-09 11:58:26 AM  
Adult videos!?? It's called the internet.
 
2012-08-09 12:10:27 PM  
All Hollywood Video and Blockbuster stores have closed in my area and the towns next to me. Redbox kiosks are all over the place at ever grocery story, walgreens, walmart. That combined with Netflix subscriptions, no reason to go to a video store and deal with their shiat.
 
2012-08-09 12:16:58 PM  

KatjaMouse: InmanRoshi: When I hear everyone claim they're canceling their Netflix streaming subscriptions because there's no new releases and therefore nothing to watch, I know I'm not really of the novie watching public. Everytime I'm at a Redbox and scroll through all the Hollywood studio new releases I find absolutely nothing to watch, and typically just go back home to find a documentary, indie or foreign film on Netflix streaming. Generally anything released by a Hollywood studio from March-October is absolutely unwatchable.

Not to mention because of Netflix and other online channels for doing business indie film makers can way more easily get their work out there rather than going through the old studio system.


I definitely find that's true with documentaries. I grew up with the suburbia megaplex and corporate brick and mortar video rental places world in the 80's and 90's, and I had very little exposure to documentaries. Maybe a few big ones like When We Were Kings would find it's way into Blockbuster. I remember watching Hoop Dreams at the Cineplex just because I had never seen a documentary in a theater. Thanks to streamking, the accessibility and sheer volume of documentaries compared to where we were just 10 years ago is mind-boggling.
 
2012-08-09 12:21:48 PM  

AiryAnne: c.800,000 sqft Blockbuster head quarters (I think) office/warehouse near my work in McKinney, Texas. Over past 2 years there have been less and less cars. A couple days ago, only one car in parking lot.


That's the distribution center. The hdq was in downtown Dallas on Elm St. (before Dish bought them).

/interviewed there in 2006, it was obvious at that time their business model was failing.
 
2012-08-09 12:34:39 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Not until Netflix has adult videos will video rental shops go out of business.

I'm perplexed as to why Netflix hasn't gotten into this business already.


"Rent" adult videos?

Bwuh?

I understand the meaning of these words individually...

Are you implying that there are people out there who actually spend real money on porn? And on an as-needed basis?

Surely you are a madman.


But on the topic of Blockbuster, I have to say that I'm still surprised every time I get a new phone and see the Blockbuster app pre-installed. The first thing I think is, "shiat, those guys are still around?" The second thing is, "great, now I'm going to have this app there forever, even after they go out of business in a week." Seems like Verizon is trolling Blockbuster by taking their money to put such a useless app on every phone. It's like the schoolyard bully taking lunch money from the starving kid.
 
2012-08-09 01:06:48 PM  

Happy Hours: The DVD I have out now has about 10 minutes of previews that it forces me to watch before I get to the movie and by that point I've been utterly bored so I've tried to watch it twice and have given up both times.


When I rent videos, I usually pop the disk into the DVD player when I walk in the door, then later that night when I'm ready to watch them, I can turn on the TV and the disk is sitting ready to play by then.

I used to have a similar routine with a computer with a 5-minute boot.
 
2012-08-09 01:20:34 PM  
I will say, there's something I enjoy about stepping foot into a physical game, movie or music store. There's something about browsing through all those piles of classic titles, obscure flops and forgotten gems. And hey, I can walk into a used game/movie/record store with $20 and usually walk out with a few cool goodies.
 
2012-08-09 01:26:19 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: GoldDude: I still buy Blu-Ray discs of movies I want to see more than once. I would prefer to download HD-quality movies from iTunes, but the quality is still not as good as Blu-Ray and iTunes HD almost always costs more than a physical Blu-Ray disc.

Yeah, most downloaded HD is pretty shatty. They compress the hell out of it and picture detail gets lost. It's the only way they can make the download a reasonable size. If it was Blu-Ray quality, it sure as hell wouldn't be a gimpy 4GB. Try over 4 times that.


Streaming isn't so terrible if the price is right. For example, Amazon offers HD Lite quality streaming for their rentals and Prime Instant Videos, but I typically grab newer movies as cheap rentals ($1.99 for HD and $0.99 for SD quality), and I buy enough stuff from them that my Prime membership pays for itself with the shipping so the streaming videos are a nice bonus. At those prices, I'm not too upset at the lower quality. For any movies that have eye candy that I really want to enjoy, I'll go buy them on Blu-Ray, but something like Bridesmaids or 21 Jump Street doesn't need to be in pristine HD quality.
 
2012-08-09 01:57:32 PM  

Leader O'Cola: [i.imgur.com image 200x303] laments he was born in the wrong century

1) Sell people fancy expensive HDTV's
2) Convince them to display low quality hdlite streaming content buy marginally better "Monster" HDMI cables at a 200% markup
3) Profit

/idiocracy is here



FTFY
 
2012-08-09 02:48:09 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: GoldDude: I still buy Blu-Ray discs of movies I want to see more than once. I would prefer to download HD-quality movies from iTunes, but the quality is still not as good as Blu-Ray and iTunes HD almost always costs more than a physical Blu-Ray disc.

