The way we view movies and television shows has changed considerably since the late ’70s, when home video first appeared. Thanks to video cassette recorders, we could now record our favourite movies and TV shows and then watch them at our convenience, which was a huge boon to people who cannot stand ads.
Laserdisc and the CED format followed, but in the late ’90s, it was DVD that proved the disc format could succeed with a mass audience. In 2006, Blu-ray also appeared on the scene, bringing high definition picture to the digital sound that DVD made prominent.
It was also around this time that people fully embraced the possibilities of the Internet for delivering streaming content. Now you no longer had to make a trip to the video store to pick up a movie and then return it later; you could just click on what you wanted and it would start playing.
Of course, there is always some form of compromise when it comes to something new. In this case, streaming options are not set in stone. Content providers rotate movies in and out, so just because you saw a film on Netflix three months ago, there is no guarantee it will still be available to view today.
Also, not surprisingly, content providers lean toward movies that will attract the most people. That means if you like older films, art movies, or more offbeat fare, you may find slim pickings.
Watching a movie or television series on physical media means that it is there whenever you wish to watch it. Also, collector’s editions of films include extra materials, such as audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and documentaries that are almost never a part of streaming options.
Physical media may not be racking up the sales that it used to at the height of the DVD era, but it is still premature to say that disc is dead.