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There’s Still Life in Them There Discs….

10 Apr, 2014 By: Thomas K. Arnold

It was encouraging, for those of us who still love physical media, to hear that the disc will be with us for quite some time.

During a presentation at the Ultra HD Physical and Digital Media Conference at NAB in Las Vegas, Michael Arrington, senior analyst with research firm IHS, predicted that consumers will still be shelling out a respectable $10 billion or so on Blu-ray Discs and DVDs in 2015 — half what it was a decade ago, but hardly an amount to be dismissed.

“People … like to have [content] in their hands,” he said, while home hardware storage and bandwidth aren’t quite yet where they they need to be for everyone to go full-blown digital.

I’m certainly one of those who likes to have content in his hands. One of the great joys in life is walking into the closet where I keep all my discs, neatly filed, alphabetically, Blu-ray Disc on one side, DVD and TV on the other, and picking out something to watch that night.

Of course, I keep getting told it’s a generational thing. I still like to read an actual newspaper in the morning, and I have eschewed e-readers for paperbacks — new and used, which I devour during my daily spinning sessions at the gym.

But I wonder — will physical ever go completely away? Despite the ease of downloading and storing music electronically, CDs are still around. So are books and magazines. Is this merely pandering to a generation — my generation — that will one day die out, or is there in an inherent need in human nature to at least on occasion reach out and touch something real?

My boys are 18, 16 and almost 12,  and while they’re knee-deep into YouTube and Hulu and streaming, they, too, are frequent visitors to the media closet, especially when they have friends over and want to watch a movie on the big TV in the family room. In those cases, quality still matters, and I don’t care what anyone says — you still can’t beat Blu-ray Disc for clarity and sound.

It sort of makes you wonder.

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