Physical Media might not be dead, but Physical Media in Retail Stores are accelerating the death

I guess I am just old school.....I like owning the physical disc and just pick it off my shelf to play whenever I want. I really don't like streaming......or saving anything on a cloud. 4 Stars

Today, while I was waiting for my car to be repaired (it took 5 hours!!!), I went around to the local retail stores to shop around. Now I live in the western suburbs of the metropolitan Chicago area, and I couldn’t believe the reduction of space for physical media in 3 major retail chains, Best Buy, Target and Walmart. Now, I did read that Best Buy and Target were going to start eliminating CD’s to be sold in the store…..but what I am talking about here, is not only CD’s, but DVD’s and Blu-Rays too!!! I couldn’t believe it!!

Best Buy out of the 3 major chains is getting close to nothing. The store by me use to have 4 aisles of tv shows on DVD and Blu Ray…..it now has been reduced to ONE aisle. CD’s didn’t even have an aisle…..just one 4 shelf stand and one of those barrels with a bunch of CD’s throw in big barrel like stand with 4.99 as the clearance price. Movies on DVD were still somewhat ok…..but their were only 3 aisles (they had tripled that amount at one time). And a stand in front of the store with new releases (even a couple of Lionel Richie Vinyl albums?). I was amazed how much space they reduced for physical media.

Target looks like they have already started drastically reducing CDs already. I usually go to a different Target (by my house) which has a bigger selection. But the Target I went to today (by my mechanic) had close to nothing as far as CDs….and the DVD/Blu Ray selections seem to be for movies only (very little TV shows though)

Walmart was the biggest surprise though……CDs there were about the same as Best Buy (one stand with about 4 shelves). They had more movies and TV shows then the other two retail chains, however there selections were reduced as well. But the most shocking thing (to me anyway) was they were literally selling Cardboard like cards with a picture of the movie on the front of it to buy just the digital code…..and it wasn’t cheap…..some movies were 14,99….for the digital copy? They even had some movie collections (like the 3 Ghostbusters movies) to buy digital for like 29.99? I couldn’t believe it!!!

I guess I am just old school…..I like owning the physical disc and just pick it off my shelf to play whenever I want. I really don’t like streaming……or saving anything on a cloud…….I know some people like the new technology (and I’m not a 100% against it)…..I just can’t embrace owning something on a cloud, I feel as though these are more “services” like cable than an ACTUAL PRODUCT. And these “services” can change hands often for me to lose ownership to media I already bought and saved on a cloud…..again….sorry…..just old school. Today was just kind of an eye opener for me on how retail chains are handling the physical media situation.

Thankfully, there is a Disc Replay store (sells used CD’s, DVDs and Blu-Rays) that was next door to Best Buy. And another Book Store down the street that also sells used books, CD’s DVD’s and Blu-Rays. Both of these stores had tons to choose from (and cheap!!!) And then there is always Amazon too (and hopefully they are not going to trend the same way as the 3 retail chain stores). I’m just wondering if, like vinyl records that seem to have somewhat of a “comeback”, will apply for CDs, DVD’s and Blu-Rays once they become extinct in the future……I guess time will tell.

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224 Comments

  1. mrz7

    Best Buy out of the 3 major chains is getting close to nothing. The store by me use to have 4 aisles of tv shows on DVD and Blu Ray…..it now has been reduced to ONE aisle.

    Thankfully, there is a Disc Replay store (sells used CD's, DVDs and Blu-Rays) that was next door to Best Buy. And another Book Store down the street that also sells used books, CD's DVD's and Blu-Rays.

    Addressing those two points of what you said:

    –The Best Buy experience that you described is the same way it was when I went to one for the first time in Greenville off Woodruff Rd. It had more television disc releases than one could shake a stick at, and it was hard to choose, but fun to look! Now, there's next to nothing, and current stuff only at that!

    –There is a similar place that I've been to several times lately called 2nd and Charles, off U.S. 276 in Greenville. I've brought a lot of releases that I had no use for to that place, and traded them in for other things that might be of more interest to me, usually using store credit. What I'd like to know is, is the place you went to similar to this (trade things you don't want for other things you do)?

  2. Yes, the physical media sections at the major b&m stores have been decreasing steadily for the past few years now. The one exception here in the Milwaukee area seems to be Barnes & Noble. They have a pretty decent selection still, even if they are a bit on the pricey side. Due to this poor selection, these stores no longer see me much these days and I do almost all of my DVD shopping online.

  3. Mr. Handley

    The one exception here in the Milwaukee area seems to be Barnes & Noble. They have a pretty decent selection still, even if they are a bit on the pricey side.

    It's the same way w/a B&N on Haywood Rd. in Greenville– haven't purchased much in the way of discs there, but still fun to look!

  4. bmasters9

    Addressing those two points of what you said:

    –The Best Buy experience that you described is the same way it was when I went to one for the first time in Greenville off Woodruff Rd. It had more television disc releases than one could shake a stick at, and it was hard to choose, but fun to look! Now, there's next to nothing, and current stuff only at that!

    –There is a similar place that I've been to several times lately called 2nd and Charles, off U.S. 276 in Greenville. I've brought a lot of releases that I had no use for to that place, and traded them in for other things that might be of more interest to me, usually using store credit. What I'd like to know is, is the place you went to similar to this (trade things you don't want for other things you do)?

    Have you been to the Spartanburg BBY? I'd like to get an opinion compared to Greenville since I rarely get down that far.
    I've always been surprised at that store compared to even most of the Charlotte stores with their stock.
    It's certainly nothing like 2005-2010, but the store to store variation seems quite high I'm sure for a reason.

  5. David Norman

    Have you been to the Spartanburg BBY? I'd like to get an opinion compared to Greenville since I rarely get down that far.

    I have not been to the outlet there, so it'd be pretty much impossible for me to get a read on what's there; I very seldom go to Spartanburg itself, to be honest.

  6. Walmart was always so poorly organized. That is no great loss. Any store which put all the CDs in alphabetical order with Beethoven next to the Beatles never got my business. I only sometimes pull up an empty shopping cart next to the Blu ray dump bin and fire my rejects into it as I paw through. I find less and less in there now.

    3 or 4 years ago I would go to Walmart and Target on Black Friday and come out with armfuls. The last 2 years — nothing.

  7. TJPC

    3 or 4 years ago I would go to Walmart and Target on Black Friday and come out with armfuls. The last 2 years — nothing.

    Corporate greed RUINED Black Friday. I REFUSE to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day, I'd rather spend this holiday with friends and family (and they agree with me!). I do see an end to buying shows on DVD, there just isn't much stuff out there that I don't already have. I'll keep my eyes peeled for "Grail" and/or "Bucket List" shows becoming available, that's about it for now.

  8. bmasters9

    I have not been to the outlet there, so it'd be pretty much impossible for me to get a read on what's there; I very seldom go to Spartanburg itself, to be honest.

    Understood, but if you're headed that way someday with some time to kill it might be worth dropping in just to check it out and see how it compares. I have about a 45-60 mile radius I have to go enough to combine trips enough to check out various stores.

    Asheville, Winston-Salem, and Greenville are just a bit further outside the easy trip though I've gone to the the GVL Costco (for gas and their Alcohol attached site), BBY, and BN on an Atlanta drive once a year or so.

  9. When was the last time you visited these store's DVD sections? It's been happening gradually. It just didn't happen overnight. Every time I went to Walmart or Best Buy in the past, I would visit their DVD section, and each time it looked smaller and smaller than before.
    I know I purchased a lot of DVD's online because they're cheaper than buying them in the stores. I'm sure a lot of people do the same so that probably has some effect on brick-and-morter store's business..
    I could also be a regional thing. I noticed stores in different regions are stocked differently. I visited 2 Walmarts (one in a middle-class neighborhood, and one in a more affluent neighborhood. The "affluent" store had a larger DVD selection.

  10. I stopped by my local Barnes & Noble on Friday and it looks like they are starting to phase out their DVD/Blu-Ray Department. Of the 6 stores within a 50 mile radius only 4 have movies/music. If the one closest phases out, I may rethink my membership next year. 🙁

  11. Suzanne.S

    I stopped by my local Barnes & Noble on Friday and it looks like they are starting to phase out their DVD/Blu-Ray Department. Of the 6 stores within a 50 mile radius only 4 have movies/music. If the one closest phases out, I may rethink my membership next year. 🙁

    I have noticed the same, it started about 6-8 months ago.

  12. bmasters9

    Addressing those two points of what you said:

    –The Best Buy experience that you described is the same way it was when I went to one for the first time in Greenville off Woodruff Rd. It had more television disc releases than one could shake a stick at, and it was hard to choose, but fun to look! Now, there's next to nothing, and current stuff only at that!

    –There is a similar place that I've been to several times lately called 2nd and Charles, off U.S. 276 in Greenville. I've brought a lot of releases that I had no use for to that place, and traded them in for other things that might be of more interest to me, usually using store credit. What I'd like to know is, is the place you went to similar to this (trade things you don't want for other things you do)?

    To answer your question bmasters9, Disc Replay is exactly what you described. You can trade your old CD/DVD/Blu-Rays/Video Games/Vinyl records for cash or credit to buy something used in the store. Disc Replay I know has 3 locations in the Chicago suburban area (they had 4 locations, but one closed two years ago). We also have a couple of similar stores, Frugal Book Music and More and Half Price Books Music and More. There stores do exactly the same as Disc Replay, but they do include books. All these places are great stores……can get a lot of great items cheap. I believe there are several locations for these stores as well, but not sure how many are in the Chicago area, And I don't know if either place has locations outside of Illinois. I'm sure if you googled them they probably have a website you can even order online directly thru them. I hope that helps!!! 🙂

  13. Regulus

    Corporate greed RUINED Black Friday. I REFUSE to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day, I'd rather spend this holiday with friends and family (and they agree with me!). I do see an end to buying shows on DVD, there just isn't much stuff out there that I don't already have. I'll keep my eyes peeled for "Grail" and/or "Bucket List" shows becoming available, that's about it for now.

    I guess it’s vulture like, but as a Canadian this is not our thanksgiving (usually around Oct. 7th). We usually stop in Niagara Falls Canada for Buffett at Fallsview Casino and then check into Senica Casino in the USA, and then go out and shop our brains out (which takes about 5 minutes! )

  14. I WAS going to order Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In next month, but I got hit with an unexpected expense this week, 😮 so I'm postponing that purchase until August. (I'll purchase some movies in April and another movie in July, As for R&M'sL-I it will be a birthday present from me to myself). 😀

  15. TJPC

    I guess it’s vulture like, but as a Canadian this is not our thanksgiving (usually around Oct. 7th). We usually stop in Niagara Falls Canada for Buffett at Fallsview Casino and then check into Senica Casino in the USA, and then go out and shop our brains out (which takes about 5 minutes! )

    We "Celebrate" Leif Ericson Day on the same day you celebrate Thanksgiving (Christopher Columbus NEVER set foot in what would become the continental USA, but Mr. Erikson DID!).

  16. TJPC

    October 7th is also my birthday, I often have felt vaguely offended or proud that an entire nation celebrates it by eating turkey!

    :rock:

    Mine is August 19, and I like eating a thick, juicy Beef Rib Roast. 😀

  17. Regulus

    I WAS going to order Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In next month, but I got hit with an unexpected expense this week, 😮 so I'm postponing that purchase until August. (I'll purchase some movies in April and another movie in July, As for R&M'sL-I it will be a birthday present from me to myself). 😀

    Unexpected expenses suck! I hope you're finally able to get the above set for your birthday, as I know this is the second time you've had to delay purchase of the ROWAN AND MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN set!

    I'm currently on a yearlong (Or thereabouts!) disc buying moratorium, as we plan to move out of Ontario's near north later this year, and are socking (Sock it to me? 😉 ) away our spare change to cover associated expected and unexpected expenses, plus we don't want to have any more items to move than necessary! 😀

    Hopefully, physical media options will still exist whenever I'm ready to resume disc buying?!!?:blink:

    CHEERS! 🙂

  18. I'm a physical media kinda guy. I refuse to do streaming. Once physical media is obsolete, it won't matter because I'll own all my favorite shows/movies on actual discs. There are only a few more shows that I want to be completed on dvd but as far as stuff that's already released, I own all of it I want.

  19. I did notice that my local Walmart now carries a lot of the Shout! Factory complete series sets like The Nanny & Green Acres. They didn't use to carry any of the S!F sets.

    They also have several other sets like Three's Company & Mama's Family.

  20. I'm happy to partake of streaming services for modern-era TV shows and movies, but since Netflix never seems to have any classic TV (and hardly any pre-2000 movies – at least over here), when it comes to catalog movies on Blu-Ray or DVD, or classic TV shows, I'm all about physical media.

    This is an old topic on these boards, and those of us who frequent here are likely of the same mindset (that prefer physical media), whereas the average consumer, especially twentysomethings and under, don't care to buy anything that they can't watch on their phones. I doubt if many young adults even have an actual television set anymore. In Japan, most of the under-30 crowd watch TV on their smartphones, tablets or laptops. I'm guessing it's not too different in North America.

    Re: Walmart, I do think it can be a regional thing. I know that in the Seattle-Tacoma area in the U.S., the pickings for vintage TV on DVD are slim…but in the rural area where my parents live, the Walmart there often has a decent selection. That's where I occasionally pick up some Timeless / Shout western sets, like The Loner, The Westerner, etc. Their selection is eclectic (last summer, they only had one volume of The Rifleman, season 3, one of the later seasons of Bonanza, one volume of Have Gun – Will Travel season 6, etc.) but they DO still carry some. Who knows, though, how their selection will look when I visit again this summer.

    But then, for the past 10-15 years, nearly all my DVD and BD purchases have been through online sources. Other than the odd buy here and there in a Walmart or a Target, I'd say 90% plus of my collection was ordered online. It's just so much easier to find what you want, especially for pre-1980s titles.

    The average consumer is most likely only going to pick up the latest new releases in a brick and mortar store anyway, if at all. So the decline in physical media, though sad to see, is inevitable. Convenience trumps fidelity, as they say.

  21. The Target here got rid of most of their CD section. Now the number of unique titles they have on display isn't much more than you could fit into a tabletop CD holder. Best Buy's selection is better, but still really tiny.

    Did I say how much I miss Tower Records?

  22. Thomas Newton

    The Target here got rid of most of their CD section. Now the number of unique titles they have on display isn't much more than you could fit into a tabletop CD holder. Best Buy's selection is better, but still really tiny.

    Did I say how much I miss Tower Records?

    I ditto your reply regarding Tower Records……that was such a great place for EVERYTHING all music, movies and tv shows!!! 🙂

  23. When the local Best Buy here opened in 2009, the entire center section of the store was given over to CD's and DVD's. Maybe 8 or 10 aisles. That's now been reduced to 3 aisles with two additional one-sided half-aisles. Only about one-quarter aisle still has CD's, and they're almost always "greatest hits" type things rather than actual albums, except for the newest releases. There is still a decent selection of TV-on-DVD, but some notable stuff is missing. (They never had the season 1 set for The Good Place.) They have an entire section for HBO series.

    There is also a kiosk at the front of the store that has the new releases for DVD/Blu-ray, with CD's and video games on the ends. Also two other free-standing kiosks in one of the aisles with DVD's, and two of those discount tubs… one for DVD's and one for CD's (and I think another for Blu-rays back in the TV section).

    The section of Barnes & Noble that used to be DVD's and CD's is now mostly DVD's. And the FYE in the mall has nearly eliminated their CD's and DVD's in favor of accessories and t-shirts and other non-media merchandise.

    I always buy my phyical media at Best Buy if possible, in the forlorn hope that my meager purchases will make any difference to their decision making (which is made at the corporate level anyway, not at the store level).

  24. I was in a Newbury Comics store yesterday (regional New England chain) and they have more floor space dedicated to vinyl than CDs/Movies combined (though the bulk of the store is still mostly novelty "Spencer Gifts" type stuff, which is where FYE has been headed).

  25. Fry's used to be the last holdout for what seemed like a pretty comprehensive selection of TV shows on DVD, now that favorite haunts like Tower, Virgin Megastore, Suncoast and Circuit City all sleep with the fishes. But now they've gutted their inventory as well.

  26. I used to frequent the Fry’s in Downers Grove IL when I lived there. It was always so special. If I was looking for a dvd that was slightly unusual or hard to find I could find it there. Their selection was awesome. I visit that area once a year and the last couple of years when I went to Fry’s it was abysmal. Their selection was not good and was a lot less than what they used to have.
    As for Best Buy, it’s been going downhill for a while. I used to visit it regularly and now I cannot even remember the last time I went in there. Their selection has been decreasing for years. It was so bad that when I got their rewards certificates I couldn’t even find any DVDs I wanted.

  27. Paintbeanie

    As for Best Buy, it’s been going downhill for a while. I used to visit it regularly and now I cannot even remember the last time I went in there. Their selection has been decreasing for years. It was so bad that when I got their rewards certificates I couldn’t even find any DVDs I wanted.

    As I recall, one of the last times I was in the one in Greenville, all there really was was everything new and current in both films and shows– nothing vintage like there was the first time I was there.

  28. Have to admit I've noticed the dwindling of DVD's and CD's at Best Buy and other places, I know iTunes and amazon are a major factor in this (and I use them), but I still miss not seeing stuff at the retail outlets.
    James

  29. Paintbeanie

    I used to frequent the Fry’s in Downers Grove IL when I lived there. It was always so special. If I was looking for a dvd that was slightly unusual or hard to find I could find it there. Their selection was awesome. I visit that area once a year and the last couple of years when I went to Fry’s it was abysmal. Their selection was not good and was a lot less than what they used to have.
    As for Best Buy, it’s been going downhill for a while. I used to visit it regularly and now I cannot even remember the last time I went in there. Their selection has been decreasing for years. It was so bad that when I got their rewards certificates I couldn’t even find any DVDs I wanted.

    I live near the Fry's (in Downers Grove, IL)……and yes…..Fry's drastically reduced there inventory. They used to have a huge section in their store for DVD's and Blu-Rays. They are down to two aisles now. Very sad cause this was another great place to get hard to find tv shows. Not anymore 🙁

  30. For years and years, my tastes have been so specialized, that Amazon is the only “store” I can shop at. I still buy CDs, but very few stores stock Soundtracks and Original Cast Broadway, and Ihave basically everything. I used to really enjoy browsing through selections when we had huge multi-story record stores on Yonge street in Toronto, but with their deaths, on line shopping became the only way.

