Is buying Blurays/DVD's still worth it if you want to own a movie?

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
I’ve got some DVDs that although upscaled, look pretty good to my eyes. However, for every decent one, I have several that look poor. Sadly, all of these are titles that I can’t replace in BR.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
I think there will be a niche market for universal players for some time yet.
I received Pink Floyd - Delicate Sound of Thunder Blu-ray today and the quality of the disc is amazing.
Even if streaming can match the quality many people will want to own a physical disc that they can play anytime in the future.

Streaming is also a future threat to all AV equipment when all you need is a TV. As TV gets larger it is easier to incorporate decent performing speakers that can satisfy most peoples needs.
Others may opt to have a sound bar only.
Thanks for mentioning that. I wasn't aware it had been released.
And by a struck of luck today in what seemed a momentary lapse of reason, the amazon price system dropped the price of the Blu-ray/DVD/2 CD boxset to £36.36 (now back up to their £42.99 usual price (still a decent saving over the £49.99 that HMV want for it). By the looks of the photos the packaging is the same as the David Gilmore Live in Pompei Blu-ray/CD boxset. :smashin:

Checking again just now the price has flipped back to £36.36 so if anyone wants it, amazon is the place to go.

Anyway back on topic, as has been pointed out previously, streaming is of no use when you have a slow broadband connection or if that connection is down, dropping frequently or, as we've seen this year with covid, throttled back to slower speeds.
 
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ash1942

Standard Member
I keep having conflicting ideas on best solution for owning films. I would ultimately prefer to own them on physical media but there are many pro's and con's that I have to weigh up. At the minute I have a split of collection between itunes and physical.

Here are what I consider pro's and con's of Itunes:
Pros:
  • Cheaper than physical (and usually the cheapest digital option in the UK)
  • Free upgrades in quality when available
  • Easily portable (accounting for the fact I have Apple devices to play them on)
  • Good quality (by streaming standards)
Cons:
  • No option for local storage on ATV or ATV+ app (I'd prefer to download once and playback from that source to prevent unessecary energy usage)
  • Never truely own the media, only license it
  • Tied to one company

Here are what I consider pro's and con's of Physcial media:
Pros:
  • Something tangable that you own
  • Far better quality
  • Long term better environmental credentials
  • You can lend your collection to friends / family (although less of a bonus these days as most people I know don't own Blu-Ray players)
Cons:
  • Storage space required (there are options like this CD Storage & DVD Storage but that just increases cost of ownership)
  • Cost of physical media, prices are blatently over inflated
  • Format is outdated after 5-10 years (e.g. dvd -> blu-ray -> uhd -> ??)
  • Risk of loss or damage is greater than with streaming
My ideal solution would be to have a provider that allows me to purchase films digitally and move them about from device to device without (too much) restriction. Maybe a licensing plugin for something like Plex?
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
I've got three disc spinners in my system. At one point I had a Pioneer LX58 connected by HDMI to a Denon X6200 receiver, also connected to the Denon by analogue was a Marantz cd6006. The CD performance from the LX58 was very poor, the analogue performance from the Marantz was better, more open. I tried the analogue connection from the LX58 to the Denon and used the direct function on the Pioneer player, the sound was similar in scope to that produced by the Marantz. Not an A/B test but an improvement overall bringing the Pioneer closer to the performance of the Marantz.

The weakness in the system was a digital connection (although even analogue is subjected to some digital interference on Denons) to the Denon receiver. That receiver itself was quite a poor performer for stereo music. If you use HDMI for CD playback then, unless your have a stereo receiver or a more capable receiver for music such as the Arcam range then HDMI is always going to compromise audio performance.

Now I have three disc spinners in use at the moment. A Pioneer LX500 connected to a Denon X6500 via HDMI only, not only for film and TV but multi channel SACD playback. Now, thankfully, I don't have to play stereo music through the Denon and a Rega stereo amp has those duties for the last three years.

Why HDMI is poor is because of what is needed by the majority of people using multi disc spinners is a receiver's inability to portray stereo music adequately. Analogue improves on that performance but is still hampered by the receiver's overall performance. I've not tried optical or coax, little point with a Denon receiver.

