Let’s Get Physical
Depending on whom you ask, the biggest con of the Blu-Ray or DVD format is also a pro. Some people like having a physical copy lying around. It’s the same reason why people still buy books instead of getting an e-reader. It never goes anywhere and you can show it off proudly to your friends when they come to visit. The disc version also offers special features and bonus content, which is always a plus for serious movie fans.
And since most of the Blu-Ray discs these days come out in a combo pack with both a DVD copy and Digital Copy, it really offers the most bang… though maybe not for the buck, since it’s still more expensive than going digital.
Living in a Digital World
Digital downloads are becoming a much more popular avenue for movie watchers, and more people are switching to digital downloads every day. And why not? It’s cheaper and easier. With iTunes, you can find the movie you want in the store and download it directly to your computer, and then take it with you on your iPod. You can only hold as many movies as your hard drive can, but that isn’t really an issue when you have a terabyte external hard drive tethered to your computer.
But you still miss out on the special features and bonus content. Plus, if you lose your hard drive in a freak accident, you lose your content as well. Still, with new cloud-based technologies, you won’t have to worry too much about that. That technology is still in its beginning stages, so don’t rely on it too heavily.
Full Stream Ahead
If physical copies don’t interest you, and you don’t have a computer with enough storage to be buying digital copies of films, you may want to stick with streaming your video content. You can do it for free online, but that is going to offer very poor to awful quality, and that is just not the way you want to watch a movie.
But there are plenty of ways to stream high quality videos. Netflix is becoming a much more popular choice among the masses. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and it has plenty of content available for you to choose from. The downside is that the content isn’t the newest thing out on the market. Most of the films and television shows appearing on Netflix are anywhere between 2 months and any number of years old. Although it is getting better in terms of its variety, it still will never have the newest videos, so that’s one compromise you will have to make.
Having laid out the pros and cons for each format, you may be wondering: which is the most popular these days? Well, to be honest there is no clear answer. The Netflix and streaming option have had record amounts of subscription sales, but people are learning that it doesn’t contain the content that people originally assumed it would. Blu-Rays are still very popular among the masses. People have gotten so used to having physical copies that it has become the safe bet.
To be honest, digital downloads are where you should be looking. Not only is the content there, but it also has the quality and ease of use. People are starting to shift to digital downloads so they don’t have to change discs or find a place for them. It is all stored in a hard drive and can be accessed with a click of a button. There is obviously a learning curve with digital downloads, and it is not for everyone, but it is definitely the way things are going. People are getting sick of paying the premium price for Blu-Rays and even though it will be a while before Blu-Rays/physical copies become a thing of the past, digital downloads will only continue to gain popularity.