  31. TJPC

    For years and years, my tastes have been so specialized, that Amazon is the only “store” I can shop at. I still buy CDs, but very few stores stock Soundtracks and Original Cast Broadway, and Ihave basically everything. I used to really enjoy browsing through selections when we had huge multi-story record stores on Yonge street in Toronto, but with their deaths, on line shopping became the only way.

    You bet– Amazon has practically everything, and it's where I've gotten a lot of the releases I've gotten.

  32. TJPC

    For years and years, my tastes have been so specialized, that Amazon is the only “store” I can shop at. I still buy CDs, but very few stores stock Soundtracks and Original Cast Broadway, and Ihave basically everything. I used to really enjoy browsing through selections when we had huge multi-story record stores on Yonge street in Toronto, but with their deaths, on line shopping became the only way.

    lol…I spent too many hours of my youth combing Sam The Record Man's third floor clearance bins looking for cheap treasures. I sure miss those days.

  33. You guys are certainly speaking my language about soundtracks and cast recordings. All of my trips to NYC from 1960-1990 where I scoured record stores looking for treasures during the day and went to shows at night. Those were REALLY the days.

  34. TJPC

    We used to go Thursday to Sunday and see 5 shows. We took a look at doing this again recently, but decided not to put a mortgage on the house! :wacko:

    That is the truth. I haven't been to NYC since 2010 due to the impossibly high prices for shows. They were my only reason for going to NYC in recent years since I could buy the books and records online that I normally could only find there. (Well, afternoons spent at the Museum of Television and Radio were also missed, but much of that (but not all) can be found on YouTube now.)

  35. TJPC

    For years and years, my tastes have been so specialized, that Amazon is the only “store” I can shop at. I still buy CDs, but very few stores stock Soundtracks and Original Cast Broadway, and Ihave basically everything. I used to really enjoy browsing through selections when we had huge multi-story record stores on Yonge street in Toronto, but with their deaths, on line shopping became the only way.

    I have the same problem with the fact that my musical tastes are too obscure for places like Best Buy… and also the fact that in 35 years of intensive collecting I've bought most of the music I want. (And I haven't been much interested in new music since the millennium or thereabouts.) I do buy most of my CD's from Amazon now. The biggest problem with Amazon is that you have to know what you want beforehand… you can't really browse through 20 million titles. I find a lot of stuff in secondhand stores and even flea markets/garage sales, but that's really hit or miss.

    I've had reasonably good luck finding vintage TV shows at Best Buy. They don't have the more obscure ones, but in recent weeks I've bought complete series sets of Wonder Woman, The Twilight Zone, and Sheena as well as season 1 of The Jetsons. I expect they will have season 1 of Alfred Hitchcock Presents when it comes out next week too.

  36. AndrewCrossett

    I've had reasonably good luck finding vintage TV shows at Best Buy. They don't have the more obscure ones, but in recent weeks I've bought complete series sets of Wonder Woman, The Twilight Zone, and Sheena as well as season 1 of The Jetsons.

    That all-in-one of Wonder Woman— is it the redone single-sided version that you got there?

  37. What the B&M stores don't seem to realize is that, if I know I'll have to go to Amazon to get the item that I want (could be media, but not necessarily), I'll just add the other stuff to that one-item order. Not only do they lose the "not most popular" sale, they lose even sale on the popular and latest they DO carry. Outside of groceries, Amazon gets 60-80 percent of my purchases. The rest is mostly independent ("mom & pop") stores. The big chains get very little (I think I've been to a shopping center twice in the past year). After all, why go to two places when you can go to just one?

  38. BobO’Link

    I'll look at Target and WM as both still carry a fairly good selection of newer releases, including classic TVonDVD titles (especially at WM for those) but it's fairly rare that I'll make a purchase.

    That's where I've gotten a few of mine as well (Vega$, Wild Wild West, Airwolf, The Fugitive, et al.).

  39. bmasters9

    That all-in-one of Wonder Woman— is it the redone single-sided version that you got there?

    I'm not sure because I haven't actually opened it yet… it's the version that's currently widely available. Best Buy had it on sale for some ridiculously low price when the WW movie came out.

    As far as my shopping… I've been buying a lot less stuff from Amazon lately, mostly because I've been buying a lot less stuff in general lately. I have plenty of DVD's I need to catch up on. I buy pretty much all my books from Amazon… the only physical bookstore left around here is a Barnes & Noble, and the prices there are so high compared to Amazon that it just seems stupid to buy there. Did you know you can pay like $16 for a 200-page novel?

    I also never buy clothes online.

  40. There is definitely a sharp decline in CDs, but overall it varies, even within a chain.

    Best Buy – overall CDs have been pretty limited there. They used to have several aisles – way more in their peak, than any Target or Walmart. Now, I would say that Walmart has more.

    Target is comparable to BB, but it varies from store to store.

    Best Buy still has an ok selection of movies, but certainly has many catalog titles and it's very random.

    A year or two back, a local Target totally revamped their media section and Movies/TV overall I think is smaller, but there is an older Target that didn't do that and has a lot more titles. Granted, "a lot more" still ain't what is used to be, but it's ok.

    Walmarts vary a lot as well. I'm guessing that Walmarts will carry cds the longest, outside of Barnes and Noble, who at this point, has the best CD selection left. They've added a lot of vinyl.

  41. I buy online, with the very rare exception of something I want immediately (rare thankfully). Usually much cheaper, and I frequently buy used discs for next to nothing. Guess I'm responsible for the decline of stock in the B&M stores.

  42. I shop mostly online now because my collection is huge and most of things I want are obscure. I do miss going to Suncoast and Saturday Matinee back in the VHS days and browsing the shelves finding unexpected things in the Classics section. I miss video rental stores for the same reason.

    It's hard to find new and undiscorvedmovies if you shop online because you are generally searching for a specific item. Some of the "you might be interested in…" things are great but mostly the odd discoveries are few and far between.

  43. Suzanne.S

    Some of the "you might be interested in…" things are great but mostly the odd discoveries are few and far between.

    I would imagine that by "odd discoveries," you're referring to what I call "selects," the stuff that is well worth the money– would I be far wrong?

  44. Remember they go by the name of Best Buy, not Best Selections.
    And, yah, it's getting to be a paltry selection in one of the Massachusetts outlets.
    Oddly, though, there's another Best Buy some 30 miles away that has an excellent selection.
    I wonder, though, if this had anything to do with their being a Magnolia store; whereas the other was not.

  45. PMF

    Remember they go by the name of Best Buy, not Best Selections.

    True that– wasn't intending on changing the name of the business; all I was meaning by "selects" is the stuff that you pay good money for that is well worth that money in several things:

    –being a good show
    –being packaged well
    –excellent A/V quality

    …among other things.

    (Of course, these aren't static; if a show is good and is packaged well, then even the worst A/V quality would still make for an enjoyable show, as in the case of the all-in-one of M Squad from Timeless Media.)

  46. The 4K's all too often have misleading packaging. Claiming on the package the movie is 4 times better than Blu-Ray when in fact it is nothing but a low level upscale transfer . . . is, in part, leading to store returns. Costco decided to pull the plug. Streaming 4K is of little help for those who live outside a major city where they at lucky to get 10 to 15. The answer for some? Buy the 4K disk online and enjoy the out-of-this world on an LG 65" OLED.

  47. 4K is where I draw the line. All of us who have been through VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray- that's enough. Unless 4K delivers the cast of the Brady Bunch to perform the episode live in my living room, I don't need any more upgrades.

  48. mrz7

    I guess I am just old school…..I like owning the physical disc and just pick it off my shelf to play whenever I want. I really don't like streaming……or saving anything on a cloud…….I know some people like the new technology (and I'm not a 100% against it)…..I just can't embrace owning something on a cloud, I feel as though these are more "services" like cable than an ACTUAL PRODUCT. And these "services" can change hands often for me to lose ownership to media I already bought and saved on a cloud…..again….sorry…..just old school. Today was just kind of an eye opener for me on how retail chains are handling the physical media situation.

    I totally agree as these cloud "services" are not to be trusted regardless of whatever claims as to the safety of your purchased media is made. As we can see the US government daily is taking away all consumer protections that are in place so that all one of these companies has to do is file bankruptcy and fold and we will lose anything on their servers without recourse. Of course they could sell their business to another for millions of profit for them but then the new owner could put a new charge on the media we have already paid for. I seems the goal of American business right now is to squeeze as much money from the consumer as possible for the least amount of service so I have no hope of receiving fair treatment from a digital media "third party". I'll stick to physical media.

  49. Jeremy Lancaster

    The 4K's all too often have misleading packaging. Claiming on the package the movie is 4 times better than Blu-Ray when in fact it is nothing but a low level upscale transfer . . . is, in part, leading to store returns. Costco decided to pull the plug. Streaming 4K is of little help for those who live outside a major city where they at lucky to get 10 to 15. The answer for some? Buy the 4K disk online and enjoy the out-of-this world on an LG 65" OLED.

    Jeremy: Normally, I'd say "Welcome to the HTF" for your first post :welcome:

    but you've been a member here since 1999! 😀

    You've been holding your tongue for a long time! :laugh:

  50. SFMike

    I totally agree as these cloud "services" are not to be trusted regardless of whatever claims as to the safety of your purchased media is made. As we can see the US government daily is taking away all consumer protections that are in place so that all one of these companies has to do is file bankruptcy and fold and we will lose anything on their servers without recourse. Of course they could sell their business to another for millions of profit for them but then the new owner could put a new charge on the media we have already paid for. I seems the goal of American business right now is to squeeze as much money from the consumer as possible for the least amount of service so I have no hope of receiving fair treatment from a digital media "third party". I'll stick to physical media.

    Not a cloud service, but remember Photobucket? The "you can download and store any amount of photos you want and free 3rd party hosting Photobucket?" And now?

  51. My thought about 4K is that you buy a new tv and 4K player and 5 years from now out comes 8K or whatever.

    Having been burned by constant non backward comparable upgrades and just feeling completely burned and rooked by the companies that promoted 3D, I am very wary. I will not buy Beta again.

  52. MartinP.

    Not a cloud service, but remember Photobucket? The "you can download and store any amount of photos you want and free 3rd party hosting Photobucket?" And now?

    Who knew that providing all those free services wasn't a viable business model?

  53. Suzanne.S

    I stopped by my local Barnes & Noble on Friday and it looks like they are starting to phase out their DVD/Blu-Ray Department. Of the 6 stores within a 50 mile radius only 4 have movies/music. If the one closest phases out, I may rethink my membership next year. 🙁

    You need to spend $250 a year at Barnes and Noble just to break even on the cost of a membership. After that you'll start saving money. I still manage to save a little, but if B&N stops selling Criterion discs, I'll end my membership too.

  54. I prefer to buy music and movies on physical media since the audio-video quality is better. Unfortunately the quality margin physical media has over streaming or downloaded options has narrowed, and not always in a good way either.

    The movie studios are not putting in nearly as much effort into their retail discs packages as they did 10-20 years ago with DVD and the early days of Blu-ray. Now they're clearly more interested in pushing streaming or downloaded purchase options. Hence the "HD Digital" download version of a movie becoming available weeks ahead of the retail Blu-ray or UHD version. I'm really disappointed with what the studios have done with the UHD BD format (way too many 2K>4K up-scaled titles and far too few native 4K releases). Years ago it was much easier to only watch movies on Blu-ray discs and turn my nose up at Netflix or any other streaming service, but that's when I had DSL service that did no better than 3 megabits per second. A 25 Mb/s or 50 Mb/s cable Internet connection makes a big difference. My ISP offers up to 250Mb/s service, but I don't feel like paying over $100 per month for it.

    Music on physical media is a more difficult situation. A Red Book CD may boast a much better bit rate than an MP3 or AAC file bought from Google Music or iTunes. But when the music track has the dynamics of its wave form so badly compressed just to make everything loud the end result winds up not sounding much better than the lossy compressed song files people buy one at a time. All you can eat music streaming services have eaten into both physical media music sales and sales of downloadable tunes.

    My town is down to one video rental store (Family Video) and I figure it's only a matter of time before it closes. I used to shop at Hastings Books, Music & Video and rent videos from them frequently. Hastings liquidated not too long ago. Sam Goody's in our local mall shut down years ago. Now we're stuck with a couple Walmart stores, a Sam's Club and one Target store for buying music CDs and movie discs. The selection is not all that great. And with music you'll often be stuck with the clean-censored versions.

    In principal I don't like ordering goods online. I like to check and see if the product is available locally first and then only order online as a last resort. Amazon employs no one in my town and does not buy any goods or services from anyone in my town. Amazon and other online merchants like it provide zero local economic multiplier effect.

  55. mrz7

    Today, while I was waiting for my car to be repaired (it took 5 hours!!!), I went around to the local retail stores to shop around. Now I live in the western suburbs of the metropolitan Chicago area, and I couldn't believe the reduction of space for physical media in 3 major retail chains, Best Buy, Target and Walmart. Now, I did read that Best Buy and Target were going to start eliminating CD's to be sold in the store…..but what I am talking about here, is not only CD's, but DVD's and Blu-Rays too!!! I couldn't believe it!!

    Best Buy out of the 3 major chains is getting close to nothing. The store by me use to have 4 aisles of tv shows on DVD and Blu Ray…..it now has been reduced to ONE aisle. CD's didn't even have an aisle…..just one 4 shelf stand and one of those barrels with a bunch of CD's throw in big barrel like stand with 4.99 as the clearance price. Movies on DVD were still somewhat ok…..but their were only 3 aisles (they had tripled that amount at one time). And a stand in front of the store with new releases (even a couple of Lionel Richie Vinyl albums?). I was amazed how much space they reduced for physical media.

    Target looks like they have already started drastically reducing CDs already. I usually go to a different Target (by my house) which has a bigger selection. But the Target I went to today (by my mechanic) had close to nothing as far as CDs….and the DVD/Blu Ray selections seem to be for movies only (very little TV shows though)

    Walmart was the biggest surprise though……CDs there were about the same as Best Buy (one stand with about 4 shelves). They had more movies and TV shows then the other two retail chains, however there selections were reduced as well. But the most shocking thing (to me anyway) was they were literally selling Cardboard like cards with a picture of the movie on the front of it to buy just the digital code…..and it wasn't cheap…..some movies were 14,99….for the digital copy? They even had some movie collections (like the 3 Ghostbusters movies) to buy digital for like 29.99? I couldn't believe it!!!

    I guess I am just old school…..I like owning the physical disc and just pick it off my shelf to play whenever I want. I really don't like streaming……or saving anything on a cloud…….I know some people like the new technology (and I'm not a 100% against it)…..I just can't embrace owning something on a cloud, I feel as though these are more "services" like cable than an ACTUAL PRODUCT. And these "services" can change hands often for me to lose ownership to media I already bought and saved on a cloud…..again….sorry…..just old school. Today was just kind of an eye opener for me on how retail chains are handling the physical media situation.

    Thankfully, there is a Disc Replay store (sells used CD's, DVDs and Blu-Rays) that was next door to Best Buy. And another Book Store down the street that also sells used books, CD's DVD's and Blu-Rays. Both of these stores had tons to choose from (and cheap!!!) And then there is always Amazon too (and hopefully they are not going to trend the same way as the 3 retail chain stores). I'm just wondering if, like vinyl records that seem to have somewhat of a "comeback", will apply for CDs, DVD's and Blu-Rays once they become extinct in the future……I guess time will tell.

    mrz7

    Today, while I was waiting for my car to be repaired (it took 5 hours!!!), I went around to the local retail stores to shop around. Now I live in the western suburbs of the metropolitan Chicago area, and I couldn't believe the reduction of space for physical media in 3 major retail chains, Best Buy, Target and Walmart. Now, I did read that Best Buy and Target were going to start eliminating CD's to be sold in the store…..but what I am talking about here, is not only CD's, but DVD's and Blu-Rays too!!! I couldn't believe it!!

    Best Buy out of the 3 major chains is getting close to nothing. The store by me use to have 4 aisles of tv shows on DVD and Blu Ray…..it now has been reduced to ONE aisle. CD's didn't even have an aisle…..just one 4 shelf stand and one of those barrels with a bunch of CD's throw in big barrel like stand with 4.99 as the clearance price. Movies on DVD were still somewhat ok…..but their were only 3 aisles (they had tripled that amount at one time). And a stand in front of the store with new releases (even a couple of Lionel Richie Vinyl albums?). I was amazed how much space they reduced for physical media.

    Target looks like they have already started drastically reducing CDs already. I usually go to a different Target (by my house) which has a bigger selection. But the Target I went to today (by my mechanic) had close to nothing as far as CDs….and the DVD/Blu Ray selections seem to be for movies only (very little TV shows though)

    Walmart was the biggest surprise though……CDs there were about the same as Best Buy (one stand with about 4 shelves). They had more movies and TV shows then the other two retail chains, however there selections were reduced as well. But the most shocking thing (to me anyway) was they were literally selling Cardboard like cards with a picture of the movie on the front of it to buy just the digital code…..and it wasn't cheap…..some movies were 14,99….for the digital copy? They even had some movie collections (like the 3 Ghostbusters movies) to buy digital for like 29.99? I couldn't believe it!!!

    I guess I am just old school…..I like owning the physical disc and just pick it off my shelf to play whenever I want. I really don't like streaming……or saving anything on a cloud…….I know some people like the new technology (and I'm not a 100% against it)…..I just can't embrace owning something on a cloud, I feel as though these are more "services" like cable than an ACTUAL PRODUCT. And these "services" can change hands often for me to lose ownership to media I already bought and saved on a cloud…..again….sorry…..just old school. Today was just kind of an eye opener for me on how retail chains are handling the physical media situation.

    Thankfully, there is a Disc Replay store (sells used CD's, DVDs and Blu-Rays) that was next door to Best Buy. And another Book Store down the street that also sells used books, CD's DVD's and Blu-Rays. Both of these stores had tons to choose from (and cheap!!!) And then there is always Amazon too (and hopefully they are not going to trend the same way as the 3 retail chain stores). I'm just wondering if, like vinyl records that seem to have somewhat of a "comeback", will apply for CDs, DVD's and Blu-Rays once they become extinct in the future……I guess time will tell.

  56. rdimucci

    You need to spend $250 a year at Barnes and Noble just to break even on the cost of a membership. After that you'll start saving money. I still manage to save a little, but if B&N stops selling Criterion discs, I'll end my membership too.