Probably why for the moment I have gone back to analogue out for a cinema as well. I’m going to continue to collect discs, I did the same with vinyl as well...... plenty of shops still selling DVD’s as well and whilst they are of no interest to me a lot of people still buy them !

HDMI was all about licensing and simplicity not audio quality
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Some up to date figures on sales here. Headline quote...”the US market for DVD/Blu-ray discs has been decimated from more than $10 billion in annual sales in 2014, contracting by double digits every year”.

The direction things are going in has been clear for a number of years with few manufacturers left in the segment. For me personally this week I’ve listened to SACD, DVD-A, watched a Blu-ray, watched a UHD and not logged onto Netflix since I don’t have a subscription. But I’m part of a dying breed who congregate on forums such as this and I’d wager that not one in a thousand people could tell you what an SACD is.

 

gibbsy

Moderator
Some up to date figures on sales here. Headline quote...”the US market for DVD/Blu-ray discs has been decimated from more than $10 billion in annual sales in 2014, contracting by double digits every year”.

The direction things are going in has been clear for a number of years with few manufacturers left in the segment. For me personally this week I’ve listened to SACD, DVD-A, watched a Blu-ray, watched a UHD and not logged onto Netflix since I don’t have a subscription. But I’m part of a dying breed who congregate on forums such as this and I’d wager that not one in a thousand people could tell you what an SACD is.

Crap on terrestrial TV this Christmas day and like you it's been disc playing since early this morning from CDs and SACD and finally blu ray films. My wife is happy sitting watching to Tom Jones live from the Sound Stage as a finale. I do have a subscription to both Netflix and Prime but even the 4K presentations can't get near the quality of an upscaled HD blue ray on a 65'' OLED.

I read your link and a $1.28 billion market is not to be snuffed at. Streaming has overtaken certainly but this year is not your normal year by any means.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Actually I feel more comfortable being in the minority :)
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
The writing does seem to be on the wall for physical media , but the situation May actually get reversed.
first, with regards to music, the streaming sites have never posted a profit, this cannot continue indefiniitely and a bubble is set to burst here.

The major issue however is that climate change has turned the spotlight on wasteful power usage, and massive server farms burning gigawatts of energy so we can all have access to 24/7 light entertainment is not justifiable.
I expect to see server farms being forced to scale back to critical data only, and for the general population to start minding their own light entertainment data again in a way that is not so wasteful of energy.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Server farms are warming polar bears to store a trillion selfies 🤦
 

ash1942

Standard Member
The writing does seem to be on the wall for physical media , but the situation May actually get reversed.
first, with regards to music, the streaming sites have never posted a profit, this cannot continue indefiniitely and a bubble is set to burst here.

The major issue however is that climate change has turned the spotlight on wasteful power usage, and massive server farms burning gigawatts of energy so we can all have access to 24/7 light entertainment is not justifiable.
I expect to see server farms being forced to scale back to critical data only, and for the general population to start minding their own light entertainment data again in a way that is not so wasteful of energy.
Data centres could relatively easily become close to carbon neutral by switching to renewable energy and there is always room for refining how efficient the servers are.
Compare that to physical media and which will always be producing plastic discs (with its own problems) and then transporting them half way around the world. There is a lot more standing in the way of physical media becoming carbon neutral. Add that to the fact that the movie industry always prefer to have a stranglehold over what end users can watch and when.
However given how greedy Hollywood is, I wouldn't be surprised if they continue to license films through both formats for quite some time.
 

AndyC_772

Active Member
I think I must be missing something here.

My library of physical discs consists of about 100 titles, from the early days of DVD up until recent 4K releases.

None are particularly obscure, but I've no idea what streaming service, or services, I'd need to subscribe to in order to be able to watch any title in my collection without reaching for a physical disc.
 

