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Large DVD Collections. Is it worth it?

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#1 of 87 OFFLINE   Billy Fogerty

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Posted October 23 2007 - 04:00 AM

Having collected dvd's for many years now, probably own around 650 plus. I am to the point that I very rarely buy them anymore. I looked at my collection and asked, how many times have I watched these films? In most cases they have been viewed once or twice, except for a select few. Most of my dvd viewing are rentals from NetFlix. If I want to see it again, I will just rent it. There is also the constant delemma of owning a film, then it comes out in a better edition. Then after that a deluxe edition, etc. etc. So, is it worth it?

#2 of 87 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted October 23 2007 - 04:08 AM

Nope. This is a favorite subject of mine, and now that I'm in my mid-forties I have faced the realization that it can indeed get to the point where you can never really watch all the films in your collection even one time, let alone many! This gets me back to my old theory. Let's generously say I live to be 80... that's another 35 years left of life for me (and how "clear-headed" and able to enjoy films I will be then is still uncertain... ). But okay, let's say there are 35 more good movie watching years ahead. That's still not very much if you consider how few times we really WATCH the movies we own! So let's say I watch a favorite film like BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN on the average of once every five years. This means I'll only be getting to see it a mere SEVEN times more! I don't know if this astounds others as it does me, but when you break it all down into reality like that, it's not very much! And then again, how many of us actually bother to even "keep a tally"? If we don't make a deliberate effort to screen these things, then the amount of viewings becomes even less! Now think about how many films you own in your collection. Think about how little you watch most titles, if ever. Do the math and really ask yourself if it makes any sense to own 90% of your collection! Whenever this subject comes up, people always will say: "I don't care; I just like collecting the films and I'll know it's there when I want to see it". But there are a couple of things about this -- first, it's one thing to collect coins or stamps or posters, where the point it to just "look at them"; but with movies, the idea is to take them out and WATCH them. Secondly, if you have 1,000 movies or something, you can NEVER get the "urge" to watch all 1,000 of them on a whim.. that whim cannot possibly arise for EVERY film, multiple times. When it gets to the point where you make a conscious effort to make sure you see ONE film per day, and then you rotate your collection and realize you STILL cannot see them all more than two or three times more at the most, THAT'S a problem! So I suppose the ideal situtation to get the most bang for your buck and also to have a good time with the movies you've chosen to own, is to have about 300 to 400 films in your collection, and to watch one each day and rotate them, thus alowing them to be enjoyed over and over many times through the years. Of course, we all add even MORE new movies to our libraries as well, and this makes it even harder to see all of it!

#3 of 87 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted October 23 2007 - 04:17 AM

"Worth it" is a highly subjective decision. What's "worth it" to one person may not be to another. I'm older than Joe and have probably four times as many DVDs as Billy -- and yes, it's "worth it" to me. I'm not even going to try to justify it, nor do I have to. I just like having them. M.
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#4 of 87 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted October 23 2007 - 04:35 AM

If you feel like you're not getting value, stop. Sell your excess on ebay, put the money into other hobbies, and be more selective on new-release day. One thing that's hard to quantify about large collections is what they give you in terms of certainty. If I get a late-night urge to watch Gozu, I can. I don't have to go out to a video store that might not be open and might not have it in stock; I don't have to wait a couple of days to get it from Netflix, by which time the urge may have passed. I just watch it. When you buy a movie, you're not wasting money if you figure your spending more than you would renting it over time; you're buying security, certainty, and greater access.
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#5 of 87 OFFLINE   Jason Smalley

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Posted October 23 2007 - 04:41 AM

I have over 2600 titles in my collection. It is extremely unruly finding the space to store them. Then there is the whole cataloging thing. Dusting. Worrying about disc imperfections causing a disc to have read errors, etc. Then there is the money aspect. I have way too much money tied up into my home theater habit (from both a software and hardware standpoint). Then there is the fact that this collection doesn't really appreciate in monetary value (in fact, it goes down considerably). Just look at the used DVD market. There is the inevitable rereleases with one or two "new" extra features. Honestly, I will probably NEVER get the chance to see each and every title a third or fourth time as pointed out by others. That being said. I am impulsive by nature. I LOVE...nay REQUIRE the ability to spontaneously program themed marathons of subject, genre, actor/actress, series, etc. on a whim. With Netflix, Libraries, and retail. Titles go out of print, aren't readily available, become damaged and unreplaceable, or are in sub-par packages (foolscreen, non-anamorphic). Then there are the ethical issues. I love putting my TV-Shows on DVD on my iPod and ?tv. If I rented it from Netflix or the library, I could only have it on those devices while the DVD was in my physical possession. I like to have schedule flexibility on when I watch things. Who needs more stress? In other words, for me, I do believe that Large DVD collections are worth it. Do I believe that it is necessarily right for all people? Absolutely not! My hobby is watching and analyzing movies and TV (in addition to scientific non-fiction books). I have recently contemplated concentrating on TV series almost exclusively as I feel the TV shows I watch have high rewatchability quotients. And the price/performance ratio of TV sets are much higher than features. Also, I have most of the classic/older films that I want and I haven't been too enthralled with recent feature releases. I will be watching this thread as I feel it could be an interesting read getting other people's opinions.

