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Why does the UK get shafted with DVD/Blu ray releases?


juiceDpunk983

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In the UK we don't have Sonic X on DVD or Blu-ray. We have the ancient volume dvds which I've had since they were new. Where's the Japanese release for the UK?

This doesn't really matter to me since I have a region 1 player now. However, it'd be great if we had a region 2 release.

It's not just a problem with Sonic but lots of cool stuff too, like that Castlevania blu ray only goes up to series 2 here on physical media, TMNT 2003 full set. Lots and lots of other stuff gets region 1 only.

I ain't gonna take the physical media is dying take because region 1 still gets releases. There's an audience here too. Is there a way to request DVDs at all? Why is this a problem in the first place?

I'm willing to bet we will get only volume 1 of Sonic Prime if it even gets a physical copy, when every other region has the complete series.

I know I shouldn't be annoyed, especially since I've solved my problem by getting imports. Problem is, I shouldn't have to do that.

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Broadly, the distributors who are interested in back catalog re-licensing and preservation are based in the U.S. If the U.K. has a philosophical Discotek equivalent, I'm not aware of it.

Though in regard to "There's an audience here too," the actual population of the U.K. is 1/5 the size of the U.S.. So yes, the audience is non-zero, and one could make the argument that the audience is more invested, but you need both the quantity of buyers and an active licensee to put together the boxed product.

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22 minutes ago, GX -The Spindash- said:

Discotek equivalent

We had something similar called Manga UK I believe, they gave us the Yu-Gi-Oh DVDs which I love. However, they've been bought by funimation and I think will now only just release stuff like One Piece and Dragon ball.

I suppose the UK is too small for an audience lol, but still give us a limited release or something for stuff like Sonic X Japanese for the people interested.

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I think this is one of those cases where they sell such niché products that they can kind of count on people like yourself and me to solve our issues through exernal means - I bought a region-free blu-ray player literally FOR the JP Sonic X release.  The fact that we're willing to do that almost serves as evidence that there was no need for them to create a PAL region version.  It's a hard thing to judge exactly how big a portion of their potential audience is "would buy if there was a PAL version but don't care enough to deal with an NTSC version".

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4 hours ago, juiceDpunk983 said:

In the UK we don't have Sonic X on DVD or Blu-ray. We have the ancient volume dvds which I've had since they were new. Where's the Japanese release for the UK?

This doesn't really matter to me since I have a region 1 player now. However, it'd be great if we had a region 2 release.

It's not just a problem with Sonic but lots of cool stuff too, like that Castlevania blu ray only goes up to series 2 here on physical media, TMNT 2003 full set. Lots and lots of other stuff gets region 1 only.

I ain't gonna take the physical media is dying take because region 1 still gets releases. There's an audience here too. Is there a way to request DVDs at all? Why is this a problem in the first place?

I'm willing to bet we will get only volume 1 of Sonic Prime if it even gets a physical copy, when every other region has the complete series.

I know I shouldn't be annoyed, especially since I've solved my problem by getting imports. Problem is, I shouldn't have to do that.

I'm from the UK myself and you are on point with everything you said here. I find It annoying as well about ancient volume DVD's too. I have no choice but to Import the Sonic TV Shows on Blu-ray.

I've recently got the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog on Blu-ray this year along with the Sonic Boom TV show on Blu-ray as well from Amazon US.

I think that's going to be the same situation as Sonic Prime when It does gets Its own Blu-ray release.

But at the end the day what can you do? I can understand your frustration about this too. And like always us UK always get shafted things liked this all the time.

I'm a Sonic Collector myself If there's something I liked It's always In the US and I have to go and Import It. Same for the US If we have a exclusive Sonic merchandise here In the UK they will have to Import that Sonic merchandise as well too.

You can't really win In any situation either way on these kind of things like this.

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To be fair, I feel like a sizeable chunk of these issues would be somewhat solved if Discotek didn't region lock their stuff. Blu-Rays aren't meant to be region-locked, and case and point, I've got the recent steelbook release of Sonic Boom, as well as the complete series of Teen Titans that isn't released here, yet they work perfectly fine on any normal blu-ray player I'd use (typically my PS5). 