Tomurai

Standard Member
I believe that BR UHD BR is still the best way to own a film. Itunes is good, but it's really good only for 4k titles that are sold for a really low prices and that include extra (problem is you need atv or a macbook to see the extras). But HD tiles are often sold at the same price of a blu ray with inferior audio and no extras. Also many "independent" movies are not to be found on itunes. As for Streaming like Netflix NowTv and Prime, they are not there for movies, but for series. Yes they have some movies but not many, and are rotated so you are never sure they will be there whenever you want.
BR sales are plummeting yes, but mainly because people watch movies through illegal download/ streams, not Itunes or Netflix etc. Most of them do not even watch on a tv but on tablets or pcs.
I agree that the continous upgradeof platform requiring you to rebuy the movie and player is not that good, especially for the low resale value...
Anyway i'm happy to have a nice collection of movies on BR, as many of them aren't easy to find. And i believe that they're here to stay, probably there won't be another format after 4k br, but I don't see the format as dying, rather going from something that everyone owned (as dvds in 2000s) to a niche market for cinephiles collector. They also predicted the death of physical media music (not gonna happen altough sales are a mere fraction of what used to be) printed books printed papers etc...
 

mbelanger

Member
I bought my first Bluray player this year, it's a Panasonic DP-UB450, so 4k UHD, the Bluray format came out in officially in 2008 after the format war with HD-DVD ended buts over a decade on I have only just done an overall upgrade of my existing dvd library, I'm not a collector, I simply only bought titles I wanted to own on DVD and prior to DVD, I had many of the same titles on VHS recorded off the TV. It's mostly just format shifting/upgrading for better quality, VHS, then DVD then Bluray.

Samsung quit the Bluray/DVD player market so surely that's going to push Sony, LG and Panasonic the other main 3 companies to follow suit. I use streaming services like Netflix, Prime etc but like with Sky movies on cable or satellite packages, you view the content, you don't own it, Netflix same, on demand to stream but not own.

I personally don't want to buy movies which aren't in my secure possession like with physical media, google movies, amazon etc they could easily be removed at anytime due to disputes with copyright holders etc, being cloud based in my eyes you don't own them, you just pay a fee to always stream them as long as their there.

I just hope people out there will keep physical media ownership to a fair demand, obviously it'll disappear one day and without a doubt their won't be a 4K bluray successor.
Yes, absolutely.

1. Quality: UHD pushes so much more data to the screen and speakers than streamers ever will.
2. Ownership: One doesn't have to worry about the machinations of the various content owners and streamers.
3. Simplicity and Reliability: I'm tired of having to figure out which streamer has which show, to say nothing about having to pay them for the privilege. Additionally, I don't have to worry about poky or down Internet.
4. Resale: The price of certain used media, like DVDs has almost dropped to nil, but one can still get a reasonable price for many BRs. And don't get me started about SACD, where the price just goes up. Regardless of the amount you get, it's better than zero.

I know a lot has been said about cost, but I've found the costs of all but the most select titles drop significantly in fairly short order. For example, I picked up the complete Star Trek TNG set in Blu ray for ~$80, when it used to go for $140. It took a couple of years, but so what? I also regularly find solid movies, like Caddyshack for $10 at Target.

I fully expect physical media sales to decline, but as long as there is money to be made, the studios will keep releasing their content on physical media and the electronics companies will keep releasing devices to play them on.
 

stasis

Active Member
I just got my copy of the new Steven Wilson release "The Future Bites" on CD and also Blu-Ray.
The Blu-Ray sounds fantastic with high resolution stereo and 5.1 and it also has Atmos as well.
It also has 3 excellent videos as well.
It is very reasonably priced and very high quality.
We have a decent collection of movies that are worth more than one viewing and are probably not on streaming services.

 

Bottlebrush

Active Member
The biggest factor in sales of physical media is cost. DVD still had the biggest sales not because of the quality, but because it's cheap. Now we have millions of consoles out there that are UHD capable there is a bigger potential audience for 4K discs. The issue is price. I try to spend no more than £10 on a 4K disc and I'm more interested than average and have a reasonable amount of disposable income.

I suspect we'll see a resurgence with lower prices, more access to players and more people with large screens. I don't think it will ever be mass market, but large enough to continue existing.
 

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