As we make our way through the digital age, I have to admit I’ve already started shedding some of my physical media. I own fewer physical video games now than I used to and I don’t remember the last time I bought a CD. There’s one thing that I’ve started growing again over time, however, and that is our family DVD and BluRay Collection. While I have subscriptions to at least 4 streaming services, DVDs are still fairly relevant in my life and I suspect they will be for a long time. Here’s why a good DVD or BluRay player should still be a major part of your home theatre system.
Not everything is available digitally
The first and most obvious reason to retain your physical media and favourite DVDs (and a player) is very simple. Quite frankly, not everything is available to watch digitally.
I have a fairly large library of sports documentaries and non-fiction movies. I don’t know of a single online resource where I could watch “Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey” (the documentary about infamous former Montreal Expo Bill “Spaceman” Lee) and so, the copy I’m lucky enough to own is the only place I can watch it. Whether it happens to be Canadian distribution laws or just obscurity, there’s a good chance a handful of your favourite shows or movies still aren’t available from a streaming service. That’s a good enough reason to keep your DVD player.
Digital Licenses have a finite shelf life
If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you know that dreaded time every month when “the list” goes live. The list that encompasses not only what’s coming out, but what’s leaving. As many streaming companies move toward their own original programming, will we see our favourites start to disappear as their distribution licenses expire and leave us with first run programming and the same quality of B-Movie that we saw when Netflix first launched in Canada all those years ago. Remember the debacle caused when Netflix originally dropped the entire Star Trek franchise a couple years ago?
DVDs are still the single source of truth
Do you remember how I said above that I subscribed to no less than 4 streaming services? There could end up being a 5th if and when Disney begins their streaming service. However, I may not make the leap at all since I’d comfortably say we own about 60-70% of their animated movies and cartoons on DVD. Owning these outright and being able to watch them on demand whenever you want is pretty satisfying. I say this knowing that my 4 year old is currently watching her Coco DVD for what might be some sort of record for her age category.
Where are all the special features?
I have a dear cinephile friend who appreciates all of the fine points of a DVD. Indeed, after watching a movie, he will go back and watch the outtakes, watch it with the director’s commentaries, the original trailers and any documentaries/making of’s. I too will do that with the odd movie and definitely with a lot of those sports DVDs I own. Special features were a real value-add in the DVD generation and one that I’ve never taken for granted. You get an added layer to the entertainment you receive and end up finding out so much more about that movie or TV show you’ve just watched through.
Through this, I hope that you’ve still found value in owning that DVD player and keeping it as a very integral piece of your home theater system. Granted, you may never watch that third director’s commentary cut of Big Trouble in Little China, but it’s nice to know that it’s still there whenever you are ready.
If you need a new BluRay or DVD player, there is still a great selection waiting for you at Best Buy and online at BestBuy.ca