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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old February 15th, 2005, 09:50 AM   #16
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Yi, the point is that we don't all see the world through the same eyes. I agree that $5 rentals are excessive which is why I seldom get them. But every now and then I'm willing to pay a premium for convenience. I'll bet that in the past year I've only rented 5 or 6 DVD's from Blockbuster anyhow. But if you want to be "stuffed full of films everyday" then of course your approach makes a lot of sense.

Now the projector vs the plasma screen is not nearly so straightforward. Not everyone wants to cower in a dark room watching video! There are image quality issues to take into consideration and "size isn't everything." Really, you're just going to be sitting farther away and looking at bigger pixels with a projector. I just got a plasma screen myself and am very happy. I have it in a location where a projector would never make sense, in the corner of a glassed in porch that has a terrific view. It isn't like a "screening room," but is a very pleasant place to relax and enjoy a film or even some mindless TV program. This probably wouldn't be your choice, but I like it. I do agree however that the price on the newer projectors makes them an attractive alternative if that's the kind of viewing style you like.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 08:10 AM   #17
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I remember when bb used to not assess late fees if you returned the movie before close of business on the due date. Then some shark in their organization came up with the grand idea that the movie had to be back at noon, knowing full well that working people wouldn't be able to get there until after work so they essentially shortened the viewing time by one evening and collected many more late fees in the process.

While I'm on my soapbox, I had a credit card company that recently decided they weren't collecting enough of those now horrendous late fees assessed the day after payment due date (another post 9-11 low interest rate revenue generating scheme). Their solution is to 'alter' the actual due date every month in order to trip people up. Of course they state that it's up to you the customer to be 'aware' of this different date each month, like I have nothing better to keep track of. Needless to say, I called them and closed the account. They couldn't fathom why a good customer with a zero balance would object to such a policy. Some companies just don't get it anymore. And that brings us back to DV-INFO where Chris has found us GREAT SPONSORS who don't use these kinds of tactics and poor customer service relations.

Whew...I feel better now.


regards,

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Old February 16th, 2005, 08:20 AM   #18
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Having had many bad experiences with BlockBuster including snafus with late fees, bad managers, gum-popping employees completely unknowledgeable about the films they carry, poor (and censored) selections, and general shoddy business practices like the one mentioned above and more, I'd burn them in effigy if I could. But I'll just settle for never using them again and calling them by my pet name, which I can't repeat here but it's always fun to say.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 09:34 AM   #19
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Video stores are endangered I think

I used to work in a video store last year and had to quit because the chain was an iron fisted tyrant. I learned alot about how video stores operate and I think the entire movie rental store chains are endangered. Alot of the problems were already mentioned in this thread. Netflix is a great idea but I don't even know if they will stick either. The future of movies IMO is definitely in satellite signals directly to your TV. Imagine that there was a database of nearly every movie and I could use my computer to order one, and it would be sent to my TV via satellite instantly? There is already a company offerring something similar, where you pay a monthly fee and rent a box (I think 5 dollars) and it stores about a hundred movies, mostly new to video releases, and then I think they are only a dollar or two to rent. The movies are updated every month. Now that doesn't sound too fantastic, but once it can store a thousand movies, or almost all movies, or I can pick exactly what movie I want in my box, then that is where movies are going. The theatre has its own magic which I think people will always want, it is an experience. But home video is different, and videostores up against things like Netflix and satellites I don't think will last much longer than 10 more years. I guess we'll see
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Old February 16th, 2005, 11:18 AM   #20
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mine's 4 bux and with tax it's roughly $5. that's why i never goto it.

boyd re: FP vs direct-view. imho, you can get a small portable projector and ceiling mount it and put it on a small screen (80") if you want to to "simulate" plasma. but point is with a FP you can go FROM 80" to 250" if you wanted to.... any flat panel will be limited by size that they came in. and for the money... it doesnt make sense imho =).

greg, i never miss a payment date cause i can schedule minimum payment deducted from my checking account every month it's due. it's automated. then, when i get enough money i pay the whole thing. all truly paper-less. truly one less thing to worry about =).

re: VOD. as i've said before, i'd do it if there is a pipeline (be it satellite, cable or fiber) that can deliver @least 1920x1080p if not more with MLP (uncompressed) capabilities. essentially i want them to stream HD-DVD or BluRay quality. cause if they can't do that i'd rather NOT watch important films that way. i can't imagine watching lord of the rings through compressed mp4 or stereo when i know HD-DVD with 6.1 MLP (theoretical) is availble. but i also know that i'm a minority. the same audience that loves mp3 (which is a huge mass) will love anything convenient. i do believe the future of TV/film lies in VOD/subscription based. you can watch things you want at the time/convenience of YOUR life instead of tivo or waiting for the time of the show to come on.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 11:36 AM   #21
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BrightHouse cable down here in Florida, which used to be Time Warner cable, offers what they call iControl. It's available in regular as well as HD, where you can pick and choose from various shows and movies that have been showing that month or two months. If you have all the pay channels, they throw in the iControl as a free service - so essentially at any given time you do have a 100 or so films (and even more other cable shows) readily available. You can pause, fast forward, rewind, etc.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 02:58 AM   #22
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<<<-- Originally posted by Yi Fong Yu :.

