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Hard Drives Shipping with Star Trek 271

crimeandpunishment writes "Paramount Pictures is trying to live long and prosper by selling Seagate Technology hard drives with the latest Star Trek movie on board ... along with 20 other films. The 500GB hard drive will sell for a special promotional price of $100. It's the latest way for Hollywood to combat falling DVD sales due to piracy."
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Hard Drives Shipping with Star Trek

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:49AM (#31832992) Journal

    The 500GB hard drive will sell for a special promotional price of $100.

    Oh yeah that is, of course, if you don't want to watch the titles. If you want to watch the movies:

    The other movies distributed by Paramount, including "GI Joe," ''Nacho Libre" and "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" come pre-loaded with a digital lock that requires a code that can be purchased online for $10 to $15 each. Even watching "Star Trek" requires registration.

    So yeah it's $100 or over triple that if you actually want to watch the "promotional" material. Otherwise you're buying a hard drive with a (presumably Windows) partition that has Windows DRM and twenty movies taking up 50 gigabytes of space. Sounds to me like a lame AOL CD that gets you working with the shit and then hopes that you just keep using their platform for buying and downloading movies.

    I guess a brave soul could buy the drive and leave the 50 gigs intact and then download the 20 movies and feign ignorance if the MPAA comes knocking at the door. I wonder if there's some consumer protection laws that states if you buy something legally you have a right to enjoy it. Because right now you're buying a digital copy of something that is encrypted but you're not receiving the license that is required to watch it. They better carefully label that the PROMOTION part of the sale lest a consumer figures that they're paying 10% for the movies and 90% for the drive and then becomes upset when they get home and can't watch the movies without ponying up an additional 200%-300%.

    Both companies declined to say if they were taking a loss on the promotional price.

    Really? Oh yeah, sounds like Sony is bending over backwards to trap you into paying the retail price of owning the digital movie that sells for $15 right now on Amazon [amazon.com]. They're using Seagate and Seagate customers are rubes to get around paying for streaming bandwidth of these 50 gigs to potential customers.

    I choose to rate this tactic as USDA certified lame. Shame on Seagate. Shame on Sony. I feel sorry for those that might buy this without realizing what they're getting themselves into.

  • Fixed that for ya. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:51AM (#31833014)
    " It's the latest way for Hollywood to combat falling DVD sales due to netflix and other cheaper content avenues."
  • by FriendlyLurker ( 50431 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:53AM (#31833056)
    " It's the latest way for Hollywood to combat falling DVD sales due to piracy" citation needed
  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ak_hepcat ( 468765 ) <{leif} {at} {denali.net}> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:58AM (#31833180) Homepage Journal

    I can get a 1TB hard-drive for under a $100 at many locations (costco, google-shopping) so this seems like a big waste of money to me.

  • by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:59AM (#31833194) Homepage

    :) Good luck with that plan.

    And, if nothing else you're massively overspending for a 500gb drive...

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:00PM (#31833228) Journal
    Sounds closer to the truth. I have a hundred or so DVDs, but I've hardly bought any since I subscribed to a DVD rental service. I get 2-4 DVDs in the post every week to watch for about the same price as buying one DVD a month. There are very few DVDs that I've watched more than a couple of times, and I'd almost always watch something new than re-watch an old DVD, so buying doesn't make economic sense. Per viewing, it costs more than renting for all except the most exceptional films.
  • He was suggesting preloading content as a way to struggle against commoditization and to do something with today's enormous capacities. I don't think he mentioned saving bandwidth as a reason, but never underestimate the bandwidth of a 2TB drive on a UPS truck.

    I don't have a citation for you, but I think it was a Forbes article.

  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:06PM (#31833340)

    ...Even watching "Star Trek" requires registration...

    The pre-loaded movies come with a Windows-based digital rights management system that prevents file sharing. They take up about 50 GB of the drive itself.

    This means the drive is filled with extra useless crap wasting space before a format. It'd be a sad thing to discover you paid extra for this, only to not be able to actually use the movies as you would any other file, or even DVD. Hardly a "promotion", more like a way to gamble and write off a loss on old stock.

    Ryan Fenton

  • Is the movie industry just incapable of coming up with a business plan that doesn't involve ripping people off?

    Is water wet?

  • by MrTripps ( 1306469 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:15PM (#31833512)
    Why would I pay $15 to take up drive space for a DVD quality film when the Blu Ray runs $16?
  • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:21PM (#31833620) Homepage Journal

    People complain about DVD prices, about movie prices, about whatever the studios do that isn't "give away their stuff for free." And those same people (on slashdot and elsewhere) say "You need to find a new approach." So this looks like an effort by the studio to say "See, we're trying a new approach."

    However, as you've pointed out, we all recognize this is simply a different approach to packaging and marketing, rather than trying to change the economic model. And this particular attempt is almost sleazy in that the movies are advertised but aren't coming with the rights to watch them.

