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kalm_traveler

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I'm noticing that friends and family increasingly think I'm nuts for being so interested in having a decent home theater setup and collecting movies, tv etc in whatever highest possible disc format they can be had in which got me wondering how do you guys explain it?

In my case, I have always been a technology enthusiast so I think it's great that we have the streaming capabilities that we do now - something I couldn't have imagined 20+ years ago, but as for why I want physical copies of things I really enjoyed watching (and plan to rewatch) there are a few points that come to mind and I'm curious to know what your reasons are as well:

  • control of the viewing experience - if you don't have a physical copy, there are are multitude of factors that can take your ability to view it away (power outage, internet service issue, online streaming platform decides to stop streaming it, etc)
  • consistent quality - with streaming I notice occasional stutters or funny compression artifacts especially during peak times. With a disc, as long as it's not scratched and your player doesn't die it just 'works'
  • ability to make your own backup to something like an in-home Plex server both for preservation and ease of watching. If that's the plan, you retain the option of using the disc but can store it somewhere out of the way
  • preservation of more niche works that may not be available on any streaming platform. I've run into this with a lot of anime since I only watched it from about the early 90's through late 2000's and many of the series or movies I liked have been OOP for decades and not rescanned for blu ray releases. Also, the movie Titan AE.
Anyway, that's all I can think of off the top of my head but what are your reasons for sticking with physical media?
 

Scott Merryfield

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FYI, even if you own a physical disc, a power outage will still prevent you from watching that film on your home theater.

Personally, there is a place in my lifestyle for both discs and streaming content. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which have been listed on this forum ad nauseum.
 

dana martin

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I'm noticing that friends and family increasingly think I'm nuts for being so interested in having a decent home theater setup and collecting movies, tv etc in whatever highest possible disc format they can be had in which got me wondering how do you guys explain it?

In my case, I have always been a technology enthusiast so I think it's great that we have the streaming capabilities that we do now - something I couldn't have imagined 20+ years ago, but as for why I want physical copies of things I really enjoyed watching (and plan to rewatch) there are a few points that come to mind and I'm curious to know what your reasons are as well:

  • control of the viewing experience - if you don't have a physical copy, there are are multitude of factors that can take your ability to view it away (power outage, internet service issue, online streaming platform decides to stop streaming it, etc)
  • consistent quality - with streaming I notice occasional stutters or funny compression artifacts especially during peak times. With a disc, as long as it's not scratched and your player doesn't die it just 'works'
  • ability to make your own backup to something like an in-home Plex server both for preservation and ease of watching. If that's the plan, you retain the option of using the disc but can store it somewhere out of the way
  • preservation of more niche works that may not be available on any streaming platform. I've run into this with a lot of anime since I only watched it from about the early 90's through late 2000's and many of the series or movies I liked have been OOP for decades and not rescanned for blu ray releases. Also, the movie Titan AE.
Anyway, that's all I can think of off the top of my head but what are your reasons for sticking with physical media?

when this

https://downdetector.com/status/cox-communications/map/

is never an issue, then streaming will be on an even footage with most of America, but most of the rural areas are never at the bandwidth, and to get that bandwidth you will pay for it. Went to visit my family homeplace this late summer, still have an aerial up, (as do I, cut the cord years ago) and they still get the same 4 channels, ABC, NBC,CBS and an Independent from across the West Virginia border as they did when I was a kid, that's it. As far as I know, no one has cable, but occasionally do see a Dish of some kind.

also, I don't spend 20-30 min looking for something that I want, just walk in the other room and pull it off the shelf, in less time that it takes for most people to make a choice.

Of course this has already been so of addressed,
https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/why-i-own-so-many-movies.359000/

17 pages so far of explain those reasons :D
 

dana martin

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FYI, even if you own a physical disc, a power outage will still prevent you from watching that film on your home theater.

Personally, there is a place in my lifestyle for both discs and streaming content. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which have been listed on this forum ad nauseum.
got a generator, and a portable that I use for the back yard that has about a 3-4 hour battery life, living in a hurricane zone, makes you take weird preparations, sandbags.... useful, but rarely needed.
 

dana martin

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It's a smaller one I can operate the refrigerator the deep freezer the kitchen stove, and some lighting in other words the essentials. The last nor'easter we were without power for a few days, it was a godsend that I had that already here.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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how do you guys explain it?

This may sound flippant but I don’t bother to.

