Welcome to Respawning’s Film & TV Club! The purpose of this is to get a bunch of us together once a week and allow us the chance to chat shit about whatever takes our fancy in the world of Films & TV!
With more and more films opting to be ‘streaming-only’, does this spell the end of days for Blu-ray?
As a heavy consumer of digital media I believe that we very much are moving away from Blu-Ray’s. I used to have a pretty sizable Blu-Ray collection which has now been reduced to 2 UHD discs and 1 Blu-ray. I think pricing and just simply the way we consume movies has changed drastically. It took a good while for DVD’s to die before Blu-ray became the norm. However in only a few years UHD became the more exciting way to consume disc material. If you are someone who watches UHD movies then you might opt for disc as it will offer an even more supreme quality. However at £20 a disc it can be very expensive. I’m someone who now has a digital library made up currently of around 70 movies. These movies are mainly HD and UHD with some of my favourite movies being UHD.
This method of buying and watching films is much more convenient to me. I can choose to watch my collection through my TV or console for easy accessibility. The prices are also much more flexible. I picked up an UHD version of the Dark Knight a few weeks ago which will remain in my collection forever. However in regards to the title of this club post, the movies I have on there are all personal favorites, or movies I’d love to own. At the same time as this digital revolution is the rise of Netflix and it’s dominance over the market. This is my outlet choice for the average comedy. However I think it boils down to more than that. I think our attention has become so valuable that every item on Netflix is competing for our attention on an extreme level. We have the power to turn off a movie if it doesn’t hold us and I think that’s what makes Netflix so dangerous for movie makers. As an audience we won’t tolerate shitty movies if we can press 2 buttons for something better. So I for one am ready for the future of digital entertainment.
I’ll be honest: I know a lot of people love Blu-Rays, but I really don’t care for them myself. The quality difference in comparison to a DVD isn’t, say, the same as VHS to DVD – it’s a lot less noticeable. DVDs are more affordable as there’s more plants making DVDs over Blu-Ray, DVD players are default in a lot more than Blu-Ray players, a lot of older movies simply aren’t available on Blu-Ray, and realistically, the technology is just not utilised to its full capacity. For example, a Blu-Ray can hold more, yeah…but how many things actually take advantage of that?
I searched ‘TV series on BluRay’, and compared the results. Avatar: The Last Airbender, Complete Series – Blu-Ray: 1 Disc; DVD: 1 Disc. Star Trek: The Next Generation, Seasons 1-6 – Blu-Ray: 41 Discs; DVD: 48 Discs. Star Wars Rebels: Season 1 – Blu-Ray: 1 Disc; DVD: 1 Disc. DVD technology may have once had capacity issues, but the Blu-Ray’s lack of properly utilising space and evolving DVD technology has made this feature of the Blu-Ray redundant.
You want to know what the Blu-Ray DOES have over the DVD though? 3D movies. Most 3D releases favour Blu-Ray over DVD these days, so if you’re really excited to see the crappy effects of Piranha 3DD that aren’t in the DVD edition (known only as ‘Piranha DD‘), go ahead. [Hilarious side note: The article for this movie on its franchise wiki site has links to Wikipedia articles explaining what a vagina and penis is, presumably because they expect the reader wouldn’t know. Fucking LMAO!]
Ultimately, even if the Blu-Ray format dies, comedy films will still be released via DVD. Physical media can survive alongside digital; it just provides us more options. So the death of the Blu-Ray will mean very little for most people.