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DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

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DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Old 08-07-11, 05:27 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

I like having a collection, and I like going through stuff and saying, "Whoah, this would be great for the next ______ challenge!". But I need to weed out a bunch of stuff. I know I have a ton of repetition among, say, History Channel programming, but that's a whole research project figuring out which set is the most complete and which is all replicated elsewhere. I don't try to impress people any more and keep only a small sampling in the trafficked areas of my house.

I think gift-giving is one of the big losers of the new trends. It used to be easy to get someone a DVD, then became harder with BD. Now can you imagine a grandparent buying a kid a download that can be delivered in the right format and viewable on the right device? Gift cards become the only option.
Old 08-07-11, 06:06 PM
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Re: maybe, studies vary

Originally Posted by Trevor
Except that DVD-Rs only last a few years.
I must be living right. 10 years and no fails.
Old 08-07-11, 07:37 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by mdnitoil
Of course, he is right about the part where you're going to die and all your important crap will be thrown away.
Yes, but by the time I'm dead I believe I will not be concerned about the disposition of my collection.

And buying movies to impress other people is an alien concept to me; I built my collection to have access to movies that I love. Moreover, even in a relatively cosmopolitan area like DC, owning, say, the complete Ozu oeuvre from Criterion is far more likely to elicit a "Who's that? Is he the Godzilla guy?" than "OOOH, Tokyo Story!"

Last edited by Gobear; 08-07-11 at 07:54 PM.
Old 08-08-11, 10:41 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Unfortunately, my mancave full of DVDs won't be the only legacy of excess I will leave for my heirs to pick through and wonder what more important things could have been purchased in its place as they toss it all in the landfill. They will also slog through the tens of thousands in action figures and trade paperbacks. The thought of it and knowing I have more to view and read than I can ever get to in the time I have left on earth, even living a normal, healthy lifespan, makes me want to quit all collecting cold turkey. But I guess the act of collecting is the more enjoyable part. Not what you actually do with the collection once you have amassed them all.
Old 08-08-11, 10:51 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Wannabe
When I first started this thread, I had hundreds of DVD and no children. Now that I have kids, my collector's mentality has evaporated. Shelves full of DVDs seem like a pain in the ass to me now. I've sold off most of my DVDs and the ones I kept were transferred to slim cases, and are in a plastic bin in the garage. If I cared enough, I'd transfer them to a hard drive, but it's not really worth the effort.

I just bought a Blu-Ray player that plays 3D content, but even with recent price drops for BD discs, for me, there's little need to own. I'll probably buy a few discs that the kids like and some concert BDs to show off my system, but I will not be collecting to collect. (Yes, I'm talking to you, Criterion Spine collectors.)

Once you become a collector, it feels like your stuff begins to own you. I don't want to go there again.
Really? I have always thought one of the best thing about collecting is watching something and thinking to myself I am going to have/force my kids to watch this at some point. I think of our teachers having us watch Dr. Stranglove, My Life As A Dog or Cinema Paradiso and it just makes me feel good inside to know I can have that same kind of effect on someone I, hopefully, care about someday.

I am having kids in 2ish years so if I remember I will check back in here later to tell you all what ADD monsters they are and how ridiculous it is my 2 year old can sit through Schindler's List.
Old 08-08-11, 11:48 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Amongst my circle of friends, I'm known as the guy with the huge DVD collection. It helps define me. Without it, I'll have to rely on my personality. I shudder to think of the consequences
Old 08-08-11, 12:48 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Wannabe
Here's a more depressing thought: You are going to die and all of the stuff you collect, including your Steelbook sets, lenticular slipcases, and your limited edition of "Dude, Where's my Car?" will eventually end up in a landfill or recycling facility. Only you care about your shit and almost no one is impressed by the way you've organized your DVDs on a shelf. Then again, perhaps I've assumed too much?

