Did you hear about the Canadian man who tried to sell his collection of 17,300 movies on eBay? His reasoning: The collection took up 500 square feet of space inside his home!
Needless to say, most of us don’t have a media collection anywhere near that size. Still, after years of CD collecting and DVD collecting, it’s amazing how fast those physical discs can pile up.
The question is: What should you do with all of that physical media? Is it worth holding onto your collection, or should you try to sell it? Has the digital era made physical media obsolete, or is it still relevant in the 2020s?
We’re here to answer those questions and more. Consider five compelling reasons to hold onto (and keep collecting) physical media.
1. Better Sound & Picture Quality
Let’s start with the most obvious advantage of physical discs: the unbeatable quality of what you see and hear.
Sure, we live in an era of supposed “4k streaming.” Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and other streaming services tout amazing quality 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where you live.
But is that really the case?
The reality is that 4k streaming (or even HD streaming) is dependent entirely on the strength, speed, and reliability of your internet connection. If you have a data cap, downloading even one 4k movie could eat up your entire monthly allotment. And if you live somewhere with spotty connections or no high-speed offerings, forget about it.
Let’s say (for argument’s sake) that you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with no data cap, huge bandwidth, and a strong internet connection. You might be able to stream and download high-quality movies and shows, but they’ll never be true 4k quality.
Why not? Because despite all the incredible advancements in technology, any media that gets sent online is still compressed along the way. True, it gets “decompressed” when it reaches you, but there’s inevitably some loss of sound and picture quality as a result.
With physical discs, you don’t have to worry about quality issues — ever. With such incredible televisions and sound systems at our disposal, why would you settle for streaming services that can never measure up?
2. Special Features on DVDs and CDs
Back in the “good old days” of VHS, special features would often be included in the form of interviews or short featurettes. Although not a selling point in themselves, it gave filmmakers and distributors great ideas for the future.
Fast-forward a few decades to boxed sets, collectors’ editions, and special editions of your favorite films and shows. In many cases, there are actually more special features included than the length of the feature film.
As one example, the special Blu-Ray edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy included an impressive 26 hours of extra features. This is in addition to the 10+ hours of the three feature films! For die-hard fans, these behind-the-scenes looks into filmmaking are as enjoyable as the movies themselves.
Again, this is where physical media comes out on top. The majority of streaming services offer few (if any) special features with their offerings. This leaves you, the viewer, to scour the internet for those fascinating tidbits of movie trivia.
Trust us: It’s worth holding onto your physical discs just for the special features!
3. Always Available to Watch or Listen To
With the plethora of streaming services available today, you’d think it’d be possible to find any movie or show you want to watch, anytime you want to watch it.
In reality, though, it’s not always that simple. Netflix changes its catalog all the time, rolling out new releases and removing old favorites. You might spend an hour browsing Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, iTunes, etc., searching for a title that simply isn’t available to stream right now.
If you have the physical disc, all you have to do is insert it into your DVD player and enjoy. It also saves you the ongoing costs of streaming services or “renting” movies virtually.
4. No Questions of Ownership
For the longest time, humans had to experience music, movies, and shows “live.” You saw it when you saw it, and all you were left with was the memory afterward.
Physical media changed everything. Want to hear that amazing song again? Put on the album and play it as many times as you like. Want to binge-watch your favorite episodes of Seinfeld? Pop in the DVD and watch away.
Think about it: For a small one-time fee, you have lifetime access to your favorite songs, movies, and shows. Contrast that with streaming services, which are basically glorified rental agreements. You keep paying every month, but you never truly “own” anything you watch.
5. Sentimental & Nostalgic Value
Let’s face it: There’s something that just feels good about holding physical media in our hands, like the kind produced by WTS Media and Duplication.
It’s the same reason some people will never switch from physical books to a Kindle. It’s the same reason some people prefer board games to phone games. There’s a tactile experience with physical media that the digital world will never be able to replicate.
Just like a certain song or scent can take you back to a special moment in time, the same is true of opening that case and popping your favorite movie into your DVD player. You can’t put a price on nostalgia!
Physical Media Is Here to Stay
The battle of physical vs digital media will go on, but there’s room for both options in our modern world.
There’s no doubt that digital media and streaming services offer their own benefits and conveniences. However, we can’t overlook the intrinsic value of physical media either. You own it, it’s always available, it’s packed with special features, and you never have to worry about the sound or picture quality.
If DVD collecting and CD collecting have always been your hobbies, don’t stop! You’ll never regret having an awesome media collection to display in your home.
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