Boiling Point: Digital Copies

Anyone who knows me knows I love me the DVDs. Buy ‘em up! Gotta catch ‘em all like they were Pokemon. I appreciate it when the releasing company goes that extra mile. Tacks on some extras, some sweet packaging, an entire supplementary disc. Oh yeah.

But lately there is a trend that is driving me nuts. The “digital copy” 2-disc edition. Basically there is an entire second disc that is nothing but a digital version of the movie for your iPod or Zune or whatever else you cool kids have. Now, I am totally against watching movies on 3 inch screens. I don’t even like watching movies on my 20″ computer monitor or a TV smaller than 30-some inches. Movies are meant to be experienced big. Not squinted over. So right off the bat I’m bothered by this.

But further, now these “two disc” DVDs are basically just 1 disc DVDs, with a second disc I might as well throw away. I’m not going to use it. It’s a waste. Make that content downloadable or something. Maybe you’re thinking “so what?” But I’ll tell you what. They’re shoving all the special features onto the first disc in this instance, which means the movie and/or the extras need more compression to fit. Less quality. Balls. Straight balls, man.

Live Free or Die Hard definitely did this. Nuts. Aliens vs Predator: Requiem just balled me too. I was so confused at my local DVD repository. Three different versions of AvP:R. One was the single disc edition. One was the two-disc special edition. And then there was a third one that came with a comic book. I bought the comic book one because I love goodies. But I studied all three cases. Now, the latter two both were two discs, and both had a digital copy. So their main movie discs had the same features, namely the movie and a bunch of featurettes. I check the single disc release and its got virtually nothing. Maybe some commentary and some trailers.

So what we have here is the single disc with no features. And the two disc set which is actually just a digital copy and then the single disc release, with more compression and the special features tacked onto it. So Fox pumped out three different DVDs. Movie disc, Movie + Features disc, and digital copy disc. For some reason this rubs me the wrong way. Give me a real 2 disc release. I want another 4.7gb of features. Not a digital copy. Hey, I already bought the movie. I don’t need to buy it twice. These aren’t real two disc releases and it pisses me off. You’re giving me two discs of the same movie and that doesn’t seem sporting. I’m paying an extra $5, give me more material, not a crappier resolution of the same material. And really, you’re giving me an inferior copy of the film, considering the compression must be entirely different.

Now maybe there is some techno-gap between me and the next generation. Maybe kids these days love watching their favorite movies shrunk down to the size of a deck of cards and need digital downloads put on disc so they can start on DVD then transition to PSP and take the bus. But me, I’m past my boiling point. I’m tired of getting screwed at the cash register over price on these “special edition” releases that aren’t giving me anything special. Damn it.


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