Yeah, most downloaded HD is pretty shatty. They compress the hell out of it and picture detail gets lost. It's the only way they can make the download a reasonable size. If it was Blu-Ray quality, it sure as hell wouldn't be a gimpy 4GB. Try over 4 times that.


Honest question: How many times has that lost detail actually impacted your ability to see and understand a film?

Not saying it doesn't happen, or that better quality isn't something worth having. I buy BRDs of the movies I really like and which actually benefit from the increase in picture quality (others I just get on DVD). I've just never found a single instance where the streaming option's quality was so low that it actually impacted my ability to see, understand and enjoy the story. Well, not since the early days of YouTube, at any rate.

People make too much of a stink over picture quality these days. Just because BRD and 4K quality exist, doesn't make them a prerequisite for watching a movie and enjoying the hell out of it (or even paying for it). When I was a kid (oh god, not this crap...), my local theater had pretty shiat projector equipment and their screen was in rough shape (too expensive to replace, as it was tremendously huge for the time). Never once thought to complain about how movies shown in this theater were slightly less-sharp and mildly distorted by the patches in the screen. I just watched the damn movie and either liked it or not.

Now, are pricing schemes all farked up? Hell yeah. Overpriced to start, then the lowest-cost, lowest-quality method of delivery is priced to compete with the physical option. Fix the pricing model and everything will be fine.

/adjusts onion
 
2012-08-09 02:48:53 PM  
I recently got a regular membership at my local Blockbuster. Bonus Fark: I had to WAIT IN LINE to do it. The one by my house is doing fine.

The store actually gets pretty busy in the evenings! I got the card so I could rent Dexter DVD's (I have Netflix by Mail, and if you've seen Dexter - you understand that waiting a couple days for the next disc is not an option)

Older releases are 99 cents a night (cheaper than Redbox, with an almost infinitely bigger selection). The deal is good! New releases are only 1.99.

Oddly enough - I have found the experience of browsing the shelves very nostalgic and fun. Now, instead of merely a stop-gap Dexter fill-in, I have picked up other movies as well. It's cheaper than renting them on demand from my cable provider. I like being able to pickup and browse the DVD cases instead of scrolling through thumbnails on a computer screen. It feels really retro, and I actually enjoy it.

The location is RIGHT on my way home too, zero detour, so dropping off flicks adds only about 45 seconds to my 10 minute commute.
 
2012-08-09 02:52:38 PM  

Kuroshin: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: GoldDude: I still buy Blu-Ray discs of movies I want to see more than once. I would prefer to download HD-quality movies from iTunes, but the quality is still not as good as Blu-Ray and iTunes HD almost always costs more than a physical Blu-Ray disc.


People make too much of a stink over picture quality these days. Just because BRD and 4K quality exist, doesn't make them a prerequisite for watching a movie and enjoying the hell out of it (or even paying for it).

/adjusts onion


I have almost no preference over DVD/BluRay...the quality is perfectly fine for either option when viewed via HDMI. If I'm buying a movie for my library like LOTR or another "epic" I'll upgrade for the BluRay, but for something like Spaceballs...DVD is fine. No problem.
 
2012-08-09 03:14:38 PM  
It's been a few years since I've seen a big video rental place around here.
 
2012-08-09 03:54:36 PM  
I passed a blockbuster around here just the other day, i did a double take, "WTF? Is that blockbuster... open?"
 
hej
2012-08-09 04:14:23 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Not until Netflix has adult videos will video rental shops go out of business.

I'm perplexed as to why Netflix hasn't gotten into this business already.


I don't understand why you'd rent adult videos physically or need to stream them on Netflix when there is infinity free pr0n on about a million different websites around the internet.
 
2012-08-09 04:35:05 PM  
Netflix & Amazon
 
2012-08-09 04:47:17 PM  

BigBooper: KrispyKritter: BigBooper: Captain_Ballbeard: I'm finally starting to love my Netflix. The limited selection makes me search out good films, without much Hollywood crap in the way. I would never have seen The Man From Nowhere, Let The Right One In or God Bless America had Ballbuster been my only source.

Netflix has such a good kids selection, that we were able to drop cable. We were paying over $100 a month for phone, internet and TV with Time Warner. We went to DSL (it's slower but it works) for $20 a month, got set up with VOIP, and get our local channels free. Our three year old still gets her Dora and the like from Netflix, and were saving a ton of cash. If we had been using some of the twenty shopping channels, or the twenty religious channels or any of the 200 crappy music channels, it would have been different. But were were paying a ton for something we were hardly using.

