I am writing an open letter to all three companies as I have no real idea who is responsible or who is to blame and I am unsure of how this can be resolved.
For Christmas I received The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on Blu-Ray, this had been purchased from Amazon.
I unwrapped the Blu-Ray and put it into my LG BD360-P Blu-Ray player. However it did not play, I got an error message saying “Check Disk”. I did check the disk, and there did not appear to be a physical issue with the disk.
I checked the firmware on my LG Blu-Ray player and it was up to date. I also turned everything off and back on. Still no joy, I was still getting the “Check Disk” error.
I did a Google search and it was apparent that I wasn’t alone, other people were having the same issue with the same Blu-Ray disk and the same LG Blu-Ray player. According the online information the problem is with the encryption used by 20th Century Fox on The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Blu-Ray disk, this means that my Blu-Ray player can’t read the disk.
As a result I am now unsure and confused about what I can do as a consumer.
As far as Amazon are concerned there is no fault with the disk and probably wouldn’t accept a return this long after purchase and the wrapping has been removed.
20th Century Fox won’t replace the disk with one that works, as far as they concerned the disk isn’t faulty and they would only replace it with the same disk with the same encryption issues. They will probably blame the Blu-Ray player manufacturer.
As for LG, they are no longer updating the firmware for what is now quite an old Blu-Ray player and would probably point me back to the company that released the disk.
So the end result is I have no idea where to go and I have a Blu-Ray of a film I am unable to watch.
So do you have any idea? Maybe I should have bought it on iTunes.
Everytime I think about writing about something which is described by others as “dead” I try to avoid it, as I seem to have gained a bit of a reputation in the edtech world as, well as I was once described as the “Grim Reaper of Education” and “it’s not dead until James Clay says it’s dead”. However I did find this article from The Verge about the death of 3D quite interesting and illuminating.
As it happens if you are looking out for a source of tech news, I do like The Verge, as well as a very nice looking site, there are a range of news and reviews, and more than just repeating press releases or what other sites have said. If you like Engadget, you will like this, if you like The Register, probably less so…
If you attended CES in the US in the last few years, you would have been bombarded with 3D images. There has been a huge focus in the cinema in 3D films, the one that most people would remember was Cameron’s Avatar, but Hugo received a fair few positive reviews. The recent released Hobbit is available in 3D and the movie companies have spent a fair bit of time and money retrofitting existing 2D films into 3D, Titanic for example!
As well as cinematic 3D, there has been a fair few marketing dollars thrown at 3D in the home, 3D HDTVs have been available for a few years now, and aren’t that much more expensive than a 2D TV. You of course need some 3D content, the BBC have experimented with 3D and Sky offer a fair bit in 3D. You could also get 3D Blu Ray discs, but you need a 3D Blu Ray player for those.
The question I would ask you, and remembering that you are reading this blog, so are probably interested in technology, do you have a 3D TV?
Are you planning to buy a 3D TV?
What was the last film you saw in 3D?
Most people I know who are “into” technology and like gadgets generally “may” watch 3D at the cinema, but they don’t have a 3D TV and won’t have a 3D camera either!
I will say that I am slightly biased in that I am not a great fan of 3D, given the choice I will take the 2D option.
3D is not a new thing that has “just arrived” it’s been around for years and every so often comes to the fore. I do remember spending good money and going to see Jaws 3D, which was a disaster of a movie and the 3D added nothing…
Apart from the odd experiment on TV, the next big thing I remember seeing with 3D was Cyberworld at the IMAX in Bristol. You had to wear these huge 3D glasses and the 3D only really worked if you sat in the middle of the IMAX cinema. The 3D was really only a gimmick, the film had no real story or plot. It was very much about showing off the 3D IMAX technology.
In the last few years, we have seen an explosion of 3D in the cinema. Some would say this was an attempt to make cinema, as in the cinematic experience different (well the movie companies would say better) than watching a film on your TV (or a pirated film on your laptop). However now with 3D on your TV, I can’t see this now as an unique feature that makes the cinema different to the home cinema experience. You can watch 3D at the cinema and now you can watch 3D at home.
I should say that I really like going to the cinema, and the cinematic experience is in many ways so much better and superior than watching the same film on a TV, even a big HD TV. So similarly I do understand that the 3D experience in the cinema is different to the 3D experience at home. I also can’t see the point of retrofitting 3D to films shot in 2D, this is in my opinion just a gimmick.
I have seen a few 3D films in the cinema, I saw Toy Story 3 and Tintin, though if it had been my choice I would have chosen the 2D versions. I did initially think it was very clever, but within ten minutes or so I wasn’t noticing the 3D and was just enjoying the film. When there was a 3D “moment” I found it more annoying than wow!
So if 3D is defunct, can’t bring myself to say dead, what is the next big thing in video? Well according to the pundits who attended CES it is 4K or ultra HD as some marketing people are calling it.
As you are aware 1080p HD is four times the quality of standard definition television, 4K is around four times the quality of 1080p HD. Some say it’s like looking out of a window.
So do you prefer 3D films over 2D? Or are you looking forward to 4K? Or are you saying I prefer the radio!
