[Tig] must it be compressed?

Eric Bergez eric.bergez
Tue Jun 18 00:14:22 BST 2002


According to ShowBiz Data's Video Rental Report of April 2002, VHS rentals
are down -14% from the previous year.  VHS rental's brought in an estimated
$1.8 Billion dollars compared to the $2.1 Billion dollars from the previous
year.  Subsequently, DVD rentals have increased by 119% with estimated
earnings of $782 Million compared to $358 Million in 2001.  I can't think of
any other Consumer Product that has enabled Hollywood to generate more money
from long forgotten titles and new blockbuster releases.  DVD is certainly a
money machine for studios, and if you're interested here are the top 5
studios in US DVD market place as of May 1, 2002:

Universal 		$88.2 Million		14.99%
WB			$80.0 Million		13.59%
Columbia/TriStar	$71.6 Million		12.16%
20Th Century	$69.1 Million		11.75%
Buena Vista		$66.4 Million		11.28%

If this trend continues, I would agree with Ron Martin that "Uncompressed
movies will [never] reach the home [again, any time soon]."

-----------------Bob Kertesz wrote:----------------------

I think it has a lot more to do with the enormous amount of downward
pressure on prices that the studios put on the people doing the 
authoring.

Look at the number of (larger, established) post houses who have walked away
from the authoring biz because there's not enough money in it. Sure, there
are still some very good houses doing very good work, but a lot of it is
just barely good enough because the money being paid by the studios is just
barely good enough. The bean counters are looking at authoring as a
commodity product where the service is always the same and the lowest bid is
the one which wins as long as the bidder can deliver the product on time and
budget.

---------------end of Bob Kertesz message----------------

I believe Bob has hit the nail on the head.  As a manufacture of "High end"
MPEG-2 mastering solutions for DVD, VOD, HDTV, HDVOD, HDVD & Digital Cinema,
I grow increasingly frustrated with the studio's efforts to substitute
quality for quantity.  However, I don't disagree that the medium allows for
these alterations and thus forcing vendors such as Digital Vision to develop
better systems that can facilitate the needs of the industry.  However,
these new technologies often come at a higher price.  A price not easily
warranted due to the diminishing margins in the DVD mastering facility.

In a nut shell, MPEG-2 manufactures such as Digital Vision, Sony and
Panasonic along with authoring facilities such as DVCC, Still in Motion,
Ritek, Cinesite, POP, FotoKem, etc... all have the skill and technological
advances to encode near perfect MPEG-2 masters of blockbuster releases.
However, the budgets, time restraints and added features can often limit the
bit-rates and capabilities of these facilities thus generating a less than
perfect master.

I have often said, that the winner of the MPEG-2 race will be the
manufacture who can develop a system that can generate a perfect replication
of the Digital Betacam Master at the lowest possible data rate with very
little user intervention.  The same applies to the "Film Transparency" rates
in Digital Cinema and future HD-VOD & HD-DVD.

With regards to Rob's quote "more stuff down the pipe," it's fair to state
that MPEG-2 transmission is an entirely different ball game with whole new
set of rules.  Once again, the technologies exist to make excellent
pictures, however, the rule of quantity of channels over quality of image
reigns supreme.

I leave you with this statement I heard at NAB2001, "We have never received
a complaint from a consumer because the picture was too blocky.  We do,
however, receive complaints from consumers for lack of features and/or poor
authoring." Anonymous Studio Executive, Hollywood, CA.



Best Regards,

Eric Bergez
US Sales Manager
Digital Vision AB
818-769-8111


"Never under estimate the importance of a good author."





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