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Want DVD bonus features? You’d better purchase instead of rent

Posted at 11 December 2010 13:00 CEST by wconeybeer

It used to be that when you rented a film on DVD or Blu-ray Disc, you would get access to the same content as those who had purchased a copy. Now, it appears that bonus features like outtakes and cast interviews may be a thing of the past thanks to some new merchandising initiatives from movie studios.

One movie fan learned this the hard way after spending $3.99 to rent a Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World DVD from Blockbuster.

Joseph wrote into Consumerist to report that when he tried to watch the Blooper Reel contained in the Special Features section of the DVD, he was greeted with the following message:

“This disc is intended for rental purposes and only includes the feature film. Own it on Blu-Ray or DVD to view these bonus features and complete your movie watching experience.”

Similar reports have surfaced from other disgruntled movie renters around the web, and are also happening with Netflix movie rentals. The Disney-Pixar film Up is purported to have disabled captions on rentals for the same reason.

Needless to say, Joseph was a little upset when he came to the realization that the Special Features on the disc had been disabled on purpose. He writes: I didn’t pay $3.99 to just watch the movie itself; I paid $3.99 to rent the physical DVD for a week. To have full access to the entire DVD and everything contained within the menus. What made it worse was that Blockbuster gave me absolutely no warning that the DVD had its Special Features locked. There was no warning label or sticker or anything of the sort.”

While I can almost understand the idea of limiting special features for renters, the fact that some are actually disabling captioning makes me angry. Sure, it’s okay to try to give consumers an incentive to purchase your product, but limiting accessibility for hearing-impaired viewers just isn’t right. Also, they should have to put some sort of label on the product to alert consumers to the limitations so that people won’t rent with false expectations.

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There are 11 comments

Chimera1970
MyCE Rookie
Posted on: 11 Dec 10 14:46
    I smell a class-action lawsuit in the making....
    redk9258
    MyCE Junior Member
    Posted on: 11 Dec 10 15:26
      I'll bet the stupid ads are and movie trailers are still there. You probably can't skip them either. You should be able to put the disc in and immediately play the MOVIE.
      CDan
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 11 Dec 10 17:43
        This is old news by about a year.
        getit29
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 11 Dec 10 21:07
          Like CDan said they have been doing this for quite a while now on some disc's but it looks
          like all of the rental disc's will be that way very soon. I know that the Hastings video and
          book store here has had the no bonus feature DVD's for quite a while if it says Rental on
          the disc then it has no bonus features except for maybe the previews.

          The Red Box kiosks has started having the same thing Rental printed on the disc and so
          no bonus features on them either. It doesn't really bother me in the least bit not to have
          any of the bums stuff when I rent a disc as if I like the movie I go and buy the retail disc
          and that way I still get to see the bonus stuff. If I don't like the movie then all I'm out is
          the rental fee so it's not a big deal to me what the studios do about the bonus features.
          debro
          Blown to smitherines
          Posted on: 11 Dec 10 22:39
            Does this mean that for rental DVDs the entire capacity of the disc is allocated to the movie - does that make it better quality in comparison to retail copies that squeeze a whole bunch of garbage on the DVD?

            In Oz, it seems like most new retail DVDs are heading towards Movie on one disc, and extras on a second disc.
            Wombler
            Administrator & Reviewer
            Posted on: 11 Dec 10 23:09
              To be honest I rarely look at the extras anyway.

              Blooper reels can be entertaining if they're exceptional but a lot of the time they're only a curiosity.


              Wombler
              geno888
              Senior Moderator, Editor and Guru
              Posted on: 11 Dec 10 23:34
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by debro
                Does this mean that for rental DVDs the entire capacity of the disc is allocated to the movie - does that make it better quality in comparison to retail copies that squeeze a whole bunch of garbage on the DVD?
                Ditto

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Wombler
                To be honest I rarely look at the extras anyway.

                Blooper reels can be entertaining if they're exceptional but a lot of the time they're only a curiosity.


                Wombler
                ... and ditto again

                When I backup my movies, I get rid of everything but the movie... all the rest is totally useless and a huge waste of time, mostly when I have to wait for a long time to access the menu (very often this feature is locked, so there is no way to start the movie directly )
                getit29
                MyCE Resident
                Posted on: 11 Dec 10 23:43
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by debro
                  Does this mean that for rental DVDs the entire capacity of the disc is allocated to the movie - does that make it better quality in comparison to retail copies that squeeze a whole bunch of garbage on the DVD?

                  In Oz, it seems like most new retail DVDs are heading towards Movie on one disc, and extras on a second disc.
                  Most of the disc's I have rented in the last few months have all the capacity devoted
                  to the main movie and the previews. Where the retail disc is something like 7.9GB in
                  size the rental version is only maybe 4.1 - 5.5GB in size or less.

                  There is quite a few new movies coming out that has the main movie on 1 disc and the
                  bonus features on a second disc here also. I have noticed those disc's are anywhere in
                  the 3.6GB to 4.8GB size on the main movie disc unless it is a long movie to start with
                  then I've seen the main movie disc hit 6.9 to 7.4GB in size.
                  Seán
                  Senior Administrator & Reviewer
                  Posted on: 12 Dec 10 00:49
                    To be honest, I and most people I know would be perfectly happy if even a retail DVD contains the movie and nothing but the movie.

                    In fact, as far as I'm aware of, the vast majority of pirated movies online don't include the bonus features, never mind the trailers.
                    Grim107
                    MyCE Member
                    Posted on: 12 Dec 10 02:58
                      All they're doing here is pissing everyone off. I smell piracy on the rise.
                      tmc8080
                      MyCE Resident
                      Posted on: 13 Dec 10 10:36
                        Most of the time the "Extras" are fluff... if you remember, Audio Cds used to have album art & other stuff "ON THE DISC" too as an incentive to buy.. mp3s & jpgs were included in some releases in the napster days, but it wasn't anything to write home about. The same is largely true with movies. There are rare exceptions, but if that's the case, there are ways of obtaining the "full disc" over the internet in the "iso" form of dvd/blu ray format.

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