#6 of 87 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted October 23 2007 - 05:24 AM

I've always been a collector of all types of crap (books, comics, toys, CDs, VHS, laserdiscs, DVDs, etc.) so I have fun collecting and thus, it's worth it to me. I've never had to go hungry and I've never bounced a check because I buy DVDs or anything else so until then, I'm going to keep having fun and collecting.

#7 of 87 OFFLINE   Bryan^H



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Posted October 23 2007 - 05:26 AM

I own a little over 700 movies(and tv shows) on dvd, and watching them once or twice usually does it for me. When I first started collecting dvd's almost ten years ago, I used to love watching special features like commentary, and deleted scenes, but now it's just hard to find the time to watch all the extras. Is it worth it? If your like me, collecting dvd's is your hobby, and I really enjoy collecting them.

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#8 of 87 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted October 23 2007 - 05:35 AM

Yeah, if it isn't worth it, sell it off. However, and this is a warning that ye all should heed. I unexpectedily became disabled. Totally, like 100%. I can't work, and I can't drive. TV is sucking so bad these days that I usually just Tivo a show or two and watch it the next morning. After supper, I've got 4 or 5 hours and usually watch 2 movies a night. That's over 700 a year, and this doesn't include any that I watch during the day too. They are nice to have - just in case. Glenn

#9 of 87 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted October 23 2007 - 05:48 AM

I could probably get rid of 80% of my collection and never miss it. While there are films I like to have available and that I still would buy, the days of Reel.com coupons bloated my collection with stuff I really didn't need, some of it still in shrinkwrap. It is an interesting phenomenon that compels us to want to rebuy stuff we already have, even if we haven't watched it in years. With HD versions coming on stream, I have more justification for just siting out the latest release, as I am not ready to go high def and see no point in spending money on a SD release that is, or soon will be, superceded.

#10 of 87 OFFLINE   Jerome Grate

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Posted October 23 2007 - 05:58 AM

This is a very subjective point. For me, I don't rush out every Tuesday like I use to do. I remember the good ol' days when we use to wait for our DVDs coming in by mail each week. But now with the new format, then the re-releases of the same DVDs with more stuff or better picture and souind I've stopped the craze a year ago. I just collect those that we really, really want to watch. Usually the kid DVDs are worth keeping since they can watch it more than once. Some I've sold for money and no regrets, the ones I keep, well they do collect dust.
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#11 of 87 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted October 23 2007 - 06:01 AM

Depends on who you ask, Billy. You've answered your own question which is "No!". If you ask me, I'd say "Yes!". Of course, there is no right or wrong answer is there?

#12 of 87 OFFLINE   PatW



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Posted October 23 2007 - 06:01 AM

Yes, it's worth it to me. I'm an impulse buyer so sure I have alot of DVD's that I regret buying. I also have a tendency to blind buy but generally I've haven't been burned too much. There was a time when I was buying dvd's every week but I've slowed down over the past year or two. My collection is managable at about 530 including a few tv shows, mostly movies though. I have thinned out my collection over the years selling them at work, blockbuster, marketplace etc. so probably if I had every dvd I ever bought for myself I'd have well over two thousand. So yeah, it's a bit of an obsession but I enjoy it. I don't drink or smoke so hey that's my entertainment. Like Glenn, I've had ill health for the past year, so my collection has been a godsend.

#13 of 87 OFFLINE   PaulP



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Posted October 23 2007 - 06:13 AM

That's a damn long time.

#14 of 87 OFFLINE   Steve_Pannell


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Posted October 23 2007 - 06:15 AM

Posted Image

#15 of 87 OFFLINE   JeremySt



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Posted October 23 2007 - 06:16 AM

This has been something on my mind for the past several years, too. I started to wish my collection was a little leaner and meaner. At one point my dvd collection was over 400 (not counting tv shows) It used to be that if I saw a movie in the theater that I liked, I would buy it on DVD when it was released. Movies like IDENTITY, although great, are not movies I would watch more than once every 5 years... if that. Even then, it would take a group of people gathered at my house for me to watch it. I would never watch it by myself. Also, with my HD satellite with DVR, most new releases I can wait for and save on my hard drive in High Def. Since I have adopted blu ray as my high def format of choice, I have been double dipping on several titles. What I have doing is grabbing handfuls of DVDs that I regret buying, and trading them in for credit against blu ray titles. After offing about 50 or so dvds, my collection feels about right. There are many i may never watch again, but i still want to have them, just in case. Right now I have about 300 movie titles, probably about 100 or so discs worth of concert DVDs and TV shows, and maybe another 300 DVD-Rs containing various recordings of things not available on DVD. Most of that being comprised of Mystery Science Theater 3000 related stuff.