    That's if you include ONLY the 10% Instore discount. If you tend to use the other discounts (20% vs 15% coupons, 30% vs 20% coupons, double member discount promotions, 40% vs 30% off Certain book Collections that Amazon often has at 20%, Free Shipping that allows use of single item discount codes on less than $25) that non-member don't get that number drops to closer to $150 pretty easily and for brand new 1st time members it can actually be under $75 due to the pack of special coupons they still offer.

    On top of supporting a remaining B&M choice and basically any other retailer than Amazon which is slowly and steadily showing it's colors and previewing what will happen as the each competing retailer drops out.

  57. Bobby Henderson

    And with music you'll often be stuck with the clean-censored versions.

    Which are probably censored owing to community pressure– apparently it's not good enough simply for the community to make the choice to avoid that kind of music; everyone else must bow to the community's wishes and either listen to the censored version or not at all!

  58. BobO’Link

    For WM it seems to be about corporate image and assumed pressure they'd receive from the Bible Belt – which is where a large number of their stores are located. All it takes is one mom-with-a-mission seeing a parental warning sticker to get an entire town to boycott a WM. They don't seem to care about other stores and other stores don't seem to care about them (don't know about Target – I rarely purchase music there and not at all from WM due to their forced censoring of music). But WM sells that family far more than a CD every so often and has more to loose.

    Based on what you said, I think you might find this interesting– this was a broadcast of ABC News Nightline w/Ted Koppel from Sept. 13, 1985 about musical censorship and the PMRC. Frank Zappa is one of the guests.

  59. Bobby Henderson

    Amazon employs no one in my town . . .

    My wife and I have deliveries to our home almost daily. Three of the drivers told me they are thankful for us buying online because it means they have a good paying job making the delivery to our doorstep. Who would have thought? Yes the first one that thanked me was our postal carrier. Then the UPS driver thanked me, and then the FedEx driver did. I guess they are able to take their earnings and feed it back into our local town.

    These days I don't think as much as Amazon being a "seller". Most often they are a portal that allows other sellers to sell through them. I have neighbors who sell on Amazon and their earnings too go into the town.

    But technically you are right. There is no Amazon Warehouse in our town. But their influence and connections has provided earnings to locals.

    Now . . . who knows what will happen in the weeks ahead at the Supreme Court who may decide in favor of the president to start internet taxing nationwide. Ouch.

  60. I was once in a meeting with Best Buys second in command and a store manager, & the head honcho said that they want to remove physical media from all stores in "the next couple of years". Now this was a few years back, so they're obviously behind timescale!

    There's just no margins in physical media, they would rather use all of that space for cell phones (and those lucrative contacts) or other high margin items.

  61. I was once in a meeting with Best Buys second in command and a store manager, & the head honcho said that they want to remove physical media from all stores in "the next couple of years". Now this was a few years back, so they're obviously behind timescale!

    There's just no margins in physical media, they would rather use all of that space for cell phones (and those lucrative contacts) or other high margin items.

  62. Dale MA

    I was once in a meeting with Best Buys second in command and a store manager, & the head honcho said that they want to remove physical media from all stores in "the next couple of years". Now this was a few years back, so they're obviously behind timescale!

    There's just no margins in physical media, they would rather use all of that space for cell phones (and those lucrative contacts) or other high margin items.

    And as a result, they lose the sales on "cell phones (and those lucrative contracts) or other high margin items" because I know they won't have the low margin item I want. Since I'm on Amazon anyway, I buy them the rest of my shopping list there, too. It's not like the chain B&Ms hire staff who know what they're talking about, so what do I lose — other than Amazon's lower price, of course!

  63. The passing last week of Russ Solomon, founder of Tower Records, was a stark metaphor for the passing of the age of physical media. Going to record stores to leisurely browse through the racks in anticipation of some latest release or new discovery was not only a major source of pleasure, but was a meditative and calming experience for me to help soothe the anxieties of the big city experience.

    I spent hours in these record stores and would built my excursions to story pitch meetings in L.A. around rewarding myself with a trip to one of these stores after the meeting, successful or otherwise. And then just last night I dreamed about being in some of these stores again. I list them here as a fond tribute and exercise in nostalgia.

    Tower Records (Sunset Blvd)
    Aron Records (Melrose Blvd and later Highland Ave)
    Rhino Records (Westwood Blvd)
    Licorice Pizza (Sunset, boy that one goes way back)
    CD Banzai (Third St)
    Moby Disc (various locations)
    Wherehouse Records (various locations)
    Music + (various locations)
    Rockaway Records (Pasadena)
    Record Surplus (Pico Blvd)
    Penny Lane (Westwood Village, Venice)
    Eli Wallach's (Sunset in Hollywood, vinyl only back then)
    Vinyl Fetish (Melrose)

    Moving to Florida, the main chain left was Peaches. It was no Tower. But we also had a glorious Virgin Megastore with imports for a while).

    When Tower added a video store across from the Sunset store I remember helping Axl Rose choose a horror film in there one night. The record store was a place where you would be thumbing through the selections elbow to elbow with famous musicians, but both of you just there on equal footing as eager music fans on the hunt.

    The Colin Hanks' documentary All Things Must Pass mostly gets things right, but it's so hard to convey the actual experience of wandering around in there all evening, and the rush it would give you. The staff were pretty snobbish about their superior knowledge of obscure stuff and would practically sneer at you if you came to the cash register with an Elton John album (but only when he wasn't around – he spent more money in there than anyone).

    I actually preferred Aron Records on Melrose because it was easier to park, and the prices were cheaper (plus they gave me good trade for the bulk of my vinyl collection when I was moving to CDs).

    Last summer I was in L.A. and went to Amoeba Music on Sunset in Hollywood, which is a great record store, and I scored a couple radio station live recording CDs of artists that you can't even find on Amazon. These were better quality than bootlegs (which I had many of), but in that same rarefied category. But there are just so many boxes of cheap CDs stuffed everywhere, it was hard to find anything.

    I buy music mostly on Amazon like everyone else these days, but there is a communal experience of wandering through a record store filled with excitement that just will never be duplicated. We still have movie theaters, but how long will that communal experience last?

  64. bmasters9

    True that– wasn't intending on changing the name of the business; all I was meaning by "selects" is the stuff that you pay good money for that is well worth that money in several things:

    –being a good show
    –being packaged well
    –excellent A/V quality

    …among other things.

    Nope, I knew what you meant…I was taking my jabs at them. Seems stupid to be in a business that offers panels and players, but then offers nothing in the way of physical media selections. Man, if I ran these stores I would embrace all of physical media. Loosely borrowing from "Field of Dreams" my motto would be, "If you offer it, they will buy".

  65. rdimucci

    You need to spend $250 a year at Barnes and Noble just to break even on the cost of a membership. After that you'll start saving money. I still manage to save a little, but if B&N stops selling Criterion discs, I'll end my membership too.

    Being that Barnes and Noble sells neither panels nor players, I would have to give them the award for keeping physical media alive; as their selections outshines all others. Add to this that they are the only business I know of that offers a full, if not exclusive, selection of Criterion titles. They are not so close to where I live, so when I'm in that area they have become a destination. What a pleasure it is to browse Criterion and walk out with a few purchases, without waiting for the mail to arrive. Physical Media is very much alive and well at Barnes and Noble; especially when one checks out their city stores. Their NYC store around 18th street inspires.

  66. NYC has become a wasteland. We used to have huge Tower, HMV, Virgin, and J&R Music World (my favorite) locations, and they’ve all closed down. Best Buy is a shadow of it’s former self. Only Barnes & Nobles even attempts to keep a decent stock of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays (and I look forward to their twice yearly Criterion sales to stock up) ,

    I used to love going shopping for music and movies as a way to unwind, especially after work.

  67. When we went to a mall, my wife went to her clothing stores, and I went to the record stores. Now she goes to her clothing stores and I hold her purse and coat and sit on a bench. :unsure:

  68. One rare bright spot recently for Best Buy's CD selection has been their Christmas CD's. They've always had a whole rack of them. Last year I bought 3… Cheap Trick's new Christmas album, one by the Temptations, and IIRC another Motown collection. Guess I'll have to look elsewhere next Christmas.

  69. TJPC

    When we went to a mall, my wife went to her clothing stores, and I went to the record stores. Now she goes to her clothing stores and I hold her purse and coat and sit on a bench. :unsure:

    Oy, don't even get me started. My local mall used to have two bookstores, two record stores, one cassette store, and one video store. (Not counting the GameStop videogame store.) Now all that's left is the GameStop and an FYE with about one aisle of DVD's left. I used to get lost for hours in those stores. Now I don't even go to the mall anymore unless I need to buy shoes or something.

  70. TJPC

    When we went to a mall, my wife went to her clothing stores, and I went to the record stores. Now she goes to her clothing stores and I hold her purse and coat and sit on a bench. :unsure:

    AndrewCrossett

    Oy, don't even get me started. My local mall used to have two bookstores, two record stores, one cassette store, and one video store. (Not counting the GameStop videogame store.) Now all that's left is the GameStop and an FYE with about one aisle of DVD's left. I used to get lost for hours in those stores. Now I don't even go to the mall anymore unless I need to buy shoes or something.

    Word.

    I draw the line at holding the purse, though, Terry. If she wants to bring it…she can carry it. 😀

    I go a LOT less than I used to. And when I do, I find myself sitting in the car with my newspapers…listening to the radio/CDs (which I am NOT buying in a mall media store–BECAUSE THERE AREN'T ANY!!). :wacko:

  71. AndrewCrossett

    Oy, don't even get me started. My local mall used to have two bookstores, two record stores, one cassette store, and one video store. (Not counting the GameStop videogame store.) Now all that's left is the GameStop and an FYE with about one aisle of DVD's left. I used to get lost for hours in those stores. Now I don't even go to the mall anymore unless I need to buy shoes or something.

    Similar sentiments.

    I don't even go to the nearby indoor malls anymore for anything.

    I end up either going to the costco or a wallyworld, which are typically big box standalone shops.

    Until a few years ago, I use to do some of my clothes shopping at the nearby Sears. Though unfortunately the nearby Sears outlets closed down. No point in driving across town to another Sears store.

  72. AndrewCrossett

    Oy, don't even get me started. My local mall used to have two bookstores, two record stores, one cassette store, and one video store. (Not counting the GameStop videogame store.) Now all that's left is the GameStop and an FYE with about one aisle of DVD's left. I used to get lost for hours in those stores. Now I don't even go to the mall anymore unless I need to buy shoes or something.

    Similar sentiments.

    I don't even go to the nearby indoor malls anymore for anything.

    I end up either going to the costco or a wallyworld, which are typically big box standalone shops.

    Until a few years ago, I use to do some of my clothes shopping at the nearby Sears. Though unfortunately the nearby Sears outlets closed down. No point in driving across town to another Sears store.

  73. Yes, Barnes and Noble can be expensive. But never have I noticed that their prices on a Criterion disc are beyond the MSRP. Also, they are the last hold-out for a great selection of Physical Media; which is far, far better than what can be said for the rest. So, it's always a pleasure to support them, otherwise they may end up joining the others.

  74. Jeremy Lancaster

    My wife and I have deliveries to our home almost daily. Three of the drivers told me they are thankful for us buying online because it means they have a good paying job making the delivery to our doorstep. Who would have thought? Yes the first one that thanked me was our postal carrier. Then the UPS driver thanked me, and then the FedEx driver did. I guess they are able to take their earnings and feed it back into our local town.

    Amazon is far from the only thing keeping drivers for UPS, Fed-Ex, etc employed. Meanwhile dozens of jobs are lost with the closing of just one decent sized retail store. My town has seen hundreds of jobs lost with the closing of stores like Hastings, Sears, Kmart, numerous mall tenants and some independent local retailers.

    BobO’Link

    Every month the local paper publishes the county sales tax receipts with a breakdown of which town gets how much. Just as frequently the mayor whines about the city not getting as much sales tax receipts as they should because of internet sales, frequently citing Amazon as a prime offender. The sad part is he's not yet realized Amazon's been paying state and local sales taxes since March of last year, and the paper hasn't called him out on it.

    Amazon collecting sales tax on purchases is better than nothing. The company recently starting collecting sales tax on orders here in Oklahoma, but that's only because they're building a distribution center in Oklahoma City.

    Local brick and mortar businesses contribute a lot more than just sales tax to the local and state economy. They contribute property tax directly or via the property owner who has their lease. Their employees pay their own share of income, sales and property taxes as well as spend a decent amount of their paychecks in the local economy. The brick and mortar business has to buy goods and services from the local community. Electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs, landscapers, sign companies and various other businesses draw quite a bit of their own income from local retailers. The employees of those businesses circulate their money throught the local economy as well. That's the essence of the "economic multiplier" effect.

    When an out of town or online business sucks money out of a local economy the ripple effects go farther than just putting a local retailer out of business. The restaurant industry and movie theater industry are both going through downturns of customer traffic. Some of that downturn is contagion from the crisis going on with brick and mortar retail.

    If enough of us do as much shopping as possible online a bunch of us will find ourselves jobless. A whole lot of the push to move commerce online is about race to the bottom economics.

    SeanSKA

    NYC has become a wasteland. We used to have huge Tower, HMV, Virgin, and J&R Music World (my favorite) locations, and they've all closed down. Best Buy is a shadow of it's former self. Only Barnes & Nobles even attempts to keep a decent stock of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays (and I look forward to their twice yearly Criterion sales to stock up)

    A big factor driving the closing of music stores, book stores, movie theaters and some other types of retailers is the real estate feeding frenzy going on in the Big Apple. Foreign investor money, hedge funds and other opportunists are driving property prices into a new bubble. Close a big movie theater, then build some luxury apartments on the same spot. Living costs in NYC are insane. It's somewhat amazing how far the homicide rate has dropped in the 5 boroughs (from over 2000 murders in 1990 to just under 300 in 2017 and with 1 million more residents). But then again NYC is getting to the point where you have to be well off or clearly rich to afford living there.

    AndrewCrosset

    Oy, don't even get me started. My local mall used to have two bookstores, two record stores, one cassette store, and one video store. (Not counting the GameStop videogame store.) Now all that's left is the GameStop and an FYE with about one aisle of DVD's left. I used to get lost for hours in those stores. Now I don't even go to the mall anymore unless I need to buy shoes or something.

    The music, movie and book stores in our local mall (Sam Goody's, fye, Walden Books) all closed years ago. I couldn't believe stores like Sam Goody's would charge full MSRP (or even higher than MSRP in some cases) for music CDS, DVDs, etc. But then I found out what they were paying in mall rent and that made the high prices easier to understand. Nevertheless, locals would find better bargains at Hastings, Walmart, etc. And that's not counting the Amazon effect.

  75. Jeremy Lancaster

    My wife and I have deliveries to our home almost daily. Three of the drivers told me they are thankful for us buying online because it means they have a good paying job making the delivery to our doorstep. Who would have thought? Yes the first one that thanked me was our postal carrier. Then the UPS driver thanked me, and then the FedEx driver did. I guess they are able to take their earnings and feed it back into our local town.

    Amazon is far from the only thing keeping drivers for UPS, Fed-Ex, etc employed. Meanwhile dozens of jobs are lost with the closing of just one decent sized retail store. My town has seen hundreds of jobs lost with the closing of stores like Hastings, Sears, Kmart, numerous mall tenants and some independent local retailers.

    BobO’Link

    Every month the local paper publishes the county sales tax receipts with a breakdown of which town gets how much. Just as frequently the mayor whines about the city not getting as much sales tax receipts as they should because of internet sales, frequently citing Amazon as a prime offender. The sad part is he's not yet realized Amazon's been paying state and local sales taxes since March of last year, and the paper hasn't called him out on it.

    Amazon collecting sales tax on purchases is better than nothing. The company recently starting collecting sales tax on orders here in Oklahoma, but that's only because they're building a distribution center in Oklahoma City.

    Local brick and mortar businesses contribute a lot more than just sales tax to the local and state economy. They contribute property tax directly or via the property owner who has their lease. Their employees pay their own share of income, sales and property taxes as well as spend a decent amount of their paychecks in the local economy. The brick and mortar business has to buy goods and services from the local community. Electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs, landscapers, sign companies and various other businesses draw quite a bit of their own income from local retailers. The employees of those businesses circulate their money throught the local economy as well. That's the essence of the "economic multiplier" effect.

    When an out of town or online business sucks money out of a local economy the ripple effects go farther than just putting a local retailer out of business. The restaurant industry and movie theater industry are both going through downturns of customer traffic. Some of that downturn is contagion from the crisis going on with brick and mortar retail.

    If enough of us do as much shopping as possible online a bunch of us will find ourselves jobless. A whole lot of the push to move commerce online is about race to the bottom economics.

    SeanSKA

    NYC has become a wasteland. We used to have huge Tower, HMV, Virgin, and J&R Music World (my favorite) locations, and they've all closed down. Best Buy is a shadow of it's former self. Only Barnes & Nobles even attempts to keep a decent stock of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays (and I look forward to their twice yearly Criterion sales to stock up)

    A big factor driving the closing of music stores, book stores, movie theaters and some other types of retailers is the real estate feeding frenzy going on in the Big Apple. Foreign investor money, hedge funds and other opportunists are driving property prices into a new bubble. Close a big movie theater, then build some luxury apartments on the same spot. Living costs in NYC are insane. It's somewhat amazing how far the homicide rate has dropped in the 5 boroughs (from over 2000 murders in 1990 to just under 300 in 2017 and with 1 million more residents). But then again NYC is getting to the point where you have to be well off or clearly rich to afford living there.

    AndrewCrosset

    Oy, don't even get me started. My local mall used to have two bookstores, two record stores, one cassette store, and one video store. (Not counting the GameStop videogame store.) Now all that's left is the GameStop and an FYE with about one aisle of DVD's left. I used to get lost for hours in those stores. Now I don't even go to the mall anymore unless I need to buy shoes or something.

    The music, movie and book stores in our local mall (Sam Goody's, fye, Walden Books) all closed years ago. I couldn't believe stores like Sam Goody's would charge full MSRP (or even higher than MSRP in some cases) for music CDS, DVDs, etc. But then I found out what they were paying in mall rent and that made the high prices easier to understand. Nevertheless, locals would find better bargains at Hastings, Walmart, etc. And that's not counting the Amazon effect.

  76. SeanSKA

    NYC has become a wasteland.