greg, i never miss a payment date cause i can schedule minimum payment deducted from my checking account every month it's due. it's automated. then, when i get enough money i pay the whole thing. all truly paper-less. truly one less thing to worry about =).
. -->>>

Yi, you are exactly the type of person this company is looking to trip up. What they are doing is altering the due date each month. For example, you see the payment is due on the 18th and you schedule it as such. So next month rolls around and they bump it to say, the 12th. Unless you go in again and verify the due date and alter your payment scheduling accordingly, you'll get dinged. For many years, cc payments like loan payments, have been due on the same day each month and they know this. They know that we are creatures of habit so most won't be diligent enough to catch the change of due date. Fortunately, none of the other cc companies I have are using this tactic.

It never ceases to amaze me what some companies will do to milk a few extra dollars out of people.

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Old February 17th, 2005, 12:33 PM   #23
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but Greg,

i have to check the cc statements online ANYWAY for every payment that is scheduled (such as mortgages, auto insurance, utilies, etc.). so since it's automated if there is a duplicated charge i'll know it immediately and besides it's automated on their end as well. unless someone decides to actively deceive the system there is no problem. i've NEVER had to worry about due dates ever since i started using auto-deduction. i don't get what the fuss is about. they can change the date from the 1 to 31 to 15 to 20 every single month for all i care, as long as i'm charged duplicate then i'm OKAY!
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Old February 17th, 2005, 02:28 PM   #24
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Here's an interesting twist on this whole story.

Lion's Gate, Microsoft, and Blockbuster have started a company called CinemaNow. A site where you can rent & buy downloadable movies direct to your PC.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 02:57 PM   #25
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Ok I checked that website out and the selection is probably the most awful thing I have ever seen. HOWEVER, that is exactly what I was talking about. Folks, we have just seen the future. It is Cinemanow and whatever else spawns from it. (I think)
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Old February 18th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #26
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http://money.cnn.com/2005/02/18/news...ex.htm?cnn=yes
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #27
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Hollywood Entertainment's board voted yesterday to advise shareholders to reject Blockbuster's hostile takeover bid in favor of a lower offer from Movie Gallery:

http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2005/mf...gvisit=y&npu=y
http://www.forbes.com/associatedpres...ap1835885.html
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #28
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Haha! That's like a slap in the face.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:58 PM   #29
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jacob Ehrichs : It's not a scam, just a business practice. You agree to the terms or you don't. They're not hiding anything from anyone. If you keep the movie longer than a week overdue they charge you for the movie. Seems pretty straight forward to me. Just because it's a business practice you don't like doesn't make it a scam. -->>>

It is a scam.

Argh Blockbuster.

I'm not a pain in the ass. I'm not the type of person that makes a stink in a public place. I'm 27 and this was the first time in my entire life I've actually gotten angry or 'caused a scene' in a situation like this. It'll probably be the last time as well.

I was told I had to buy a copy of Ron Burgundy (look! it's PBS! - great movie) last week for turning it in late (had it for about 3 weeks). I never received any mailing that stated that the terms of my blockbuster contract had changed. I was told that I can keep the DVD for "a few extras days" if I wanted; I was never told anything about a 1 week extended deadline*. I was also told that Blockbuster was done with late fees. None of the various Blockbuster posters advertising the new No Late Fees mention annything about purchasing after a week, even in the fine print.

It's thickly veiled bait and switch. They tell you just enough to think you're getting this great gift, but they never mention that there's a new fee structure. They just talk about the 'advantage' to the costumer w/o mention or warning how to avoid repurcussions (again, never mentioned), and then they persue after the fact saying - but oh, it's our policy.

We (fianc & I) closed our Blockbuster accounts and opened Netflix the same evening.



*I just read the article about a $1.25 restocking fee, 30 day buying it fee. The employees told me that it was one extra week. Just the fact that there are all of these misdirections and miscommunications is what is making Blockbuster look so bad about this whole thing.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 02:21 PM   #30
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Any time anyone tells me its free. I always look at it that I'm going to be hit with a bill.

It's just another way to get more money out of us.

I used to hate walking in the malls and having all these high school punks yell at you "hey you want a free phone."

So one day being the smart ass that I am. I walked over to the kid and said "Okay. Can I see the phone." He handled it to me and I said "thanks" and started to walk away.

He said "hey were are you going?"

I said. "I'm just leaving with my free phone."

He didn't think it was funny. But a couple of people around me did.
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