Of course, having just a proper release would be preferable, but it feels like the extra barriers is there specifically to force extra steps if you want to collect this stuff. Already, there's a pretty hefty price tag for importing this stuff (A quick look on Amazon UK shows X's complete series is £60), and a good chunk of the time, half of this stuff can't even be imported via Amazon, and then there's the matter of needing a region-free Blu-Ray for little other reason than seemingly they either felt like region-locking it, or because it's SD on Blu-Ray, which might mean it's region-locking is similar to a DVD, I have no idea.

Either way, it's frustrating for anyone here that needs to go out of their way for a import and a region free player specifically just for these sets.

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I don't really do much DVD shopping these days but I have to ask... Outside of online stores...

Do physical stores... Really carry DVDs anymore? Or Blu-Rays for that matter?

Oh of course, places like CEX are stocked full of them, but they're a second hand media entertainment place.

But supermarkets like Tesco and Asda don't have anywhere near the selection they once had. HMV is all but gone and whilst there is one of these in my town, the selection it once had is very small compared to 10 years ago.

That's probably one reason, just because in the UK at least, the physical media market for movies just isn't really there. 

 

Now for something like the Sonic Cartoon re-releases, I think the reason is a combination of what I just wrote and.... 

Licensing...

I bet they have a license for US/Americas distribution but not EULA, hence the region lock. I bet getting that region free is a more expensive license and since these are very niche, it's a much bigger risk.

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9 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

if Discotek didn't region lock their stuff.

Weird thing though is they didn't region lock the DVD English version of Sonic X but decided to region lock the Blu-rays.

The Sonic Boom Blu-ray was region free. However, the recent Underground DVD by the same company was locked.

9 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

it's frustrating for anyone here that needs to go out of their way for a import and a region free player specifically just for these sets.

Yeah, had to go on and make an account on Amazon US specifically to actually even order the Japanese Sonic X set... As well s the US plaayer.

9 hours ago, Badnik Mechanic said:

HMV is all but gone

In my area I know about four that have a good chunk of DVDs and Blu rays. Although, I think now they're starting to get more vinyls out now more recently. Wonder if they could sell region 1 stuff in that store if they ever thought they could sell it, wouldn't have to worry about importing then.

9 hours ago, Badnik Mechanic said:

I bet getting that region free is a more expensive license and since these are very niche, it's a much bigger risk.

I never thought about that. That's probably what it really comes down to then, with region locking stuff.

 

Someone has to pick up the licence though at some point for all the Sonic cartoons, right? Sonic is still popular in the UK.

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9 hours ago, Badnik Mechanic said:

I don't really do much DVD shopping these days but I have to ask... Outside of online stores...

Do physical stores... Really carry DVDs anymore? Or Blu-Rays for that matter?

Oh of course, places like CEX are stocked full of them, but they're a second hand media entertainment place.

But supermarkets like Tesco and Asda don't have anywhere near the selection they once had. HMV is all but gone and whilst there is one of these in my town, the selection it once had is very small compared to 10 years ago.

That's probably one reason, just because in the UK at least, the physical media market for movies just isn't really there. 

No, physical DVD sales is definitely still a thing in the UK. Been to a ton of HMVs over the years, and their selections have always been pretty much anything you can nab on Amazon that isn’t region locked. Hell, they’re still the place that you can go there and easily pick up anime blu-rays, and most any animated DC movie in that back library. They’ve even expanded out to selling graphic novels, and this was as close as two months ago since the last one I was in. 

Physical media for movies definitely is not dead. Tesco in general seem to be trying to wind down ALL media, but ASDA can still have a fine enough selection, depending on which one you find. Between cheap costs and most new movies and shows not coming to streaming for ages, there’s still a market for selling them. 

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I think it's just games that are going in the Shadow Realm. DVDS are still going strong tbh. I'm glad HMV is still going, one of my favourite stores here.

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Gonna correct a bit of a narrative forming in this thread: If BDs weren't meant to be region locked they wouldn't have built region locking into the standard (HD-DVD didn't have it) and the one publishing the releases probably isn't the one making those calls in the first place. The intent with BD was always to chop up markets like had been done with DVDs before (but with larger regions redrawn to reflect popular trends, ie Japan being the same region as the US). It's just that Hollywood decided that it really didn't care (and winning the war against HD-DVD was far more important to the BD Forum early on too) so most film releases aren't and they didn't even bother including region locking into the UHD standard as a result. Even TV show releases from major studios that you would think would be equivalent to Sonic X or something rarely bother with region locking. 