I used to fantasize about how blown away people would be when they saw my collection. The actual result was that no one cared and my wife was annoyed by the sight of the DVDs, which, in her mind, represented a substantial amount of money spent.
Yeah, you assume too much - your biggest wrong assumption being that people collect things for the same reason you did. You seem to imagine that you're delivering profundities to help us realize the meaninglessness of our habits ("You're all gonna die - then you'll see that none of this matters! Also, nobody cares!") - but, since you don't actually seem to know why we collect, it doesn't really help much. I, personally, in all my years of DVD collecting, have never once thought "How impressive will other people think that looks on my shelves?" as I've made a purchasing decision. When I go to order a new DVD I don't think "how cool will people think that looks on my shelf next to my DVDs of 'L'argent' and 'Shoah'" - rather, I consider how much I want to see/own the film and how much money I have to spend on DVDs at the moment (I've never cared much about "limited editions" or "lenticulars" or "steelbooks", and, most of the time, I only buy a movie once.) In fact, since most of my DVD collection is in a closet and I've never gone out of my way to show it to anybody, very few people have even seen it. And I'm just fine with that.

I have spent a lot of money on my collection, and there's definitely a little OCD to it all - but never once have I felt that my decisions about my collection were for anything but my own satisfaction (and, yes, I do find it satisfying in and of itself to have a well-organized, eclectic collection of DVDs.)

You're right though - we are all gonna die. But, as Gobear points out, at that point I'm pretty confident I won't care what happens to my DVDs. It's rather a given that most of what we value personally, whether it be material possessions or anything else (besides family and other human beings, of course), will be far less meaningful when removed from the context of our own consciousness. Your rhetoric could be used to attack anyone who has any habits or hobbies or who takes pleasure in anything not related to the really "big things" of life - "because, well, those things won't give you pleasure when you die! Hahahahahaha!"
Old 08-08-11, 02:15 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

I don't care what happens to my stuff when I die, frankly. I've got notions of who I think would best enjoy or appreciate certain things, but there are times when I think about ordering it all sold via auction or donated to the library or something just to cement a clean break for everyone else. I see how some, my wife included, cling to things left behind by others who have passed on simply because of who used to own and use them. But then, I remember that in this scenario, I'm dead. That brings me back to not caring what happens with any of it.

I have, though, had the thought that SterlingBen brought up about wanting to share specific things with younger generations. It's really too late for me to share a lot of stuff with my nephew, who will be 16 soon and already has a strong sense of what he does and doesn't like (which is almost entirely the antithesis of my taste), but I'm hopeful to still shape my niece's views on movies, music and literature. That said, it's really high time I introduced my nephew to James Bond.

Friends of ours have kids now, and so far none of them are the friends who are very well versed in superhero lore. That means I've got the chance to dazzle their kids early and I hope that maybe they'll take to comic books like I did. I learned a lot of my vocabulary from comics, as well as developing my ability to mentally follow multiple storylines and continuities--skills that really helped when I got to college and majored in history. Before they get to reading the comics, though, I can at least share the movies and TV shows in my library. Hang out with my friends and their kids watching Batman? Yeah, I can get behind that.
Old 08-08-11, 02:47 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Ish Kabbible
Amongst my circle of friends, I'm known as the guy with the huge DVD collection. It helps define me. Without it, I'll have to rely on my personality. I shudder to think of the consequences
Same here...
Old 08-08-11, 03:35 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Sondheim
You seem to imagine that you're delivering profundities to help us realize the meaninglessness of our habits.
Not exactly. The original point of this thread (which predates streaming Netflix, btw) was to ask if owning a physical copy will still be satisfying in an age of instant viewing. I didn't disparage dvd ownership and collecting. I did, however, point out that having physical stuff is no longer interesting to me.

Much like the way I've moved my thousands of CDs to the hard drives/online storage - I'd prefer not to maintain a collection of DVDs.

And no, I never bought a DVD to impress anyone but myself. But I did think my collection was impressive. Sadly, no one else did. Poor me.
Old 08-08-11, 06:39 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Wannabe
Not exactly. The original point of this thread (which predates streaming Netflix, btw) was to ask if owning a physical copy will still be satisfying in an age of instant viewing. I didn't disparage dvd ownership and collecting. I did, however, point out that having physical stuff is no longer interesting to me.
I wasn't responding to the general thread but to your most recent post, which, intentionally or not, did have an air of "what you don't realize is that you're all gonna die and none of this is gonna matter!" and "nobody else cares so why should you?" as if most of us hadn't already realized that and as if that "knowledge" would somehow destroy any basis or justification for our hobbies.

