The downfall of physical media ??? ( where do you side ) glad to see it go or not

Is it just me or is it getting harder and harder to find media ( walmart target bestbuy ect )
back in the day places had rows and rows of great movies
now short of going to a place like streetlight records in my area that cater to used media for dvd at 2$ and bluray 5$ on average and let you trade in

so i am 50 and have collected media for 30 years now starting with VHS ( yes kids it really was a thing look up blockbuster :) hehe
still have like 1500 dvd and 1000 bluray easy

i really enjoyed the fun of going to the store and seeing what was new and what old great movies you could find ----

I do understand the new generation that like to stream -- but in a era of the content provider changing what they carry and editing the content
because they dont think i cant handle shotguns in ET or a bare bum in splash really does make me thankful i am a collector and can just walk over to the
movie wall a grab what i want unedited

what do you think and where do you fall on this debate ?? To collect or to just stream

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Paul Andrew

Master Member
I find digital copies much more convenient just as far as using them goes. I still buy discs for some things, like Marvel and Star Wars stuff, but more often than not I will buy a digital copy of a movie or album and be fine. I don't relish the idea of having to move a gigantic collection ever again, so having a few hundred movies on my plex server is a lot better for me personally. The quality is good enough, and for the things I really care about having the highest quality experience with I still have a few discs.
 

Psab keel

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Streaming has it's place for sure. I like the space saving nature of it. That said, I am ALL FOR physical media. I'm 41 and I too grew up with video rental stores, record stores, book stores. I'd much rather have a physical item in my hand to look at the cover art or to read. I never took to Kindle. For records/ cds I want the liner notes and to hear a full album- something many in the newer generations don't seem to appreciate like we did growing up. Plus the butchering of historical art to suit current tastes is another major reason why I'd rather own my movies, books, and cds, than renting them for the rest of my life. I want the original versions, not some PC watered down crap.

The other downsides to streaming? If your internet connection goes down you can't read (in the case of a Kindle it requires electricity), you can't watch anything, or listen to music. With physical media, that isn't a concern. Just pick up a book and read it. For music, put on a cd or vinyl on your player. For a movie just put it into your Bluray/ DVD/ VHS player. You also have the option to sell your physical media because you purchased it. When you download something you're buying the right to download it, not resell it. Plus once you purchase your physical media, it's your's. If you stream something you have to pay a subscription and are essentially renting it the rest of your life and when you consider how many services are exclusive for specific content you need a number of subscriptions to get every show or movie you want. You can download a movie once, but then you'll eventually have to upgrade software as the technology changes, effectively adding to the cost of your original purchase. What would happen if your computer or cloud account crashed and you lost your entire collection in one fell swoop? That's not a concern for your shelf of DVD's, barring a natural disaster or accident like a fire.

All this to say, I'm not totally against Streaming. It's easy, convenient, saves money in some cases, and space in your home. Your selection of material to choose from is almost infinite and the availability of physical media is slowly going away to the point where I think unless my generation or my parents generation are able to convince younger people to embrace physical media, it will eventually disappear. It virtually already has. My wife laughs at me for having CD's but when the internet goes out or in other instances, having that "old way" of doing things has saved the day.

I'm with you in a few regards Paul Andrew but key among them is that for your absolute favorite movies you should own a physical copy, even if it's just a backup.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
I've got a lot more commercial DVDs and Blurays than that. I agree that pure digital is handy for viewing but for archiving, I go pure physical. I've become a lot more picky of late which things I archive and which I don't, but I burn a TON of DVDs for archival purposes, things that I might want to see again down the road and a lot of those, I'll purchase if it becomes available down the road.
 
I've got a lot more commercial DVDs and Blurays than that. I agree that pure digital is handy for viewing but for archiving, I go pure physical. I've become a lot more picky of late which things I archive and which I don't, but I burn a TON of DVDs for archival purposes, things that I might want to see again down the road and a lot of those, I'll purchase if it becomes available down the road.
yeah i also have become very selective on what i purchase over the last 5 years
as it seems that a lot of new movies IMO just are not that great -- watch once and done
compared to years ago when you got blockbuster after blockbuster
 
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JoeG

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Stopped purchasing/collecting physical media over 5 years ago and I'm good with that. I much prefer digital. I had a few out of print movies that I've kept, but got rid of the rest. Even the physical copies I've kept I backed up to my drive.
 

PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've got a lot more commercial DVDs and Blurays than that. I agree that pure digital is handy for viewing but for archiving, I go pure physical. I've become a lot more picky of late which things I archive and which I don't, but I burn a TON of DVDs for archival purposes, things that I might want to see again down the road and a lot of those, I'll purchase if it becomes available down the road.

