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Old 06-28-2018, 05:40 PM   #1
NotASpeckOfCereal NotASpeckOfCereal is offline
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Default Netflix Disc Rental Future

Hey all,

I'd like to start a thread about the future of Netflix disc rental. If this isn't the appropriate forum area, feel free to re-direct.

I am a Netflix subscriber of both disc and streaming. When I tell friends this, I actually get some questions about discs. "What do you mean, the actual DVDs?" I explain the disc thing saying "Yes, and blu-rays too", how Netflix was once disc only (it wasn't that long ago) and streaming used to be a free add-on, only later to be charged for and then become the main Netflix business model in the battle for original content, etc.

If the conversation goes further I explain the differences—such as the fidelity difference, which often gets me blank stares—but mostly I try to point out the availability problem:
  • Netflix streaming does not offer anything near the number of film titles they have on disc, much less all that is available today.
  • TV shows I am interested in, but don't subscribe to huge cable channel packages (Hulu. SyFy, USA, HBO, FX, etc.): I can just rent the season when it's available on disc, but that's starting to disappear now that they want you to pay for streaming.
So my main question to you for this thread is: will Netflix continue to have disc rental in the foreseeable future, or is the end already near?

If not Netflix, what other means do we have to keep physical media alive, because buying the discs?

On the topic of disc ownership, I own a pretty good library, but we're starting to see some titles not coming out on disc. For now, it seems to be mostly TV series mentioned above, but I worry about tomorrow and I mostly fear for film titles becoming streaming-only.

Discuss!

Chris
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Old 06-28-2018, 05:43 PM   #2
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Old 06-28-2018, 05:48 PM   #3
splintersan splintersan is online now
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I think they'll continue with the Disc aspect of their business for a few more years at least. Until they don't see a profit for an extended period of time.

I ended up dropping the disc base portion of it last year after being a subscriber for over 10 years. I got to a point where I could not keep up with the discs coming in and was just wasting money. I buy too many blurays that they don't carry to justify the extra cost each month. If they had a better selection and availability I would probably have convinced my self to keep it. I waited on average 2-4 weeks for a new release, I used to have a shipping center in the city next to where I live but they closed up shop and the closest one was two states over so my movies were taking 3-4 days to ship back and forth. I used to be able to work it where I could get two movies a week with shipping, it turned into 1 movie every week and half.

I too worry about films only coming to streaming and no physical release so if there is a contract dispute or they don't feel like renewing anything the film can just disappear. There are a lot of Shudder exclusive films I would love to own and while I've seen a few pop up on disc not all of them. Same with the Netflix exclusives. Okja I would love a beautiful bluray or UHD of it. Because that was joint funding we may end up with a Korean bluray at some point down the road. But other films are not so lucky.
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Old 06-28-2018, 05:51 PM   #4
MifuneFan MifuneFan is offline
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Wow, I just found out Netflix owns DVD.com. Their disc business is apparently still hugely profitable.
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Old 06-28-2018, 05:54 PM   #5
TripleHBK TripleHBK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotASpeckOfCereal View Post
Hey all,

I'd like to start a thread about the future of Netflix disc rental. If this isn't the appropriate forum area, feel free to re-direct.

I am a Netflix subscriber of both disc and streaming. When I tell friends this, I actually get some questions about discs. "What do you mean, the actual DVDs?" I explain the disc thing saying "Yes, and blu-rays too", how Netflix was once disc only (it wasn't that long ago) and streaming used to be a free add-on, only later to be charged for and then become the main Netflix business model in the battle for original content, etc.

If the conversation goes further I explain the differences—such as the fidelity difference, which often gets me blank stares—but mostly I try to point out the availability problem:
  • Netflix streaming does not offer anything near the number of film titles they have on disc, much less all that is available today.
  • TV shows I am interested in, but don't subscribe to huge cable channel packages (Hulu. SyFy, USA, HBO, FX, etc.): I can just rent the season when it's available on disc, but that's starting to disappear now that they want you to pay for streaming.
So my main question to you for this thread is: will Netflix continue to have disc rental in the foreseeable future, or is the end already near?

If not Netflix, what other means do we have to keep physical media alive, because buying the discs?

On the topic of disc ownership, I own a pretty good library, but we're starting to see some titles not coming out on disc. For now, it seems to be mostly TV series mentioned above, but I worry about tomorrow and I mostly fear for film titles becoming streaming-only.

Discuss!

Chris
There was an article that was recently posted somewhere online that I read that has stated that the physical rental aspect of Netflix has been the only portion that has kept Netflix profitable in the last few years as they've pushed hard for the streaming aspect in several countries (including the US) but that as a whole it's actually been hemorrhaging money. Large sections of the country still utilize DSL with little to no options for speed increases available. It's great that New York and LA have 2gbps internet and Neflix streams at rates equivalent to a disc, but for much of the country that is either a) not available or b) too damn expensive to afford. The physical rental model may not have the luster of streaming to corporate America but it remains the most profitable aspect of that entire business. It won't be going anywhere for awhile.

Further proof of this can be found the by recent announcement that Red Box is going to start carrying WB titles day and date with their official release dates rather than making the machines wait for the 30-60 day release day window that formally was in effect.

