Why I Still Buy and Collect Discs10 May, 2014 By: Neil Middlemiss, Home Theater Forum
Despite DVD and Blu-ray sales dwarfing those of digital purchases, many see the writing on the wall for physical media. But the disc collector is a hardy breed. The slide into digital media feels inevitable, but the buying power and passion of the physical media collector remains. The collector is intensely loyal. Favorite films are snatched up upon release, then repurchased when new special features are created, or a new transfer struck, or when a new, higher quality medium is available. In all cases, the collector takes pride in displaying the movie on the shelf.
Why own all these films on physical disc when the world seems to be on an inevitable march into the cloud? Because there is nothing that comes close to holding the movie case in your hands, or seeing the new purchase sit in an endless run of shelves in all their resplendent glory. Each physical case or special package says a little something about the collector. And there is nothing like running your eyes over the spines and occasional awkward-shaped cases that contain trips into many and varied cinematic realms. Nothing can replace the joy of seeing the Alien egg cast a slight shadow over the Iron Man-head-shaped case, just below the shelf with the complete series of “Battlestar Galactica,” both the Cylon head containing the original and the bizarre cardboard creation of the reimagined series.
That’s an emotional connection that digital libraries simply cannot replace.
Even though they like physical copies, many collectors aren’t stuck in the past. The inclusion of a digital copy to store in the cloud is a nice bonus — a convenience that helps meet a need when flying, commuting on trains, or simply watching content anywhere the home theater can’t follow. Accessing a digital library is wonderful, but it’s a bonus, a nice feature, a handy convenience, but certainly no replacement for the quality and reliability of physical media. It is important for physical and digital delivery mediums to exist side-by-side, for the collectors to follow their passion and fill their shelves.