I love DVDs despite their being a bit fragile from time to time. One of the reasons is that I like to get my hands on things to know they are really mine. It’s a lot like paper books versus eBooks. Give me a paperback every time.
The thing is, even up to a few years ago, streaming video to a personal device was slow and clunky. That’s what made DVDs so appealing to me. I didn’t mind carrying around the 250 DVDs in my collection around in a Case Logic bag because that is what I was used to. True, you had to have a player but they were as common as cell phones at one time – everyone had at least one. Later they came out with those portable DVD players, which I never bought because the whole idea seemed weird. Laptops could play DVDs with a bigger screen anyway, so gave the computer a multitasking environment feel.
But now I have to admit there are a lot of advantages to Internet streaming video content. Notice I said video content, not movies. Because with the explosion of YouTube I can access many trailers and reviews before I plunk down any amount of money. YouTube is its own creature anyway, even though there are a lot of similar wannabe web sites out there now. But video content doesn’t have to be an entire movie, and I’ll admit I am happy about that.
There are a lot of reasons to abandon the DVD. I have a friend who is collecting a ton of them for future posterity. I think part of it is he is hoping to make a profit by selling them on eBay down the road, but I’m not seeing that to be very profitable based on what I have seen so far. The bigger problem is the player. There was once a tape player called an 8-track player that had specially made music tapes to put in the device. The same problem applies here. Having the DVDs is meaningless if you don’t have a player.
What I don’t like about streaming videos is that I really don’t own anything. You pay to use the video, but if whoever you are renting or buying it from decide to slightly change the content or remove it from the library altogether, then what recourse do I have? Whether that will happen or not I’m not sure, but my feelings on that are based in part on the fact that I like to personally handle what I buy.
A good thing about Internet streaming is I don’t have to wait weeks or months to watch a favourite TV series or a recent movie. Most of the time, movies that were in the theatres two or three months ago can be found online today. It is all about going digital and how it has changed the world – especially with music and video. I got a cable package that has great connection speeds so I rarely have any problems with jerky movies or pixilation.
I like to have my hands on what I pay for, but one question I ask myself is who will get my assembled DVD collection when my time is up – and will they want it?