I've said it before in the last month and I'll go on a limb and say it again now. Physical media/Streaming/and digital downloads have all sort of found their niche for the moment and we are at a point of equilibrium. All 3 have their markets, but physical media sales still far exceed either of the other delivery methods. As companies each look at their own services and as more and more fragmentation occurs, I would expect that physical media won't just survive, but could actually see a slight rebound in sales in the near future.

The era of the casual consumer having large collections may have passed, but the era of super consumers (ie most of us on this forum) is in full swing and clearly is successful given the sheer number of companies that continue to pop up to release titles.
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:01 PM   #6
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There was another recent article - http://https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/...ork-there.html

Internal projections see DVD.com lasting until 2025.
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MifuneFan View Post
Wow, I just found out Netflix owns DVD.com. Their disc business is apparently still hugely profitable.
It is kind of that just a few million disc renters makes them a large part of their profit as compared to > 100 million streamers.
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:09 PM   #8
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I just canceled my Netflix disc rental subscription yesterday. I had a 30 day free trial since I was a former customer and did one month paid at $14.99 for 2 discs at a time.

It’s a good service, but I just can’t justify the cost when I have a cable subscription with all of the movie channels, Netflix streaming, Hulu, Amazon Prime, as well as movies that I own that I haven’t watched. It’s just overkill.

Same deal when the XM Radio sales rep called me last night wanting me to buy a subscription package before my free trial runs out. I have terrestrial radio, podcasts from my cell phone, Amazon Music, I Heart Radio, Pandora. It’s overkill.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmbuffTX View Post
I just canceled my Netflix disc rental subscription yesterday. I had a 30 day free trial since I was a former customer and did one month paid at $14.99 for 2 discs at a time.

It’s a good service, but I just can’t justify the cost when I have a cable subscription with all of the movie channels, Netflix streaming, Hulu, Amazon Prime, as well as movies that I own that I haven’t watched. It’s just overkill.

Same deal when the XM Radio sales rep called me last night wanting me to buy a subscription package before my free trial runs out. I have terrestrial radio, podcasts from my cell phone, Amazon Music, I Heart Radio, Pandora. It’s overkill.
I just can't justify the cost of all these cable/sat movie packages and streaming services. (Movies at times with station logos, altered aspect ratios and inferior picture/audio quality. No thanks.) It's overkill when I have plenty to choose from via my Netflix disc rental subscription not to mention all the movies and TV shows I actually own which I purchase on Blu-ray.

I just can't justify all these audio (music, news, talk) streaming services. It's overkill when I have plenty to choose from via my SiriusXM subscription (which includes exclusive content I listen to daily) not to mention all the music I actually own which I purchase on disc and digitally.

See, two can play at that game. All in good fun my friend. Different strokes for different folks.

Last edited by AmishParadise; 06-28-2018 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:52 PM   #10
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Count me as a happy Netflix disc by mail customer. Even if it is streaming I'll still wait for the Blu-Ray by mail for the better picture and sound.
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:10 PM   #11
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Does Netflix's disc service have much from Scream Factory, Arrow, Vinegar Syndrome, Kino, Scorpion and/or Code Red? I suppose it could be a good way for me to sample titles instead of blind buying so much.
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meglos View Post
Count me as a happy Netflix disc by mail customer. Even if it is streaming I'll still wait for the Blu-Ray by mail for the better picture and sound.
You must be hooked up Wireless with Low Bandwidth, because with enough Bandwidth and Consistency you should get Disc Quality!
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by alchav21 View Post
You must be hooked up Wireless with Low Bandwidth, because with enough Bandwidth and Consistency you should get Disc Quality!
Over here now spreading your false gospel, eh? New location, same misinformation.

Streaming in HD averages a bitrate of just 16 Mbps; a blu-ray disc averages around 25-27 Mbps.

Streaming in 4K averages a bitrate of 25 Mbps; a 4K disc averages a bitrate of 75-80 Mbps.

Both streaming levels only offer lossy audio. Both disc formats can offer lossless audio.

Streaming is much more compressed.

You can stream just fine over a wireless network, too. Most people do exactly that- including a CIO and software engineer that is a personal friend of mine- he streams with no issues over a wireless network. He has told me directly that you do not need to be hard wired in order to stream these anemic bitrates, which average just 25 Mbps for a 4K stream. A properly setup wireless network with even an ancient G standard router can support the streaming bitrates listed above. A N router does it with ease and a new AC router handles it with hands tied behind its back and blind folded.

Therefore, by all objective measures streaming has NOT matched disc quality. Maybe someday, but that someday is not today.