/I'll just have to get my Game of Thrones fix other ways.

i'd love to know more on how this works. our last and current TV signal carrier blow dog and the package costs a fortune per month. i understand DSL is your service line for Internet, and i googled VOIP, from what i read that is for your Telephone service. how do you manage to get local channels for free? we live in the valley of a mountain terrain area and get no TV signal at all without some sort of hooked-up service. my wife will be happy as long as she can watch the few programs she has time for.

i really screwed the pooch 3 years ago when i bought the 1-800 ladies lies telling me everything i wanted to hear when i signed us up for DishNetwork, which caused unhappiness from day one. i'd love to set up our house like it's 2012 and i know what i'm doing. anyone that can point me to a how-to, i'd really appreciate that. i'm freaking clueless as to what i'm doing and i need to do something as our contract with DishN is finally running out in a month or two. thanks!

For TV, we put a huge ass antenna in our attic. Go to tvfool.com ...


Sweet! BigBopper, thank you so much!
 
2012-08-09 04:48:23 PM  
I saw a Blockbuster Video still in business last weekend in Concord, CA. I almost took a picture of it because was like seeing Bigfoot.
 
2012-08-09 06:02:34 PM  
Late to the party. I was expecting subby's headline to be a math joke about 10% of 0.
 
2012-08-09 07:46:14 PM  

BigBooper: AverageAmericanGuy: Not until Netflix has adult videos will video rental shops go out of business.

I'm perplexed as to why Netflix hasn't gotten into this business already.

We have a local chain that does pretty good business yet because they have a separate adult room with hundreds of x-rated movies, free children's videos, and a large selection of video games. They compete with Redbox on price, but have a much larger selection. They also let kids get free rentals with good grades. When report cards come, little Tommy wants to use one of his free rentals to try Super Alien Death Slaughter, mommy picks out an obscure foreign chick flick, dad disappears into the room behind the curtain to browse the smut, and before they leave, they grab Elmo's wonderland or the like for Tommy's little sister (from the free kids selection). The whole family can get something for five nights for five or six bucks.

"Family Video" has carved out a niche, while all the blockbusters in our area have gone out.



It seems kind of sketchy that they'd put the free children's videos in the separate room with the porn, but whatever keeps your customers coming, I guess.
 
2012-08-09 08:25:48 PM  
Still waiting for these to make a comeback:

farm2.staticflickr.com

Don't let me down RCA!
 
2012-08-09 09:37:42 PM  
I know theres no more Blockbusters in Chesapea, VA. Last one closed back in March. Scored a few $2 blus there. That location had been there 20 years at least, and surprised it survived the many closure rounds before it. Theres a mom and pop chain thats about 4 miles from that Ballbuster thats actually pretty good, but haven't been in years.

Lately, I cut back to Netflix streaming. Granted I live a my parents for the time being about don't have to worry about the cable bill myself. When me and my ex had an apartment we made due with DSL and over the air TV. What we couldn't stream, like Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, etc, I just hit up "other methods" of acquisition.
 
2012-08-09 09:44:19 PM  

boonfarker: Still waiting for these to make a comeback:

[farm2.staticflickr.com image 466x500]

Don't let me down RCA!


Hey, SelectaVision was the bomb like Affleck in Phantoms.

i21.ebayimg.com

The video is all stored in analog grooves, so it is so much "warmer" than DVD or Blu-Ray, since those groves can capture every subtle nuance of the NTSC video signal instead of forcing it into a bunch of ones and zeros like the digital formats.

Of course, if you are a true videophile, you'll want to go with reel to reel:

www.rewindmuseum.com
 
2012-08-10 10:03:32 AM  

Kuroshin: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: GoldDude: I still buy Blu-Ray discs of movies I want to see more than once. I would prefer to download HD-quality movies from iTunes, but the quality is still not as good as Blu-Ray and iTunes HD almost always costs more than a physical Blu-Ray disc.

Yeah, most downloaded HD is pretty shatty. They compress the hell out of it and picture detail gets lost. It's the only way they can make the download a reasonable size. If it was Blu-Ray quality, it sure as hell wouldn't be a gimpy 4GB. Try over 4 times that.

Honest question: How many times has that lost detail actually impacted your ability to see and understand a film?


Understand? Not often. It's a matter of quality in that situation. As far as image quality goes, in dark movies (any Batman film, Dark City, Miami Vice, etc.) it makes a HUGE difference. And even in some not-so-dark movies, the Blu-Ray edition is ridiculously better looking. E.G. The Matrix.
 
2012-08-10 02:54:17 PM  
I work part time at a little indie movie store in Marin County. It's of course hard to compete with Redbox and Netflix, but we've managed to carve out a niche thanks in part to how many movies we have packed into our little store and the fact that we carry tons of old classics and BBC imports (very popular with the older renters, of which we have many). Who knows how long we'll eventually last, but it's always nice to see people enjoying actually being able to browse through physical DVDs. I enjoy working there too, aside from getting asked, "What's a good movie to watch?" Jesus christ, that is such a vague and subjective question.
 
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