With every year it seems like we’re becoming more reliant on digital media as our source for watching film and television. And it’s great to see how Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime are continuing to expand the library of content they’re streaming. But in spite of that I still continue to purchase DVDs and Blu-rays on a regular basis. Why? Well in case you haven’t guessed that’s what I’m going to discuss in today’s article. So, without further ado here are my reasons for amassing a vast collection of DVDs and Blu-rays.
-Special Features are Important to Me-
Yes, I am that guy. As a huge film nerd I love digging into a disc full of extras. With many of my favorite filmmakers they pull out all of the stops when prepping a disc’s release. One of the perfect examples of this is director Kevin Smith and his entire filmography. On the 10th anniversary of Kevin Smith’s debut film Clerks he released a three disc special edition DVD set entitled Clerks X. Aside from a new transfer of the film, a port of the original DVD’s features, and the alternate cut of the film there was the feature length documentary, Snowball Effect: The Story of Clerks. From that documentary we learn the origins of many of the script’s famous moments. It’s also a fascinating look into how someone outside of Hollywood created one of the most influential indie films of the 90’s.
-Catering to Collectors-
There are a handful of companies that have wised up to the general public’s waning interest in physical media. With that they’ve begun to release limited edition versions of films or giving them collectible packaging. Shout! Factory has worked hard to release multiple overlooked cult films in high definition, with beautiful artwork, and multiple features. I was over the moon when they released Halloween III: Season of the Witch on Blu-ray. There were actual special features including two audio commentaries and a retrospective documentary. The market for a special edition Blu-ray of this black sheep sequel may be small, but they made sure we were happy.
-Lack of an Internet Connection-
While some digital releases can be directly downloaded to a device for watching others use Cloud based storage. Many times I’ve dealt with a spotty Internet connection where I live and that can be a minor inconvenience for streaming Netflix. But if watching my entire film collection was contingent on a pristine Wi-Fi connection I’d be ruined. I love being able to grab a film off the shelf on a whim and watch it without a single problem. And even with direct digital downloads you run the risk of files getting corrupted or deleted. When I purchased a new computer I tried to transfer a handful of digital copies to my new computer. Since I downloaded them on my original computer security features in the files made it impossible to view them on the new computer.
It is great that streaming, cloud storage, and digital downloads are available to us. It provides a cheaper and more eco-friendly way to watch films. But lets not give up on physical media. Even the music industry is seeing a renaissance in physical media with vinyl becoming big amongst collectors. So what are your thoughts? Are you someone who prefers the convenience of digital? Do you love purchasing DVDs/Blu-rays and displaying them on a shelf? Or are you someone who likes to have both available to them?