My recent experience with 99p rentals from iTunes has not been entirely successful. As you may know every week iTunes puts up, a usually decent, film for rental for 99p.
My first problem was with renting the re-made Ladykillers starring Tom Hanks.
Anyone who has rented a movie from iTunes knows that you can transfer the rental from the computer to your iPad (or iPhone). So knowing that I was going away I transferred the rental from my iMac to my iPad. However I never did find the time to watch it…
After a couple of days I decided to watch it at home. One of the things I like about the new Apple TV is that it is possible to watch rentals that are on your Mac without needing to transfer them. This means you can rent non-HD films on your Mac and then view them on your TV using the Apple TV. If you rent from the Apple TV, you “have” to rent HD movies and they are £1 more than the SD ones on your computer. Did I say I was a cheapskate? So having decided to stream the film via the Apple TV, I couldn’t find it… ah yes I thought it will still be on my iPad. Ah but it wasn’t… no I couldn’t find it anywhere!
After reflecting a while I realised I had in the intervening period restored my iPad after having a few problems with it and as a result I had “lost” the rental. Of course there is no way to retrieve a rental (you can’t even retrieve a video purchase let a,one a rental).
So in the end what we did was re-rent it, luckily it was still 99p.
As for the film itself, well it was amusing and Tom Hanks was very good. However the original Ealing version with Alec Guinness is SO much better and if you had to choose, go for the Ealing one.
I had another problem with rentals the other day, this time it was more my fault. I had rented another 99p rental, Donnie Darko, a film that I have been meaning to watch for a while. I started to watch the film and before even the studio ident had finished I got called away. So I never got to watch the film that evening. I was out the following night, so alas with only a 48 hour window in which to watch it, I missed the window and iTunes removed it from my computer. A 48 hour window is usually enough for me, but this time I didn’t have the time, and it’s probably why I don’t rent many films from iTunes. It’s the same reason I stopped renting from Blockbusters too, however I still do rent from the Library, where I got the Adjustment Bureau today. Not only was it cheaper than iTunes at £3, whereas iTunes is £3.49, I can also have it for a week!
Back in June 2008 when Apple put movies into the UK iTunes Store I had a go and didn’t have a huge success.
So my first proper attempt to get films off the iTunes Store was not a great success, ah well maybe next time.
So now over a year later, what’s the situation?
Well I am downloading a fair few movies from the iTunes Store now, buying and renting.
I do like how quick and easy it is, and sometimes how much cheaper it is too (and annoyed by how expensive it can be too).
I usually watch the movies via an iPod through the TV, as I still haven’t got round to buying an Apple TV, but then I still don’t have that HD TV to watch them on (and I am pretty sure I can’t easily connect an Apple TV to my current TV).
I will probably get an Apple TV if I get an HD TV as I would prefer to watch HD movies on an HD screen.
My ADSL is still way too slow, which means it takes hours to download a movie. Also I have a monthly bandwidth limit which means I usually plan my iTunes downloads overnight as Plusnet my ISP gives me a “free” download time between midnight and eight in the morning.
Also now and again iTunes fails to download the movie “properly”, so it downloads it again! As a result I have two versions in my iTunes library.
However despite a few minor issues I am pleased with movies and TV on the iTunes store and use it on a regular basis.
I was quite pleased the other day to hear that movies films would be available in the UK iTunes Store.
At the time I had a quick look over the store and saw lots of films. The number one film was (at that time) I am Legend, I was quite impressed that the price for the film was only £6.99 – and that seemed to explain why it was number one. I was also interested to see that National Treasure 2 was also available and thought “I’ll rent that”.
At that time I was busy with work so knew I would leave until later to get them.
So today I upgraded my version of iTunes and decided I would buy I am Legend and rent National Treasure 2.
So you can imagine my disappointment, to see that I am Legend had gone up in price to £10.99. So why was it cheaper to begin with? Why has it gone up? Was it a mistake that Apple has now corrected? Or did I imagine it all?
Ah well so not to worry I’ll rent National Treasure 2 instead. Even with the rental limitation, I was fine with that, I could always transfer the film to an iPod and connect the iPod to my television.
Yes, though I can buy National Treasure 2 for £10.99, I couldn’t rent it!
It’s suppose to be a reasonably fun film, worth renting, but not worth buying it and certainly not worth paying £10.99.
So my first proper attempt to get films off the iTunes Store was not a great success, ah well maybe next time.
Apple® today announced that movies from major film studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Sony Pictures Television International and Lionsgate UK are now available on the iTunes® Store in the UK (www.apple.com/uk/itunes). Movie purchases and rentals feature iTunes’ legendary ease of use, which makes discovering and enjoying movies as simple and easy as buying music on iTunes has always been. The iTunes Store in the UK features over 700 films available for rent or purchase, with titles available for purchase on the same day as their DVD release, including favorites such as “Hitman,” “I Am Legend,” “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets” and “Into the Wild.” iTunes Movie Rentals also features over 100 titles available in stunning high definition, perfect for viewing on a widescreen TV with Apple TV®.
I am very pleased with this, and I suspect I may use it a fair bit.
I am even now seriously considering getting an Apple TV just so I can watch the movies on my TV, well I guess I can use the iPod nano in the meantime.