Friday, 8 February 2013

So, what should I do with my DVD collection?

With the recent closing of HMV stores across Britain - once the entertainment store giant of the high street - as well as me hearing the term 'Blu Ray' increasing in the vocabulary of adverts and people, it has come to my attention that my DVD collection may have been a waste of money.

When I was 14 years old I started to build-up my DVD collection - firstly with chick flicks and films starring Christopher Walken, but once my obsession with old films from the 1930s-60s took hold of me, my collection increased enormously. At its peak, my collection was at around 350 titles, including box sets, Disney, and other genres I had begun to branch out into. Then this Summer I needed to make a little extra money and sold about 40 of my films that I didn't want to watch again in the future. Six months later and again I am having a clear out of films that I don't want in my collection anymore. But whilst I look at the films I have chosen to keep, I am wondering whether it would be worth getting rid of the entire lot. I like having a collection, I am proud of what I have built up, and I like having the option of picking out a film myself. But is it worth all that, especially when one day I may have to replace them all with Blu Ray or whatever else comes after that.

Today we are seeing that the future is all digital. Services which combine television with internet channels like YouTube and 4oD have been invented and are slowly, but very surely, finding their ways into our homes. This is all great, I think having the option to watch iPlayer and other things on my television would be very convenient, especially when I am in a full-time job. But does that mean that having your a film collection will be nothing more than a thing of the past? I really hope that it doesn't. If I'm staying in on a Friday night I don't want to be enjoying a film on television but have to endure the annoyance of adverts and silly commercials every 20minutes. And even more so, I don't want to have to wait for a film to buffer online. Both of these alternatives aren't enjoyable - they make you compromise on at least one of the following things - sound quality, picture quality, interruptions, the film experience. Isn't it better to step up to your shelves of films and pick one out, knowing that it'll give you the best picture and sound quality, without a commercial in sight once you've pressed play and no reliance on internet connection or the fact that you've found a good copy of the film online?

One thing I despise is that now we are relying on the internet or our one computer to hold all of our purchases.  If I want to buy somebody's album, I will buy a physical copy of it, not download it from iTunes straight onto my iPod. iTunes is very handy if you only want one song instead of buying an entire album, but that is all that I will use it for. If I buy something I have to have it physically in my hand and stored in my room. I don't want to have to turn on my computer and log-in to access it, or risk losing it (yes you can back up but that's just another annoyance - it's much easier having the physical thing in your possession). As for films, I feel the same. I have cut down my collection considerably, and am continuing to do so  because some of my films I don't wish to see again. But the collection I keep will stay there, and I won't replace it with any digital copy that I can only access on my computer or any other electronic device. I don't want a film collection that is a digital library on a system. I want each title lined up on shelves. Maybe technology will advance so much that how I feel won't be important - perhaps one day the only way I will be able to watch films is digitally online or something.

But I am not going to give in to technology at the moment. I refuse to buy a Kindle or e-reader until I am older and my eyesight is poorer, and if I want an album I will purchase it and place it on my shelf with the rest of my music. The same applies for my films. Will I give in to BluRay? Possibly. I have never owned The Lord of the Rings Trilogy since my family have had the copies. But if I am to move out soon I will want my own set, and I've heard it's pretty spectacular in Blu Ray. As for the rest of my films, I don't want to replace them, I don't see the need - yet.

Somebody a while back said, you remember the first album that you bought, but you don't remember your first download. Whoever said that has a point. There's no sense of value in what we buy anymore, everything is a quick fix to satisfy our consumerism. The same applies to books and films, the beauty of how we view it has gone. What does it mean for some of us who are into more specialist areas of cinema - not just the latest film releases? Are Netflix, LoveFilm, and other companies going to invest in making an equal amount films from across the world available to their customers? And what about people with DVD collections that include a thousand or more titles? Online there are so many people posing with photos of their collection, how they have stored their collection, what titles are in their collection - a lot of money went into those - are they just going to have to replace it all?

Soon I will live in my own home, and one thing I look forward to is decorating it how I want, and having my possessions stored and displayed as I wish. Displaying my favourite books, albums, and films on nice shelves is something that will give my home identity and mirror my likes/personality. Until the day my DVD player goes bust and there isn't another one to be found in the world, I will keep my DVDs for as long as I can. I will even invest in a Blu-Ray/DVD combined appliance so that I can enjoy both. Technology is advancing so rapidly and people are saying that it's good because we will have less clutter and more convenience in our lives, but I do wonder if we will all realise soon that maybe downloading films, books, and albums isn't the best way forward. I was too young when DVD replaced the VHS cassette - if I remembered perhaps I would know that this was just the same thing happening all over again, of which I have to accept.


  1. There is something great about owning something like a DVD or Cd and physically having it 'in your hands'. Rather than if you download it from Itunes, you don't have the real item and it could get 'lost'. I also refuse to buy a kindle or a e-book. I think having a real book is so much better. You can touch it and hold it. I wouldn't want to take a kindle out and about with me incase it broke or got stolen. I am even funny about Ipads I don't get them. At the school I help at, they have Ipads to help them record evidence of children achieving their work. But in one class I was in an Ipad broke because a child was running around and accidently knocked it off the side! xxx

    1. iPads in primary schools... bound to get damaged! I am the same as you, I want a physical copy of something. Though I can understand why it is easier (and takes up less room) if you have everything in digital form. Not for me though! xxx

  2. “Today we are seeing that the future is all digital.”—It truly is, and everything that you need is just a click away from you. I know it’s cliché, but the only thing that is permanent in this world is change. And one thing you should do is embrace it. Never regret that you’ve spent huge amount of money for your collection because it means that you’ve been part of the changes. And aside from that, you can still have soft copies if you want.