It’s the End of the DVD As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)
That’s great, it started with video tapes, movies in the home at 8, Lenny Bruce is still not afraid. I remember when we got our first VCR. It was a Betamax and we had some of the coolest movies. Of course, the Beta went the way of the do do bird. Then it was VHS. Come and almost gone.
Now it’s the DVDs turn. Earlier in the year the big question was “Who was going to replace DVD’s: HD DVD or Blu-Ray?” Now we know that answer – but does it matter? Blu-Ray players really haven’t been selling like hotcakes and if you have one, you know that it’s not the fastest thing on the planet. The ultimate irony is that Sony owned Beta and lost to VHS. Now Sony won with Blu-Ray, but will that only be a small win as alternate formats are entering into the market?
Netflix has been battling Blockbuster for reign over online Movie rentals. Blockbuster has an option to return movies to the store and get more instantly, whereas Netflix provides ondemand movies and TV series on your computer. This week Netflix stepped it up by putting out a settop box. For 100 dollars you recieve an appliance that will allow you to easily download and play movies on your TV.
$100. For a service you already have. I suppose it’s better than the 295 dollar slingbox or AppleTV. I could put together a media center computer to do the same thing, but even if I used the Linux Media Center, the price of computer, video card and extras would also cost over $100. Even a PS3, Wii or Xbox with proper software will cost more than $100.
Only thing that would be cheaper is a DVD player. No high definition, but for $30 you have a way to watch movies. If you are just planning to fall asleep to a show, that’s probably the best way to go.
But nowadays we want more. Bigger TV, bigger sound system and better experience. Some have gone as far to put in theatre seats, curtains and a full concessions bar into a dedicated room. After all, why pay $9 to $30 dollars a person when you can entertain for the evening without a sticky floor.
Add in the illegal “bittorrent” crowd. Downloading movies from peer to peer clients and holding them onto hard drives. Then watch everything without leaving the house.
So many ways to watch the same old content. Why should we go to the local Wal-Mart and get a disc? Do we still need the tangible media? Or can we trust the digital content?
Many things get lost with these alternate media outlets. Cover art, for example, is reduced down to a couple digital pictures. No need for a small guide with your collectors edition Star Wars. It’s all on a document format or even in the DVD itself. Just have to read it on the screen.
Getting back to Blu-Ray, why do we love, then dis the format? Was it the longer load times for High Definition content? Maybe it was the fact that Sony decided to jack up the prices on players. Would you choose the Movie Short Circuit on DVD for 5.99, or on BluRay for 23.99?
Personally I haven’t bought a DVD in about a year. I have a Blockbuster account and it suits me fine. I don’t need the highest of definition because I dont have a TV to support it. If I did, it still wouldn’t make the biggest of differences.
Electronic media is growing fast, simply because it’s the fastest to get what you want. Order and watch and if you lose those download files, well you can easily buy it again. But who ever watches a movie more than once?