    Sadly, I agree.

    If you go to a Barnes and Noble, you will likely be charged a higher in-store price than the online price. That doesn't really make sense, and I can't afford to pay that. Happened with Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series. My Amazon preorder was delayed and I really wanted it, so I thought I'd go to Barnes and Noble. Their website had it for a dollar or two extra than what I paid at Amazon to have it shipped, but noted that the price for store pickup would be about $15 higher than what their online price was. Now, if it had been a dollar or two extra, my desire to have it immediately probably would have won, but $15 more in store over their own online price? As a consumer, I can't justify throwing away money like that.

    I've tried to support independent record stores, but that's also out of my budget. Every indie record store I've gone to in recent years has charged either full retail price or even higher than retail price for music and movies, and again, I can't afford to pay that. I'm not even talking about not deeply discounting like Amazon might, I mean that for an item with a $19.99 MSRP, they might charge $25 or $30 for it. I understand that they're struggling, and I want to help out the local guy, but there's a limit to what I can do. I saw one store maybe two years ago that had a huge selection of Warner Archive DVD-R titles available for sale, and they appeared to be new and sealed. The problem was, the retail price from WA is $21.99, and these guys wanted $30 for each of them. Even if I were to order only one title from WA at full retail price and pay the shipping (nevermind that I could get it from Amazon Prime with free shipping), it's still less than $30.

    I also want to point out that in the golden age of physical media, before Napster, before illegal downloading became a thing, before online ordering started taking off, a lot of local stores (and the studios and labels that provided the product can probably be faulted somewhat in this too) were charging full retail for pretty much everything in the store, minus that week's new releases. Every time I went to a Sam Goody, a Wall, an FYE, any catalog disc that I wanted was being offered at full retail. They'd ask $18.99 for a CD that came out ten years earlier, or $29.99 for a DVD that was a few years old. As a consumer, that would drive me crazy, and it definitely encouraged me to order online when that became an option. For even more consumers, it encouraged them to download from Napster instead. These physical media stores (and the studios/labels that set the retail prices) harmed their own businesses by overcharging the customer for years. Big box stores like Best Buy and Target, in my experience, helped out by offering some discounts that even if more expensive than Amazon, were at least based on some level of reality. So in my view, dedicated media stores have been driving away customers for years before online ordering became prevalent by offering ridiculously high prices. They created the opening that Amazon and others have exploited.

    But ultimately, ever since I was a kid getting into collecting VHS, my mail ordering (and then internet ordering) has been about trying to get items that were unavailable locally. It's not my fault that that's where my tastes generally are. And I don't think it's the store's fault for not being able to stock every obscure item in the hope that someone like me might come by and purchase it one day. It just is what it is. This has been a lifelong issue for me — before the internet, I'd be mail ordering from catalogs or Columbia House because those were the options I had to find the things I wanted.

    BobO’Link

    Every month the local paper publishes the county sales tax receipts with a breakdown of which town gets how much. Just as frequently the mayor whines about the city not getting as much sales tax receipts as they should because of internet sales, frequently citing Amazon as a prime offender. The sad part is he's not yet realized Amazon's been paying state and local sales taxes since March of last year, and the paper hasn't called him out on it. Amazon was blamed for the less than expected tax receipts on local BF sales. They don't get that people are not purchasing as much and that they are not coming into "the city" and just shopping in their own town instead now that most of them have the same, or similar, stores. Most of the people I know who purchase online do so because it's more convenient, not to avoid sales taxes, and they're purchasing from Target, WM, Sams, BB, and others who have a local presence.

    Speaking of sales tax, one thing worth noting is that even if the online store doesn't collect sales tax, that doesn't mean that the purchaser is exempt from paying it. If you live in a state that has sales tax, you are required to pay tax for out of state and online purchases when you file your state and federal income taxes at the end of the year.

    Jeremy Lancaster

    Three of the drivers told me they are thankful for us buying online because it means they have a good paying job making the delivery to our doorstep. Who would have thought?

    HTF's owner Ron Epstein works for the postal service and has committed before on how Amazon deliveries have been a real shot in the arm for USPS. So yes, while online ordering might have decreased local sales numbers for certain items and even put some local stores out of business, it's also benefited other businesses. In an era of electronic communications, postal service mail was probably always going to face a decline in demand, but it turns out that their business may be saved by partnering with Amazon and other online merchants. I'm not sure that that's a bad thing.

  77. AndrewCrossett

    Oy, don't even get me started. My local mall used to have two bookstores, two record stores, one cassette store, and one video store. (Not counting the GameStop videogame store.) Now all that's left is the GameStop and an FYE with about one aisle of DVD's left. I used to get lost for hours in those stores. Now I don't even go to the mall anymore unless I need to buy shoes or something.

    That's because pretty much everything in a mall now is either clothes, women's accessories (jewelry, perfume, etc.), or food, with the occasional phone repair stand thrown in. Not much there for those sporting XY chromosomes.

  78. SeanSKA

    NYC has become a wasteland. We used to have huge Tower, HMV, Virgin, and J&R Music World (my favorite) locations, and they've all closed down.

    I fondly remember the Tower on Sunset, from my youth.

    In those days, it was like entering vinyl heaven. 🙂

  79. SeanSKA

    NYC has become a wasteland. We used to have huge Tower, HMV, Virgin, and J&R Music World (my favorite) locations, and they've all closed down.

    (On the other coast).

    I fondly remember the Tower on Sunset, from my youth.

    In those days, it was like entering vinyl heaven. 🙂

  80. SeanSKA

    NYC has become a wasteland. We used to have huge Tower, HMV, Virgin, and J&R Music World (my favorite) locations, and they've all closed down.

    (On the other coast).

    I fondly remember the Tower on Sunset, from my youth.

    In those days, it was like entering vinyl heaven. 🙂

  81. I’m with you on owning physical media. Correct me if I’m wrong but one can’t bequeath their cloud media in a will or pass it on if their isn’t one to next of kin.

  82. noel aguirre

    I’m with you on owning physical media. Correct me if I’m wrong but one can’t bequeath their cloud media in a will or pass it on if their isn’t one to next of kin.

    Has anyone done this officially?

    I wouldn't be surprsied it has already been done unofficially (or under the table), where somebody just gave their login + pw to somebody else.

  83. With the audio cd patents already expired, and most of the dvd-video patents already (or almost) expired, in principle anybody can soon manufacture a relatively patent-free cd/dvd player or computer drive.

  84. What I meant by the odd discovery is just that – when you buy something or look at something on Amazon they then show you what other people also bought with that title, etc. Sometimes they come up with something I wasn't aware of. But it's a far cry from browsing the shelves at a store where the cover art or title might catch youreye and BOOM! you discover something that you had no idea existed.

    And as far as the prices at Barnes & Noble. Things that are not on sale are MSRP, but they run sales all the time. I've discovered things that I didn't know Ineeded by browsing just the sale items. And of course their bi-annual 50% off Criterion sale makes it all worthwhile.

  85. Suzanne.S

    And as far as the prices at Barnes & Noble. Things that are not on sale are MSRP, but they run sales all the time. I've discovered things that I didn't know Ineeded by browsing just the sale items. And of course their bi-annual 50% off Criterion sale makes it all worthwhile.

    Honestly I think I buy more at their 40% all All BD sales over the last couple years and the British TV sale last Dec was spectacular ranging from 50-60% off plus extra discounts.

  86. I will stay in this hobby as long as there is physical media and if physical media goes away so will my purchasing of movie’s! I almost said music as well but there is always the used vinyl market if new pressings go away. But no purchasing digital downloads here!

  87. Dave Moritz

    I will stay in this hobby as long as there is physical media and if physical media goes away so will my purchasing of movie's! I almost said music as well but there is always the used vinyl market if new pressings go away. But no purchasing digital downloads here!

    As long as there are shows that are not yet on DVD or Blu-Ray (and physical media remains available) I will keep to this hobby. There are about a dozen shows on my "Grail" list as well as four shows on my "Bucket List". A few of them will probably get released this year, so all I can do is just hang loose until they come out.

  88. Interesting to see all the comments on this topic!

    I posted about this a few years back and my experience with Local Best Buy, Wal mart Etc (and since then their selections have decreased by half at least) and the local HMV’s have closed for good.

    Here in Canada, we had a service called Cinemanow and I had quite a few downloaded films with them. They declared bankruptcy and all my downloads disappeared. I was able to recover some of them on Flixster on my phone (not all of them for some reason Ant man and Cinderella disappeared completely and probably a few more that I can’t remember). My point is, digital media, cloud media is not exactly reliable for ownership purposes. Additionally, I now have accounts with Google, flixster, cineplex odeon and apple to keep my digital media. Hardly a great example of “play anywhere on any device”. Four accounts with 4 different companies, it seems ridiculous.

    But what is the solution?? We can only buy physical media from Amazon? We continue with this terribly disjointed digital media circus and hope our purchases are safe and available to us into the future? As consumers we settle for shoddily produced digital media? MP3’s and lackluster sounding DD tracks on netflix is the future, really??

    How did I become a dinosaur so quickly? Holy crap!

    I love my stereo, I love my home theater, I love dinosaurs thundering through my theater and the sounds of bullets ricocheting around the room. DTS MA, Dolby Atmos, bring it on. I love all that stuff.

    WHY WON”T ANYONE SELL IT TO ME? It seems so surreal.

    I just had to order Thor Ragnarok in 3d from Amazon UK. I ordered Ghost in the shell ($12), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and CoCo in 3d while I was at it. But it seems nuts that I have to order from England. Doesn’t that seem nuts?

    Anyway, I am concerned about the future of our hobby. I can’t just go to the theater or watch it on my phone, I can’t.

    Has anyone seen ANYTHING on the horizon that is going to save this business though? I haven’t.

  89. Dave>h

    Has anyone seen ANYTHING on the horizon that is going to save this business though? I haven't.

    I have my concerns.

    Ultimately, and I'd love to be proven wrong on this, I think the general audience is less willing to pay for entertainment than they used to be. The golden years for us were probably those few years where purchasing a DVD was both cheaper and more convenient than other options for the average consumer. When other options came along that were cheaper and more convenient, that charged everything.

    By the types of movies now being released in theaters and the increasing pressure to have as big an opening weekend as possible, we as an audience are being trained to see a movie right away in theaters or not at all. And high prices and declining presentation quality is starting to make "not at all" the preferred option for many former theatergoers.

    By shrinking home video windows from a year to six months to three months (or less!), we're being trained to wait to see most things at home.

    By releasing digital versions weeks in advance of the disc versions, we're being trained to pursue digital.

    By putting movies on inexpensive services like Netflix, we're being trained to wait an extra few weeks to watch it for "free".

    So, in this environment, I don't know how to convince the consumer to start paying again for something they're out of the habit of paying for.

    To give a small example: my wife and I tried to see all 9 Best Picture nominees in theaters this year, and we saw most. We missed Call Me By Your Name. It had been playing last weekend, we couldn't make the timing work. If we had seen it in theaters, in NYC, two tickets would be $34 in total. The nationwide average is $10 a ticket, so for the sake of conversation, let's say it would have cost two people $20 to see it in theaters.

    I checked iTunes. Though the disc isn't out yet, it was available on digital to purchase for $15. So, for less than the price of two average tickets or one NYC-priced ticket, I could own the digital copy and watch it as many times as I want.

    If I could be even more patient, iTunes says it will be available to rent digitally in about a week, and that'll be only $5. (On the same date, it'll come out on disc for $20 or $25.) And, about a month after that, it'll be on Netflix where I can see it for free.

    Look how dramatically that pricing drops. $34 to see it in a theater now or $25 to buy a disc in a week. $15 to buy a digital copy now. $5 to rent it digitally in a week. Unlimited free viewing on Netflix in a month.

    The takeaway for the average customer is that anything in theaters today can be watched for home for free in maybe three months. And I genuinely think that most people aren't interested in owning most movies or even that picky about what to watch. Most people just want to watch a movie they haven't seen that they'll be able to enjoy, and there are plenty of good options for doing that now besides buying a movie ticket or buying a disc.

    And I haven't the foggiest idea of how to swing that pendulum back, other than making internet access so expensive that the disc goes back to being the cheaper option.

  90. Josh Steinberg

    I have my concerns.

    Ultimately, and I'd love to be proven wrong on this, I think the general audience is less willing to pay for entertainment than they used to be. The golden years for us were probably those few years where purchasing a DVD was both cheaper and more convenient than other options for the average consumer. When other options came along that were cheaper and more convenient, that charged everything.

    By the types of movies now being released in theaters and the increasing pressure to have as big an opening weekend as possible, we as an audience are being trained to see a movie right away in theaters or not at all. And high prices and declining presentation quality is starting to make "not at all" the preferred option for many former theatergoers.

    By shrinking home video windows from a year to six months to three months (or less!), we're being trained to wait to see most things at home.

    By releasing digital versions weeks in advance of the disc versions, we're being trained to pursue digital.

    By putting movies on inexpensive services like Netflix, we're being trained to wait an extra few weeks to watch it for "free".

    So, in this environment, I don't know how to convince the consumer to start paying again for something they're out of the habit of paying for.

    To give a small example: my wife and I tried to see all 9 Best Picture nominees in theaters this year, and we saw most. We missed Call Me By Your Name. It had been playing last weekend, we couldn't make the timing work. If we had seen it in theaters, in NYC, two tickets would be $34 in total. The nationwide average is $10 a ticket, so for the sake of conversation, let's say it would have cost two people $20 to see it in theaters.

    I checked iTunes. Though the disc isn't out yet, it was available on digital to purchase for $15. So, for less than the price of two average tickets or one NYC-priced ticket, I could own the digital copy and watch it as many times as I want.

    If I could be even more patient, iTunes says it will be available to rent digitally in about a week, and that'll be only $5. (On the same date, it'll come out on disc for $20 or $25.) And, about a month after that, it'll be on Netflix where I can see it for free.

    Look how dramatically that pricing drops. $34 to see it in a theater now or $25 to buy a disc in a week. $15 to buy a digital copy now. $5 to rent it digitally in a week. Unlimited free viewing on Netflix in a month.

    The takeaway for the average customer is that anything in theaters today can be watched for home for free in maybe three months. And I genuinely think that most people aren't interested in owning most movies or even that picky about what to watch. Most people just want to watch a movie they haven't seen that they'll be able to enjoy, and there are plenty of good options for doing that now besides buying a movie ticket or buying a disc.

    And I haven't the foggiest idea of how to swing that pendulum back, other than making internet access so expensive that the disc goes back to being the cheaper option.

    As far as movies go, yes, I have to admit I'm in the boat of "can I see it for free?" I'm not much of a movie guy to begin with anyway, and I'm sure there are people who feel the same way about TV shows and music. Why buy it when they can find it online for free?

  91. I wonder if we are going back to the “Blockbuster” days of VHS when most people only rented their movies, and looked at you blankly when you mentioned owning a movie? I remember being asked “why would anyone want to see a movie more than once?”

    We are collectors for the most part. I think the majority of people are far more casual. They watch movies and discard everything like Kleenex. I know there are huge amounts of media that I would never want to keep, (despite what my wife thinks!).

  92. Owning TV shows and movies in physical media is in a sense a library. Just as it is fashionable for people to display their books. I enjoy displaying my collection for myself and others. It's a timely and costly endeavor that I take pride in. What I collect expresses my interest and tastes the same as if I had art on the wall. Some people appreciate it on that level. Others will never understand. There will still be a desire to collect. And companies will be around to fill that need and desire. The choices will never be as vast as 20 years ago. It will cost more to be a collector of physical media in the years to come. And some will enjoy the quest to find that elusive and rare special edition of a personnel favorite.

  93. Blimpoy06

    Owning TV shows and movies in physical media is in a sense a library. Just as it is fashionable for people to display their books. I enjoy displaying my collection for myself and others. It's a timely and costly endeavor that I take pride in. What I collect expresses my interest and tastes the same as if I had art on the wall. Some people appreciate it on that level. Others will never understand. There will still be a desire to collect. And companies will be around to fill that need and desire. The choices will never be as vast as 20 years ago. It will cost more to be a collector of physical media in the years to come. And some will enjoy the quest to find that elusive and rare special edition of a personnel favorite.

    I can appreciate your sentiment here. I am still collecting some physical media, mostly BDs of time-tested movies I know I'll rewatch because history has proven I do. Very rarely do I buy TV shows anymore simply because I have all but 5 series I want completed. Mostly I am trying to make the switch from collector to watcher. But I do spend a lot of time curating my collection. For example, I will buy a bunch of mulit-disc BD cases, swap the BD sleeve from ET, for example, and move my DVDs of ET into the 5-disc BD case with my BD of ET. Why do I need to keep all the discs? In some instances I don't, but in too many instances, like ET, the DVDs have cool special features the BD does not. So my collection appears to be shrinking, but it is actually becoming not only more compact but more convenient.

  94. I do the same thing. I purchased 4 disc blu ray cases so I could store the 4 Omen movies in something other than the ridiculous paper folder they came in. I also transferred my Valerian 3D/Blu ray/ and DVD to such a case, since the Blu ray set had no extras and the DVD does.

  95. I still miss Tower Records. I went to the ones in New York, LA, and Nashville, and I still don't remember seeing any other national store with a better laserdisc selection in the pre-DVD days.

  96. I retell the story often, but I'll retell it again. Everyone knows what my favorite show is obviously, and it's a perfect example of keeping your physical media. When I got my own VCR as a teen, I taped UNEDITED episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies on a daily basis from local TV; WREG had approximately 6 1/2 seasons of the show (first 6, about half of 7, and none of 8 or 9). I had probably every episode on tape of their run. It was a staple of that particular station along with other 60's and 70's sitcoms. I figured it would always be around to tape, so when I got in a crunch and needed an extra tape, guess what I did?!?! I could kick myself for recording over them. Outta the blue they got brand new tape masters instead of the 16mm film they'd used for years, those were edited for syndication versions, and the unedited versions never returned again. Don't ever assume something will "always be there!"

  97. Blimpoy06

    Owning TV shows and movies in physical media is in a sense a library. Just as it is fashionable for people to display their books. I enjoy displaying my collection for myself and others. It's a timely and costly endeavor that I take pride in. What I collect expresses my interest and tastes the same as if I had art on the wall. Some people appreciate it on that level. Others will never understand. There will still be a desire to collect. And companies will be around to fill that need and desire. The choices will never be as vast as 20 years ago. It will cost more to be a collector of physical media in the years to come. And some will enjoy the quest to find that elusive and rare special edition of a personnel favorite.