I have collected physical media in some form or another ever since my dad taught me how to operate a top loading VCR before I had even turned two. My entire life, people have asked why. Because it’s my hobby and it brings me joy. That’s all I have left to offer.

There are so many kinds of things to watch these days and so many different ways to watch them that I just don’t have any interest or see any point in trying to persuade someone else that what’s enjoyable for me would be the same for them. If what someone else is doing works for them, and it’s different than what I do, that’s perfectly fine. And if someone looks at my collection and is baffled by it, that’s perfectly fine too.

I’m over the evangelizing phase of my hobby life. I use a combination of physical media discs viewed on disc, ripped from disc but viewed from Plex, streaming from purchases/rentals and streaming from subscription and it all works for me.

What I love most of all about this hobby these days is how much more accessible things are compared to growing up in the 80s. Back then as a kid, we didn’t have cable and the local video store wasn’t huge. If they didn’t have it, I didn’t see it. Nowadays I can find almost everything I could ever want. It’s pretty amazing.
 

TravisR

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This may sound flippant but I don’t bother to.
Yeah, I chalk it up to age but I'm largely done with explaining, defending, or fighting about what I like in life. Whether it's collecting discs or still buying physical comic books, records, CDs & books or discussing movies, TV shows, and music or arguing about every possible aspect of Star Wars. I'll still weigh in with a brief thought on a topic and I'll definitely correct what I consider to be a wild inaccuracy or challenge an outrageous statement but if someone wants to say X, Y or Z is a waste, let them. :laugh:
 

Josh Steinberg

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Yeah, I chalk it up to age but I'm largely done with explaining, defending, or fighting about what I like in life.

It may be age for me as well. I’ve also noticed that my hobbies have become more solitary pursuits. Ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, the majority of my movie watching was with friends and family. Today, the majority of it is by myself, after my wife and kids are in bed. I’ve noticed that people aren’t as quick to begrudge a parent of twin toddlers whatever leisure can be snuck in :D
 

TravisR

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It may be age for me as well. I’ve also noticed that my hobbies have become more solitary pursuits. Ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, the majority of my movie watching was with friends and family. Today, the majority of it is by myself, after my wife and kids are in bed. I’ve noticed that people aren’t as quick to begrudge a parent of twin toddlers whatever leisure can be snuck in :D
When I was in college and in my later 20's, I would always watch movies with friends. As we got older, it started to become a more and more solitary pursuit. Although I imagine that one of my dumb buddies will come over when I'm watching a bunch of Universal monster movies or Friday The 13ths next month during the horror challenge. Probably over 10 years ago, I started periodically going to the movies solo and I almost always go alone now. Part of that is because, prior to Covid, I would see a huge amount of movies but it's also people having other stuff to do.


Also, it's all but guaranteed that you'll see me bitterly arguing with someone in a Star Wars thread within a month so I haven't quite broken that habit. :laugh:
 

kalm_traveler

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FYI, even if you own a physical disc, a power outage will still prevent you from watching that film on your home theater.

Personally, there is a place in my lifestyle for both discs and streaming content. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which have been listed on this forum ad nauseum.
I have several UPS around the house that keep the network bits and anything in the man cave powered for a few hours. There have been times when the local municipal power is out which kills the ISP's main routers, but I get your point :)

Definitely agree that both have their place - it's kind of funny to me that people are so critical of me for wanting to 'hold on to dinosaur tech' as it were.
 

Malcolm R

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As others said, you don't have to explain it. Hobbies are whatever interests you. It doesn't have to interest anyone else. It does not affect them and it's none of their business. People collect all sorts of things that others find useless: stamps, coins, tiny ceramic animal figurines, commemorative plates, etc. Up until a few years ago, no one cared about vinyl records any more. Now Walmart is selling them again.

For me, it's mostly about availability and access. It's unlikely you'll find everything you have on disc available for streaming, and the continued access to those that may be available is not guaranteed. As long as your disc is readable and you have a functional player, you should always have those titles.

Then there's the issue of cost. Even if the titles are available for streaming, you may need to subscribe to 17 different services, paying never-ending monthly fees, to maintain access to them all while hoping none of them drop the titles you're interested in watching. You can buy a disc for a few dollars and it's yours forever for no additional cost.
 

Jake Lipson

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I rented a movie on Amazon last month. The disc is out of print and extremely difficult to find. It was incredibly gratifying to just pay the rental fee and have the movie right there to watch without any hassle.