And it just happens that the last few months I've encountered a number of posts (not on this forum, and not generally about DVDs) that try to "psychoanalyze" large groups and tell them exactly what's wrong with their lifestyles/opinions/worldviews - it gets really annoying, and tedious, and has quickly become one of my new internet discussion pet peeves. It may not have been what you were trying to do, but it just came off the way to me.
Much like the way I've moved my thousands of CDs to the hard drives/online storage - I'd prefer not to maintain a collection of DVDs.
Which is fine, since it works for you. I personally value having a physical collection of DVDs and books (I've found it easier to stop buying CDs) - and I don't find it all stressful having to "maintain" that collection.

Twenty years from now, when, presumably, downloads will be much higher quality and when there will be a stronger structure set up to appropriately deal with things like hard drive crashes and rights issues and company bankruptcies, I'll probably be doing a lot more of that too (though I imagine I'll always buy physical copies of my favorite films, as long as they are available.)
And no, I never bought a DVD to impress anyone but myself. But I did think my collection was impressive. Sadly, no one else did. Poor me.
Well, to be honest, I still find my collection impressive, regardless of what others might think of it.

However, those few friends who have seen it are those who already share similar tastes in film - so they appreciate the movie parties I set up and the ability to borrow movies you can't find at any local video stores (or even on Netflix, sometimes.) Of course, I'm sure they're also glad that I spent the money while they reap the benefits - but I'm fine with that, since, once again, I enjoy having it and I've been able to control myself enough that my collecting has never stressed me financially.
Old 08-08-11, 10:25 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Wannabe
Here's a more depressing thought: You are going to die and all of the stuff you collect, including your Steelbook sets, lenticular slipcases, and your limited edition of "Dude, Where's my Car?" will eventually end up in a landfill or recycling facility.
Originally Posted by mdnitoil
Of course, he is right about the part where you're going to die and all your important crap will be thrown away.
Why are so many people assuming their postmortem possessions will end up in a landfill? Aside from inheritance considerations, who's to say that some of your stuff won't end up in the hands of a future bargain hunter and/or film buff? Someone browsing your estate sale or having the unbelievable good luck of finding your long OOP Criterions at a Goodwill? Some of your possessions may reach the right person & maybe they'll play it more actively than you ever did. Or maybe they're just collecting old Anchor Bay lobby cards. Maybe your Tommy Wiseau autographed The Room DVD will fetch a high price on "Pawn Stars 2112" for a descendant.

Assuming you don't meet sudden accidental death, you could also take the time to choose a reseller charity to donate your stuff to.

Originally Posted by Sondheim
However, those few friends who have seen it are those who already share similar tastes in film - so they appreciate the movie parties I set up and the ability to borrow movies you can't find at any local video stores (or even on Netflix, sometimes.) Of course, I'm sure they're also glad that I spent the money while they reap the benefits - but I'm fine with that, since, once again, I enjoy having it and I've been able to control myself enough that my collecting has never stressed me financially.
Have you ever found yourself in the position of impatiently begging/demanding a DVD back after they've kept it for months and haven't even watched it?

Once I had a dream that a friend of mine wanted to borrow Brazil from me. Feeling whimsical, the next time I hung out with him I lent it to him; in real-life he was a fan of sci-fi and Python so I thought he actually might enjoy it. I thought it was a nice random gesture, breaking out of my overstructured routines. Well, when he returns it, he gives me this guilt trip, complaining that he found the ending depressing & it ruined his day. He was one passive aggressive motherfucker. Anyway, if there's any meaning in that parable...
Old 08-09-11, 09:04 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Living Deadpan
Why are so many people assuming their postmortem possessions will end up in a landfill?
I meant everyone else's shit. My stuff will have its own wing in the Smithsonian.
Old 08-09-11, 02:59 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

