Movie comes out to theater. Wait a few weeks and movie comes out to DVD and Blue-Ray. Consumer buys it and lugs around the scratch-able discs for years to come until they get lost, damaged, or given away. That had been the basic model for many years now.
However, this very familiar and comfortable methodology is quickly becoming obsolete and cumbersome in today’s digital age. Instad of physical media, more and more people are turning to digital formats that allow greater freedoms and access.
There are several advantages to buying you movies digitally.
For one, there is the space requirement. While the movies take up digital space (something easily compensated for by getting a large external hard drive), they take up no physical space aside from the method they are stored on, be it a computer, console, etc. Thousand of movies can be held in the space that only 5 or less would take up in physical DVD or BLue Ray form. For another, physical disks can get lost, stolen, scratched, and cracked, whereas digital copies are fairly indestructible with proper back ups to a cloud or external storage.
There are also a few disadvantages. If you read the fine print, often times you do not actually ‘own’ the digital movie, you are ‘renting access to it.’ Not the same as a movie rental where they take it away from you after a few days, ‘renting access’ means you have indefinite access to it, but if you break the company’s policy and get kicked of their site, you lose your movies too. Something similar happened to a women with her Kindle books from Amazon. When she broke the terms of service and was booted from her account, she lost access to all of her books and was told she did not actually own them. This is something to keep in mind. In most cases it is best to buy the digital copies of movies you can download to your own personal computer and back up on an external hard drive.
Here are just some of your options for going digital:
Console Systems (Wii, PS3, PS4)
These systems allow you to stream apps, like Hulu, Netflix, and HBOGo on your television and some double as Blue-Ray players so you can still also enjoy your physical movies.
Smart TVs are becoming widely popular. Companies like LG and Samsung have TVs that allow users to stream content without he aid of a console or other device. Over WiFi users can access streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu and access their digital content.
If you have a computer or tablet, you can stream your digital moves on your TV with an HDMi cable (or, if you are as outdated in the tech sphere as I am, you can get a cable that ends in the old school red, white, and yellow plugs). The only pitfall is there are sometimes restrictions to this. For instance, if you use one of the old red, yellow, white cables with an iPad, while you can watch apps like Netflix, other things like YouTube or the Internet at large are audio-only and the picture won’t show up on your TV.
Apple TV allows you to have apps show up on your televisions. Hulu, Netflix, and your digital moves from iTunes can all be streamed effortlessly.
Also, for a small fee at places like Walmart, you can get your physical movies transformed into digital versions. You can also buy your own transfer machine for home use.
Image Courtesy of Amazon LLC