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More Reasons to Like the Disc

9 Oct, 2007 By: Stephanie Prange

A report from the Georgia Tech Information Security Center summit found that hackers are trying a new scheme to deliver viruses: piggybacking them on digital video files.

It made me chuckle because it's just one more reason to embrace the disc for movies.

I know. I know. The future is in downloading the films you want without the bother of packaged media. Entertainment will some day exist only in a virtual world.

But it's not just viruses that might hinder the abandonment of the disc. Even digital-delivery companies have acknowledged the disc's appeal.

A case in point is Sonic's recent push for its Qflix program, which takes advantage of the DVD Copy Control Association's recent decision to allow burning of legal files to DVDs that can be played in any player.

This has been puzzling to me ever since the media went ga ga over the story last month. Why would I download a file from the Web only to burn it to a DVD, basically re-creating (with much more effort on my part) what I can usually buy at the local mass merchant? Now if it's a very rare title that my local Target, Wal-Mart or Borders doesn't have, I may go to the trouble of burning my own disc. But for the top hits and well-known classics that make up the majority of my library, buying them from a retailer beats going online and struggling to burn my own DVD every time. I don't have to buy a blank DVD. I don't have to spend the time to download, and I don't have to buy a DVD burner.

Nevertheless, it's a testament to the popularity of owning a physical product that Sonic, CinemaNow and others have hailed the DVD Copy Control Association's decision.

They, too, have found that when it comes right down to it, folks like to know they own something by holding it in their hand.

Discs can incur damage, of course. Who hasn't lost a few to a scratch you just can't seem to wipe away. But, all in all, discs are a pretty good way to store movies. They don't harbor viruses. You can't lose your entire collection with the crash of a hard drive. And you've got something to hold that shows you own the film.

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