Last edited by Vilya; 06-28-2018 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinInfinity View Post
How the heck do you justify the absurd cost of a cable subscription with all the movie channels?
I follow sports and my local sports teams play their regular season games on a cable network. I also like to be able to watch the nationally televised games on TNT, ESPN, and NFL Network. I like to be able to watch series as they air and not have to wait 6 months to a year to watch them on disc or streaming. I DVR movies and series and watch them at my leisure. Many that aren't available on disc or streaming. I also watch a bit of cable news. There's a lot of good content on cable TV. I still watch movies 90% of the time on disc.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:10 AM   #15
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This is literally the first month without DVDs from Netflix (I refuse to call them DVD.com) in over 14 years. Echoing what splintersean said, I couldn't keep up with discs they were sending me when trying to keep current on streaming options and what I already own on disc. Glad to read they're doing well with the discs still. If I ever get to the point where my viewing habits change back and I have time, I'll GLADLY go and rebuild my queue, which had become quite bloated with a lot of things I really wasn't that interested in.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilya View Post
Streaming in HD averages a bitrate of just 16 Mbps; a blu-ray disc averages around 25-27 Mbps.

Streaming in 4K averages a bitrate of 25 Mbps; a 4K disc averages a bitrate of 75-80 Mbps.

Both streaming levels only offer lossy audio. Both disc formats can offer lossless audio.

Streaming is much more compressed.

You can stream just fine over a wireless network, too. Most people do exactly that- including a CIO and software engineer that is a personal friend of mine- he streams with no issues over a wireless network. He has told me directly that you do not need to be hard wired in order to stream these anemic bitrates, which average just 25 Mbps for a 4K stream. A properly setup wireless network with even an ancient G standard router can support the streaming bitrates listed above. A N router does it with ease and a new AC router handles it with hands tied behind its back and blind folded.

Therefore, by all objective measures streaming has NOT matched disc quality. Maybe someday, but that someday is not today.
Hey Vilya, you know I'm Hard Wired with a Fiber Feed at a Consistent 75Mbps Symmetrical, and my Streaming HD and UHD are Fantastic. Your CIO Engineer must not know that much if he says Wireless is as good as Wired. I watch UHD Movies now on Vudu, and they have ATMOS and the Sound is Outstanding, granted my Sound is Optical Headphones, but that is all I need. Wireless is good enough, but Hard Wired will give you the same Consistent Bandwidth like your Players HDMI Cable.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilya View Post
Over here now spreading your false gospel, eh? New location, same misinformation.

Streaming in HD averages a bitrate of just 16 Mbps; a blu-ray disc averages around 25-27 Mbps.

Streaming in 4K averages a bitrate of 25 Mbps; a 4K disc averages a bitrate of 75-80 Mbps.

Both streaming levels only offer lossy audio. Both disc formats can offer lossless audio.

Streaming is much more compressed.

You can stream just fine over a wireless network, too. Most people do exactly that- including a CIO and software engineer that is a personal friend of mine- he streams with no issues over a wireless network. He has told me directly that you do not need to be hard wired in order to stream these anemic bitrates, which average just 25 Mbps for a 4K stream. A properly setup wireless network with even an ancient G standard router can support the streaming bitrates listed above. A N router does it with ease and a new AC router handles it with hands tied behind its back and blind folded.

Therefore, by all objective measures streaming has NOT matched disc quality. Maybe someday, but that someday is not today.
The problem with wireless is that sometimes the speeds will drop due to interference. So for example, most of the time you may be getting 25 mbps from the wireless router but then sometimes the signal will drop to 6 mbps due to an sudden interference. Ethernet does not have this issue.

Last edited by PCFan; 06-29-2018 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:36 AM   #18
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Not worth it imo. I have had so many discs that were either defective or so marked up that I couldn't even watch them the whole way through. I'd rather just go down to Redbox and rent a Blu-ray for $2.00/day or buy the disc used on eBay or Amazon.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alchav21 View Post
Hey Vilya, you know I'm Hard Wired with a Fiber Feed at a Consistent 75Mbps Symmetrical, and my Streaming HD and UHD are Fantastic. Your CIO Engineer must not know that much if he says Wireless is as good as Wired. I watch UHD Movies now on Vudu, and they have ATMOS and the Sound is Outstanding, granted my Sound is Optical Headphones, but that is all I need. Wireless is good enough, but Hard Wired will give you the same Consistent Bandwidth like your Players HDMI Cable.
Once again your lack of reading comprehension is simply stunning.

My friend, the software engineer and CIO, knows more now than you could ever hope to in 100 life times. He said a properly setup wireless home network is more than adequate to stream movies. That is not the same thing, at all, as saying that a wired network equals a wireless one.

We already know that you are happy with highly compressed streamed video and lossy audio, played thru head phones at that. You never set the bar very high. Many of us have higher standards, thankfully.

Last edited by Vilya; 06-29-2018 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:59 AM   #20
Vilya Vilya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCFan View Post
The problem with wireless is that sometimes the speeds will drop due to interference. So for example, most of the time you may be getting 25 mbps from the wireless router but then sometimes the signal will drop to 6 mbps due to an sudden interference. Ethernet does not have this issue.
Random interference has never been a problem here. Unreliable Internet service, however, is a recurring issue.

If signal interference is a problem, a wired connection will solve it. Many people use wireless home networks for streaming, so signal interference must be rather uncommon. It is not difficult to run an ethernet cable after all. Anyone can do that, it's just most of us don't need to do so.

Last edited by Vilya; 06-29-2018 at 02:06 AM.
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