Discotek, the American company who deals overwhelmingly with older media (and older Japanese media specifically) similarly probably doesn't give the slightest shit who buys their stuff and where themselves. Some of their releases are "Region locked"  but you push a button and it plays anyway (AoStH is this way) and some of them are region locked and I suspect if you investigated the latter it would be overwhelmingly anime from studios that are extremely protective of their IPs and also charging Aniplex prices for everything in their home market no matter how old it is. I've Kickstarted anime BD rereleases where the discs were officially Region free (because they're targeted at American audiences primarily so they can't keep them out of Japan entirely) but they absolutely no exceptions could not ship the release to Japanese addresses or to people with Japanese billing addresses even if no Japanese equivalent release existed. Also Germany too, but probably for censorship reasons. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to answer the thread question it's because the UK is the only primarily English-speaking country in Region 2 and Japan doesn't share a region with it anymore like it did for DVDs.  Your best bet to guarantee imported disc play would be to pick up a PS3 and put CFW on it, since Blu Ray region locking is done through software rather than firmware/hardware like DVD's was.

Edited by Tornado
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  • 4 weeks later...

I've brought this up on another thread already, but I think one thing us UK fans can get is for Sonic X to be streamed on more platforms, such as Crunchyroll. There are plenty of Discotek titles you can watch on Crunchyroll in the UK, both dubbed and subbed, such as GTO, s-CRY-ed, Flame of Recca and Ghost Stories, and these are fairly "niche" titles too, so it wouldn't be too far fetched for Sonic X to be streamed there. What they could do is stream the series in both sub and dub. This would mean that it would give any fans who grew up with the 4Kids dub, either via Jetix or CITV (which I was one of the latter), the option to watch it for nostalgia, whilst also the original uncut Japanese version to give any who are curious to check it out, as well as a easier/cheaper (potentially) way to watch without having to buy a region 1 player, or buy the blu-ray. This wouldn't be the first time Crunchyroll has done this, as you can stream the first three Yu-Gi-Oh! anime (Duel Monsters, GX and 5D's) both dubbed and subbed there as well. 

Not say that this would definitely happen, but I think it would make it easier for us UK fans to experience Sonic X in it's original Japanese format, without having to spend god knows how much to obtain the Discotek blu-rays. The only way for us to stream the series legally is via Netflix and even then, it only has the first two season and no Japanese language option, so you can see why our options are limited. 

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On 8/10/2023 at 6:30 PM, GX -The Spindash- said:

Discotek equivalent

There is Anime Limited, but I'm not 100% sure if they've licensed any Discotek titles in the past. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/12/2023 at 1:37 AM, Spagonia Bowl said:

CITV

Yep, I found Sonic through CITV. Back when it was decent.

I'm pretty sure someone will release a DVD or something eventually here. Sonic ain't that niche, they plaster Sonic everywhere at the coast and arcades here in the UK. In HMV, there's all this Animé on DVD and I ain't got a clue what they are. I'd say Sonic is up there with Dragon Ball anyway with how well known the franchise is. So if Sonic X was on the same shelf as those Animé, it'll get picked up more than the others

In the meantime, region 1 players it is.

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49 minutes ago, juiceDpunk983 said:

I'm pretty sure someone will release a DVD or something eventually here. Sonic ain't that niche, they plaster Sonic everywhere at the coast and arcades here in the UK. In HMV, there's all this Animé on DVD and I ain't got a clue what they are. I'd say Sonic is up there with Dragon Ball anyway with how well known the franchise is. So if Sonic X was on the same shelf as those Animé, it'll get picked up more than the others

I have seen my fair share of Sonic t-shirts and bags during my travels, so I also wouldn't say the Sonic franchise as a whole is niche, just Sonic X. 

If a distributor over here does decide to pick the series up, I imagine it would be either Anime Limited, or MVM, but I think the former is the most likely, as they've released a lot more lesser known, or mainstream titles.

I still think putting Sonic X on Crunchyroll subbed and dubbed is possibly the best option to get the original Japanese version out there, but that really depends of if Crunchyroll would make a deal with Discotek.

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