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Old 2006-06-28, 23:25   Link #1
WindStriker
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Why are there so few episodes on dvds

I was just wondering why there are 3-4 20min episodes on a anime dvd. Cant they fit more on the dvd? I have bought seasons of 24 and they fit four episodes on a disk but the show is twice the length of the average anime episode. That means they should be able to fit 8 episodes per disk. Whats up?
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Old 2006-06-28, 23:27   Link #2
rooboy
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In Japan they generally only get two episodes per disk.
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Old 2006-06-28, 23:38   Link #3
hooliganj
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If they use a pre-HD resolution, they could easily fit an entire season on one disc, and even at the higher scan rate 10-12 eps is a cinch. They don't make much money that way, though, either in Japan, where they don't sell as much ad time per block as they do in the US, or in America, where there generally isn't any TV time for most anime, so they don't get any of that precious ad or syndication revenue at all. If they bundled them up, you'd get 2-3 discs per series, but average price would be $80-100, at least. It also allows them to build some suspense between releases, and to try to maintain the popularity of a property over alonger period of time, enhancing the potential market share and merchandising possibilities.

The merchandise is what the Japanese producers are really after, and in the US it's all about the TV coverage. For a successful property, actual home DVD sales are just supplementary income anyway.
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Old 2006-06-28, 23:38   Link #4
bayoab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindStriker
I was just wondering why there are 3-4 20min episodes on a anime dvd. Cant they fit more on the dvd? I have bought seasons of 24 and they fit four episodes on a disk but the show is twice the length of the average anime episode. That means they should be able to fit 8 episodes per disk. Whats up?
You can fit ~5 anime episodes on a DVD-5 before there is a very noticable difference in the video. Most anime DVDs now have 4 or 5 episodes per disc and this is a function of the licensing costs and how many discs they need to sell to make profit. Also, if they put more episodes on, the quality would decrease. Also, most anime studios used DVD-5 instead of DVD-9.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hooliganj
If they use a pre-HD resolution, they could easily fit an entire season on one disc, and even at the higher scan rate 10-12 eps is a cinch.
Sorry, but this is completely false. You cannot fit 10 episodes on a DVD and have them look "DVD quality".
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Old 2006-06-28, 23:45   Link #5
WindStriker
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What is DVD-5 and DVD-9?
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Old 2006-06-28, 23:49   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindStriker
What is DVD-5 and DVD-9?
DVD-5 = maximum of 4.7 GB on a single disc (also known as single-layer DVD - this is most commonly what you can buy as DVD+Rs, DVD-Rs, etc.)

DVD-9 = maximum of 8.5 GB on a single disc with two layers (known as double-layer DVD, most PC DVD writers can write this format now, but the discs are still pretty expensive compared to single-layer DVDs)
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Old 2006-06-28, 23:50   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindStriker
What is DVD-5 and DVD-9?
Q. DVD Sizes, What is DVD-5, DVD-10, DVD-9, DVD-18 and Double Layer DVDs?
Quote:
A. There are four different DVD sizes:

DVD-5 holds 4.7GB and is supported by the DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW formats. It is also known as Single-Sided Single Layer.

DVD-10 holds 8.75GB and is supported by the DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW formats. It is also known as Double-Sided Single Layer.

DVD-9 holds 8.5GB and is supported by the DVD+R and DVD-R formats. It is also known as Single-Sided Double Layer (sometimes called Dual Layer). The official names are DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL

DVD-18 holds 15.9GB and is supported by the DVD+R format. It is also known as Double-Sided Double Layer (or Double-Sided Dual Layer).
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Old 2006-06-29, 02:48   Link #8
hooliganj
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Originally Posted by bayoab
Sorry, but this is completely false. You cannot fit 10 episodes on a DVD and have them look "DVD quality".
This depends on your standards, I guess. Most anime is produced at a degree of quality considerably lower than DVD standard, and can easily be fit on a disc at less than full spec and still look fine. As the OP pointed out, TV box sets in the US regularly put 6-8 eps per disc, often with extras, so it wouldn't take much to get in two more.
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Old 2006-06-29, 02:51   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooboy666
In Japan they generally only get two episodes per disk.
Sometimes only one, like in the beginning of a series... You don't know how pathetic it looks.

Who's complaining about downloading, huh?
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Old 2006-06-29, 03:20   Link #10
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Most anime is produced at a degree of quality considerably lower than DVD standard, and can easily be fit on a disc at less than full spec and still look fine.
That may be fine for bootleggers and fansubbers/fansub fans, but if I'm going to be buying a DVD I expect the BEST quality I can get. This is generally 4-5 episodes per disc, with the rare 6-7 release that looks good (Tenchi Ultimate Edition from 2000 looks good for when it was done, but the 2nd disc still suffered bandwidth issues later on due to high motion.)

The Japanese often do two, but then they have massive production costs to recoup usually.