    I second this. I am a collector (My relatives say I'm a hoarder) and my reply is "How many times do you look at your TV listings and moan "There's nothing good on TV tonight". 🙁 Not in my house, there's ALWAYS something good to watch on TV. 😀

  98. jcroy

    I don't even go to the nearby indoor malls anymore for anything.

    I end up either going to the costco or a wallyworld, which are typically big box standalone shops.

    Costco removed all of their DVDs and Blu-rays.

    Walmart has a healthy supply, but that may be because the local Walmarts are tied into online Walmart sales of movies – giving the customer a choice of saving money (or time) by picking up the order at the store instead of home delivery.

    Office Max and Staples has kept many of their stores in place as a "warehouse" to prepare and deliver online purchases to local customers who order online. (Sort of like having an Amazon Warehouse, except the customers can drop buy and buy off the rack)

  99. I notice that Best Buy usually matches Amazon's prices on CD's and DVD's, which is probably how they've been able to keep them in stock this long, but also probably why they're no longer generating a profit for them.

    They are expanding their 4K UHD video section, so people buying those fancy expensive TV's can buy stuff to watch on them. That may be what's giving the media section a reprieve for now.

    Back in the 80's when I was in high school, a new-release vinyl album would cost $5.99 and catalogue titles would be $7.99 or $8.99. I feel so old. It doesn't seem like that long ago, I swear.

    I was as excited as everyone else about the Internet in the 90's, but… it's really ruined a lot of things. How can the economy be adding 300,000 jobs a month when the manufacturing and retail sectors are both collapsing? What kinds of jobs are these people finding?

  100. Jeremy Lancaster

    Walmart has a healthy supply, but that may be because the local Walmarts are tied into online Walmart sales of movies – giving the customer a choice of saving money (or time) by picking up the order at the store instead of home delivery.

    And sometimes when they rotate their stock, you find great deals on stuff you never saw before (like when I got those Vega$ and Wild Wild West condensed all-in-ones from that "Binge-Worthy TV" display).

  101. By releasing digital versions weeks in advance of the disc versions, we're being trained to pursue digital.

    By putting movies on inexpensive services like Netflix, we're being trained to wait an extra few weeks to watch it for "free".

    Well they might be trying to train people to pursue digital but for me not doing it! I am not saying I will not watch it on a pay service like Netflix or HBO or maybe even rent a movie from time to time from on demand. But I am not downloading digital movies and I will not be buying digital movies.

    Ok as cheap as Netflix is and even if you wait a few weeks or more it actually is not free because your paying for the service. I look at it the same way if you are paying for cable or satellite it still cost you so it is not free.

  102. BobO’Link

    She's a "I've seen it, why would I want to watch it again?" type for movies. TV shows she'll rewatch if they happen to come on and she runs across it channel hopping, but she will not put a disc in a player at all. Even for her favorite programs.

    She's certainly welcome to make and be of that choice, although as I've said before, why insist on seeing something with commercials (and some of the most awful nowadays, I might add), when you can in many cases enjoy the same things uncut and without the commercials?!

  103. Don’t you find, you see a movie in a theatre, then buy the 3D blu ray and watch it at home, then watch the flat version with commentary and extras and then you really don’t ever care to see the movie again.

    In another example, I bought the big box set of “Alien” movies on Blu ray. I now know far more about these movies than I really want to know and can’t see ever wanting to see them again. I could probably recite them from memory.

    I have seen a lot of repeats now as I replaced my DVDs with Blu rays. This is another reason why I am not going 4K yet. I just don’t want to face seeing everything again with such a modest “improvement” only detectable on a 200” screen.

  104. bmasters9

    why insist on seeing something with commercials (and some of the most awful nowadays, I might add), when you can in many cases enjoy the same things uncut and without the commercials?!

    I have a cousin that is two years older than I am. He is a huge James Bond fan and owns all the films and many others on blu-ray. He watches all the Bond films when they are on commercial television even with them sitting ten feet away commercial free and in a better presentation. It just doesn't bother him. He never watches the bonus features other than the trailers. Watching cable TV with all the imperfections is fine with him.

  105. Well, I just got back from Best Buy and for some reason they have really loaded up with TV-on-DVD titles, including many vintage series. I don't think I've ever seen them stock such a big selection… maybe my purchases are influencing their buying decisions. 🙂

    They also had something close to what I've been asking for for years… actual reproductions of full broadcast days. Mill Creek has a couple of sets called "Watch Around the Clock" which are 24 hours long and reproduce a broadcast day from olden times. Cartoons, game shows, sitcoms and dramas. It's all 50's and 60's shows, all black and white, and I suspect all public domain. It's got episodes from shows that didn't air at the same time (e.g., the Burns and Allen Show and the Beverly Hillbillies), and of course networks didn't broadcast for 24 hours back then, so it's not what I really wanted (an actual show-by-show, commercial-by-commercial reconstruction of an actual broadcast day), but it's probably the closest I'll get and for $18 it won't break me if I'm disappointed.

  106. Blimpoy06

    I have a cousin that is two years older than I am. He is a huge James Bond fan and owns all the films and many others on blu-ray. He watches all the Bond films when they are on commercial television even with them sitting ten feet away commercial free and in a better presentation. It just doesn't bother him. He never watches the bonus features other than the trailers. Watching cable TV with all the imperfections is fine with him.

    If he likes Bond with the commercials, it's his choice, just like with Bob O'Link's wife with other things– different strokes for different folks (much different from me desiring to see Hart to Hart only through its DVD releases from Sony and Shout!, and not on FETV with all the ads).

  107. Josh Steinberg

    By the types of movies now being released in theaters and the increasing pressure to have as big an opening weekend as possible, we as an audience are being trained to see a movie right away in theaters or not at all. And high prices and declining presentation quality is starting to make "not at all" the preferred option for many former theatergoers.

    It's as if the people now running the movie industry all have ADHD. 20 years ago a movie production's bragging rights centered around the final box office tally. The entertainment media used to give those numbers a lot of publicity, like when the domestic gross of Jurassic Park crossed the $300 million mark or when Titanic passed the $600 million mark. Back then blockbuster movies had "legs" and could stay in theaters for several months.

    Today if you want to look up a hit movie's final box office gross (domestic or global) you have to search for it. The movie studios are all about getting a movie in and out of theaters as fast as possible and onto home video as fast as possible. It's all about accounting, cash flow and reducing interest payments on borrowed production money.

    With theater ticket prices being what they are box office gross numbers mean very little anymore. I've always thought the industry should count actual number of tickets sold to determine if a movie is truly a hit. It takes between 5 and 10 million tickets sold for a movie to cross the $100 million mark.

    Then there's the movies themselves. So many are cobbled together with the Save the Cat! clip art style beat sheet template. Plot lines are painfully predictable. Overall the viewer ends up feeling like he's seen that movie a thousand times before. Meanwhile TV programming at home has gone through a kind of renaissance. Although they lack a major feature film budget the shows tend to be more creative, less predictable and even more edgy. These TV shows can even include content that would give a Hollywood feature a NC-17 rating. While Hollywood movies can pile on big budget spectacle they can't escape being really kind of bland.

    Blimpoy06

    Owning TV shows and movies in physical media is in a sense a library. Just as it is fashionable for people to display their books. I enjoy displaying my collection for myself and others. It's a timely and costly endeavor that I take pride in. What I collect expresses my interest and tastes the same as if I had art on the wall. Some people appreciate it on that level. Others will never understand.

    I have a pretty big collection of DVDs and Blu-ray discs, but 99% of it is just gathering dust. I have discs I haven't taken out of the packaging in over a decade. They're just taking up space. My movie disc buying habits have nose-dived over the past few years. I'm down to maybe buying one or two movie discs per year. So many of the movies made these days aren't worth viewing more than once or twice.

    If someone wants to build a big movie collection he needs space for it. A lot of young adults, particularly those living in big cities, don't have room for all that. It's really tough if multiple roommates are crammed into one apartment. I think the whole trend of down-sizing is influencing this shift to streaming movies & music versus buying that content. It's easier to move to new digs if you're not weighed down by a bunch of "stuff" to box up and move.

  108. Last week I went to Barnes & Nobles in Union Square in NYC hoping to get “Tom Jones” on blu-ray. Their website had it for 30% off , and I had an additional 20% off coupon. It wasn’t marked down in the store, and I pointed out to the clerk the on-line listing showed the discount. He refused to honor the website price, so I walked. I can wait until July when all Criterions will be 50% off…

  109. TJPC

    This is another reason why I am not going 4K yet. I just don’t want to face seeing everything again with such a modest “improvement” only detectable on a 200” screen.

    I'm with you on this. I have thousands of Blu-rays in my library, and am seeing that many of them now look exceptionally better on an LG 65" Oled TV versus my previous LED tv. Absolute gold has been found in my collection. As for buying 4K disks, I own two (2), both produced in Native 4k and not an Upscaled 4k edition. Buying 4K requires to make a study of the online reviews to determine if the money deserves to be spent and if the gain is worth the purchase.

  110. BobO’Link

    I know… I just don't get it and she just doesn't care so I don't comment about it any longer, at least to her. I just teach my grandkids the joy of commercial free disc based viewing. They'll pick a disc over "live" TV every time.

    Kids are great when tested about commercials . . . Ask them to start a conversation about something they love. Then every 15 seconds – blurt in with a high volume a commercial, such as "THAT REMINDS ME, I love John's new Ford Mustang, I'm going to ask him about it." Then let the kid continue with his story. Repeat the interruption about the same Ford Mustang. When you see the kid start to frown, tell him that's the way you feel when you sit down to enjoy an epic movie and you get some car dealership interrupting trying to sell you his car (typically with his dog named Spot).

  111. BobO’Link

    I know… I just don't get it and she just doesn't care so I don't comment about it any longer, at least to her. I just teach my grandkids the joy of commercial free disc based viewing. They'll pick a disc over "live" TV every time.

    Kids are great when tested about commercials . . . Ask them to start a conversation about something they love. Then every 15 seconds – blurt in with a high volume a commercial, such as "THAT REMINDS ME, I love John's new Ford Mustang, I'm going to ask him about it." Then let the kid continue with his story. Repeat the interruption about the same Ford Mustang. When you see the kid start to frown, tell him that's the way you feel when you sit down to enjoy an epic movie and you get some car dealership interrupting trying to sell you his car (typically with his dog named Spot).

  112. Blimpoy06

    I have a cousin that is two years older than I am. He is a huge James Bond fan and owns all the films and many others on blu-ray. He watches all the Bond films when they are on commercial television even with them sitting ten feet away commercial free and in a better presentation. It just doesn't bother him. He never watches the bonus features other than the trailers. Watching cable TV with all the imperfections is fine with him.

    For those who wear eye glasses, it can be the same experience when going without good vision (cable) to eye glasses and the resulting comment, "I can SEE so much better".

  113. Bobby Henderson

    Plot lines are painfully predictable.

    Depending on the source, there are typically only nine (9) plots. Why do we not get bored with our best literature and films?

    But a painfully predictable plot may not be the plot, but the overall story-telling. Imagine a remake where we loved the original actor and were left disappointed because of the novice presentation of both a poor director, poor set design, and poor acting.

  114. Jeremy Lancaster

    Kids are great when tested about commercials . . . Ask them to start a conversation about something they love. Then every 15 seconds – blurt in with a high volume a commercial, such as "THAT REMINDS ME, I love John's new Ford Mustang, I'm going to ask him about it." Then let the kid continue with his story. Repeat the interruption about the same Ford Mustang. When you see the kid start to frown, tell him that's the way you feel when you sit down to enjoy an epic movie and you get some car dealership interrupting trying to sell you his car (typically with his dog named Spot).

    That's pretty much the way it is with television nowadays!

  115. Watching basketball today I saw an ad for the new Jumanji movie. The selling point was that the film was available on digital while still in the theaters. This seems to be a bold step for the studios. I wonder how the theater owners are reacting?

  116. Blimpoy06

    Watching basketball today I saw an ad for the new Jumanji movie. The selling point was that the film was available on digital while still in the theaters. This seems to be a bold step for the studios. I wonder how the theater owners are reacting?

    It probably helps curb bootlegging the same way legal mp3 files did. That should make them happy I'd guess.

  117. BobO’Link

    Most of this group absolutely do not care about quality and are generally not true movie lovers. Sure they love to watch a movie, and may see lots of them, but they don't dissect a movie to see what makes it work, or watch to see a classic performance, or seek out catalog titles to get a historical slant or just watch an old master (actor, director, or other participant) for a better perspective of current movies.

    I think that's generally been true for most people for most of movie history, though. I think, like you pointed out, that for a brief period, buying a DVD was cheaper than renting a movie, so for a short while, people went that route for convenience. The side effect was that they wound up with a pile of movies that they weren't likely to watch again, and as soon as streaming became cheaper and more convenient, they were happy to go to that. I think streaming is actually quite wonderful, particularly as a rental medium. I'd prefer to purchase a physical hard copy for anything I want to own, but it can be great to open up Vudu or iTunes or Netflix and try something on a whim, rather than having to put on my shoes, leave the house, and hope that the video store has what I'm looking for. But the film industry needs fans who simply want to watch things in order to keep going, so I'm not sure it's such a bad thing that there are so many casual viewers who love the practice of watching a movie but aren't as into the level of detail and history that we are.

    Blimpoy06

    Watching basketball today I saw an ad for the new Jumanji movie. The selling point was that the film was available on digital while still in the theaters. This seems to be a bold step for the studios. I wonder how the theater owners are reacting?

    I think Jumanji is an unusual case in that it's lasting in theaters far longer than anything else has stuck around for a while. The home video release was probably scheduled right when the movie opened, with the anticipation that it would have finished its run by now. And the digital releases these days typically come out 2-3 weeks before the physical disc, so I think that's just the normal timetable for that.

    But it makes for a compelling argument, and I was kinda talking about the same in an earlier post here. Jumanji is onsale now on iTunes and Vudu for $15 to own it digitally forever. (Or at least, as long as one can own a digital asset.) In my neighborhood, a movie theater ticket for a standard 2D digital presentation is $16.50. In the suburbs where my parents live, it's about $12.50. So, for basically the cost of one movie ticket to watch it one time, I can buy that movie at home and have it forever, right now. No hassle, no leaving the house, just press the button and it's mine. Or, I can wait a few weeks for a disc which may cost than that, and which may require me to either leave the house, or pay a shipping and handling fee if I don't have something like Amazon Prime. That's how digital will win over physical for the average consumer.

    The flipside to that, as Howie pointed out with his grandson and the digital downloads for video games, is that the price for the digital download usually stays pretty firmly in place, while physical media starts getting discounted as soon as the retailers want to get rid of inventory. So while it'll be cheaper right now for me to buy Jumanji on iTunes than to go to see it in the movies or to preorder a disc, six months or a year from now, the disc will likely be the cheaper option.

    Ron1973

    It probably helps curb bootlegging the same way legal mp3 files did. That should make them happy I'd guess.

    I think there's a lot more bootlegging going on than people realize. Once something gets released to the streaming services, the bootleggers can make a copy of that stream and spread it on illegal download sites pretty quickly – but I think the truth is, that's inevitable whether it's from a disc or a stream. What's concerning to me is that it's so easy to get a device like a Kodi box or a hacked FireStick, that can be bought at a legal retailer like Amazon, where the customer genuinely does not believe that they are doing anything wrong by using it. Afterall, they bought it at Amazon, or Target, or Walmart or Best Buy – not from some shady pawn shop or some guy at a flea market. Every now and then, a friend or acquaintance might tell me that they've just purchased such a device, and how amazing it is that they can watch anything they want at the touch of a button, and they genuinely have no idea that they're doing something wrong. That's kind of piracy that I worry about, because it's effectively become just as easy to watch a perfect quality bootleg as it is to buy the real thing. Or maybe even easier, since you don't need to remember if you purchased that movie on your Ultraviolet account or Movies Anywhere account or what.

  118. BobO’Link

    With the fairly recent bottom falling out of the disc resale market I've begun considering rentals via streaming as a viable option for newer movies. In the past I'd just wait for it to go on sale, purchase a copy, and if I didn't like it, sell it. It was rare that I didn't mostly break even with that process, at most paying a couple of dollars for the "rental." With many new movies not being worth a rewatching, at least for me, it's becoming more attractive to do a streaming rental and should I want to watch it again make a physical purchase at that point.

    That's where I'm at these days too, especially for new release titles.

    The thing that will get me to purchase a disc for a movie I've never seen before is if it's an older title, where the disc is presenting a new transfer and/or special features that aren't available digitally. Companies like Kino, Twilight Time and Warner Archive have at times been putting out new restorations of movies that are better quality than the HD streaming version that you could rent at iTunes. In those cases, I can see the value in buying the disc, even if its a movie I'm unfamiliar with. I got a bunch of early John Wayne movies from Olive last year where they had Blu-ray versions available, but the same titles were only available for rent in SD from iTunes. In that case, paying $10 or $15 for the disc made sense to me since I was getting something I couldn't get anywhere else.

    On the other hand, I wanted to see "Central Intelligence" with The Rock and Kevin Hart, so I rented it online – I know that for a brand new movie, it's almost certainly going to be the same master used on both iTunes and the disc.

    But on yet another hand, if it's a new release movie that I saw in theaters and really liked, I won't hesitate to buy the disc.

  119. BobO’Link

    These are often people who will not watch a BW movie *because* it's BW as that makes it old and/or not as good. I know people my age who feel this way and we grew up in the era of BW TV, seeing most movies, color and BW, on those BW sets.

    I myself have enjoyed some B/W series (and at least three of them are select ones according to me):

    Perry Mason
    M Squad
    Wanted: Dead or Alive

    To be honest, it's Raymond Burr, Lee Marvin, and Steve McQueen (all deceased, sadly) who made those B/W series select to me (as Perry Mason, Frank Ballinger, and Josh Randall respectively).

  120. Jeremy Lancaster

    Depending on the source, there are typically only nine (9) plots. Why do we not get bored with our best literature and films?

    But a painfully predictable plot may not be the plot, but the overall story-telling. Imagine a remake where we loved the original actor and were left disappointed because of the novice presentation of both a poor director, poor set design, and poor acting.