I'm the exact same way. I'm a physical-media-man myself for the exact same reasons. I don't know how some haven't figured that you don't have to buy everything that's released. Collecting is curating; be selective, get what you like. It's called being discerning. I like archiving and collecting things that mean something to me, something I can refer to time again because I consider it fun or art. They are learning material to me as much as entertainment, and the more bonus material, the better; I actively buy any version of a film I like that has lots of supplemental features.

I don't dog on anything digital, the convenience and access is something that can't be denied. However, when I sit down to watch something, it isn't something I just consume, I indulge. It's the difference between home-cooking and fast food. "Quick" often means a detriment to quality, and "quality" often times is more involving, and I prefer the latter experience. The quality of physical media will always be consistent if it's never damaged; sound, color quality--it's all preserved each time you go to it. A disc for a film is like a book or a vinyl record; yeah, there are digital copies readily available but why do people still buy vinyls and printed books? Answer: it's an experience and, more importantly, you own it.

I only have Netflix and Criterion Channel as streaming services and nothing else. That is how I watch "new" stuff and revisit classics or catch films I never would have locally. It kills me that the initial promise of liberation by the internet has only grown to be the home of middle-men. Streaming was supposed to be something great but now it's a worse form of cable package deals where you have to buy every channel separate and at their premiums (and some even have blocked content behind a separate paywall). If you've not got good internet connection, your quality will be spotty, and you only have access to whatever show and film on the service as long as the service keeps it. A lot of the library of films on many of these streaming services are there for a limited time and you can only watch it there before it lapses into somewhere else into the ether. So, essentially, a streaming service is a license to exhibited material. If it's gone from that service, you end up having to buy it anyway. It's nonsense to have them for just one thing and on someone else's time.
 
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dbuck

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
While I still buy a few select titles I have made the switch to digital. I still have hundreds of dvd and Blu-ray’s tucked into binders, I gave up displaying the boxes years ago. I almost never go into those binders anymore.
I currently have about a thousand digital movies and dozens of seasons of various tv shows. Digital is easier to deal with, I can download them and travel with them, or stream them almost anywhere. My daughter and grandkids can watch them where they live as well.
I didn’t think I’d go this route, I was always a physical copy in my hand type of person.

Added: same with books. I buy a few here and there but almost everything is digital. When I moved last year I donated hundreds of books that had lived in the attic for almost two decades. I kept a few dozen choice books but the hoarding is over.
 

Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I love streaming services, it's very convenient. and comparatively low cost for those who watch a lot...

That said, the thing about physical media is that in 20 years when your favourite service shuts down it's servers you can still watch it. Hell, 100 years from now you can still watch it. I'm a video game collector and it really worries me that we're starting to live in a world where games will be lost to time if they were online exclusives.

I can still play an Atari cart from 40 years ago, but can you imagine if the original Atari played games through some over-the-air service with no cartridges? Many games would have been backed up and converted to be playable but many more would simply be lost to time.

Digital purchases aren't ownership, they're rentals. Streaming services have programs come and go based on licensing. There's still some value in tangible, physical media.
 

PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I can still play an Atari cart from 40 years ago, but can you imagine if the original Atari played games through some over-the-air service with no cartridges? Many games would have been backed up and converted to be playable but many more would simply be lost to time...

Video games have it the worst, in my opinion. There's been very little effort to catalogue and preserve the library. For an industry that makes billions more than movies, you'd think there'd be something in place but there's not. It's amazing where the online community has come in for preservation sake.
 

Psab keel

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Over the years I too have become very selective about my physical media. When I first began I used to buy anything and everything that sounded appealing, but just like with every collection, curation is an essential. If it's something I'll listen to, watch, or read frequently, I want a physical copy on hand. Otherwise I'm more likely to stream it if it's unlikely I'll revisit it.
 
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Cephus

Sr Member
I'm the exact same way. I'm a physical-media-man myself for the exact same reasons. I don't know how some haven't figured that you don't have to buy everything that's released. Collecting is curating; be selective, get what you like. It's called being discerning. I like archiving and collecting things that mean something to me, something I can refer to time again because I consider it fun or art. They are learning material to me as much as entertainment, and the more bonus material, the better; I actively buy any version of a film I like that has lots of supplemental features.

