When the DVD format came out, I fell in love. I never liked VHS. They were bulky, they had not great terrible, and even in high school I was aware that they wore out. They had no value to me. When DVD came along, they promised me longer life, better quality and special features. And so I bought Starship Troopers and The Fifth Element, before I even bought a DVD player.I did buy a DVD player shortly thereafter, but it was a sign of things to come as I would buy any and every DVD of movies that I liked and sooner than I knew it, my collection was quite large.
And then came the wars between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Personally, I sided with HD-DVD as the better format, but I waited out the battle, choosing to buy neither until one was a victor. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I didn’t own an HDTV either and wasn’t really all that interested. You know, to this day I don’t feel that the quality is THAT much better than standard def TV, but I do appreciate that the screen is a widescreen format by default now.
The problem that came with the blu-ray format though is that companies started selling them differently. With DVD, companies were trying to sell people on DVD and that is why special features became a thing. With blu-ray it almost seems like companies feel no need to sell people on the format and so most initial releases don’t have any special features at all. But what is really happening is that companies are starting to money grub with the format. They tend to put out multiple special editions but they will wait a year after the non-special edition before they start doing it. Lord of the Rings is a good example. They launched the original then waited a year before they launched the extended edition. And now that both are on blu-ray I know that they will put out yet another edition once The Hobbit is done and out (all 3 of them). This practice has disturbed me. Studios want people to rebuy their movie over and over. I don’t know if this is a result of dwindling home video sales and their attempt to try to maximize those that are still buying, but it made me far less likely to buy movies in the first place.
The reason I don’t really buy anymore is that when it comes out on Blu-Ray. I’m almost assured that there will be a better version released in a year and I don’t want to buy it twice. But I don’t remember that I wanted it a year later. They have a window of opportunity to gain my sale and they blow it with this money grab of theirs.
And so, although I’ve had an HDTV and a blu-ray player for more than 3 years now, my blu-ray collection is only around 15 movies. Which is pretty small compared to my old stance of buying a movie nearly every month. I should have had more than 30 by this point in time. I will also admit that I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of rebuying from DVD to Blu-Ray and now the news of 4x coming out and a potential new home video format for that… Blech.
Now when I look at my movie collection, I see wasted space. I don’t see value in collecting movies, I don’t think they have an intrinsic value anymore. And so a few months ago, I made the decision to give up my DVD collection and get rid of them entirely. This has certainly spawned thought in me on how I am different now than I used to be just 10 years ago. I would have scoffed at the idea back then of giving up my collection, even if I had never bought another DVD again, I have my collection, and realistically even the change in how they sell Blu-Ray… I would have rolled with the punches and kept my eye out for all the special editions. Now it’s Criterion Collection only and I think buying Blu-Rays will dwindle even more.