    Yes, there are only so many basic plot lines. But any really good story requires characters made out of something more than cardboard. It's also vital for the motivations of properly developed characters to drive the plot rather than allowing the plot to drive the characters (which is very common in many movies these days).

    The book, Save the Cat! has been turned into a kind of bible for screenwriters and producers. Unlike other books about screenwriting, this one reduces the emphasis on character development and motivation (stuff anyone would study in an acting class). Save The Cat! puts far more emphasis on story "beats" happening at specific points in the movie. One example is the "all is lost" beat just before the climax when the protagonist(s) somehow get their lucky break (often through eye-rolling lame circumstances) to overcome the antagonist. Modern movies pull that one all the time.

    By contrast, series TV is not bound to those conventions. It might look like a hero in the series is about to win a big battle, defeat a foe, etc but then he gets killed. Viewers are surprised and upset, maybe even screaming at their TV sets. I would bring up some specific examples, but I'm not into spoiling shows. Anyway, the point is Hollywood movies are bound to so many very boring, very predictable conventions. They almost always require a happy ending. A TV series can end with its main character taking the dirt nap, losing the love of his life, etc.

  121. It’s very simple: the retailers are dropping physical media because consumers aren’t buying it. This really isn’t rocket science. In the U.S. music market, physical media (CDs and LPs) are now just 16% of the market in dollars and the overall music market is a third of its former peak size, inflation adjusted. Like it or not, good or bad quality, streaming dominates. Consumers have spoken.

    U.S. physical media video sales were almost an $11 billion business in 2009. In 2017, it was $4.7 billion.

    In addition, general retailers used to sell media in part because it increased “dwell time”. And increased dwell time statistically increased overall sales per capita. Media was frequently used as loss leaders. Since so few consumers are still buying music, that doesn’t work anymore.

    It’s not the retailers who are the problem. It’s consumers. Get over it. It doesn’t mean that physical media completely disappears. It just means that they’ll be fewer physical releases, fewer examples of special packaging, fewer restorations and generally just a single pressing unless something turns out to be a surprise hit in physical media. With the big chains dropping media, maybe some independent retailers will pop up.

    The combination of streaming and Amazon’s dominance has doomed much of physical retail. And it’s only going to get worse. My apartment building has 200 apartments. The building gets 300 packages a week and far more around holiday periods. There’s a price to pay for that – it dooms much physical retail.

  122. BobO’Link

    It's been mentioned several times about how quickly a theatrical release can now be purchased for home viewing. I grew up in the days of it taking a year, or longer, before a movie *might* show up on TV. I know the studios are trying to get those sales while the movie is still fresh in people's minds, that whole "That was a good movie. I'll buy it." mentality. Based on today's offerings I can't say that's a bad thing as most are pretty forgettable and after a year just don't seem to look as good. I also think that practice is hurting theatrical attendance.

    The movies that just left the theater appear to mostly be what's keeping physical alive as people just don't seem to care for catalog titles, especially anything made before they were born (ask a later gen Millennial if they've seen a pre-1990 movie and the answer will likely be along the lines of "No – there were no good movies back then"). Even then, the younger demographic is often purchasing digital over physical. They don't see, or just don't care about, the pitfalls many of us who've "been around a while" see in that delivery method.

    It's not much different than when VHS/Beta came out. A few people purchased a personal copy but most would just rather rent. They're content to see a movie, or TV show, whenever a network or cable channel decides to air it, or just rent a copy at the local video store for a one-off viewing. Streaming is taking the place of that local video store. People like streaming because it's cheap and convenient (no more driving to the video store or Redbox kiosk) and there are no late fees.

    Most of this group absolutely do not care about quality and are generally not true movie lovers. Sure they love to watch a movie, and may see lots of them, but they don't dissect a movie to see what makes it work, or watch to see a classic performance, or seek out catalog titles to get a historical slant or just watch an old master (actor, director, or other participant) for a better perspective of current movies. These are often people who will not watch a BW movie *because* it's BW as that makes it old and/or not as good. I know people my age who feel this way and we grew up in the era of BW TV, seeing most movies, color and BW, on those BW sets.

    When DVDs finally made ownership rather affordable, with a far more sturdy product, they purchased a few favorites, got a few more for the kids (good, inexpensive, keeps 'em occupied) and realized they didn't rewatch those favorites after all. Now that attitude has changed to "They're available for streaming somewhere, so why keep buying?" They've likely not experienced that favorite disappearing… yet… People are returning to a rental model but now it's streaming instead of going to the video store. The video stores were partially responsible for keeping physical sales higher. After all, they, too, had to purchase a physical copy, multiples for new titles, for you to rent. With streaming, they're gone and along with them those extra sales.

    In the long run, it seems that the studios want streaming to better control access to their content. But they also seem to realize that the current streaming model is costing them revenue in sales. Digital "ownership" seems to be the answer they've been looking for as you can't pass along any part of your collection which opens the door for sales they feel they'd have otherwise lost. It also provides them with the system to fully control distribution, eliminating the middle-man and giving them maximum profits.

    My grandson said it quite well just yesterday, although about video games rather than movies. He was telling me about a friend who wouldn't purchase a physical copy of a game because he "prefers digital." The physical copy, with bonus material, was on sale for $15. The stipped down digital version was $60. My grandson said his friend was rather dumb for making that purchase. I can understand why his friend would prefer digital for gaming (after all, there's no disc to lose or damage and kids just don't know how to properly treat media), but not at that price difference. I see the same thing with physical over digital purchases of movies with the physical copy often being much less than the digital, yet people purchase that digital copy instead thinking it's better. I think that group is in for a rather rude awakening one of these days.

    I just wanted to say thank you soooo much for saying later gen millennial. I am an early gen millennial and I truly appreciate that you noticed there is a distinction between our experiences in this generation. Not many people acknowledge or understand it so I really love that you made that distinction.
    I also love your post. While I don’t like it what you say is true. I teach college and it really disturbs me what college students don’t know. You can mention famous stars or movies/tv shows from the 80s and even 90s and just get blank stares. I know I watch more than most but they don’t even have basic knowledge at times. To me it can be somewhat sad, they are missing out on some truly interesting and amazing things.

  123. I’m from Dublin, Ireland. And, ironically, pretty much the only shops left in the city with a physical selection of DVDs and Blurays, besides the cool shop at the Irish Film Institute, is Tower Records. There are actually two of them, one bang smack in the centre and another just across the river. Both selections are very extensive too. Most of the surviving branches of our local brand Golden Discs, have reasonably large if basic DVD sections, but only a single rack of blockbuster type Blurays. Though, in one branch, they do have an entire floor of vinyl!

    I can’t get with any cloud/streaming services as a far as collecting films go. For many of the reasons you fellas have pointed out, not ACTUALLY owning the copy (i.e. it’s licensed to you), not getting the commentaries (the few that still have them, though many rep. blurays still do) and in a lot of cases, the digital copy being technically inferior (low bit rate) to the physical one, a these copies are predominately intended for phone/tablet use. Though with the onset of Apple and Amazon home boxes, the quality has improved dramatically, I imagine.

    Personally, I’ve chosen to create my own home cloud collection, most sourced from my own physical disc backups. In most cases, I resell or pass on the physical copy afterwards. Still I curate and maintain a core collection on a single tall book shelf in my living room. I moved house five times in three years, having to drag a thousand DVDs and blurays in the process. This experience ‘cured’ me of having to maintain masses of physical media -though not at the expenses of technical standards. Since I’ve done this, over time, I’ve found I watch more of my favorite pictures repeatedly, like putting on a album when your in the mood. Removing the task of opening the case, taking the disc out, firing up the player, checking you’ve got it in the right region, loading the disc, going through the logos, getting to the menu etc. did have quite an improving effect on my viewing.

    The sub standard picture and sound quality John Q. Public excepts these days can be quite shocking. I find this with DCPs also. I’m one the last standing film projectionist in Dublin, and despite the universal DCI standards, the quality of one DCP to another can be very dramatic. Even talking into account artistic choices of film makers. The younger generations black & white prejudices are hugely ironic considering how socially progressive they tend to otherwise be! My nieces and nephews are big Doctor Who fans. When I started recommending stories from the1960s run, they balked simply because they weren’t in color. Its a bit sad, as properly remastered b&w is one of the wonderful delights of high definition.

    As for home 4K, I give it a serious look every 12 months or so. In the theatrical experience it can be fantastic, for example, watching The Third Man 4K DCP through a laser projector, is an absolute treat! But I’m still using my seven year old Panasonic plasma at home. It’s continuing to do a fine job. Another year and I’ll see where things are at.

    My latest purchase, a physical copy, in a shop, was a 4K UHD copy of Blade Runner 2049. I just went in for the bluray, but you could get the 4K, blu & download together in one box, so I picked up that edition. Life browsing outside a browser would be such a cultural and social loss. We’d all be the worse off for it.

  124. My physical media purchases have tended to be driven by obsessions with Asian countries' film/TV offerings and pop culture. And for a lot of these interests, physical media was the only way to enjoy these obsessions for a very long time. This applies to anime, Hong Kong cinema, kung fu films, classic Japanese films, Japanese superhero TV shows and J-pop concerts. These were generally not shown on cable or in theaters nor were they usually available in any quantity from rental shops, although this began to change as interest in anime grew and as certain Hong Kong film stars and directors (e.g. Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-Fat, John Woo, etc.) became popular, but that was only for those titles released in the U.S., a tiny percentage of what was being produced in Japan and HK. So, for a long time I had to go to dealers' rooms at comics shows, Japanese video stores, and Chinatown shops to find the films/TV shows I wanted, first on VHS and then on DVD. Luckily, there were a lot of those in NYC in the 1990s and 2000s, so I built up quite a collection of titles I couldn't see any other way. When Shaw Bros. released its library of classic Hong Kong films from the 1960s-'80s on Region 3 DVD starting in late 2002, I went nuts and bought up hundreds of titles as they were released to Chinatown stores over a period of about five years, before the market tapered off. The classic kung fu titles in this library were mostly eventually picked up by Dragon Dynasty, Tokyo Shock, WellGo and other U.S. distributors, but there were so many non-action titles–musicals, comedies, melodramas, fantasies, crime thrillers, historical epics–that could only be purchased from Chinatown on R3 DVD or VCD (video compact disc–a cheaper format, inferior to DVD).

    Now, a lot of that market has dried up and most of those shops have closed. There's one Japanese video store left in Midtown where I go to get new anime and live-action superhero shows on disc, mostly in Japanese without subs., although lately, they've been releasing more titles with English subs. But very little of this material is available on streaming services. Amazon Prime is getting better, however, since I've been seeing more classic kung fu and Japanese yakuza films on it.

    As for J-pop, I have to order CDs and concert DVDs directly from Japan. (Luckily, the exchange rate has been very favorable for us dollar users in the last few years, because the prices for the concert discs, which usually come in 2-disc sets, can be pretty high.) Sometimes a concert actually streams live over the web from Japan and I and every overseas J-pop fan on Facebook get up in the middle of the night to watch it live. If it's a good one–and they usually are–I'll purchase it on disc. Of course, web-savvy fans manage to find a way to access a lot of the J-pop concerts and Japanese superhero TV shows and share them on the web, so even if no official distribution source offers them on the web in the U.S., they manage to find their way to their audience.

    P.S. Shout Factory has been releasing box sets of the complete series of Super Sentai shows from the 1990s, in Japanese with subtitles, that formed the basis for "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" and the subsequent Power Rangers franchise. I've been snatching up every one of these eagerly awaited box sets as they've been coming out. I previously only had sample episodes of these shows on VHS, in Japanese, but untranslated. "Seijuu Sentai Gingaman," the basis for Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, is the most recent release. The first was "Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger," which provided action and effects footage for the first two seasons of MMPR.

  125. BobO’Link

    The movies that just left the theater appear to mostly be what's keeping physical alive as people just don't seem to care for catalog titles, especially anything made before they were born (ask a later gen Millennial if they've seen a pre-1990 movie and the answer will likely be along the lines of "No – there were no good movies back then"). Even then, the younger demographic is often purchasing digital over physical. They don't see, or just don't care about, the pitfalls many of us who've "been around a while" see in that delivery method.

    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we Gen X'ers and Baby Boomers grew up with open syndication on television. A huge proportion of what we watched on daytime TV was stuff made before we were born, or when we were infants. Since they restricted the syndication rules in the 90's that doesn't exist anymore. Most Millennials (the younger ones at least) and iGen kids have never had occasion to see an episode of TV from before they were born, unless they happen to channel-surf past TVLand and see part of their 24/7/365 airings of The Andy Griffith Show.

    This pop culture disconnect is the biggest one between generations since that between the Baby Boomers (first generation to grow up with television) and their parents. It's like the Steely Dan song says… "We've got nothing in common… no, we can't talk at all."

    If anything saves physical media, it will be corporate greed. When broadband Internet companies start metering data and charging people exorbitant rates for heavy usage, people might start seeing the advantage of owning offline media again. Until we get to the point where the same tiny handful of mega-corporations own both the media and the means of delivery, in which case they'll have us boxed in. Maybe that would be a good time to start reading books again, if we can find any.

  126. Jeremy Lancaster

    I'm with you on this. I have thousands of Blu-rays in my library, and am seeing that many of them now look exceptionally better on an LG 65" Oled TV versus my previous LED tv. Absolute gold has been found in my collection. As for buying 4K disks, I own two (2), both produced in Native 4k and not an Upscaled 4k edition. Buying 4K requires to make a study of the online reviews to determine if the money deserves to be spent and if the gain is worth the purchase.

    Maybe this is a stupid question, but I've never seen it asked. Since HDTVs will upscale DVD to HD (not true HD, but interpolated HD), I'm assuming that 4K sets will upscale HD to UHD (again, not true UHD, but interpolated UHD). If that's the case, why bother with a 4K disk that's upscaled 2K? Is there a visible difference between an upscaled 2K disc and just letting the set do the upscaling itself?

  127. AndrewCrossett

    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we Gen X'ers and Baby Boomers grew up with open syndication on television. A huge proportion of what we watched on daytime TV was stuff made before we were born, or when we were infants. Since they restricted the syndication rules in the 90's that doesn't exist anymore. Most Millennials (the younger ones at least) and iGen kids have never had occasion to see an episode of TV from before they were born, unless they happen to channel-surf past TVLand and see part of their 24/7/365 airings of The Andy Griffith Show.

    This is a good point, and very true in my case. As a kid growing up in the 70s and early 80s, I not only watched the then-current, prime time network shows, but also a ton of classic series syndicated on local TV stations. The original Star Trek was the most notable, of course, but I saw numerous classics on KSTW Channel 11 and KCPQ Channel 13 in Washington State as a youth. I gravitated to mysteries, westerns and more fantastical offerings like The Twilight Zone, The Wild Wild West, The Invaders, The Rifleman, Have Gun – Will Travel, Bonanza, Tarzan, It Takes a Thief, Perry Mason and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. I also watched a lot of shows, not because I was any kind of fan, but just because they were on – series like Leave It To Beaver, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Our Miss Brooks, and The Andy Griffith Show (which I love now), etc. Color or black and white, old or new, it didn't matter to me. Those syndicated stations cemented my love of classic television and movies, and I'm eternally grateful to them.

    When channels such as these phased out classic TV programming, in favor of infomercials, talk shows and endless reruns of Friends and Seinfeld, subsequent generations lost the opportunity to be exposed to older shows and movies, and so had no chance to gain any appreciation for them. A sad state of affairs, really, but there we are. At least there's hope with all the digital sub-channels that have proliferated in recent years, like Me-TV, Cozi-TV et al, which have brought a lot of older shows back into public circulation again. Maybe some kids will accidentally tune in and get turned on to these shows. That is, if they can tear their eyes away from their smartphones and video game consoles long enough…

    (End of old man rant)

  128. Jeff Flugel

    When channels such as these phased out classic TV programming, in favor of infomercials, talk shows and endless reruns of Friends and Seinfeld, subsequent generations lost the opportunity to be exposed to older shows and movies, and so had no chance to gain any appreciation for them.

    How true, how true! Those two 90s comedies are still, IIRC, infinitely rerun in syndication, despite being out in full on DVD. And, as Howie (Bob O'Link) has quite truly pointed out, some (like his wife) will insist on seeing shows like that (or whatever they see) with ads in syndication, whether or not they have the DVD or Blu (of course, it's not my place to judge those people for that choice; after all, it is their choice).

  129. David Norman

    Have you been to the Spartanburg BBY? I'd like to get an opinion compared to Greenville since I rarely get down that far.
    I've always been surprised at that store compared to even most of the Charlotte stores with their stock.
    It's certainly nothing like 2005-2010, but the store to store variation seems quite high I'm sure for a reason.

    The Spartanburg BBY (I live in Boiling Springs SC) is like most now. Still have some disks in stock but nothing compared to the heyday. I bought my new 4k TV there last month, but I haven't bought a disk in store for several years due to the convenience (and generally cheaper pricing) at Amazon.

  130. Rick Thompson

    Maybe this is a stupid question, but I've never seen it asked. Since HDTVs will upscale DVD to HD (not true HD, but interpolated HD), I'm assuming that 4K sets will upscale HD to UHD (again, not true UHD, but interpolated UHD). If that's the case, why bother with a 4K disk that's upscaled 2K? Is there a visible difference between an upscaled 2K disc and just letting the set do the upscaling itself?

    The only real advantage of 4K discs from 2K sources is HDR, for superior contrast and colour.

  131. atfree

    The Spartanburg BBY (I live in Boiling Springs SC) is like most now. Still have some disks in stock but nothing compared to the heyday. I bought my new 4k TV there last month, but I haven't bought a disk in store for several years due to the convenience (and generally cheaper pricing) at Amazon.

    Convenience maybe, but given the number of damaged discs I've gottne from Amazon I'm not even sure about that.

    Price at worst is the same since BBY matches Amazon and most of the time Amazon is matching BBY anyway,
    Plus BBY offers me easier returns, pickup discounts, RZ discounts, and a 45 day return/price protection guarantee. Amazon makes me pay
    for returns (for non-damaged merchandise) and gives me zero day price protection for non pre-orders. .

  132. AndrewCrossett

    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we Gen X'ers and Baby Boomers grew up with open syndication on television. A huge proportion of what we watched on daytime TV was stuff made before we were born, or when we were infants. Since they restricted the syndication rules in the 90's that doesn't exist anymore. Most Millennials (the younger ones at least) and iGen kids have never had occasion to see an episode of TV from before they were born, unless they happen to channel-surf past TVLand and see part of their 24/7/365 airings of The Andy Griffith Show.