I've converted a small portion of my collection digitally, complete content preserved including menus. My cinematube media player players them just like real dvds off external USB hard drives. It's nice not having to get up and swap discs, but I still found myself wishing I had the physical media. I enjoy the cover art and seeing all the dvds on the shelf that I know will take me years and years to watch. Makes for a fun challenge.
Old 08-09-11, 03:06 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Lecithin
Unfortunately, my mancave full of DVDs won't be the only legacy of excess I will leave for my heirs to pick through and wonder what more important things could have been purchased in its place as they toss it all in the landfill. They will also slog through the tens of thousands in action figures and trade paperbacks. The thought of it and knowing I have more to view and read than I can ever get to in the time I have left on earth, even living a normal, healthy lifespan, makes me want to quit all collecting cold turkey. But I guess the act of collecting is the more enjoyable part. Not what you actually do with the collection once you have amassed them all.
Amen brother!
Old 08-09-11, 06:38 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

There are some who amass huge collections to compensate what they are lacking in personal relations or sexual abilities. Um, or so I've been told
Old 08-09-11, 07:55 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Ish Kabbible
There are some who amass huge collections to compensate what they are lacking in personal relations or sexual abilities. Um, or so I've been told
Sounds like Seymour from Ghost World.

Enid: [looking at all the classic memorabilia in the room] Look at this room. This is like my dream room! Look at all this stuff... You are, like, the luckiest guy in the world. I would kill to have stuff like this.
Seymour: Please, go ahead and kill me.
Enid: Oh, come on, what are you talking about?
Seymour: Well, you think it's healthy to obsessively collect things? You can't connect with other people, so you fill your life with stuff. I'm just like all the rest of these pathetic collector losers.
The way I feel sometimes. A cult movie/heavy metal version of Seymour.
Old 08-09-11, 10:32 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

I think for downloads to succeed, the pricing needs to to get a hell of a lot better and a download client similar to Steam needs to come along where your movie download is tied to your account, not a device. This country's network infrastructure also needs to get ramped up to the point where affordable high speed internet is available to everyone. I'm a little surprised more isn't being done to help improve this.

As far as collecting DVDs and BDs goes, I still have the collector's bug and I still get excited for certain releases, most recently the Galaxy Express 999 movies and the MST3K Gamera set (honestly, every time a new MST3K set is announced, I get excited). On the BD front, I just saw today that Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is being released as a Best Buy exclusive Sept 25 and the 1925 Phantom of the Opera is coming out in November, so both of those I'm pretty excited for.

I have been slimming down my collection over the last couple years, with my first major purge being in late 2008 during my first few months at college. This purge mainly consisted of a bulk of my anime collection which, ironically were the first additions to my collection. Since then I've done smaller purges (only a few titles at a time) and have never felt any remorse or regret at getting rid of the titles. Most of the time I will watch the movie to make sure I do want to get rid of it (if I'm on the fence), but a lot of the time the stuff I get rid of are movies I bought years ago that I know I will never watch again.
Old 08-10-11, 03:50 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by big e
I think for downloads to succeed, the pricing needs to to get a hell of a lot better and a download client similar to Steam needs to come along where your movie download is tied to your account, not a device. This country's network infrastructure also needs to get ramped up to the point where affordable high speed internet is available to everyone. I'm a little surprised more isn't being done to help improve this.
Agreed, when digital downloads will end up costing more than better quality real media with extras something is not right. It would have to be a forth of the cost or less for me to even bother with digital movies.
Old 08-10-11, 04:43 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by Xiroteus
Agreed, when digital downloads will end up costing more than better quality real media with extras something is not right. It would have to be a forth of the cost or less for me to even bother with digital movies.
I could see digital movies--if priced right--being very attractive for catalog and obscure releases. Universal recently brought out Cool as Ice as a burn-on-demand title, for instance, priced at $19.98 on Amazon. It's $9.99 as a digital movie on either Amazon or iTunes. (iTunes, by the way, also rents it in HD but no one sells it that way yet.) I'd pay half those prices for it; $10 for the DVD or $5 for the digital movie. I'm sure there are lots of other such movies that are never going to get a bells & whistle DVD/Blu-ray release that people would just like to have to watch.

For me, the biggest drawback to a digital library is technological. For one, there's the compatibility issue. I buy it on Amazon, but I can't put it on my iPod. I buy from iTunes, but I can't stream it through my Wii. I don't want to have to buy a Roku and Apple TV unit just to get my digital content to my TV.