I liked the movie and would like to own it, but I have my limits. There's one copy of the Blu-ray on eBay, and the seller knows it is rare, so they set the price at $115. That price is too rich for my blood. I liked the movie, but I've never paid anything close to that for a single movie, and I won't. First, I waited around to see if the seller would drop the price. Then, once it became clear that wasn't going to happen, I decided just to do an outright purchase of the streaming version from Amazon. Although I will always prefer physical media, the streaming purchase price was $10. So I couldn't turn that down.

Except, something weird happened. when I went back to Amazon, the streaming version was no longer available. Sometime in the last month, Amazon's right to stream the title apparently lapsed. I also checked Apple, YouTube, and Vudu. You can't get it from them either. For all intents and purposes, it has disappeared from the streaming universe.

If you have a disc, it's yours. If you rely on a streamer, you'll probably maintain access. But maybe not. I'm glad I only paid for a 48-hour rental last month. I don't know if it would still be in my library now if I had done the streaming purchase prior to its disappearing act.

Streaming is great. It has a lot of benefits. It does not have true ownership of the stuff you buy. You have the rights to watch the film you buy as long as the provider has the rights to show it. That's different than owning a disc.

I realize the chances of this happening for most movies is relatively small. But it happened for the one I wanted. So it could happen to yours. That's not an issue with discs.

Of course, discs have other issues -- I just replaced Captain America: The Winter Soldier a couple months ago because my original disc started skipping -- but suddenly vanishing into thin air is not one of them.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I don't know if it would still be in my library now if I had done the streaming purchase prior to its disappearing act.

It would be. Titles sometimes temporarily or permanently become unavailable for new rentals/purchases, but if you have it, you have it. Think of it like a disc going out of print: just because someone else can’t buy it doesn’t change that you already have it.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Then there's the issue of cost. Even if the titles are available for streaming, you may need to subscribe to 17 different services, paying never-ending monthly fees, to maintain access to them all while hoping none of them drop the titles you're interested in watching. You can buy a disc for a few dollars and it's yours forever for no additional cost.

The vast majority of the films I watch digitally are ones I have purchased and are part of my digital library, not through a monthly subscription service. In this case, digital is actually much less expensive than purchasing a disc, which is one of the reasons I like digital streaming. I typically pay $3 to $7 for the HDX or 4K digital films in my library, while a UHD 4K or BD disc will cost me anywhere from $12 - $30.
 

Ronald Epstein

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This may sound flippant but I don’t bother to.

I have collected physical media in some form or another ever since my dad taught me how to operate a top loading VCR before I had even turned two. My entire life, people have asked why. Because it’s my hobby and it brings me joy. That’s all I have left to offer.

There are so many kinds of things to watch these days and so many different ways to watch them that I just don’t have any interest or see any point in trying to persuade someone else that what’s enjoyable for me would be the same for them. If what someone else is doing works for them, and it’s different than what I do, that’s perfectly fine. And if someone looks at my collection and is baffled by it, that’s perfectly fine too.

I’m over the evangelizing phase of my hobby life. I use a combination of physical media discs viewed on disc, ripped from disc but viewed from Plex, streaming from purchases/rentals and streaming from subscription and it all works for me.

What I love most of all about this hobby these days is how much more accessible things are compared to growing up in the 80s. Back then as a kid, we didn’t have cable and the local video store wasn’t huge. If they didn’t have it, I didn’t see it. Nowadays I can find almost everything I could ever want. It’s pretty amazing.

Josh always puts things well, and his response came closest to what I would have said here.

I don't have a Plex system, though.

Been collecting since I was in High School (1980). Spent thousands on $80 VHS releases then laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray and now 4k discs. I have a library of 5,000 titles.

Like Josh, like all of you, it brings me joy. You get the best consistent quality from discs.

I have definitely slowed my disc purchases to just a small handful a year. If I buy 15-20 titles a year now that's a lot. I only buy stuff on disc that's really important to me. The rest are iTunes purchases.

The biggest problem I have now is storage space. It is becoming impossible to find room for anything I purchase on disc.
 

Billy Batson

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There's the big ongoing joy of owning, like having shelves of books you've enjoyed, & of course your CD collection. All of that is in part the story of your life, your taste & the stuff you enjoy. I suppose it's better for the planet to have none of this & stream it all, but it's not a world I want to live in.
 

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