    This pop culture disconnect is the biggest one between generations since that between the Baby Boomers (first generation to grow up with television) and their parents. It's like the Steely Dan song says… "We've got nothing in common… no, we can't talk at all."

    If anything saves physical media, it will be corporate greed. When broadband Internet companies start metering data and charging people exorbitant rates for heavy usage, people might start seeing the advantage of owning offline media again. Until we get to the point where the same tiny handful of mega-corporations own both the media and the means of delivery, in which case they'll have us boxed in. Maybe that would be a good time to start reading books again, if we can find any.

    I think you have some good points but there is a major one that is missed. Many younger people flat out refuse to watch older movies/tv shows, particularly ones in black and white. If it is not in color or the special effects are not current it does not exist (with a select few exceptions). There is no desire at all for anything “old.” It is not just a limited exposure starting in the second half of the 90s (there were plenty of channels showing old movies and tv shows for me anyway in the first half of the 90s) but also there is literally no desire for any of this by some younger millennials and those younger than that.

  133. AndrewCrossett

    This pop culture disconnect is the biggest one between generations since that between the Baby Boomers (first generation to grow up with television) and their parents. It's like the Steely Dan song says… "We've got nothing in common… no, we can't talk at all."

    As a Baby Boomer, my recollection is a bit different, unless I'm misunderstanding you. When I was growing up, a lot of my friends and I, esp. in college, were intensely interested in our parents' pop culture, mainly 1930s and '40s movies, but also the music–big band, jazz, vocalists like Billie Holliday, etc.–and novelists like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. I remember when CASABLANCA came on TV, my siblings and I all watched it, eager to see our mother's favorite movie. And I would sit up at night watching old movies with my father often, one of the few things I enjoyed doing with him, because he was actually calm during these sessions.

  134. I was passionate about (still am) movies of the 1930s and would circle any one that appeared in the TV guide. I had a very old TV in my room and would stay up or set an alarm to get up all hours of the morning. I absolutely devoured classic comedies and musicals.

    Of course we could not video tape yet, but I would connect my cassette player to the speaker with alligator clips and record all the musical numbers. I had a huge collection at one time.

  135. Jeff Flugel

    When channels such as these phased out classic TV programming, in favor of infomercials, talk shows and endless reruns of Friends and Seinfeld, subsequent generations lost the opportunity to be exposed to older shows and movies, and so had no chance to gain any appreciation for them.

    Friends and Seinfeld are older shows. Friends originally aired from 1994 (24 years ago!) to 2004 and Seinfeld originally aired July of 1989 (29 years ago!) to 1998. And many older shows are available on various cable stations. In NYC, one of the local OTA stations STILL broadcasts "The Honeymooners".

  136. zoetmb

    It's not the retailers who are the problem. It's consumers. Get over it. It doesn't mean that physical media completely disappears. It just means that they'll be fewer physical releases, fewer examples of special packaging, fewer restorations and generally just a single pressing unless something turns out to be a surprise hit in physical media. With the big chains dropping media, maybe some independent retailers will pop up.

    Consumers definitely deserve their share of blame for the decline of physical media. No question about it. Between freeloading via multiple forms of piracy to shopping as much as possible online, consumers have done their part to affect this negative trend.

    However, the content creators/distributors have done their own part to sabotage sales of their product on physical media. 15-20 years ago DVDs often contained a great deal of value-added content. Not anymore. Many movie discs are bare bones affairs. I don't really feel like I'm missing much by watching a movie on Netflix versus buying or renting a Blu-ray of it.

    Music CDs have traditionally not contained a lot of goodies inside the jewel case, but most major releases had audio that was mastered to some reasonably decent levels of quality. I don't know the specific year when the "make it loud" policy of dynamics compression took hold, but once it became standard it ruined much of the quality advantage of buying a Music CD versus buying songs one at a time in lossy data compressed audio formats.

    Content creators/distributors also have contributed to their own business misfortunes. The music industry has been on a long downward slide for over 25 years. It's mostly a self-inflicted problem. Widespread consolidation of record labels, ownership of radio stations and other outlets of music has suffocated innovation. Prior to 1990 the music industry went through cycles of style upheaval every few years. A style of pop music would start to get bland and something new would come along to annihilate it -kind of like the death of Disco and birth of 80's music. Now it's just one long, slow, very corporate controlled (and very bland) transition of style. Nothing ground breaking. Artists routinely get hosed by the labels. But I can't be entirely sympathetic since the performers do things to abuse concert-goers (price gouging, letting mass scalping operations buy out the floor seats, etc). Pretty depressing situation.

    The movie industry has been copying the music industry's moves of industry consolidation and tight fisted control over the kind of movies distributed to the public.

  137. zoetmb

    Friends and Seinfeld are older shows. Friends originally aired from 1994 (24 years ago!) to 2004 and Seinfeld originally aired July of 1989 (29 years ago!) to 1998. And many older shows are available on various cable stations. In NYC, one of the local OTA stations STILL broadcasts "The Honeymooners".

    I think you missed my point (about a generation lacking access to shows from the 1950s -70s). Friends and Seinfeld are old shows now…I'm talking about back in the late 90s / early 2000s, when it was hard to find a pre-1980s TV show on OTA channels, and on most cable channels, unless it was the staple oldies like Star Trek, I Love Lucy or The Andy Griffith Show. And yes (as I mentioned in my post), a greater variety of pre-80s TV shows are readily accessible again, thanks to digital subchannels like Me-TV, etc. I'm talking about that fallow period in between now and the Golden Age of syndication (which was pre-90s) outlined in Andrew Crosset's post. I do think there was a comparative dearth of classic shows for kids growing up then (in the 90s and early 2000s) to tune into. It was much easier to watch re-runs of recent shows. Availability and ease of access does make a big difference in gaining an appreciation of previous generations entertainment.

  138. Paintbeanie

    I think you have some good points but there is a major one that is missed. Many younger people flat out refuse to watch older movies/tv shows, particularly ones in black and white. If it is not in color or the special effects are not current it does not exist (with a select few exceptions). There is no desire at all for anything “old.”

    That's my nephew Montana– again, his choice, so not my place to really judge him: one of his favorites is HBO's Game of Thrones, something that I have never cared for and will never purchase any of the releases of.

  139. bmasters9

    That's my nephew Montana– again, his choice, so not my place to really judge him: one of his favorites is HBO's Game of Thrones, something that I have never cared for and will never purchase any of the releases of.

    I like Game of Thrones myself, but I can see how it would not be to everyone's taste. And I can see why many classic era TV shows wouldn't be to young people's taste now, either. It would be nice to see less of a blanket consideration of everything that wasn't made within the past five years as "old" and passe, though.

  140. bmasters9

    Didn't realize that! How many seasons' worth have you seen?

    Up through the most recent one (season 7). I watch a lot of current TV shows (though it must be said, most of them are cable shows, or streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime (like Stranger Things, some Marvel shows like Daredevil and The Punisher, Bosch and The Grand Tour, etc.)…and many of them are British or European (I just finished watching an excellent 2017 Swedish detective series called Rebecka Martinsson, for example).

    I think there's much to value in today's entertainment as well as in the classic era. I usually prefer discussing older shows, though, especially here, where there are a lot of nice folks who share a similar interest in them. 🙂

  141. David Norman

    Convenience maybe, but given the number of damaged discs I've gottne from Amazon I'm not even sure about that.

    Price at worst is the same since BBY matches Amazon and most of the time Amazon is matching BBY anyway,
    Plus BBY offers me easier returns, pickup discounts, RZ discounts, and a 45 day return/price protection guarantee. Amazon makes me pay
    for returns (for non-damaged merchandise) and gives me zero day price protection for non pre-orders. .

    I have never received a damaged disc from Amazon. Out of my 1000 or so, I've probably ordered 900 from Amazon. I don't really return much, plus never having to deal with the Blue Shirts trying to sell me a $100 HDMI cable makes Amazon a no-brainer for me.

  142. I think that the media companies did themselves no favors by pricing CDs and DVDs way too high. They were caught napping when the internet came along and people started sharing for free. They eventually got it right by shutting down the sharing sites (where they could) and jumping on board with iTunes and streaming and charging more reasonable prices. I remember when single seasons of TV shows routinely cost $30 or much more. Now we can buy entire series sets for the same price. May be too little, too late. Also doesn't help that the younger generations are not into collecting physical items as us older folks were/are.

  143. Mr. Handley

    I think that the media companies did themselves no favors by pricing CDs and DVDs way too high.

    You better believe it– especially on that one-and-done Fall Guy release; I should have waited for Amazon for that one!

  144. Paintbeanie

    I think you have some good points but there is a major one that is missed. Many younger people flat out refuse to watch older movies/tv shows, particularly ones in black and white. If it is not in color or the special effects are not current it does not exist (with a select few exceptions). There is no desire at all for anything “old.” It is not just a limited exposure starting in the second half of the 90s (there were plenty of channels showing old movies and tv shows for me anyway in the first half of the 90s) but also there is literally no desire for any of this by some younger millennials and those younger than that.

    Vic Pardo

    As a Baby Boomer, my recollection is a bit different, unless I'm misunderstanding you. When I was growing up, a lot of my friends and I, esp. in college, were intensely interested in our parents' pop culture, mainly 1930s and '40s movies, but also the music–big band, jazz, vocalists like Billie Holliday, etc.–and novelists like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. I remember when CASABLANCA came on TV, my siblings and I all watched it, eager to see our mother's favorite movie. And I would sit up at night watching old movies with my father often, one of the few things I enjoyed doing with him, because he was actually calm during these sessions.

    I'm sure many Baby Boomers were interested in their parents' pop culture, but it was also the generation that put aside big band jazz in favor of rock & roll, and black-and-white film noir in favor of "new wave" cinema, and the family-friendly, often rural TV shows of the 50's and 60's in favor of gritty urban dramas and "relevant" sitcoms like those of Norman Lear.

    Something similar is happening now. To my view the difference is the replacement now is much worse than it was then, but that's what I would expect. They say you know you've become part of the Older Generation when the current music starts to sound ridiculous to you. It's supposed to be that way.

    It's not that kids today aren't open to their parents' pop culture. TV shows like Glee got very popular by featuring not just contemporary music but stuff from earlier decades… the show's signature song was "Don't Stop Believin" by Journey. And if you watch any old music videos on YouTube, you'll see lots of comments by younger people talking about how great this stuff is. Unlike us, they are growing up with the entire history of pop music at their fingertips for free, if they're willing to go look for it.

    But the same isn't true with television. Digital sub-channels like Me-TV are very difficult to find and many providers don't carry them (frankly I have no idea where I'd find it on my television… I don't think my cable provider has it). If it's not on one of the streaming services, then people have no way to see it.

  145. Paintbeanie

    I think you have some good points but there is a major one that is missed. Many younger people flat out refuse to watch older movies/tv shows, particularly ones in black and white. If it is not in color or the special effects are not current it does not exist (with a select few exceptions). There is no desire at all for anything “old.” It is not just a limited exposure starting in the second half of the 90s (there were plenty of channels showing old movies and tv shows for me anyway in the first half of the 90s) but also there is literally no desire for any of this by some younger millennials and those younger than that.

    Vic Pardo

    As a Baby Boomer, my recollection is a bit different, unless I'm misunderstanding you. When I was growing up, a lot of my friends and I, esp. in college, were intensely interested in our parents' pop culture, mainly 1930s and '40s movies, but also the music–big band, jazz, vocalists like Billie Holliday, etc.–and novelists like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. I remember when CASABLANCA came on TV, my siblings and I all watched it, eager to see our mother's favorite movie. And I would sit up at night watching old movies with my father often, one of the few things I enjoyed doing with him, because he was actually calm during these sessions.

    I'm sure many Baby Boomers were interested in their parents' pop culture, but it was also the generation that put aside big band jazz in favor of rock & roll, and black-and-white film noir in favor of "new wave" cinema, and the family-friendly, often rural TV shows of the 50's and 60's in favor of gritty urban dramas and "relevant" sitcoms like those of Norman Lear.

    Something similar is happening now. To my view the difference is the replacement now is much worse than it was then, but that's what I would expect. They say you know you've become part of the Older Generation when the current music starts to sound ridiculous to you. It's supposed to be that way.

    It's not that kids today aren't open to their parents' pop culture. TV shows like Glee got very popular by featuring not just contemporary music but stuff from earlier decades… the show's signature song was "Don't Stop Believin" by Journey. And if you watch any old music videos on YouTube, you'll see lots of comments by younger people talking about how great this stuff is. Unlike us, they are growing up with the entire history of pop music at their fingertips for free, if they're willing to go look for it.

    But the same isn't true with television. Digital sub-channels like Me-TV are very difficult to find and many providers don't carry them (frankly I have no idea where I'd find it on my television… I don't think my cable provider has it). If it's not on one of the streaming services, then people have no way to see it.

  146. We Baby Boomers had 2 “advantages”.
    1). We had only 5 or 6 channels, so if we wanted to watch TV we had to watch what was offered. This exposed us to a lot of stuff we may not have picked at first but we found we actually liked.

    2). Afternoons weekends and after 11:30 p.m. were filled with hundreds of old movies of every kind. Since sets were black and white anyway, they blended right in.

  147. We Baby Boomers had 2 “advantages”.
    1). We had only 5 or 6 channels, so if we wanted to watch TV we had to watch what was offered. This exposed us to a lot of stuff we may not have picked at first but we found we actually liked.

    2). Afternoons weekends and after 11:30 p.m. were filled with hundreds of old movies of every kind. Since sets were black and white anyway, they blended right in.

  148. TJPC

    We Baby Boomers had 2 “advantages”.
    1). We had only 5 or 6 channels, so if we wanted to watch TV we had to watch what was offered. This exposed us to a lot of stuff we may not have picked at first but we found we actually liked.

    2). Afternoons weekends and after 11:30 p.m. were filled with hundreds of old movies of every kind. Since sets were black and white anyway, they blended right in.

    I recently went through some old files and found TV listings from the 1960s and '70s. Between the six commercial broadcast stations there were old movies on practically all day, much like watching TCM today, except that TCM doesn't run some of the more obscure sci-fi/horror/monster movies we used to get a lot of back then.

  149. TJPC

    We Baby Boomers had 2 “advantages”.
    1). We had only 5 or 6 channels, so if we wanted to watch TV we had to watch what was offered. This exposed us to a lot of stuff we may not have picked at first but we found we actually liked.

    2). Afternoons weekends and after 11:30 p.m. were filled with hundreds of old movies of every kind. Since sets were black and white anyway, they blended right in.

    I recently went through some old files and found TV listings from the 1960s and '70s. Between the six commercial broadcast stations there were old movies on practically all day, much like watching TCM today, except that TCM doesn't run some of the more obscure sci-fi/horror/monster movies we used to get a lot of back then.

  150. TJPC

    We Baby Boomers had 2 “advantages”.
    1). We had only 5 or 6 channels, so if we wanted to watch TV we had to watch what was offered. This exposed us to a lot of stuff we may not have picked at first but we found we actually liked.

    I was a kid in the 80's and early 90's and feel that that early 'cable era' was the best time to watch TV because there was options to watch a good amount of new and old TV shows/movies but not so many that you could never keep up with everything. It was also a time when black and white shows were still common enough that kids didn't automatically turn them off. Needless to say, nostalgia blinds me to some degree but I do think that having 30 or 40 channels to choose from gave people the ability to see a wide range of the old and current without overloading them.

  151. TJPC

    We Baby Boomers had 2 “advantages”.
    1). We had only 5 or 6 channels, so if we wanted to watch TV we had to watch what was offered. This exposed us to a lot of stuff we may not have picked at first but we found we actually liked.

    I was a kid in the 80's and early 90's and feel that that early 'cable era' was the best time to watch TV because there was options to watch a good amount of new and old TV shows/movies but not so many that you could never keep up with everything. It was also a time when black and white shows were still common enough that kids didn't automatically turn them off. Needless to say, nostalgia blinds me to some degree but I do think that having 30 or 40 channels to choose from gave people the ability to see a wide range of the old and current without overloading them.

  152. TJPC

    We Baby Boomers had 2 “advantages”.
    1). We had only 5 or 6 channels, so if we wanted to watch TV we had to watch what was offered. This exposed us to a lot of stuff we may not have picked at first but we found we actually liked.

    2). Afternoons weekends and after 11:30 p.m. were filled with hundreds of old movies of every kind. Since sets were black and white anyway, they blended right in.

    That was my experience growing up as a Gen-Xer in the 70's and 80's too. I also grew up within the NYC media sphere, so we got the three "superstations" from there as well. I saw so much local NYC programming and commercials growing up that I almost felt like I lived there.

    We had "cable" since me earliest childhood memories, but of course back then "cable" meant you got the three networks, PBS, and any available regional superstations over cable instead of at the mercy of an antenna, and you could get HBO if you subscribed.

    I really, really miss all the great syndicated TV shows and movies we used to get back then. Daytime TV is unimaginably bad now. Infomercials, endless reruns of Cops, and those horrible "judge" shows. If I was a kid today I'd beg my mother to let me go to school if I was sick.

  153. TJPC

    We Baby Boomers had 2 “advantages”.
    1). We had only 5 or 6 channels, so if we wanted to watch TV we had to watch what was offered. This exposed us to a lot of stuff we may not have picked at first but we found we actually liked.

    2). Afternoons weekends and after 11:30 p.m. were filled with hundreds of old movies of every kind. Since sets were black and white anyway, they blended right in.

    That was my experience growing up as a Gen-Xer in the 70's and 80's too. I also grew up within the NYC media sphere, so we got the three "superstations" from there as well. I saw so much local NYC programming and commercials growing up that I almost felt like I lived there.

    We had "cable" since me earliest childhood memories, but of course back then "cable" meant you got the three networks, PBS, and any available regional superstations over cable instead of at the mercy of an antenna, and you could get HBO if you subscribed.

    I really, really miss all the great syndicated TV shows and movies we used to get back then. Daytime TV is unimaginably bad now. Infomercials, endless reruns of Cops, and those horrible "judge" shows. If I was a kid today I'd beg my mother to let me go to school if I was sick.

