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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:32 am Reply with quote
I had no idea that there was a country of origin mechanism on BD's. Hopefully these means that Japanese companies and paranoid fans will stop implying that reverse importation is this gigantic problem that threatens to destroy the anime industry.

I have never bought into the threat of reverse importation, but this country or origin mechanism seems like a good thing anyways. I am assuming that people in North America who import Japanese anime BD's will still be able to play them just fine, right?
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:48 pm Reply with quote
Geo-locking (country locked) should be a good thing for North American fans in theory, but I've run into a number of BDs which were geo-locked which also had locked subtitles and/or some other additional reverse import protection mechanism enabled. So instead of being an alternative form or reverse import protection, it's become an ADDED protection on top of some other annoying protection.

Reverse importation mechanism won't destroy the anime industry, but it's become a very annoying fact of life for BD consumers. Nobody wants inferior versions of a product. How many people were dissuaded from buying Penguindrum and Bodacious Space Pirates because they were 1080i instead of 1080p? And not even GOOD 1080i at that.

(Although there is some debate as to whose fault it was that the transfers came out so flawed on those titles)
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Correl



Joined: 11 Jan 2010
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Location: Redmond, WA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:02 pm Reply with quote
Wow, seems odd that they designed Blu-Ray players to have enough RAM to load the actual 1080P video into memory, but for some reason didn't think to leave enough extra room for subtitles. Just goes to show that the devil's in the details.
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Panon



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:18 pm Reply with quote
Ah yes, how 'fortunate' that it's been figured out how to apply region locking by stealth.
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Vertical_Ed
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Joined: 01 May 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:29 pm Reply with quote
Hey!!! Ask Dave Cabrera and former ANN reporter Ko Ransom... Chaps is a Vertical religion. We go every time we hit Baltimore. Thankfully it is on the way to NYC.

This year Vertical and Team JoJo's went to Matthew's Pizza for Crab Pies - in white and red. SOOO GOOD!!

Then there was the JoJo's Bizarre Wing Off and the Ed C. vs Ed S. 2nd Annual Beast Off sponsored by Mother's... So much eating.
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Maize Hughes



Joined: 28 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:59 pm Reply with quote
So glad you like Baltimore's pit beef. I'm a native, so I take it a bit for granted. I shouldn't.

Interesting that subtitles are so hard to mess with, even on blu ray. Steve Jobs famously said that ""Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt. " but in context, he was complaining about the patent licensing. But I know that back in the day he really cared about HD video and thought it was going to be the next big thing*, and there's no way the poor implementation of subtitles was going to escape his attention.

I have really mixed feelings about the new trick to keep out reverse importation. I am against region locks and DRM on principle, but if it keeps anime discs cheap, I guess I'm willing to look the other way. It's not as though there isn't ripping software for the dedicated. I'm a little concerned about what our digital-download only future looks like.




*before he woke up and realized that he was on the wrong track and went with the iphone as a primary driver for Apple.
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Enner



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:01 pm Reply with quote
I have been enjoying reading the new Answerman for the past three-four weeks. Thank you for the insightful answers and I look forward to reading more!
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victor viper



Joined: 18 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:03 pm Reply with quote
Enner wrote:
I have been enjoying reading the new Answerman for the past three-four weeks. Thank you for the insightful answers and I look forward to reading more!


I agree as I also have been enjoying Sevakis' Answerman. Note that is in no way a slight against Brian Hanson; I've just been enjoying the slightly more technical questions and answers, as well as Sevakis' insights into the business angle of the anime industry.
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rizuchan



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:18 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Luckily, a new technique of programming the discs, wherein the players are asked for their country of origin, was discovered, and crisis was averted.

Eek! I haven't heard of this at all. Does anyone know, is this an issue with Japanese imported blu-rays much as well? I was thinking of buying some anime blu-rays that were released in Japan recently, but they're obviously very expensive and it would be terrible if I couldn't watch them!

Quote:
It's one of those things that is much harder to do than it would seem at first glance. Having removable subtitle and multiple audio tracks is incredibly challenging to do technically [...]

You make a good argument about bandwidth with streaming, but wasn't the asker asking about digital downloads that actually download a video file to the device? I don't see any reason why, say, iTunes, couldn't do something similar to what fansubbers have been doing for years and package it in a MKV. I don't believe iTunes currently supports MKV, but even Windows Media player supports them now, and I don't see why they couldn't add support if they really really wanted to. Heck they could even make their own proprietary, DRM-ed format that uses MKV as a base (basically like they did with M4v vs Mp4s).

But I think the real issue is that there just aren't many viewers that care about multiple subtitles and audio streams. Not worth the time and money to make it work.
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dragonrider_cody



Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:34 pm Reply with quote
[quote="rizuchan"]
Quote:
Luckily, a new technique of programming the discs, wherein the players are asked for their country of origin, was discovered, and crisis was averted.

