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Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

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Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Old 08-29-14, 02:39 PM
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Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

I am not sure exactly where to post this since it is not specifically related to either DVD or Blu-ray, so I will post it here and a mod can move it if need be.

Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital? It worries me that physical media will be gone one day. You don't own digital media. You rent it. I like to own my favorite movies.

I do not consider myself a collector per se. I only have around 200 DVDs/Blus, which is really small compared to some members here who have thousands. I only buy the movies that I absolutely love and want to re-watch over and over. Other movies I am fine with renting them, but the movies I love I want to own them. So it worries me that one day that might not be possible if physical media ever dies off completely.
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Old 08-29-14, 02:42 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Gotta store the digital on something. < /smartass>

No, I don't think it will go away entirely since we'll always be improving things and frankly 50gb/movie would be a lot to download.

I do, however, see a shrinking market for it, and it may soon be relegated into small sections in stores, like books and LaserDiscs. But it'll be there for a while. I mean, PC Game sales are 94% digital, but they still sell PC software in stores.

Last edited by RichC2; 08-29-14 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 08-29-14, 02:44 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

No. I think true "collectors" will continue to buy the stuff they really want, and there will continue to be a market for that. It will become more and more limited over time, though.

But otherwise, people who consume but do not collect these things are adopting digital faster and faster.
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Old 08-29-14, 02:50 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Looking forward to commenting after I've printed out this thread and read it.
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Old 08-29-14, 02:56 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Even if they do, chances are Alan Smithee has the title on some obsolete format so we'll be covered either way.
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Old 08-29-14, 03:05 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Originally Posted by dork View Post
Looking forward to commenting after I've printed out this thread and read it.
Anyone have the address to Internet Brands so I can snail mail in my response to this thread?

Snarky response aside, I prefer owning physical media. Downloads are convenient, especially when away from home, but I like having something I can pop into a player and watch right away.
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Old 08-29-14, 03:14 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Yes, unfortunately.
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Old 08-29-14, 03:20 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Not any time soon, but in 10-15 years I can see it happening.
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Old 08-29-14, 03:22 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

I recently experienced a hard drive crapping out on me for no good reason, wiping out nearly a TB of videos and files. Thankfully, I still had the 25 year old video cassettes I digitized all that video off of.

I'll continue buying physical media as long as it is available.
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Old 08-29-14, 03:28 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Originally Posted by Me007gold View Post
Not any time soon, but in 10-15 years I can see it happening.
This, sadly, is how I would see it too. I prefer physical (still read the paper in the morning), but I can see where the trend away from that is building - especially with the younger generation. I work with people who read all their comic books with their tablets. They see no need to own the actual book.

I think what we still have now - DVDs, comics, papers, LPs (not so much) will be relegated to "dinosaur" status - and be more collector items and curios. The future will most certainly be digital.
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Old 08-29-14, 03:33 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Nope. Physical media will just get smaller and hold more capacity.

Movie studios want Clouds and online viewing because they can control it much easier. Of course, this is also an unreliable delivery system, but they'll never admit it. Just imagine everyone going online every Tuesday for just one movie. Now multiply it by several movies every Tuesday. Servers would crash, etc., but you'd get a nice cool coupon for a free viewing of another movie, I'm sure.

Btw, I canceled by Netflix subscription because of streaming issues with their delivery system. May not be them per se, but I really don't care. What matters is the quality of the service and I don't wanna hear excuses from them. Either you stream those fucking movies to me whenever I want without problems, or I cancel. So I did.

Streaming has its place, and I use it occasionally via non-Netflix sources, but for true reliability...I got my discs, baby.

Maybe companies like Comcast won't care about bandwidth someday, and maybe the infrastructure will be completely replaced with quality lines, but currently, they take advantage of it and there's no friggin' way it's even possible to think we could have people with online collections, and those movies being "ready to view" at any moment.
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Old 08-29-14, 03:50 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Unfortunately, in 10-15 years physical media will be as rare as those who today have and screen original 16 and 35-mm reels in their collections. It is being carefully orchestrated and planned that way by the studios.

The control issue wouldn't be such as problem *if* the studios would give us exactly the same quality in a digital download as we've come to expect in a high-quality Blu-Ray release. But there are two problems:

1. Bandwidth caps of most ISPs.
2. Too many fingers in the pie.

For (1), studios have the perfect excuse to reduce quality to sub-Bluray levels, and often no better than artifact-ridden DVD-quality.

For (2), studios can conveniently place the blame on other parties when problems occur.

What's not for them to love in this model? We, the collectors will suffer because of laziness and problems 'beyond our control'!
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Old 08-29-14, 04:16 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

This has already happened for a lot of people.

I used to feel as you do, but I've come to realize vastly prefer streaming / subscritption / "renting" to physical ownership.

Benefits:
- Dealing with media, files, syncing is a pain compared to the subscription model
- Wherever you go, whenever you want you've got access to huge libraries of content
- The archiving of content is perfect. You're not screwing around with fixing tags and the like.
- As new stuff is created, you get access to it immediately. if you don't like i, never listen to / watch it again
- As technology standards change, ditch the service and move on to a new one (no sunk costs)

...etc.
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Old 08-29-14, 04:31 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

If there is a place where I can upload my almost 1000 movies (that's 1000 movies, so the disc number is even higher), and reliably access them online, then I'm game.
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Old 08-29-14, 04:35 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Well you could rip them and put them on a NAS, most of them now offer easy to set up external access, so as long as you have enough upstream bandwidth then you're good to go
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Old 08-29-14, 04:35 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

As someone who loves my Blu-ray collection, physical media will be dead by 2025. This has pretty much already been decided by all the major studios and all the major electronics companies - who will turn their production from making hardware that plays a physical item to making hardware that streams/downloads materials.