  154. I was like a child on Christmas morning when Cable TV came to my town in 1980. Twenty new channels, all MINE!!! :dancing-banana-04: 26 bucks a month got you these channels, along with HBO, Showtime and The Movie Channel (If you subscribed to two of them they tossed in the third for no cost). 😎 If I only knew what would happen 26 years later. After seeing an ad for a sex pill aired during a children,s show:eek::angry: I responded by "cutting the cord" and went totally home video. I have many 1950's Sci-Fi Movies that used to be staples of late night TV. I like to say I grew dissatisfied with the networks, so I made my own Network! :laugh: There is no such thing as bad TV in my house! 😀

  155. I was like a child on Christmas morning when Cable TV came to my town in 1980. Twenty new channels, all MINE!!! :dancing-banana-04: 26 bucks a month got you these channels, along with HBO, Showtime and The Movie Channel (If you subscribed to two of them they tossed in the third for no cost). 😎 If I only knew what would happen 26 years later. After seeing an ad for a sex pill aired during a children,s show:eek::angry: I responded by "cutting the cord" and went totally home video. I have many 1950's Sci-Fi Movies that used to be staples of late night TV. I like to say I grew dissatisfied with the networks, so I made my own Network! :laugh: There is no such thing as bad TV in my house! 😀

  156. One of my most vivid childhood memories was at age nine. My dad and older brother were away on a Boy Scout camping trip, and my mom and my younger brother set the alarm for midnight to get up and watch KING KONG on Houston's Channel 13 (the movie program was a weekly horror offering called WEIRD). I had always wanted to see it and my mom regaled us with stories of seeing it in 1933 and not being able to sleep for days afterward.

    Watching old movies on TV and getting especially hooked on the Marx Bros, W.C. Fields and Mae West comedies got me hooked on all things from the 1930s and 1940s. And because of physical media, this love will carry me to the end.

  157. One of my most vivid childhood memories was at age nine. My dad and older brother were away on a Boy Scout camping trip, and my mom and my younger brother set the alarm for midnight to get up and watch KING KONG on Houston's Channel 13 (the movie program was a weekly horror offering called WEIRD). I had always wanted to see it and my mom regaled us with stories of seeing it in 1933 and not being able to sleep for days afterward.

    Watching old movies on TV and getting especially hooked on the Marx Bros, W.C. Fields and Mae West comedies got me hooked on all things from the 1930s and 1940s. And because of physical media, this love will carry me to the end.

  158. Rob_Ray

    One of my most vivid childhood memories was at age nine. My dad and older brother were away on a Boy Scout camping trip, and my mom and my younger brother set the alarm for midnight to get up and watch KING KONG on Houston's Channel 13 (the movie program was a weekly horror offering called WEIRD). I had always wanted to see it and my mom regaled us with stories of seeing it in 1933 and not being able to sleep for days afterward.

    Watching old movies on TV and getting especially hooked on the Marx Bros, W.C. Fields and Mae West comedies got me hooked on all things from the 1930s and 1940s. And because of physical media, this love will carry me to the end.[/QUOT

    One of the fun things about this hobby is see the shows your parents and grandparents were watching when they were growing up. Some of the things I've been told include being an episode that premiered on the day they were born, shows they avoided because they were "spooky" and even they watched that serial in the theater when they were young.

  159. It helps if you try to bridge generations, as many of the older shows have their counterparts today. Example: I introduced both my sons to Remington Steele. A few Christmases ago, one said, "I thought you would like this because it's a lot like Remington Steele." The show was Castle, and he was right: basically a romantic comedy hiding in a crime show — or a crime show hiding in a romantic comedy. Now I tell young folks who liked Castle, "Since you like that, try Remington Steele. It's on DVD." (I don't mention that it was the first feminist private eye show; let them find it out for themselves.)

  160. Here's a list of things I can do I as a video collector:

    1. Watching a TV show or movie uncut and devoid of commercials 😀

    2. Recreating my childhood watching shows that aired on a certain date in history. 😎

    3 Whenever a network airs a blockbuster movie during certain time of the year I break out my DVD of that movie and playing it at the same time the network airs. When my version ends the network's version runs 60 to 90 minutes later than mine did (This tells you how many commercials were crammed into their version). 😮

    4. When a friend or relative visits and they prepare to watch a show I ask them if they want to watch it WITHOUT commercials. When they see a scene that's been cut off from the version they watched I tell them the network cut not to have potentially a scene that maybe some find offensive (nudity, violence, bad language or political "correctness") but in order to cram in more commercials. :angry:

  161. bmasters9

    Bumping this up– not only with him, but w/the great Wink Martindale!

    This is true! I had totally forgotten that. My high school math teacher has a December 4th birthday, so I always tease him about two math geniuses having the same birthday. :laugh:

  162. Thing is, if you're my age (grew up in the 70s and 80s), you DID grow up watching the same shows your parents watched. Thanks to daytime syndication I watched probably more shows from the 50s, 60s and early 70's than shows from my own time.

  163. Neither of my parents had ever had a TV set until they moved to the Bronx in 1955–with four kids in tow, including me.

    I suspect there are quite a few members here whose parents grew up well before TV sets were in homes.

  164. AndrewCrossett

    Thing is, if you're my age (grew up in the 70s and 80s), you DID grow up watching the same shows your parents watched. Thanks to daytime syndication I watched probably more shows from the 50s, 60s and early 70's than shows from my own time.

    In Canada, while we got most of the heavily syndicated '50s/'60s shows (THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, I LOVE LUCY, THE HONEYMOONERS.) in the '70s and '80s, we tended to miss out on shows like MY LITTLE MARGIE, THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS, and LOVE THAT BOB, at least where I grew up in southern Ontario.

    CHEERS! 🙂

  165. AndrewCrossett

    Thing is, if you're my age (grew up in the 70s and 80s), you DID grow up watching the same shows your parents watched. Thanks to daytime syndication I watched probably more shows from the 50s, 60s and early 70's than shows from my own time.

    I was born in 1961. Because of my dad I am the biggest Perry Mason fan along with the classic horror movies that we'd watch together on Creature Features on Ch. 9 in Chicago.

  166. The only show I remember seeing during the day (when it was a holiday or school was off), was Bonanza. Though at the time, I didn't know what the name of the show was.

    It was only years later when I realized the iconic theme music was indeed Bonanza.

  167. We lived in Windsor across the river from Detroit, and were probably the earliest people we knew to have a TV. I remember day time re-runs of “Lucy”, and “The Honeymooners” but also “My Little Margie” and I” Married Joan”, “Our Miss Brooks”, “December Bride” and “The Real Mackoys”

  168. BobO’Link

    Mine did. They got their first TV after they married and likely after my sister and I were born. I've never asked. Dad talks fondly about some of the radio shows he listened to as a kid and teenager but TV is never mentioned. My earliest TV memory is watching The Lone Ranger on our BW set when I was ~3-4. That was 1958/59. I also loved Space Angel at that age and was absolutely surprised when I watched it as an adult and discovered "Synchro-Vox" and how primitive it looks. My child memories don't see it like that! For me, it proves that the very limited animation techniques are absolutely valid for that age group.

    I have some great television memories of my youth as well– among them, CBS Sports of way back when (the same CBS Sports that had such luminaries as Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, Pat Summerall, John Madden, etc.). I also recall when the networks had movie broadcast openings that showed incredible showmanship– among them, ABC's Star Tunnel.

    Does anyone else here have similar memories?

  169. TJPC

    We lived in Windsor across the river from Detroit, and were probably the earliest people we knew to have a TV. I remember day time re-runs of “Lucy”, and “The Honeymooners” but also “My Little Margie” and I” Married Joan”, “Our Miss Brooks”, “December Bride” and “The Real Mackoys”

    I grew up on the other side of the river, and remember watching the CBC affiliate Channel 9 out of Windsor as a young child – – such shows as Mr. Dress Up and The Friendly Giant. Plus, watching Hockey Night in Canada, which led to my lifelong love affair with the Montreal Canadiens.

  170. Wonder if the absence of older shows reruns on broadcast and many basic channels, will relegate past tv shows to a fate of becoming forgotten for the next generations.

    Especially if later generations don't ever come across tcm or other oldies/classics type channels.

  171. In my case, I'm largely clueless about "classic" movies. The only reason I know anything about really old stuff, is largely from buying blurays for my father and watching them with him. Otherwise I would have no idea that such old movies even existed. (I rarely ever watch tcm).

  172. jcroy

    Wonder if the absence of older shows reruns on broadcast and many basic channels, will relegate past tv shows to a fate of becoming forgotten for the next generations.

    Especially if later generations don't ever come across tcm or other oldies/classics type channels.

    A lot of these older series are available via streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. So one could argue that these shows may be more readily available than in the past via syndication. Personally, I have been watching most television programs this way now, and see little reason to buy anything except my absolute favorite old shows on disc anymore.

  173. This thread helped me decide My TV DVD Collection will end once the Last Season of House of Cards is released along with the remaining seasons of Perfect Strangers and Mayberry RFD. I will also collect Cobra Kai once it comes out // at which time I will Cancel all streaming and TV Services

    Edit: Should Paramount ever decide to release a Fully restored Gomer Pyle USMC Set, I'll surely pick that up

  174. jcroy

    Wonder if the absence of older shows reruns on broadcast and many basic channels, will relegate past tv shows to a fate of becoming forgotten for the next generations.

    Especially if later generations don't ever come across tcm or other oldies/classics type channels.

    I retired 10 years ago after teaching high school media for a decade. A large part of the course was the history of movies. In the 10 years I taught the course, I found that most students had no knowledge of the subject at all.

    They had no accidental exposure to classic films as I had. Growing up with TV being in black and white and almost every classic film being on TV some time or another we absorbed it all almost by osmosis. We had only 4 or 5 channels, but most continuously showed movies from 11:30 to when the station went off the air or all afternoon or all day on the weekends.

  175. TJPC

    I retired 10 years ago after teaching high school media for a decade. A large part of the course was the history of movies. In the 10 years I taught the course, I found that most students had no knowledge of the subject at all.

    They had no accidental exposure to classic films as I had. Growing up with TV being in black and white and almost every classic film being on TV some time or another we absorbed it all almost by osmosis. We had only 4 or 5 channels, but most continuously showed movies from 11:30 to when the station went off the air or all afternoon or all day on the weekends.

    Scott Merryfield

    A lot of these older series are available via streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. So one could argue that these shows may be more readily available than in the past via syndication. Personally, I have been watching most television programs this way now, and see little reason to buy anything except my absolute favorite old shows on disc anymore.

    TJPC/Terry makes a very good point here.

    A lot of the old stuff I came across when I was younger, was largely from catching it by chance when I was growing up. It was mostly me being bored and channel surfing on several channels. (We didn't have any cable/satellite specific channels like HBO, etc ….).

    I don't remember the names of many of these old classic shows/movies I saw back in the day, but years later I did eventually figure out what they were. (Such as the case of Bonanza for me). Some of the stuff I do remember well, was stuff like Dracula, Gone With The Wind, Gilligan's Island, etc …

    Nowadays with older stuff being available from streaming/online sources, the question is whether a young person would even know about the existence of such older shows/movies, or even come across it by chance via Netflix or amazon's "algorithms".

    One has to know that something exists and actually watch it. Just "mere existence" and easy access probably isn't good enough, if somebody is completely ignorant of a show/movie's existence.

  176. jcroy

    Nowadays with older stuff being available from streaming/online sources, the question is whether a young person would even know about the existence of such older shows/movies, or even come across it by chance via Netflix or amazon's "algorithms".

    One has to know that something exists and actually watch it. Just "mere existence" and easy access probably isn't good enough, if somebody is completely ignorant of a show/movie's existence.

    But even with syndication today, with the hundreds of channels out there would younger people have a better chance of finding a classic show on cable/satellite versus finding it on a streaming service? I am finding a lot of shows that are going in my watch list on Hulu that I never would have found by channel surfing (and we don't have a DVR, so I would have to watch according to someone else's schedule).

  177. BobO’Link

    The "old guard" is dying. I wonder how long it'll be before the newer generations, who have no established history with old Hollywood, decide maintaining or converting, much less releasing, those old titles isn't worth the effort?

    I bet plenty of silent movie fans said the same thing in the 1940's and 50's. As time moves on, other than the biggest titles, nearly all movies will be forgotten. In 100 years, how many movies from the 20th century do you think will still be watched? It's the same with books or art- a few survive the really long haul but most fall to the side.

    Scott Merryfield

    But even with syndication today, with the hundreds of channels out there would younger people have a better chance of finding a classic show on cable/satellite versus finding it on a streaming service?

    Yes but with so many choices, they have the ability to say "Ugh, that's so old" and watch something else. 🙂 Now, I will say that if someone has the desire to watch older stuff, they certainly have more options to do that than ever before but they need the desire.

  178. Scott Merryfield

    But even with syndication today, with the hundreds of channels out there would younger people have a better chance of finding a classic show on cable/satellite versus finding it on a streaming service?

    I suspect this would also be highly dependent on semi-random chance, if a young person is not looking specifically for older type stuff. Just like what I went through when I was a kid or teenager.

    In the case of search algorithms whether by happenstance or by deliberate design, it would have to be presenting older stuff as options in such searches. Otherwise if such search algorithms are not presenting older stuff much at all (whether by neglect or deliberate exclusion), then such older shows/movies are largely "nonexistent".

    (I'm not familiar enough with the behavior of Hulu's search algorithm to make any sensible correlations).

  179. TravisR

    Yes but with so many choices, they have the ability to say "Ugh, that's so old" and watch something else. 🙂

    I felt this way for the longest time about black and white films/shows, until I saw Metroplis. (Ironically AFTER seeing some footage in the "radio gaga" video by Queen).

    At the time when I first saw "radio gaga", I though the old film footage looked neat.

  180. I'm sure I watched more television shows from the 60's than I did of what was then new in the 70's because of my age and inability to stay up and watch prime time shows. I could watch The Rat Patrol, I Love Lucy, The Wild, Wild West or Star Trek in the afternoon. I was never going to catch Harry-O or The Rookies. So collecting classic TV on DVD is something of a 10 year shift prior to when I was born because of syndication practices. Same for movies. I saw and came to love the 60's movies about WWII. The Battle Of The Bulge, Patton, Kelly's Heroes and many, many more were on most afternoons or weekends.

    I started collecting TV shows on VHS and latter DVD to have shows in complete and unedited form for the first time after watching syndication cuts. I knew there were cuts because local stations would make their own edit sometimes. A local channel might cut the first 2 minutes of The Andy Griffith Show, and TBS would cut the tag scene. DVD allowed me to see the show complete for the first time. ABC would edit the James Bond films. VHS allowed me to see the whole films, in stereo! And then laser disc gave us the correct aspec ratio for home viewing.

    None of that excitement of collecting physical media exists now. Complete shows and movies in 5.1 sound are available 24 hours a day on multiple online platforms.

  181. We had one perfect chair that had the best view for the TV and remote controls didn’t exist. If you happened to get that perfect chair you never wanted to give it up to change the channel because your seat would be gone when you got up. Consequently you ended up watching crap that someone else wanted to see because you dared not move! This certainly exposed you to alternatives!

  182. Physical media may be on the fence in retail stores but I'm SO thankful to Warner Archive for currently bringing us Perfect Strangers, Alice, & Step by Step.

    Hoping they finish Hangin' with Mr. Cooper in the near future.

  183. BobO’Link

    It may no longer exist for you but it still does for me!

    Once again I have failed to make my meaning clear. None of the conditions exist now for current shows in production. No one watching Modern Family will have to wait 20 years to see the episodes in complete network length. I'm still purchasing shows from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

  184. Blimpoy06

    Once again I have failed to make my meaning clear. None of the conditions exist now for current shows in production. No one watching Modern Family will have to wait 20 years to see the episodes in complete network length. I'm still purchasing shows from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

    Well, considering standard network length for 30 minute time slots are now in the 20 – 21 minute range, but true enough.

    CHEERS! 🙂

  185. BobO’Link

    I'm excited every time a stalled show continues, even if it's not one I collect.

    Me too! Certain shows might not be exactly my cup of tea, but I always want them to be fully accessible for those people for which those shows are their cup of tea.

  186. I don’t but IF I had the money I’d love to start a company like Shout. Physical media is still a viable method of making money. I’m sure the big companies like Universal, WB, etc will not release certain shows or movies because they’re not in this to make a little money. They want to make big money. I believe a lot of shows are profitable but just not to the level of their liking.

  187. jcroy

    At the time when I first saw "radio gaga", I though the old film footage looked neat.

    (For clarification).

    My then-interest and fascination with Metropolis had very little to do with the "black and white"-ness of the original footage.

    I was fascinated with the visual/special effects and imagery, in how it portrayed the big city. Sorta like watching a scifi film.

    More generally, I did like watching the lousy forgettable scifi movies which played on weekend afternoons or after midnight when I was a kid/teenager. I don't remember the names of most of them.

  188. jcroy

    (For clarification).

    My then-interest and fascination with Metropolis had very little to do with the "black and white"-ness of the original footage.

    I was fascinated with the visual/special effects and imagery, in how it portrayed the big city. Sorta like watching a scifi film.

    More generally, I did like watching the lousy forgettable scifi movies which played on weekend afternoons or after midnight when I was a kid/teenager. I don't remember the names of most of them.

    Have you ever seen THINGS TO COME (1936)? It's a pioneering sci-fi film with a screenplay by H.G. Wells! Criterion has released a beautiful Blu-ray edition of it.

    [​IMG]

  189. Vic Pardo

    Have you ever seen THINGS TO COME (1936)? It's a pioneering sci-fi film with a screenplay by H.G. Wells! Criterion has released a beautiful Blu-ray edition of it.

    I don't know offhand.

    The title doesn't ring a bell for me. The quote image doesn't immediately jog my memory either.

    Though thanks for mentioning this. I'll have do some more googling to figure out whether it was one of those many forgettable scifi movies I watched when I was really young.

  190. jcroy

    I don't know offhand.

    The title doesn't ring a bell for me. The quote image doesn't immediately jog my memory either.

    Though thanks for mentioning this. I'll have do some more googling to figure out whether it was one of those many forgettable scifi movies I watched when I was really young.

    If you'd seen it, you'd remember it. It's anything but forgettable.

  191. How about the lack of dvd recorders at a retail store? Use to be that most stores had dvd recorders for sale with my favorite Panasonic. Bought a total of 4 of them and have 2 still in a sealed box and glad I did buy them because the dvd recorder are no longer sold at stores and hard to find new ones on websites. I guess the movie studios got nervous about making copies of movies and the increase of streaming.

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