Confessions of a Physical Media Addict!

I am the first to admit I have an addiction problem with physical media, but is it time for rehab?

With over 5,000 pieces of physical media between 8 mm tapes, a few VHS movies, several Dvd’s, thousands of Blu Rays discs, and hundreds of 4K discs in almost every room in my house I often get asked why? Usually from my brother who swears by digital media. Why do you have all these movies cluttering up your house when you could just get them on digital and stream them on an on demand service?

Streaming movies has become a very popular way to view movies

I have several stock answers I use to defend the thousands of movies throughout my house. First and foremost the quality of physical media, especially now on 4k disc, provided you have the correct equipment to play those discs. Im not just talking about looking at them side by side this has been proven by experts showing the difference with the output and signals of 4K discs.

Along with the “fact” that you get a better picture from discs than streaming there’s plenty of other responses to this query. I love extra features provided on physical media. This started with dvd’s and deleted scenes you couldn’t get on any other format. As physical media got more popular companies started to add more content to get people to buy physical media. Between commentary tracks from the director or cast to features showing everything from how they decided what locations to use to the best material to dress the cast.

Every iteration of media seems to bring better picture and sound. I hate double dipping (buying the same movie more than once) as much as anyone. When I replaced my 2,000 movie collection of dvd’s with Blu Rays discs, I promised I would not replace them again. But it wasn’t just the better picture and sound! Movie companies continue to update the extra’s with newer material and more new features. Suddenly my “Ultimate Edition” was not as good as the “Definitive Edition”. They aren’t putting a gun to my head, but more features on my favorite movies! Wheres the checkout counter?

Digital copies are starting to add features to their movies making them more enticing, but even the companies providing the most supplements like some Disney Classics, don’t offer the kinds of extras on physical media. Also, to be certain you are getting the best picture possible many 4K discs use the space on one 4K disc just for the movie and include a second blu ray with the extra’s to give you more bang for you buck.

Disney digital does provide some extra’s

I remember when physical media first started to get priced for point of sale versus renting. Movie companies use to charge up to a hundred dollars per VHS, making the only option to watch the newest movies released on tape to go to Blockbuster video or the local mom and pop shop around the corner. As places like Blockbuster started to run out of space they started selling used VHS movies for as low as 5 to 10 dollars. I remember saying: “it would be so great to have a bunch of movies in your house so you could turn to your own private library of films”.

Remember when Blockbuster started selling used VHS?

Why is it when people walk into someones house and they have a library full of books it is considered “Impressive” or they are looked at as “intellectual”. But the same people walk into a house with a library of movies it is looked down upon? So yes, Im calling discrimination as a defense to having my physical library of movies instead of keeping all my books from my more formal education. I think I have been more educated by movies than all the books I’ve read over the years.

My final defense is probably the strongest, yet least used when defending a collection. When you buy a blu ray movie or 4K disc you own it. You don’t own the digital copy of the movie. This may come to a surprise too many, but it is true. Technically you own a license to play the movie. Did you ever notice a movie suddenly disappears from your digital collection? You go to play your digital movie and it is gone? You start looking through your collection, but the digital copy is gone. Some times companies like Apple lose the right to show a digital movie on their platform and they don’t go out of their way to let you know the digital movie has been removed from your collection.

So, I think I have provided a pretty good defense to my physical media collection. However, there is an issue I have no defense for when it comes to a physical collection of movies. The dreaded space argument! I’m not 100% sure of the exact square footage of my house is, but I do know I am using up a good chunk of it with movies. If I was going to live here forever maybe that would not be so bad, but it’s unlikely I’ll stay here for the rest of my life. I have already moved across country 4 times and there is more than a good chance I’ll be moving across country once again. Having moved a major collection across country is not only exhausting, it’s extremely expensive. So, if and when, the time comes for me to make my way back to beautiful Southern California I may have to take a long look in the mirror about continuing with physical media. I have no idea what will become of my movie addiction, but it may be time to get the 12 monkeys off my back?

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