How Soon Will My DVD Collection Become Obsolete?

Let me explain what I mean. With the rise of Netflix streaming video and more On Demand options, it seems that we (as consumers) are getting more comfortable with the idea of accessing content that is stored in another location. Right now, only a small fraction of movies / TV shows are available this way – but 10-15 years ago, I could have said the same about DVDs.

It doesn’t seem to be that much of a stretch to imagine that everything you can currently get from a DVD (including bonus features, deleted scenes, commentary, etc.) could be available through some kind of streaming service. I know there are thorny issues around licensing that need to be overcome, but they don’t seem insurmountable.

Questions: Is it likely that we will be able to get anything that is currently available on DVD through some kind of streaming service? If so – how far away are we from this happening? If not – why not?

It is 100% likely. This is the future of media within 10 or 15 years.

The future is a scary place. How long until all my laserdiscs are obsolete?

-20 years and counting.

Sure, but that doesn’t make the collection obsolete. Those streaming services will cost money, and will be delivered by fallible networks.

Don’t toss those DVD’s anytime soon. Through Whedonesque, I discovered that, as of April 1st, Netflix will no longer stream Buffy, Angel & Firefly. X-files is also going away.

They *might *come back…

A fair point. When content is stored elsewhere, there is some uncertainty involved regarding whether it will always be available, at any time. There is some comfort in knowing I have every episode of Buffy up in my attic and I’m not at the mercy of Netflix if I want to watch one.

Still – will that be enough to sustain a market for DVDs? Or will they go the way of the laserdisc, in that you’ll be able to get old ones on eBay, but they’ll stop manufacturing new ones?

Your DVD collection will be truly obsolete when it is unable to fulfill its function. So not until whenever the average DVD has physically degraded to the point of being unplayable, or possibly whenever it becomes practically impossible to replace the machine you use to play DVDs. I bet some people will still be collecting DVDs 20 years from now, even if major movie studios stop making them, much like it is still very easy to collect and watch old movies on VHS.

Is Blu-ray-quality picture available via streaming?



DVDs are not obsolete but are an old technology, this makes them on track for obsolescence.

Even BluRay discs are old technology, HVD in theory could deliver more and better content. But will it be?

Americans have shown consistantly they perfer quantity over qaulity. An mp3 over CD or cell phones versus landlines, LCD over plasma, VHS or Beta etc etc. (Those examples are generalities, not absolutes, but you get my idea)

Movie fans are well, fanatic. They demand lossless over lossy audio and video that has no compression, not just minimal compresssion. So they won’t accept even 1080p streaming as an acceptable alternative to BluRay

It takes 50-80mbps to stream bluray quality audio + video, so it’s not commerical viable at present, to do so, though it certainly is technically possible

Don’t these two paragraphs contradict?

There are plenty of fans of other forms as fanatic as the set of movie fans you’re thinking of (I find the typical iPod unlistenable).

But the first part is still more true, I think; plenty of people would be thrilled to have a “cloud” library of 5,000 streaming movies at sub-DVD quality.



Here’s the source for the Whedon-free Netflix streaming. But they might be working on a new contract even as we, umm, type or read or whatever we’re doing here.

I’ve got most of this stuff on DVD but like the convenience.

Indeed. Inquiring minds want to know (as I might switch my Netflix account to rewatch S2 of Buffy again).