Replacing Physical Media

One of the things we have way too much of is physical media, both DVDs and CDs. We have been collecting CDs for 30 years and DVDs for close on 20. We got or first DVD player around 2001, and with no streaming we used to buy quite a few movies. When we lived overseas access to movies was difficult so we would buy or import movies. Even in Norway it was actually cheaper to use amazon.co.uk to import films and TV than to rent them from a local shop.

Also we didn’t have access to cable overseas so we would buy box sets to binge watch when back in the states or the UK.

The net effect is we have a lot of discs. For several years was was great as we had lots of movies to watch whenever we wanted to. However over time we have found we just don’t need that many discs. For CDs with the advent of Spotify we just don’t play our CDs any more. For a family and especially with a teenager we have found Spotify to be a lifesaver It’s been a great way to listen to new music, and the simple fact is that no one even listens to albums any more. It’s all play lists and tailored radio.

For the DVDs we have access to movies through Netflix, HBO and Amazon and should we wish to watch something not available on there we can always rent or buy from those online stores. Alternatively we can rent from the public library. The main downside with buying from those online stores is you don’t actually own the product. Amazon or Apple reserve the right to remove the product all the time. Also you don’t have access usually to VAM (value added material or extras). Although for many Hollywood blockbusters these extras are often fluff pieces, art house movies or archive British TV that I watch can have excellent commentaries and documentaries.

The other reason for not watching our dvds any more is they just don’t look as good on our modern large TV. DVDs are standard definition or 480p, modern TVs are designed to be high definition (1080p) or 4K (2160p). With modern internet speeds and storage it is possible to stream or store 4K movies. So to be honest I would rather spend a couple of bucks to watch the film in best resolution and with multchannel sound.

About 5 years back we did move to BluRay once the high def media war was won, but even those we have stopped buying.

The other issue we have found is that after 15-20 years some of our discs skip and simply don’t play any more.  This is due to disc rot, which is a real thing. At some point we should probably methodically go through our discs and see which ones work and which ones skip.

Other than a couple of family movies in Black Friday sales, we have bought practically no physical media over the last couple of years. I don’t see that changing but the big question is do we want to part with the discs, and if we do part with them are they any good to anyone if a percentage are rotten.

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