Eek! I haven't heard of this at all. Does anyone know, is this an issue with Japanese imported blu-rays much as well? I was thinking of buying some anime blu-rays that were released in Japan recently, but they're obviously very expensive and it would be terrible if I couldn't watch them!

quote]

You shouldn't have to worry about this. Most Japanese blurays don't take advantage of this, as they don't worry about Americans buying their product. They just don't want the customers in their home country buying cheaper American releases. It's only popped up on North American anime blurays.
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:46 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
Quote:
Luckily, a new technique of programming the discs, wherein the players are asked for their country of origin, was discovered, and crisis was averted.

Eek! I haven't heard of this at all. Does anyone know, is this an issue with Japanese imported blu-rays much as well? I was thinking of buying some anime blu-rays that were released in Japan recently, but they're obviously very expensive and it would be terrible if I couldn't watch them!


I just imported Only Yesterday, and it works fine. It was released last year, but I want to think that newer releases should be playable in North American BD players. It would not make sense for Japanese distributors to lose potential N.A. costumers with region locking.

Banda Visual and Aniplex seem to be particularly interested in having N.A. costumers importing their releases because they keep subtitling (and in some cases including existing English dubs in) their sets.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:05 pm Reply with quote
Given the price of Japanese BDs, wouldn't people importing cheaper American BDs just import an American BD player if they couldn't unlock the country lock? If it has the Japanese audio track it seems like an imported player would pay for itself fairly quickly. Are there import restrictions on the hardware?
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CrownKlown



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:24 pm Reply with quote
I know its not easy work and I want the companies to make money. But on the flip side I am tired of them releasing these bastardization, 10-13 episodes of a show, and then telling everyone too bad, it didn't sell so you are stuck with this incomplete product. Additionally, its been what a few decades now that animation has been produced, its about time you figure out ways to cheapen the cost of making it, instead of figuring out ways to gouge customers. Im sorry I understand about markets and economics etc. ; but I can''t think of anywhere in the world that comes close to charging even a fraction of the prices for dvd and blu ray that Japan does for anime anime. Look I realize that is how its been there, but with average costs of 30 plus dollars an episode, you just aren't doing something right. Even Europe where I am from, they don't come close to gouging you on prices like Japan does, and in Europe they gouge on prices. So maybe its time they start improving their product costs, instead of always passing the costs off to consumers.

Last edited by CrownKlown on Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Melanchthon



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:04 pm Reply with quote
Here's how I always saw reverse importation. (Overwrought metaphor time.) In a couple of weeks, America's favorite military wargame surrogate is starting up. Say there is a fan of the San Diego Chargers. In order to experience his hobby, he can a) stay at home a watch the game in HD quality on a big screen TV in all of modern comforts with cheap beer for free, or he b) spend several hundred dollars on tickets, parking, concessions, and cheap beer at exorbitant prices to see the game in the stadium. So why would anyone choose B? Because there is significant psychic value added by going to the game opposed to staying at home. Especially valuable is the experience of going as it related to the fandom, i.e. bragging rights. So why do people then choose choice A then? Because they can't always afford B. Anime fandom has a lot of similarity to sports fandom, and this is a obvious parallel. The average anime fan can watch shows for essentially zero cost online. Why buy the physical media then? For bragging rights and psychic value. Imported stuff from America is far less valuable in this case. Then why do people still import it? Because they can't afford the real thing.

It's that reason why this hand wringing over reverse importation is silly. Blocking it will have minimal effect on sales, since the consumers are purchasing it because they can't afford the real stuff. However, I can under stand why the Japanese suits are concerned, since their entire business model is based of an artificial manipulation of supply and demand.


Oh, and dealing with those damn subtitle bitmaps is a real pain. Thank God for OCR.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:06 am Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:
I had no idea that there was a country of origin mechanism on BD's. Hopefully these means that Japanese companies and paranoid fans will stop implying that reverse importation is this gigantic problem that threatens to destroy the anime industry.

The use of country or geo-locking when they could not use region locking since JP and US share the same BD region actually implies the opposite: that the publishers DO think it a severe enough problem to take this tact, in addition to locked subtitles.

Quote:
I have never bought into the threat of reverse importation, but this country or origin mechanism seems like a good thing anyways. I am assuming that people in North America who import Japanese anime BD's will still be able to play them just fine, right?

Well, if the JP BDs are ever country locked then you're screwed too, though I doubt this is common (perhaps a paranoid JP porn publisher would use this). And if your BD player is set to another country, as an imported player, then you'd also be screwed. All of this though can be worked around through software and/or firmware hacks for computer BD drives


Last edited by configspace on Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:12 am; edited 2 times in total
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