Ideally, there may still be some companies willing to support Blu-ray as a 'niche' market, but there's not going to be another stage of physical media. In other words, we're very unlikely to see 4k disc players in our future to go with our 4k TVs. If there are, it's a format that will have a very short-lived life (think HD DVD).
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Old 08-29-14, 04:53 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Unfortunately, in 10-15 years physical media will be as rare as those who today have and screen original 16 and 35-mm reels in their collections. It is being carefully orchestrated and planned that way by the studios.

The control issue wouldn't be such as problem *if* the studios would give us exactly the same quality in a digital download as we've come to expect in a high-quality Blu-Ray release. But there are two problems:

What's not for them to love in this model? We, the collectors will suffer because of laziness and problems 'beyond our control'!
Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
As someone who loves my Blu-ray collection, physical media will be dead by 2025. This has pretty much already been decided by all the major studios and all the major electronics companies - who will turn their production from making hardware that plays a physical item to making hardware that streams/downloads materials.
I hate to publicly admit this but physical media will be as relevant in 2030 as the horse and buggy is today. There are just too many economic and cultural pressures on its utility by then for it being an active business model. It will be a curiosity and will disappear completely as Generation X fades from relevance. I expect the kinds of media collections we've accumulated will become increasingly rare. The studios' viral marketing has worked, their forum plant got everyone to dump their collections by reading the Alan Smithee thread.

The studios are definitely planning for a life after physical media, though they have positioned themselves much better than the music industry. The changing digital culture hasn't affected movie consumption nearly as much as the iPod and streaming have affected music.
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Old 08-29-14, 05:07 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

I don't think digital will completely replace physical media any time soon, even in the next 10-15 years. Physical will still be around in a diminished state, and still prevelant enough to not be niche either in my opinion. I imagine digital will definitely become the preferred format though.
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Old 08-29-14, 05:13 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Another concern I have with going digital is what if there is a movie I watched five years ago, and I suddenly get the itch to re-watch it, but I can't remember the title. If the movie is in my DVD/Blu collection, I can easily find it in a few minutes. Searching for it through thousands and thousands of digital titles would be impossible.

And how extensive will digital catalogs even be? Will they have extensive backlogs of 20+ year old movies? Or will non-popular movies get removed after a certain period of time? Server space isn't exactly unlimited, so I can't see them keeping every single movie ever made. So what happens if a non-popular movie gets removed, but yet its a movie you liked and want to watch it again?

Digital sucks. Maybe I will get lucky and die before physical media does.
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Old 08-29-14, 05:31 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

I would think that digital collections would be in alphabetical order in terms of searching for a particular title.
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Old 08-29-14, 05:45 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
I would think that digital collections would be in alphabetical order in terms of searching for a particular title.
Yeah, but that doesn't help if you can't remember the title you are looking for. You don't know whether to search A or Z.

Am I the only one that occasionally remembers a movie but can't remember the title? That happens to me frequently.
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Old 08-29-14, 05:51 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Depends; if you're looking at your own personal digital catalog, there's no reason to assume it would be significantly larger then your personal DVD/Blu-ray collection and it would only list the titles you own. If you're searching through a much larger catalog for some reason, or the catalog of a large rental/streaming service, usually these are indexed so that you could search by genre, actor, etc.

That or do what people do now when they can't remember the name of a movie; google search or ask this forum for help.
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Old 08-29-14, 06:00 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Your own personal digital catalog? I never have used digital movies before, so I didn't know you could do that. Is that available with streaming services like Netflix or only when you download movies? Downloading movies I would imagine would require an enormous hard drive, so I doubt it's feasible to replace a physical collection with a digital collection when you have hundreds of them.
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Old 08-29-14, 06:07 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

I've been expanding my vinyl collection these past years. I have all the digital audio that I could want, but nothing tops vinyl. It is not about the quality of the audio or if it's a better storage source. The enjoyment of the setup and the preparation to enjoy a good album makes for better conversations, relaxes the atmosphere, and slows things down. Either that or I am getting old.
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Old 08-29-14, 06:22 PM
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Re: Do you think physical media will ever be completely replaced by digital?

Originally Posted by taffer View Post
Your own personal digital catalog? I never have used digital movies before, so I didn't know you could do that. Is that available with streaming services like Netflix or only when you download movies? Downloading movies I would imagine would require an enormous hard drive, so I doubt it's feasible to replace a physical collection with a digital collection when you have hundreds of them.
There's a ton of different ways it could work so it depends on what we're talking about here. Currently with the digital copies you get from buying DVD's or Blu-rays, there's typically a website/service that lets you redeem codes so you access your own collection of movies. That's what I was referring to as far as personal digital catalog and the way things like Ultraviolet or Disney Movies Anywhere work. Login to the website or app and just see the movies you "own."

Streaming services like Netflix or Amazon let you search their entire collections based on numerous fields like I mentioned before, but they also keep some history as far as recently watched, favorite items, watch lists for later on, or whatever. So it shouldn't be THAT hard to search for a movie that you can't remember the title of. In Amazon's case where you can purchase individual episodes of TV shows or movies, you have your own video library where you can see those titles. iTunes would be the same.

As far as downloading and storing full movies themselves, usually they're compressed so they're typically not a full 25 or 50 GB that Blu-ray disc sizes actually are and just a few GB. I'd say when talking about digital content people refer more to streaming then full on downloads so storage is less of an issue anyway, and in any case the idea would be you can download for offline viewing but delete the file to clear space if needed and can redownload anytime. Think of video game downloads on Steam where you can easily redownload games you own. Although knowing people that do like to store large collections of movies and media, it just means buying fancier home storage options (like a NAS device or multiple hard drive arrays).
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