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Old 21-01-2007, 17:15   #1
McD
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Daft Q about Blu-v-HD based on their plastic packaging

OK, I'm no expert on all this Blu-Ray / HD debate, other than knowing the basics that it's a format war on a par with Betamax / VHS, etc.

However, having had a look at their respective releases in the shops, one thing looks very suspicious. Unlike VHS & Beta, both products look identical (one red, one blue) and have obviously been planned / designed in tandem. What's that all about? Is this format war a big fat lie with 'play all' machines having been a foregone conclusion before it even started?

Not that I'm saying that the identikit packaging will at least keep hybrid collections looking pretty. I can't believe the way some have flat spines and others curved. They're going to have to sort that out before I jump in.

(Can't make my mind up which to plump for. So whoever releases A Walk To Remember first gets McD's money)
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Old 21-01-2007, 17:44   #2
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I think the reason the cases for both BlueRay and HD DVD look the same is because they are all made by a company called Amaray (they have a website, so use a search engine and you'll see for yourself), which makes most of off the DVD cases on the market.

I know exactly what you mean about the spine and curves. It seems Warner have curved cases and Universal have spined cases. Unfortunetly, it's just a matter of what the client (distributer) wants. If some decide on spine cases they what will be made for them. If others want curved cases that what they get.

Remember, this isn't the first time studios have released different DVD cases. Remember all the fuss a few years back when most of the major studios were using plastic DVD cases, but Warner decided to use the cheap cardboard cases?

Personally, I prefer the curved DVD cases - they take a less space on the shelf.
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Old 21-01-2007, 17:59   #3
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The new cases were obviously made by the same company, might have known it was Amaray. But as these are new products, with new designs for the packaging, it certainly looks like both parties are aware that they are going out looking like twins. The big question is why?

Might have guessed it's Warner who are completely screwing up the uniformity again. Cheers.
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Old 22-01-2007, 20:56   #4
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McD, A Walk to Remember is a Warner movie and will probably come out on both formats. So you'll have to choose another title as your deal-breaker!
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Old 23-01-2007, 10:32   #5
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I will, of course, buy both versions of AWTR (I have 3 on DVD). I'm sure the film community awaits my definitive comparison which, if it favours one format over the other, will sway the paying public for good. I guess I'll need to buy an HD telly first.

Hmm, not sure about another title as a deal breaker. Maybe the original Star Wars trilogy, the unmolested versions. Although I had it in my head that I'd only buy new titles that came out after the new format. Happy enough to buy Casino Royale on HD, but do I really need to upgrade Moonraker when it appears? (For the 2nd time actually, just bought it again for a new commentary by Best Bond Ever, Sir Roger Moore).

Here's an anorak question about them disgraceful Warner cases. Maybe someone has enough of a collection already to try it. If you were to slip the paper cover out of a Warner HD package, and slip it into a non-Warner HD case, would it be a perfect fit? Or are the covers slightly different sizes as well to make up for the curved spine?
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Old 26-01-2007, 00:38   #6
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McD, I've checked my US BD cases and I can't see any differences. My only WB case has a flat spine but rounded corners, both directions. The cover is slightly shorter than the Sony/Fox ones so you could put it into a Sony/Fox style case. Frankly though, I don't see how you'd notice the difference!
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Old 26-01-2007, 15:44   #7
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now this is my kind of thread. going over the nitty gritty of packaging design, with people who appreciate that it really does matter! and almost all old-schoolers on here too.

i too would go with the curved spine on grounds of the cases being thinner. having deliberately reduced the height to improve the storage situation, why leave them as chunky as a standard DVD amaray? kind of defeats the point. that said, it's a shame to lose the 'aspect ratio' of a DVD case due to its closer match to original one-sheets.

furthermore, i hate the look of both the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray cases. coloured, transparent plastic? urgh. and i hate the way the format logo is part of the case itself, and the amount of space that is wasted at the top of each as a result. it'll be interesting to see if anyone brings out black replacement cases for them. if not, i can see myself re-housing them in DVD cases with custom covers.
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Old 26-01-2007, 20:54   #8
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What this thread needs is pictures.
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Old 26-01-2007, 21:37   #9
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good point. here's one from the Amaray website...



not very helpful re: the details discussed above. but it's a start.
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Old 26-01-2007, 21:52   #10
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I don't think the curved spines are a disaster on their own in principle. But if there is spine uniformity, we have one company again throwing a spanner in the works and screwing up the look of everyone's collection, for those that care, as Warners did with DVD. And given that Warners eventually abandoned the horrid snapper, why make the same mistake twice.

Incidentally though, although I have nothing against the curved spines in theory given they prob do take less space, in practice they don't look so hot. I checked them out in HMV today and the curved spine titles actually have poorer covers! Yep, the design just isn't as friendly and the front covers look all wavey, like they have water damage (they don't, obviously, but that's how it looks). This was the case for all of the front covers of the curved spine titles I picked up, and not so for a single one of the others. Dear oh dear oh dear.