    But here's the deal: high quality movies still cost a truckload of money to make. And they're all a gamble: you can spend $200 million on a movie that flops at the box office, or you could spend that same $200 million and get an epic blockbuster; until the movie hits the screens you really don't know.

    I don't expect them to ever give them away for free, and I don't think anyone should ever expect that. They'll simply stop investing money in big movies if there's no chance of payback. Then all we'll get are the low-budget films. (Not that they all suck, but they certainly mostly suck.) I suppose the plus side is that they'll stop giving Michael Bay to make fake-looking CGI explosions.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:25PM (#31833672) Journal

    Remember in Hollywood a movie that earns millions in ticket sales, nonetheless fails to make a profit when the author has to be payed.

    In Hollywood a shared movie does damages to the tune of roughly the world economy * infinity.

    And in Hollywood a 500gb HD costs the price of a 2tb drive to anyone else.

    This ain't even the typical scam of naming the recommended retail price as a the value of a gift, since Seagate doesn't even recommend this price itself.

    Ah, hollywood and scamming. Remember, if you buy a movie, you are supporting these guys. Safe the free world, be a pirate!

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:50PM (#31834136) Homepage

    Um, can't you buy real DVDs for a similar sort of price?

    }"An empty 500 GB Seagate hard drive usually sells for $140."

    Sure it does...in the year 2007.

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:53PM (#31834180) Homepage

    high quality movies still cost a truckload of money to make.

    That's the whole fucking problem.

    Good movies don't have to cost that. The problem is that nobody watches them, most people want to see the most expensive brain-dead CGI fest that can be made.

    The Ice Storm is a very good movie. It had a budget of $18 million. Critics at Rotten Tomatoes give it 75%+. Yet it failed, because people prefer to watch overpriced shit.

  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @01:05PM (#31834414) Journal

    Rip-off vs rip onto.
  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @01:30PM (#31834890) Journal

    11. Smack J. J. Abrams upside the head one time for each lens flare in the new Star Trek film.

  • by c++0xFF ( 1758032 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @01:50PM (#31835358)

    Sorry. The sarcasm wasn't pointed at the concept of playing movies on a hard drive, but at the promotion itself.

    Let's take the hard drive out of the picture. It's like selling rewritable DVDs with "free" movies on them and then requiring a code to be purchased as well. Oh, and there's nothing free or lower-priced about it.

    Yeah, that's a great way of promoting your products!

  • by zerospeaks ( 1467571 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @01:54PM (#31835446) Homepage
    Dear Paramount Pictures, When I read that a 500GB hard drive came with a copy of Star Trek on it, I reached for my wallet. Even though I already own the blu-ray version. When I read "20 other movies included", I dropped my wallet because I was trying to pull out my debit card too fast. Even if they are old low quality/low budget movies I think this is a great deal! I want to buy one before they sell out. Then I read "DRM" and "additional fees to watch the movies". I now feel like you have insulted my intelligence and I will be sure to pirate your movies from now on. It's not about money. I spend plenty of money. It's about convenience and value. Your ex-customer,
  • Well, I never had that problem with Best Buy. As a matter of fact, I've even gotten them to price-match an item from another online-only store. It was easy.
    1. Print out page showing online price [Crutchfield in this case, $179 free shipping, for a Logitech Harmony One]
    2. Bring print out to local Best Buy - regular price $250 but on sale that day for $225 - plus tax of course]
    3. Nicely speak with the sales rep. Mention that you know they don't *HAVE* to match the price from a non-local online ad, but that you would appreciate it if they would do so anyway. Maybe make some mention of what great customer service that would be, and that while it'd be nice to be able to pick it up today, for that kind of price difference you'd be willing to wait to have it shipped].
    4. They may offer a lower price, but not fully matched to your offer.
    5. Mention [still politely] that you're already going to have to spend like $15 more on tax by choosing to purchase it locally.
    6. Purchase your nicely price-matched item. :)

    I'll admit, I did have one minor extra advantage. When I walked up to the sales guy he was discussing the same remote with another potential customer, who asked that he put it on hold while they looked at other items and thought about getting it. I added to the sales guy that if he would price match the online price, I would be nice and not mention to the other customer that he could purchase the exact same remote for $46 less. :)

    The point is, act polite. Understand their point of view. Be willing to walk away but not huffy or angry about it. Most of the time, you'll get the price you want.

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @02:52PM (#31836670) Homepage

    I'd bet "good" stars are happy to take less to play in good movies.

    See Jim Carrey in The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [the-numbers.com] (2004), another $20 million movie. He made that movie just a year after charging a salary of $25 million for Bruce Almighty.

    Make good movies that real actors can be proud of being in, and they'll settle for way less.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban