Blu Ray or Streaming? A ‘Blu Ray versus Streaming’ discussion (argument?) is going on at the moment, across the internet.
Some Prophets of Doom have been pronouncing the end of Blu Ray, just as it appears to be getting fully established. Which will you choose: Blu Ray or streaming?
Upload / Download (Photo credit: johntrainor)
This article will explore the theory and reality of movies in home entertainment.
We’ll examine the pros and cons of each option and help you to make up your own mind on the subject!
In my last post, I talked about the Hobbit DVD release date being announced and ready for pre order.
However, the purpose of this post is not to talk about The Hobbit per se.
I noted then that the gap was only 4-5 months from movie release to release on Blu-Ray/DVD disk (depending on where you live). The days of waiting for months and months (or even years) to own our favourite movie is well and truly over!
However, looking beyond that, how much pressure is coming from streaming services? Is there a perceived threat to disk sales in the salesman’s mind?
More important to me, will my precious Blu-Ray and DVD collection go down the pan when my Blu-Ray player breaks down?
Netflix was previously doing well in the US, but is taking a while to get momentum in Europe. But if you want to watch House of Cards, you can’t even see it on your TV over the air waves.
In response to this, there has been some industry comment pronouncing “the end is nigh” for Blu Ray, even as it gains more traction in the marketplace of people’s hearts.
I know some people who have already given up on physical media and gone all-out downloading all their music and movies onto hard disk. But I’m not ready to give up on my DVD and Blu Ray discs just yet!
To my mind, the speed of the internet is just not fast enough in most homes (including mine), to allow for streaming movies over the air.
As an economy minded internet user, neither do I have a large enough usage allowance each month to be able to download movies on a regular basis – particularly if they are in High Definition.
I don’t have space in this post to discuss all the pros and cons of streaming/downloading versus Blu-Ray in detail. However, here is a simple list that I hope will serve to illustrate:
*I have seen reviews by Blu-Ray aficionados that this movie or that movie hasn’t been transferred to Blu-Ray very well.
I am no expert on these things, but I have never noticed a problem and all the Blu-Rays I have seen have been head and shoulders above anything else.
**I have also seen complaints and negative articles about the “Ultraviolet” digital copy included on many recent Blu-Ray disks. This is an alternative to the likes of iTunes, but has its own player.
The complaints vary from difficulties to get it running on PC or iPod/iPhone, etc through to time limits on when the download expires. I even heard of one example where the digital copy itself expires after a date in 2014 and will no longer be playable (please note: I have not used it myself, so cannot comment on these claims).
|English: Front side of a 200GB Blu-ray Disc (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I still like the feeling of owning something.
Yes, I have a Kindle and an iPod, so I have already made an adjustment with books and music.
I may at some point buy the Kindle version of Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, but I could never part with the real thing sitting on my book shelf. There’s just too much emotional attachment to them!
In the same way, I suspect that disk based movies will stick around for a bit longer than some are predicting.
I can see that I may start doing more of the streaming/downloading, but still buy my favourites on disk.
– The Dark Knight and Marvel Avengers movies spring to mind (see my Marvel Avengers Box Set post!).
I’m already doing this via my Panasonic Blu-Ray Recorder, which has an internal hard drive.
Programs get recorded onto the hard drive first and those I want to keep I burn to rewritable Blu-Ray disks.
The capacity of Blu-Ray means that I have entire series recorded and with no adverts, due to the flexibility of the recording and editing system.
Back to the original point: the speed with which a movie goes from the cinema to the home.
Perhaps in the future we will go to the cinema, pay for our tickets and for a small extra premium, pick up the disc (or a download code) then and there, or maybe on our way out the door?
Do you still prefer physical disks, or have you fully embraced the digital cloud for your movies?
Will you get The Hobbit on Blu Ray/DVD, or will you simply put your hard disk recorder to “set and forget”?
Let us know in the comments!
I'm Tim Bader, founder of ErgonomicToolbox.com and the Ergonomic Toolbox training course. I am a writer, author, blogger and church leader, and I help people to overcome RSI and live comfortably with technology. When I'm not writing, helping or training people, I live at home with my wife, two teenage kids and Playstation.
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