EDIT: Ben's picture pretty much shows what I meant originally - that Blu-ray and HD-DVD seem to have agreed jointly on a presentation strategy. God only knows what else they are in collusion about that we don't know of. I suspect rather a lot.

Last edited by McD; 26-01-2007 at 21:55.
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Old 26-01-2007, 22:09   #11
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found the following bit of info on a post from last march at wired@home:
Quote:
It appears that Seastone Media Group from Provo, Utah won the bid last year to provide the red, tinted translucent cases for all new HD-DVD releases slated to launch March 28th. "The marketplace, and our customers specifically, wanted a unique-looking case that was highly differentiated from a traditional, typical black DVD case — a smaller profile and a high-tech look to match the high-tech image of high definition," said Seastone President and CEO Warren Osborn.
well worth checking out the seastone link for some interesting cases. but best of all is this pic:



the wider-but-flat spine can be seen on the cases lying down in the foreground. best of all though: black translucent HD-DVD cases and solid black Blu-Ray cases! sweet.
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Old 26-01-2007, 22:15   #12
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close-up on the two black cases:

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Old 26-01-2007, 22:27   #13
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Ahhh! I could be wrong, but I saw some Blu/HD titles in the US, and I think they were like the black cases in Pic 2, except they were blue and red respectively. The difference being that the Pic 2 cases have a pointless non-cover section at the bottom as well as the top. For those who got into HD on the ground floor and have USA and UK discs already, are they different sizes then?

I prefer the UK ones myself. We don't need nonsense at the top and the bottom.
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Old 27-01-2007, 01:23   #14
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McD I couldn't tell any difference between the US/UK cases and while some of the US ones might have a curved spine it's really hard to tell, even if your looking for it. I wouldn't even say the spine is curved. I think you're just making a big fuss over nothing to be honest! Either that or I'm blind
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Old 27-01-2007, 02:14   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaj
McD I couldn't tell any difference between the US/UK cases and while some of the US ones might have a curved spine it's really hard to tell, even if your looking for it. I wouldn't even say the spine is curved. I think you're just making a big fuss over nothing to be honest! Either that or I'm blind
If you're looking for it and still find it hard to tell then I don't know what to say. Obviously I've no idea which of your own discs (UK and/or US) you're looking at. But I can tell you as an absolute fact that many UK discs have a 'curved' spine, whilst remaining in the minority (with front cover irregularities to match, see above). Check out V For Vendetta or Constantine in your local HMV.

I don't 100% understand what you mean either. I was talking about UK curved spines, and then the difference between UK and US 'bottoms', but you've then posted (it seems) solely about US curved spines. So maybe there's a misunderstanding.

If you can't tell the difference then I guess this thread's not for you.
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Old 27-01-2007, 02:55   #16
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I'm looking solely at US discs. I did see some UK discs today but I didn't notice any curved spines but I wasn't looking either.

My point was, is it really a big deal? Can you tell unless you're looking for it? Snappers were rubbish and you could certainly see the difference!

Last edited by camaj; 27-01-2007 at 02:55.
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Old 27-01-2007, 18:11   #17
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Warner, Fox and Paramount are using the similar cases so i'm not sure why Warner are being singled out (the more curved ones with feet are only on the older releases).

The UK Sony BluRay and UK Universal HD-DVD discs are the ones that bug me as they are bigger (spine width) than any other cases. Why couldn't they use the same cases they use in the US?
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Old 27-01-2007, 19:02   #18
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given how drab and boring dvd cases are, i truly hoped amaray might've pulled their finger out and actually done something a bit better for the next gen cases. alas they haven't, and they're pretty dreadful.
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Old 28-01-2007, 01:02   #19
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I actually have 4 different designs of the HD case on my shelf now. I have some really fat flat spined ones (UK Universal) the rounded ones. And 2 different designs half way between the those 2, one of which has a snapper style lock on the front edge.

I hated the old Warner DVD snappers, but like the new Universal snapper

James
PS. Not exactly sure why I typed this or what I'm adding to the conversation, but please excuse my slightly addled brain. (I had a migraine earlier, that's my excuse and I am sticking to it)
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Old 01-02-2007, 14:44   #20
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had a quick look in HMV at lunchtime and compared the 'slimmer' case for the blu-ray elvis costello release to one of the slim HD-DVD ones.

it seemed the blu-ray case was ever so slightly slimmer still and that the spine was flatter. flat in the centre with curving only at each side as it wrapped onto the cover. whereas the HD-DVD slim case curves right across the spine and is less aesthetically pleasing.

whether it was just the slick that was curved on the HD-DVD, or the box itself, you couldn't tell. but the blu-ray case looked nicer on the spine as a result. of course, this was heavily tempered by the overall horrific appearance of all the cases due to the amount of coloured plastic on show.
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