Quote:
TV box sets in the US regularly put 6-8 eps per disc, often with extras, so it wouldn't take much to get in two more.
Live action and animation are entirely different beasts when it comes to compression. The lines, blocks of color and gradients play hell with many algorithms and usually require a lot of work and bandwidth to keep looking good. MPEG2 was designed with live action (film, TV) in mind.

Also, most TV boxed sets (single seasons) sell better than entire anime series simply due to a larger audience. As a result, costs are lower and can be spread over more dense releases (entire seasons for half the cost of a single show.)

Do we really need to discuss this again?
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Old 2006-06-29, 03:42   Link #11
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A primary reason for buying DVD is because the quality leaps up over broadcast quality and file quality. 4 eps per disc delivers decent quality for my purposes.

I do prefer full boxed sets or "perfect collections" but it you can't always depend on them releasing those in one nicely priced whack (like Azumanga Daioh's Class Act package).
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Old 2006-06-29, 09:09   Link #12
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Really you can only count on ADV doing it (and Geneon for their older properties). I'm pretty sure that both companies wait until they've recouped their initial cost + profit margin and then they release the thinpak version, or, at least, until they're sure they've rung all the profit out of the initial sale before releasing the thinpak collection.
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There is a correlation between price and how many episodes you're going to get on a disc in the US (I have no idea what it's like in Japan). They license series by episode (as in they pay a particular amount for each episode of a series). In Japan they have recouped a lot of the cost before it moves to DVD (through merchandising, initial TV viewings, etc) ... in the US only two things pay for anime: consumers (through purchasing the DVD) and TV channels (through paying to show it on air). If you consider a show like Kamichu (where it's not airing), that effectively cuts the revenue stream in half. Note that advertising revenue goes to the TV channel NOT the anime licensor.
With the rule of halfs, you figure that the actual disc producer (Geneon, ADV, whoever) is probably selling each disc for about 7.50. Divide that by 4 episodes and you get a little under 2.00 per episode. The logical assumption would be that they need to charge that amount to cut a profit on a non-flop release. I would imagine the two biggest costs involved are 1) the license itself and 2) the dub. They can't ignore the license (or there would be no show to watch and nothing to sell), and historically they haven't been able to ignore the dub because that leads to lower sales. Notice that the two biggest costs involved are each done per episode and NOT per disc - i.e. the costs that have to be recouped matter less on how much is charged per disc and more on how much is charged per episode.

Now, could they put eight episodes on a disc? Yes, there would be a correlating sacrifice in quality (yes, it would be noticeable - I can tell the difference between my R1 and R2 DVD's) and the price of the disc would nearly double (i.e. It'd be $60, not $30) because the cost involved is a per episode cost, not a per disc cost. But the problem is that no one would buy it, the perceived value at that point would be out of whack - you're paying twice as much for a significantly worse quality release.

Now you understand why ADV wants to sell streaming content for like $2 an episode - it's probably pretty close to the amount of profit they're making right now AND they're hoping that more people will consume with the lower cost of entry.

There is also no correlation with a US show (animated or not). US shows have generally paid for themselves by the time they reach DVD. Anyone who thinks that Fox hasn't MADE money on 24 before it ever reaches DVD is crazy. Plus, it's not like Fox has to license the show from itself before releasing it on DVD.

Also, I'm not sure what formats are used on anime dvds or whatnot, but you can fit more than four episodes of an animated series on a DVD at DVD level quality. B:TAS and S:TAS both fit between six and eight per disc and they are at the same level of quality of anime releases. Now, obviously, if they're using DVD-9's and the anime industry is (for some unknown reason) using DVD-5's, that would explain the difference.
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Old 2006-06-29, 13:25   Link #13
hooliganj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microlith
Do we really need to discuss this again?
Not really. If you backtrack to my first post, you'll see that I agree with everything you're saying. I only wanted to point out that the reasons for the number of eps per disc are entirely financial; the technical limits of the standard have nothing to do with it.
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Old 2006-07-01, 01:47   Link #14
Kyuven
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You think we have it bad? After getting back from Japan I count myself lucky that I'm able to get a DVD (ANY DVD) for less than 20 bucks.
Anime, over there, for 2 episodes on a disc is about oh....5000 yen. That translates (roughly) to forty five bucks. For two episodes, or one ninety minute movie.
Meanwhile, for 30 bucks we get four or five episodes (on average) with (usually) two language tracks, and the same extras as the Japanese release (usually).
And it's not just anime, King Kong was at least 4000 yen over there, whereas it's about twenty bucks here FROM THE SAME STORE (Tower Records).
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Old 2006-07-01, 02:38   Link #15
Vexx
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There's a little bit of what is called "captive audience syndrome" and Japan is famous for industries being a bit too cooperative in their pricing. ... but also remember that King Kong is an "import DVD" over there. For JP local products, the audience there is more willing (more passive?) to pay high price points (I'm sitting here remembering paying $75 for a VHS tape about 20 years ago) than in the highly competitive US market.
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