I know it can be done to rig your equipment to download and stream to all manner of devices from your TV to your phone, but I'm not interested in taking a course on consumer electronics just to find out how to set up such a system. Even if I was, it's not financially reasonable. By the time I finally bought all the stuff to ensure maximum access to my library, half the components would be replaced by newer models.

Then there's the issue of backing up data to guard against file corruption. I recently backed up my iTunes library to DVDs and it took quite a lot of them; I averaged only two movies per disc. That adds up in a hurry and soon you've got nearly as much clutter as if you had just been buying DVDs all along. I just put my backup discs back on the spindle, but a binder would probably be more manageable. If digital purchases were tied to the account rather than a single transaction, that would alleviate at least this concern.

Mind you, I'm pro-technology. I'm open-minded about digital content and at least part of me is kind of excited about one day not needing tangible copies of things to watch. Right now, though, I feel that's still several evolutionary iterations away from being cohesive and affordable.

More than movies, though, I think the area where I really struggle with the size of my library is my bookcase. It's quite modest, and yet part of me feels that I should purge about half of it or more because the truth is, I'm very unlikely to ever re-read a book. Sometimes I might recall something specific I want to quote and I'll thumb through until I find it, but once I've finished with a book I generally post my thoughts in my blog and on Goodreads and then it largely just waits to see if someone I know wants to borrow and read it.

I do prune from time to time, trading in books that didn't really resonate strongly with me but as a rule I become somewhat protective and defensive about my books. I've heard others suggest that the tactile and intimate nature of reading personalizes a book for people and maybe there's some truth to that. I don't know. I just know I've got a lot of books I've already read and probably don't need to keep, but I keep them because I can't bring myself to part ways.
Old 08-21-11, 05:36 PM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Originally Posted by big e
I think for downloads to succeed, the pricing needs to to get a hell of a lot better and a download client similar to Steam needs to come along where your movie download is tied to your account, not a device. This country's network infrastructure also needs to get ramped up to the point where affordable high speed internet is available to everyone. I'm a little surprised more isn't being done to help improve this.
While this is fine and dandy from someone living in America, the rest of the world lives with crappy usage caps. Digital downloads will never take off in any form that would ever replace physical media.
Old 10-03-13, 12:00 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

After a couple of years of inactivity, I decided to bump this thread to see if attitudes have changed regarding the topic. The technology certainly has.
Old 10-03-13, 12:28 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Last year, I created an UltraViolet account and added five friends. We've grown quite a thorough digital library in that short time. I enjoy that ecosystem, and being able to cultivate a collective library that reflects our respectively different tastes. It's like our own little Netflix. I don't worry about digital rights expiring, in large part because I've only sent a few dollars out of pocket so far. The vast majority of my contributions to the library have been either UV digital copies from Blu-rays I was buying anyway, or from various freebie offers for signing up with a digital service. In either event, I already have the movie if it's something I really care about in physical form or, the truth is, I don't care so much about it that I feel I "need" it in my library permanently.

This year, I've made myself go back through my disc library and watch all the stuff I have that I haven't logged in DVD Profiler since I started using it four years ago. What I've learned about myself is that I really don't feel the need to own physical copies of a lot of movies. I used to have the mentality that I wanted to keep even borderline movies on the off-chance I might have some compelling reason to revisit them in the future, but my DVD Profiler data has made a convincing argument that I'm simply not all that likely to really do that.

Another key thing for me was going to the theater last year quite often, with a heavy emphasis on catching screenings of classic movies. I've found that I'm quite content to see a movie in that setting and not feel the need to own a copy of it. For several years, it was the reverse; I felt compelled to buy on DVD pretty much any movie I saw in theaters as long as I didn't hate it. Last year, though, I finally saw Citizen Kane and Roman Holiday, plus new releases like The Avengers. I really enjoyed them, but I really do feel that those viewing experiences were enough for me.

Having said that, I really wish Disney would finally join UltraViolet so that when one of my friends buys a movie like The Avengers, I can have access to it in the digital library "just in case". There's something about the UltraViolet library not being a physical thing that makes it not seem like excessive clutter. I don't "need" to own Doc Hollywood on DVD, for instance, but I like having it in the UltraViolet library. I suppose UV has established a new tier for me between "Library essential" and "Never need to have access to it". Now, I can have access to something I don't feel is essential, and it doesn't feel like I'm just being a movie-collecting glutton.
Old 10-03-13, 09:44 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Hold on, what's this about Ultraviolet and sharing titles?

