Netflix DVDs

I checked for threads on the subject, but my search-fu has always been weak, so maybe this has been discussed.

I’m noticing that Netflix new release DVDs are going back to the days of forced previews and are now dumping special features. Watched a movie the other day that explicitly said that if you want special features, buy the damn DVD (well, it left out the ‘damn’ but it was implied).

It’s bad enough the movie studios are doing everything in their power to squeeze out Netflix on streaming (while not offering a comparable product). But to offer up shitty ‘rental’ DVDs instead of actual releases is yet more shitty behavior on the part of the content providers.

Agreed. I watched Repo Men the other day (which I enjoyed way more than I thought I would), and when I tried to watch the deleted scenes, I got the same thing saying that if you want the full viewing experience buy the DVD. What crap.

Huh, I just watched my first new-ish release on a Netflix DVD last night (Inception on BDVD) and did find it kind of strange that I was forced to watch previews and there were no menu items except PLAY and LANGUAGES.

Looking it up I see that the real Inception BDVD is 2 discs and the first disc has more than just the movie. Netflix doesn’t even mention a second disc.

Ah well. I guess I am happy that I saw a movie within 2 years of its theatrical release. Maybe Netflix has enough subscribers like me that this isn’t a problem. Extras are nice tho, I agree.

Cutting the bonus features is actually beneficial from Netflix’s point of view if they are trying to move away from physical DVDs in favor of streaming content. This eliminates an advantage that physical discs have previously held over streaming.

The forced previews are just bullshit in any case.

I don’t care about the previews - I can fast forward. But it does bother me that they’re removing the special features from the DVDs.

I mostly watch Blu-Ray titles via Netflix. I usually find that I can hit skip chapter to move through the previews. For the ones where that doesn’t work, I use the fast-forward button to move through them quickly (the top setting is 120x, so it doesn’t take much time to get through them).

Yea, I noticed the same thing with my plan. I like Netflix but I don’t like this.

Rather widespread gripe and probably changes are not going to happen soon if ever. Read old blog entries over the past couple of years at Hacking NetFlix and you may find some explanations as to how these things came to happen.

There may be some information at “The Netflix Blog”, down below the forum.

I know why these changes are happening. Netflix is nothing without content providers, and those content providers are jealous of Netflix profiting from their work. They would rather restrict Netflix and price them out of business than have their programs enjoyed. That’s why when the studios say “28 day delay”, Netflix has to respond “Thank you sir, may I have another”. Starz is next in line to screw Netflix without the courtesy of a reach-around.

Actually, Netflix was all for the delay since it significantly lowered their purchase costs and was a bargaining chip to expand their streaming service. While Blockbuster was trying to spin themselves as the place to go for movies Netflix didn’t have, they were being bled dry from the studios for the privilege of having those “exclusive” DVDs.

From Fastcompany:

I noticed a lack of features on several Netflix DVDs. I chalked it up to new release DVDs being stripped down with the studio looking forward to “Special Edition” re-releases. Does the distributor offer 2 (or more) different versions for retail sale vs distribution through services like Netflix?

(Actually I already know the answer – I’ve seen Best Buy offer “exclusive extras” on new releases from time to time. I’m sure there are other examples.)

I was thinking that movie studios probably loose millions of dollars a year because people rent from Netflix. Maybe it’s about time they got even. It sucks for you and me but they’ve got to make money too.

That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.
It’s not as if Netflix sent elves to steal the discs they’re providing; individual studios doubtless negotiated deals with Netflix for a cut. If they negotiated poorly, that’s not our problem. They can go back to the well and work that out, as they have many options for providing their movies on Netflix, including ‘Not at all’, and ‘Develop a competing service’. If any of them are 'loose’ing millions a year, it’s their own fault. It’s this kind of attitude that lets them get away with this BS. Major corporations are not a charity case. :mad:

FWIW, Redbox DVDs come packaged the same way. A friend of mine rented Despicable Me from a Redbox a couple of weeks ago and all the bonus features were locked out, including the Minion shorts :frowning: .

I can’t say that I’m shocked that these rental services would package DVDs that way, leaving the actual studios some measure of exclusive content to offer buyers. I’m not terribly disappointed, though. Usually if I like a movie enough to care about having access to special features, it would be a movie that I would actually buy a copy of for myself anyway.

And besides, we found the Minion shorts online anyway :slight_smile:

Actually, the studios are trying to develop a competing service. Per this article, Warner Bros is allowing people to watch The Dark Knight on Facebook.

Very much a trial balloon, but that fits the bill. Hopefully, it calms them enough about big, scary, digital delivery that they don’t feel the need to force me to sit through fifteen minutes of advertising for other movies that they’re selling that I don’t care about (else I would have rented or pre-ordered them as well).

Restriction of extra content, I can see that. It’s the difference between buying the regular edition or Criterion collection…you can make a value judgement and vote with your dollars when you decide whether to buy it or not.
If you waste my time by forcing to me sit through interminable advertising that you sprung on me after the fact…totally different animal. That’s equivalent to my waiting to get a new release on DVD as opposed to seeing it at release in a theater, because I’m a horrible misanthrope - or whatever - and finding that it’s forcing me to buy a bag of popcorn before it’ll play.

Nope. They aren’t losing a dime. You seem to be assuming that Netflix got those DVD disks for free rather than paying the movie studios for them (not true) and that most people would buy a DVD for every movie they wanted to watch if they couldn’t rent the DVDs from Netflix (also not true). Most of the movies in my Netflix queue I’d pass on if the price of watching each of them was purchasing the disk for $20. Buying movies on DVD is reserved for movies I really, really like and know I’ll want to watch multiple times; if I had to purchase every movie I had some interest in viewing, I’d be watching a lot fewer movies. I suspect I’m typical of most folks (well, except for the ones who’d just go out and pirate those films they’ve a marginal interest in; I’m not into illegal downloading).

The movie industry needs to get over itself; the content it provides is not nearly as valuable to us as they seem to think it ought to be - and frankly, that’s their problem to deal with, not ours. If they want to restrict value-added features to purchased disks and strip those features from rental disks, that’s fine (though annoying), but I doubt it’s going to drive up their DVD sales by any appreciable amount.

Netflix replaced video rental stores not purchases. That is a silly argument by a few above.

I really hate forced previews. It makes me feel very negative about the studio producing the DVDs though, not Netflix. I just recently rented Jekyll, a Brit series and had forced previews of crappy shows I would never consider watching that had no relation to Jekyll other than being British. Now it was only about 5 minutes wasted, but still annoying.

I agree with artemis. Without Netflix, I’d just watch less movies, not go out and buy a DVD I’m only going to view once. I would like to listen to the commentaries or view the special features, but again, it is not worth it to own for one viewing (two, if listening to the commentary).

blondebear, it would be child’s play to just remove a few files, make 10000 copies for Redbox/Netflix, then add the files back to make the store copies. I imagine it is much easier than the VHS days.

I almost never watch any special features, so as far as I’m concerned, I’m happy with Netflix spending money on quality elsewhere. For those people who do want them, would you be willing to pay extra each month to get them? Netflix could easily keep a few copies of the movies with special features and make those available to people who want to pay for them.

Forcing me to watch previews is likely to result in me just ditching DVDs (Netflix or otherwise) and downloading movies.