Same here. We used to have "DVD Christmas" around here where we'd get dozens of DVDs at a time but that hasn't happened for a long time. I used to get at least a hundred DVDs and Blurays a year but now, it's down to just a few. Almost everything that I get is old stuff now. It's very surprising when I actually want to see a modern movie and even more so when I want to keep it. I went from getting most of the big sci-fi blockbusters to not having any interest in them at all. I've given up on Marvel altogether. The last time I saw a Marvel movie, it was the original Iron Man. That's my favorite film they ever did and it drops off precipitously from there. The last time I sat down and watched a series from my collection, it was the Six Million Dollar Man. Well, right now I'm running through Defying Gravity which was a one-season wonder but I don't want to watch any of this other crap. There's very little else that I care about. My wife and I have been going back and watching early seasons of Agatha Christie's Poirot with David Suchet and Midsomer Murders rather than bother with what's on TV right now. I could never see anything new ever again and still have tons to watch until the day I die. Last I knew, we were closing on 4500 commercial DVDs and Blurays and well over 10k burned. I just don't need it anymore and it's just not good enough to waste my time on.

I don't dog on anything digital, the convenience and access is something that can't be denied. However, when I sit down to watch something, it isn't something I just consume, I indulge. It's the difference between home-cooking and fast food. "Quick" often means a detriment to quality, and "quality" often times is more involving, and I prefer the latter experience. The quality of physical media will always be consistent if it's never damaged; sound, color quality--it's all preserved each time you go to it. A disc for a film is like a book or a vinyl record; yeah, there are digital copies readily available but why do people still buy vinyls and printed books? Answer: it's an experience and, more importantly, you own it.

Digital is fine if it's just a one-and-done. I don't mind that. Most things these days are. I'm never going to sit through SNW ever again but I'll go through the entire run of Babylon 5 at least once a year or so. I've got The Orville and I've seen the first two seasons a couple of times. I've got Stranger Things, the first three so far, and I've rewatched them and all of the extra features. This modern Star Trek crap? Forget it!
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm a physical media snob. BD discs have a much higher video and audio bitrate than any streaming service, and it's striking to see a comparison. The images below are from David Sandberg (director of Shazam, etc..), and taken from this thread:


EkQFulUVgAAr-Tq.jpg



EkQFulVU0AArVXW.jpg


It's pretty clear to me that if you favor image/audio quality, then physical media is the way to go.

SB
 

ScourgiousJinx

Sr Member
I've noticed a significant difference in the quality of physical content vs digital as well. I would be a little more pro-digital if space was an issue as I'm not a fan of clutter. Also I would like to have the option of owning a physical copy instead of being forced to purchase it digitally or to purchase subscriptions to digital streaming services to watch a particular film or show. It bothers me that every time I watch something the service uses that info to market to me or sells it to a third party. I really like the idea of studios producing physical copies of content on demand for those who would like it.
 

Jagjaguwar

Sr Member
Best of both worlds for me: a physical collection as a backup, with daily use handled by my Plex server loaded up with about 36 terabytes of uncompressed mkv rips of the discs. All the benefits of physical media’s special features and bitrates, with all the benefits of streaming convenience.

It’s a bit of a hassle to set up initially, but now I’ve got essentially my own personal Netflix, accessible in-home or anywhere else.
 

Paul Andrew

Master Member
Fwiw, I don't trust all my digitally owned movies to remain available all the time. Typically I will use somewhat ethically debatable means to rip a copy I can add to my at home plex server. It's not perfect, but if I'm spending the money I try to get a file I can keep.
 

Lightning

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have a CD/DVD/Blu-ray library of movies and music I want access to at all times. However, I virtually never actually use them. It almost physically pains me to have to put a disc in the player. Streaming is so convenient, no waiting for the discs to load or skipping past warnings and previews. It is very annoying when some of the popular stuff jumps around the various services. Back to the Future, for example, bounces around a lot. Of course I own the BTTF movies on DVD. What I don't do is buy digital copies, too expensive for me to merely be renting them until Apple descides to get out of the media business.

Best of both worlds for me: a physical collection as a backup, with daily use handled by my Plex server loaded up with about 36 terabytes of uncompressed mkv rips of the discs. All the benefits of physical media’s special features and bitrates, with all the benefits of streaming convenience.

It’s a bit of a hassle to set up initially, but now I’ve got essentially my own personal Netflix, accessible in-home or anywhere else.
I'd love to set something like that up at some point.
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Physical here and like most of you the buying has almost stopped.

Nothing like getting a text from a friend complaining that streaming is not working and I laugh and put in what they WERE watching.

Marathoning the Classic, “ Munsters“, right now!
 

Jagjaguwar

Sr Member
I’d advise those who do mostly digital copies: make sure you know what happens if the licensing deal for what you’ve purchased ends, or if the movies get pulled from the digital store for some other reason. If you can save copies on a computer or hard drive, it’s never a bad idea.

Hasn’t happened to me with films as I don’t buy those digitally, but I lost access to dozens of digital music albums when the artists stopped paying to host them (Amazon), and now I’m SOL. I didn’t have copies downloaded/saved and now the ability to download the copies I paid for is gone.
 

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