I'm just too set in my ways to ever give up on physical media (especially for some of the titles I collect, that are constantly having "rights" issues like the Godzilla films and MST3K), but for stuff I just want to watch here and there, that could be an interesting option.
Old 10-03-13, 11:07 AM
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Re: DVDs, Materialism, & the Concept of Ownership

Well, since my last (overly aggressive) posts on the subject, my thoughts have evolved a little bit. I still really enjoy getting physical copies of movies that I value Ė and Iím not willing to pay to ďownĒ downloads of movies - but I'm now a lot more picky about what I buy, and Iím more willing to stream things that Iím ďsort ofĒ interested in.

The reasons for the change? For one, I recently got a Roku, which Iíve been enjoying quite a lot. I really love how easy it is to stream TV shows and movies from Netflix and Amazon (including some titles that have never been released on DVD or which are now OOP.)

Second Ė and this has affected my attitude a lot more than anything else Ė I recently reorganized my room/collection and was finally able to put all my movies together on matching shelves. As I was moving everything, I realized just how many DVDs (and BDs, and VHS) I own. It takes three (almost) floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to hold everythingóand thatís with two rows of movies on each shelf. There are now only one-and-a-half empty shelves to hold all my future purchases.

The fact that I havenít watched more than half those movies and that Iíll probably never watch some of them doesnít bother me. But the amount of space that the collection takes up is a concern. The realization that Iím just about out of space has caused me to slow way down on my purchasing.

The idea of selling/giving away something Iíve added to my collection has always been anathema to me -but, for practical reasons, Iím going to need to start doing it eventually. Iíve already started making a mental list of what Iíd be willing to give up - Iíll keep all the Criterions and the Kinos and the imports and the more obscure films that are less likely to appear on streaming services. On the other hand, I can probably handle giving up a lot of those titles I bought for $3 from Big Lots - many of which are fairly mainstream and which will (hopefully) be easy enough to find if I ever feel the need to watch them again. Iím hoping for a future where I have just one or two bookshelves to hold all my favorite movies, and I can get everything else online or from the library.

With all that said, I still have a few somewhat major reservations about streaming. But Iíll spoilerize the next few paragraphs since this post is already too damn long:
Spoiler:
For one, as home video loses steam Iím worried that some films might take a long time to appear on streaming services. Iím not worried about Jaws or even Tokyo Story ever becoming unavailable (at least not for any extended period of time) Ė but I do wonder when some of the more obscure films not owned by any of the major studios and released on home video by companies like Second Run and Olive might re-emerge after their DVD/BD releases inevitably go OOP.

Also - and this is something Iím fairly certain will be worked out in the long-term - the infrastructure for streaming just isnít really there yet. Yeah, you have access to a lot of movies in not-horrible quality Ė but, as someone who is usually looking for a specific movie rather than just ďsomething to watch,Ē a good majority of the time what Iím looking for isnít on any of the streaming sites. Furthermore, audio/video quality is a bit of a crapshoot. Sometimes an ďHD-streamĒ looks about as good as a decent DVD - other times it looks like utter crap, at least on my setup. After several decades of progress from VHS to LD to DVD to BD, streaming seems like a pretty big step back for those who care about A/V quality.

ÖBut I think that will all improve. I really look forward to a time when the streaming services are more reliable and when you can (hopefully) have instant access to even the ďdeep catalogĒ titles that distributors werenít able to justify releasing on home video. In other words, Iím excited to see what things look like in five years Ė it may be that streaming becomes a movie loverís paradise. I just hope that the streaming companies become more stable and that they have a wider selection of titles - and that quality standards increase a lot.
Of course, I doubt that my desire to own physical copies of my favorite movies (and books) will ever completely die out Ė but then again, who knows what things will be like in 25 years. Maybe at that point Iíll be laughing at those curious and quaint times when I had shelves and shelves full of movies, all of which can be instantly downloaded in 4K (or whatever) at just the push of a button.

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