BY KEVIN CARR
I love the modern streaming technology. I really do. The level of technology available today offers direct downloadable movies that you can watch literally with a push of a button. In this race to instant video gratification, many people are finding options to sell off their old movies. This is always a nice way to happen into some quick cash – especially if you have a large library you’re looking to unload – but I’ll always have a soft spot for a shelf packed with DVDs and Blu-rays.
I remember about 20 years ago seeing a commercial for AT&T, which offered the concept: “What if you could watch whatever you want whenever you want. You will.” That commercial was strangely prophetic… though not totally accurate.
While streaming technology offers us a way to watch many different movies directly to a TV, Blu-ray player, smart phone, tablet or even an old-fashioned laptop, there are rights and terms of service limitations that have been hobbling the industry for years. However, these limitations are not something that can necessarily happen with physical media.
Barring the limited (and sometimes non-existent) availability of some titles, physical media offers a small amount of permanency. For example, the Walt Disney Company is notorious for bringing titles in and out of print (and sometimes never bringing them back in, as we’ve seen with the alarmingly politically incorrect film “The Song of the South”). As these titles go back in the vault, the rights for streaming the films may go back in there with them.
However, if you happen to own a DVD or even VHS copy of something like the live-action version of “101 Dalmatians,” you can always watch it at home. There’s no chance of the Walt Disney lawyers showing up on your front porch and taking away your physical copy of the movie. Sadly, this happens all too often with available online content.
Until the many streaming services start to coordinate efforts and deliver a consistent, sustainable, and reliable range of title that don’t magically disappear at the beginning of any given month, physical media will always have a place.
So yes, go ahead and sell your unwanted DVDs and Blu-rays, but you might also considering picking up your favorite titles again from a major retailer or online reseller. After all, the discs might just out-last the modern streaming model if things don’t change.