Back in the day, a DVD or Blu-Ray used to be a go-to gift for any film lovers in your life, and people would build up collections of all of their favourite films to own and come back to for years to come.
Since the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, people are buying fewer physical formats and getting most of their entertainment from these services. And economically, it isn’t hard to see why. For the price of one DVD, you can enjoy hundreds of films and shows at the touch of a button.
However, while streaming services do offer a great service in terms of value for money and choice, there is definitely still a place for DVDs and Blu-Ray in the modern age. We thought we’d take a look at 5 reasons why these physical formats are still essential.
Sound and picture quality
When it comes to streaming services, even the best packages can’t compare to the quality of physical media. Having a good viewing experience often hinges on these factors, and with the unreliability of home wifi, you are much more likely to enjoy clear audio and picture with a disc.
The highest standard for video at the moment is 4K, and this means that the picture has at least 8 million pixels, offering a denser and sharper image than the older standard of 1080p. You get much more detail, and this article from RTings.com shows exactly how it makes a difference to your viewing experience.
While Netflix and Amazon do stream some content in 4K, the very nature of streaming means that quite often what you end up seeing is much closer to 1080p than true 4K. The best picture quality can be found with 4K Blu-Ray, and of course, you need to own a 4K TV for any of this to be worthwhile at all.
While the picture quality of streaming is more than adequate for many people when it comes to sound quality it does lose out rather a lot more. Sound will be compressed when it is streamed, and most titles offer it in 5.1.
For the average home viewer who is not using a sound system this may not be a problem, but if you are the sort of person who enjoys a truly immersive and intense home cinema experience then the dynamic range of the uncompressed audio you get with a Blu-Ray.
You’ll always have access to your favourite titles
One of the biggest frustrations with streaming services is their tendency to remove titles and constantly update their library of offerings, which is all well and good when you want fresh content but can be frustrating at the same time.
Having physical discs of your favourite films means that if you suddenly get the urge to watch them you won’t be met with the disappointment of realising they’ve been removed. And, if you’ve ever had to suffer the frustration of being half-way through watching a show only for it to be removed from the service you were streaming on, you’ll understand why owning things on DVD is a good idea.
One of the things you really do miss out on when you only watch things via streaming services is all of the bonus material that often comes with DVD releases. Often these include commentary tracks and behind the scenes features that give you a much deeper understanding of the film and the process that went into making it.
Take for example the Lord of the Rings bonus material, which is hours and hours of insight that only those with a physical copy were able to watch, and which have become somewhat iconic. There was also a version of the film Memento which allowed you to watch the film in chronological order, and many other great bonuses that were exclusive to DVD releases.
If you truly love a particular film, then purchasing it on DVD or Blu-Ray is definitely a good idea if you love to delve a little bit deeper.
Rainy day proof
Despite networks being pretty reliable on the whole these days, there are still instances where you will be without internet for whatever reason and therefore unable to stream. It is not uncommon to be without internet for a period of time following a house move, for example, and it can make you feel right at home to still be able to curl up with your favourite film because you own it on DVD.
Having a solid collection of your favourite titles to reach for when you need to is always nice, and a DVD or Blu-Ray collection is well worth building up.
Let’s be honest, unless you sign up for every streaming service going your choice of viewing options is going to be somewhat limited. On the other hand, you can buy the DVD or Blu-Ray of just about anything, and while there is a little bit more effort involved in getting your titles to you, these days next day delivery means that you don’t usually have to wait too long to watch something you’re excited about.
Rarities can be almost impossible to find in digital format at times, but much easier to find on a disc, rather than being restricted to only the really popular titles.
We hope this has given you a little bit of an insight into why DVDs and Blu-Ray are still a good investment in 2018. Be sure to check out our DVD and Blu-Ray services here at VDC Group for your latest releases.