#16 of 87 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted October 23 2007 - 06:32 AM

Replace "650" with "2000+" and "rentals from NetFlix" with "loaners from the city library" and I could say the same thing. Posted Image

With the exception of Cars, which my son would keep on a loop 24/7 if we let him, and a few favorite concert discs, I'm not sure I've ever watched ANY disc more than twice.

My DVD buying has slowed down massively. And although I've picked up a handful of BDs, I won't be buying very many of them until prices come way down (I may even break down and join one of the mail-order rental services).
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#17 of 87 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted October 23 2007 - 06:35 AM

I've been collecting movies since the days of VHS... when I started collecting tapes, it was because we didn't have cable or even a roof antenna growing up, so I didn't get any broadcast TV at all. When I was very young, yes, but when my parents split up (I was 9) that was it for broadcast. Obviously wasn't my choice. So I started renting and then buying movies. It was watching all of those movies that made me want to be a filmmaker and really set my life in motion. No, I haven't exactly turned into Spielberg or Kubrick, but I never wanted to be the things most kids want to be when they grow up, so it gave me a direction in life, which was a very big deal at the time. Because I was a kid, I'd never know when I'd be able to get to the video store or not or even if I'd have money for rentals... but if I bought a tape with allowance or birthday money, or was given one, I'd have that to watch anytime I wanted. I started collecting DVDs in 1999, and have built up a collection of around 500 titles, give or take. Sure, there's other ways I could have spent my disposable income in that time, but it's not like I would have made some sort of wise investment that would be paying all the bills right now, so there was certainly nothing lost by me continuing to collect. DVDs were invaluable when I was in film school, just being able to have all of these movies available on quick notice any time I wanted to study a certain shot or style of filmmaking, and I was able to help out a lot of my friends by doing the same. And more than once, it was my personal copy of a film that would end up getting screened during class. The commentaries, making ofs, etc., were also invaluable. I'm not saying I learned something useful to what I was doing from every movie, but there was much more of a chance of me having those tools available at my fingertips than if I didn't collect. I'm not in film school anymore, so my academic need for a large collection of DVDs is no longer there. I go through periods where I might only watch a couple movies in a month (baseball season, for instance), and then I'll go through periods when I'll watch two movies a night five days a week. I find that I'm more selective now about what I buy than I used to be. It used to be that if I loved a movie seeing it in theaters, I'd go out and buy it when it came out. I don't do that anymore. I don't really buy new special editions of films I already have, at least not nearly as much as I used to. (There will always be exceptions...anything with a Coppola commentary I'll probably buy, I'm probably good for each and every Kubrick release, etc.) I do have a hard time getting rid of things, so even though when I look at my shelf now and I see movies that I don't know why I bought them in the first place, it's still unlikely that I'll part with them. I'll probably never watch Fahrenheit 9/11 ever again; I liked it a lot, but I'm not sure that I need to see it again. But in my mind, having it on the shelf says something about what I believe, about the person I am or aspire to be. Same for An Inconvenient Truth. So those are still worthwhile purchases, I think. On the other hand... Masters Of The Universe? Probably will never put that on again. But I know if I tried to bring it to my local store to sell it used, I wouldn't get more than a couple bucks for it, so why not hold on to it? Then there are movies like the Indiana Jones trilogy or the Star Wars movies, where I know I'm good for at least one viewing a year. Same for the Bond films. Then there are movies like Wonder Boys, Garden State, Lost Horizon, Red Beard... I may not watch them very often, but to me, they're life affirming films that have a way of making me feel good even if nothing else will. I'll never regret having them, and knowing that I can watch them anytime I want is a luxury I'm happy to have paid for. Whenever I do watch them, just the positive emotions I'll feel will more than equal whatever price I paid. Then there are also films like Orgazmo...probably don't need to see it over and over, but it's a movie I think my friends should see at least once, so having it at my house gives me a chance to make sure they see it. Some things are curiosities, things that might not be easy to rent, or that I might not want to waste a rental when I know I won't watch it all at once. Like the new Caligula three disc edition. Probably no justifiable reason for anyone to own that. I want to hear the commentaries, and see the alternate cut of the film. I don't know if Netflix has it, but I know that there's no way I'm going to be able to do it all in one sitting, so why tie up a rental when I know eventually I'll be spending a few hours examining everything in that set? With TV on DVD, I might only watch a particular season once or twice, but having it all there at once is what makes it worth the price. When I put on an episode of 24, I don't want to watch one at a time or even one disc at a time, and owning it allows me to watch it as fast as I want. Sometimes $40 is a small price to pay for the convenience of watching something at your own pace, when rentals would never let you do that. (I figured if I rented all six discs of a season at Blockbuster at $5 a pop, that almost equals the cost of the set anyway. And Netflix is no good for that, who wants to wait a day for the next disc?) So these days I realize that I'm running out of space, and that I'm not watching or rewatching as many films as I thought I might. I keep in mind what's gotten the most mileage as I decide whether or not to purchase a particular title. I'm always adjusting my purchasing habits to try to get the most value for my money. I try to limit the gimmicky purchases like Masters Of The Universe ("I used to watch it on channel 11, it would air all the time! I bet it's terrible, I should definitely get it!"). Nowadays, if I'm on the fence about a title, I'll wait until I want to watch it to pick it up, and if that time never comes, so be it. If it's a barebones disc or has no special features that appeal to me, I'm less likely to buy it now because a rental would be just as effective. But still, if a title can be gotten for under $10, I might grab it anyway, because if I watch it once or twice, I still think it's worth the money. The key to all of this is putting myself into situations where I always have the "right" movie to watch for whatever I'm feeling at the moment. I love when friends come over to make them choose the film we watch; that often leads me to titles I wouldn't necessarily pick on my own at that moment. Do I watch everything I own? No. Are there things I wouldn't buy if I could do it again? Yes. Are there things that I think are so useless or unlikely to be watched at some point or another that I might as well sell them back or give them away? Probably not. So yeah, it's worth it. It's my passion, my hobby. My life story is told through what movies I liked at different points in my life, and a lot of time the choices reflect what I was feeling or how I saw the world. My grandparents used to have tons of books, and I'm sure that most of them were never read more than once or twice, but no one ever gave them (or anyone else I knew) crap for having too many books. I don't see why collecting movies should be any different.

