Re: Allofmp3 @ HollyHopDrive
> What I don't get is its the same film - the actors did no more work, they had to film it in the highest resolution anyway. ... The actors/directors/etc got paid the same, the distribution cost difference is negligible and I don't believe the royalties are different either. If they can sell the SD for 6.99 then the HD should be 6.99 and the SD version should not exist. Its this 'taking the piss' that consumers don't like.
It's not taking the piss; it's price segmentation. I thoroughly recommend Joel Spolsky's explanation of it -- it's a long read, but entertaining and funny. The short version is that the price of a product is not really a function of its cost of production. Everyone thinks it is, yes, but it isn't. (If its price can't cover its cost of production, then the product will simply not be made at all, not sold at a lower price.)
A lot of industries have this problem: small cars cost about the same as large cars to manufacture; children's clothes cost about the same as adult clothes to manufacture; but these products have to be priced differently because of what customers are willing to pay. Katzenberg has identified (correctly, I think) an area in which customers will be willing to pay different prices for the same movie. Seems like a sensible move.
Incidentally, your claim that the actors all get paid the same regardless doesn't quite hold. Actors' contracts include clauses that specify what their work may be used for, how it may be released. So, for instance, my father started getting royalty cheques when the BBC's version of The Forsyte Saga was released on VHS, and then more cheques when it was released on DVD, because my late grandfather was in it and it was made before either format had been invented, so his contract and payment only covered analogue BBC broadcasts, so further releases on new formats required further payment. One of the reasons film actors get such huge payments is that film studios don't want to be landed with any such future liabilities, so their contracts specify that their actors' performances, once recorded, may be used for absolutely anything the studio ever thinks of in the future. So, as studios come up with more pricing and release models like this one, actors' agents and managers will take that into account during negotiations and the actors' fees will increase. The existence of higher definition formats that enable people to have home cinema screens certainly does increase the cost of hiring actors.