Why DVD’s Suck?

Allrighty then… (via digg)

So let’s get past the bad spelling and grammar in this article and get to the nuts and bolts of this guy’s complaint.

The argument is simple. You paid 20$ for a DVD, you should get to watch the content ad-free since you paid to purchase the DVD.

The price of manufacturing a DVD itself has come down. My estimate based on how much it costs me to produce an actual DVD at home, is somewhere around 1.50$ per disc. This is just for the disc itself. This doesn’t include the intellectual content or any of that other stuff, but even then, if you break all that out, the MPAA still makes a ton of money off a DVD sale. Just like the RIAA makes a ton of money off a CD sale. So what’s the deal? Why the ads?

It’s simple.

The MPAA is interested in making more money. The companies that place these ads are paying them money to put the ads on the DVDs. No, you should not have to watch the ads for the next ten years that you will own the disc. No, it’s not fair. But we had the same argument when commercials started appearing at the front of VHS tapes. Then it was argued that there should be a rental version of a movie, and a non-rental version.

To this day, ads still appear at the front of every VHS tape released.

What this means is that the MPAA doesn’t really care about what consumers want out of their media experience. What they care about, is making as much money as they possibly can off a single title. That includes packing advertisements into it as many ways as possible so that they get the most bang for their 1.50$ cost investment into the DVD product.

The problem is, this is exactly the sort of attitude that drove consumers to piracy when it came to digital music. Consumers want to be able to listen to the music they like, on the equipment they own, their way (mixed cd’s of music with other artists, and things of this nature). Many consumers still pirate digital music via various and sundry p2p services because the RIAA never fixed the problem. They continue to feed the public with artists of substandard talent at best, and charge a ridiculous premium for the one or two artists with actual musical gifts they’ve managed to come across in the last twenty years. We know a shitty performance when we see it.

The same thing is true with movies. The truth is, the theater experience is really starting to suck. The theaters are often out of compliance with THX and Dolby standards. Most movie theaters have added seating to the front row, putting audiences far too close to the picture to even see the film. Audio systems are poorly calibrated in most theaters, and those few theaters that don’t have these problems are being bought up left and right by large theater corporations and left to stand empty so that they can weed out competition.

So we’ve started heading home to watch our movies. The difference between today and the days of doing this with a VCR is that today.. the MPAA can lockout our fast forward button. They have more control over their content, and they seem to revel in taking it away from the person who has the remote control.

I won’t be surprised if we see an increase in film piracy as a result of the extending lengths of advertisements in front of movies. Particularly, if these DVDs continue to lock out the “next” button.