#18 of 87 OFFLINE   MichaelEl


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Posted October 23 2007 - 07:19 AM

I started collecting DVDs for two reasons: 1. Pre-1990s TV shows and movies disappeared from most cable channels. 2. Most post-1990s TV shows and movies are garbage. At some point around 2002 or 2003, I realized that if I wanted to continue watching quality entertainment on TV, I had no choice but to create my own video library, and so I set about making a list of all the shows and movies I thought were worth owning. As of now, I've acquired about 90% of what's on that list, and most of what remains is unreleased. In my case, amassing a collection of DVDs has definitely been worth the effort and expense, but in a way, I'm kind of sad that I can no longer randomly turn on my TV and discover something like THE FUGITIVE or THE OUTER LIMITS. Back in the 70s and 80s, changing the the channel was like browsing a bookstore, but unfortunately that era is gone forever. It's too bad younger generations will never experience the same sense of discovery I did, but to be honest, I guess most of them probably don't think they're missing much, since they only relate to movies with lots of CGI and explosions.

#19 of 87 OFFLINE   RoyM


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Posted October 23 2007 - 08:34 AM

That pretty accurately describes my experience, too Michael (except I started in 2001). Now I'm up to 2300 titles, with only a few dozen in-print releases to go, and a few dozen not yet released on DVD yet. There are still several dozen TV series I might be inclined to collect as well, but I haven't decided whether to make that additional commitment of time and money. In any case, I feel that I am very close to having quite literally EVERY film or show that I could ever wish to watch for the rest of my life in my own personal always-accessible collection. That is a pretty great feeling, especially considering I grew up in a home that never had cable and only three OTA broadcast channels to watch for much of my adolescence. Finding a movie on TV (especially a great old classic like so many of the ones I own now) during that time was very much like finding gold. So my past experience of basically having little or no access to the great entertainment that film provides (or much televised entertainment at all for a good portion of my developmental years) probably makes me appreciate being able to own just about any and every great (and even some not so great) works of cinema and television past and present much more than many folks.

#20 of 87 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted October 23 2007 - 09:28 AM

I started collecting DVDs when I got my first DVD player in 1999. I like to buy DVDs so I can watch on my schedule. I also used to buy at least one a week, espacially when there were great deals at many e-tailers. Like Billy I have a lot of DVDs that I know I will never watch more than once. I even own about 50-60 that I have never even watched yet. Mainly what I consider classics and wanted to have as part of my collection. A good example of not watching a DVD I own, is Borat. I finally saw that movie on HBO a couple of weeks ago. In the last couple of years I have definitely slowed down my DVD purchasing and viewing. I mainly buy TV series, now.
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