Physical media vs. Digital media

All non-Nolan related film, tv, and streaming discussions.
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-I'm getting a bit worried here...

-Why is that so?

Disc format wars: we all know Warner Brothers chose blu-ray over HD-DVD as a successor format to DVD and the rest followed. It was Sony who really pushed it further with their Play Station 3 being a blu-ray player as well as gaming console, Microsoft got stuck in the past with X360's DVD format.

Now, with 4K slowly overcoming 1080p, the story isn't exactly deja vu as one might hope, with upcoming PS4Pro Sony chose to ditch UHD format in exchange for a (slightly) lower price point, sure you'll get your 4K resolution for gaming, but not for UHD movies on disc, whereas Microsoft gets the advantage of having UHD player inside their XBoxOne Scorpio (coming in late 2017), but currently also with a much lower user install base.

With digital streaming, and the rise of services like: Netflix, Steam, Amazon, iTunes, PSN etc., more and more people are jumping the physical media ship and joining the evergrowing digital data club. Will it ever stop? Is there a point where so called movie enthusiasts, physical media collectors, jump ship as well?

I'm asking this because I love collecting movies, as well as books, comic books. It's my passion. I don't have any intention to stop. But I'm also looking at UHD movies right now and have no intention to buy those either since I don't have a 4K TV (yet) and I don't have a 4K player (yet), so why bother, all of it is just too damn pricey. Large studios like Fox lately aren't even bothering with releasing some of their best TV series on blu-ray, let alone 4K, I'm afraid the rest will follow and the digital streaming services will become so powerful and widespread that people like me, avid movie collectors, will eventually earn the title of enthusiast minority. We're in the green zone right now since very small percentage of users can stream in high quality and actually match the quality of a disc, but what happens when we hit that point? I understand that the majority always rules, I also want to have a choice, tomorrow, next year, or in the far future. For me, owning a movie is much more than simply resting that blue plastic case on a shelf, it's like owning a book vs. owning it on kindle.

What is your opinion on the matter, how often do you buy movies these days and on what medium? Do you think digital streaming can eventually overcome the need for physical prints? Can two aspects of the market co-exist in the future?

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I hope both can co-exist (I prefer physical media even with games and books) but I'm afraid we're living in the digital revolution.

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Allstar wrote:I hope both can co-exist (I prefer physical media even with games and books) but I'm afraid we're living in the digital revolution.
I'm all pro digital revolution if it means more quality entertainment in my living room, but I also hope it won't completely overcome the need for physical. My example of FOX doing VOD/DVD only for many of their series is a small percentage and I don't have the numbers for other large studios like Disney, WB, Universal, Sony etc. I really like the idea of co-existing as it is right now - even if you buy a physical disc, you get a digital code. And transition from blu to 4K is so slow that blu-ray can easily survive for several years, regular consumer won't even think about 4K, most of them haven't even switched from DVD to blu.

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I get a movie every couple of weeks or so (recently that's changed though lol). On DVD if it's unbelievably cheap or Blu-Ray if I'm seeking it out. I have no digital movies and I don't want to be forced into getting digital movies. My grandmother, whom I watch many movies with, does not have any way for me to stream movies on her TV or through her Internet. This is honestly the reason I say digital and online movies are not a good move for the future. They limit when/where you can watch them but state that they can be watched "anywhere/anytime." If the Internet goes out, you're screwed. I've had my Internet go out for 2 days before due to some big electrical issue in our house and I watched movies all those days. Because I could use my DVD's without the need for Internet. i just feel digital is a limitation and it's being forced upon the users. None of my peers even seem to care about digital copies (for instance, we're all going to get Civil War on Tuesday).

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I'm totally with you, digital is just thin air, somewhere in the cloud, or on a hard disc that can easily fry with a single lightning bolt strike (been there, done that). I don't want to rent a movie, watch it, go watch something else, where's the fun in that? Where's the trace of that experence besides my fading memory? I may want to watch it again and maybe it's not even on Netflix anymore. Sure, I often just download something and absorb it for those two hours with no intention of buying a physical copy, but that's just my wallet telling me to wait for payday or wait for something worthy of my hard earned money. Casuals are clearly the majority here, people who never bought a DVD in their life and have no intention to switch to blu, let alone 4K, and why should they? Movies are just to pass time for them. The problem, as you said, is if major companies start seeing a pattern and stop mass producing copies while pushing their digital platforms. Recently I wanted to buy American Crime Story and Scream Queens, I pirated those two back then and one way to give my money to makers and reward them for their quality work is to eventually purchase the entire series on blu. Guess what, no game, VOD/DVD only. I stopped buying DVDs for a long time and I don't have iTunes or Netflix (we got it last year literally, Croatia is weird like that). If other companies follow, soon I'll have to stop filling my shelf and start filling ones and zeroes. I know it sounds grim and far fetched but we're pretty damn close to having just one choice: Netflix and chill.

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I only buy music physically (vinyl). Stopped bying dvd's and bluray's several years ago. I prefer Netflix (but that's shit atm) and Google Play.

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Depends on the media, I really have no attachment to Blu-Rays.

I'll die before I read a book on an iPad though

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For years my movie library has been digitized. BDRX, 1080, etc. Beyond that, though, the future is digital. On my 4K HDR TV, the "best" looking content right now is streamed over VUDU in Dolby Vision. The DV version of Mad Max is better than the UHD for example.


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I don't care.

If I want something physical I'll get it. If I want something digital I'll get it.

I have both options at the moment and nothing will change in the future.

There will always be something physical. Don't understand why it needs to be a "competition".

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What makes you so sure nothing will change in the future? The mass-market is dictated by the majority and if the majority chooses digital you'll have a hard time finding what you want. I'm not saying it's going to happen overnight but we're already seeing the changes, DVD sales in UK lead blu-ray almost 7:1. You can imagine how it'll go with UHD. If retail becomes niche your carefree attitude now can easily become a search for that one store in town or that one company that still works with retail, we're talking five, ten years maybe, but there is a possibility. Also, nobody mentioned competition as the main reason, just (un)natural, fast progression.

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