Physical Media is Back


From the moment that I bought my first DVD player (probably 1999 or 2000) I started collecting the plastic discs. Favorite movies, TV shows, and the like were voraciously purchased and enjoyed over and over. Shows like Family Guy, South Park, The Avengers (1960’s) and tons of movies found their way into my collection.

And I enjoyed them immensely. Perfect image quality (vs. VHS at least, the source material is what it is), convenience, and immediate access were the hallmarks of this era, and what an era it was.

Then it all stalled.

In the late aughts, Netflix began their rebirth as a streaming service. Since they were first, all the major studios fell over themselves to get their content on this new distribution platform. The catalog at that time was – for want of a better word – AMAZING. Seriously, it was deep, it was wide, and it had everything. Movies, TV series, all genres, and it weas just there.

My purchases of media quickly went to 0.

The same thing happened to music.

Fast forward until 2018 or so, when the streaming wars ramped up, balkanizing the catalog. Suddenly you needed Netflix and Hulu, and as time went on they multiplied like horny rabbits, to where now I have 7 streaming services I pay for, and I still struggle to find what I want, when I want it.

Titles (series and movies) move around between services like baseball players being traded late in the season as pennant hopes are chased, leading you to constantly have to search for what is tickling your fancy today.

At that time (2018 or so) I built a Plex server for my house, and I dusted off my beast of an old desktop to rip all my DVD’s and Bluray discs into files to serve on my home network. Essentially building my own private streaming service.

And now, I am slowly but surely buying the discs that hold the media I like to consume, all of it ending up on my Plex server, and immediately accessible on our main TV as well as on our tablets so we can watch wherever we happen to be within the house. (n.b. it is not accessible outside our home, so no, I can’t share 😉 )

And as I go back through my list of movies that I loved growing up, or were cult classics, they get purchased and added to the collection.

Recently I have added: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Season 1 and 2 of The Avengers, Two Mules for Sister Sara (I have a soft spot for the Eastwood Spaghetti Westerns, so sue me) and others.

Of course, I still have all those streaming services, and the cost is still less than I was spending on Cable.

But, I will continue to buy physical media for my video and audio enjoyment.

About the author


Product Manager in Tech. Guitar player. Bicycle Rider. Dog rescuer. Techie.

By gander


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February 2023

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