I am a movie fanatic. My wife and I love to go to the movies, watch movies, and buy movies. I own almost 400 dvds and a handful of Blu-ray movies in my collection, but I am never buying another physical disc again. I have made the switch to digital movies and I love it!
For years, most of us have been buying music digitally. We purchase it right from our mobile device, it downloads, and we are ready to go instantly. No extra trips to the store. No discs. No hassles. It works out well because the files are small, so we don’t need devices with massive storage to carry a bunch of songs with us.
The stumbling block for digital movies is the amount of storage required for large files. Externals hard drive aren’t a cheap or convenient option, and it’s no fun transferring files from your computer to your mobile device. With cloud storage, however, you eliminate that hassle. You can now store movies remotely and access them whenever you want.
Reasons I Love Digital Movies
1) Cheaper – This was initial reason I made the switch to digital movies. I purchased Brave for my daughter digitally from the Google Play store for $15. At Wal-mart, it was $20 for just the DVD, and if I wanted the digital copy so that I could play it on my mobile devices, it was $30. I can purchase 2 digital movies for that price. Which I did. I got my son, Frankenweenie, which was on sale in the Play Store for $10.
2) No Lost or Damaged Discs – There is nothing worse than wanting to watch a movie but when you open the case, the movie isn’t inside. Or worse, you are halfway through a movie and can’t continue because the disc is scratched or smudged. I had one disc that was even cracked. With digital movies, however, all of my movies are always right where I left them in my digital library. Hell, I don’t even have to get off the couch to put a movie in anymore. I just bring up the app, select the movie, and hit play.
3) Easy Playback on Multiple Devices – Digital movies purchased through the Google Play Store are also available on all of my devices. I have instant access to my movies on my Chromebook, smartphone, tablet, and Google TV. When I’m on the go, I have my digital movies with me. Just last weekend I went over to my Mom’s house and she and the kids decided they wanted to watch Frankenweenie. I was able to log into my account on her Google TV and they got to watch their movie.
My family is completely tied into the Googleverse. I have a Samsung Series 3 Chromebook, we have Galaxy s3 smartphones, and a Revue Google TV. All of this makes it very easy to access movies that we’ve purchased from the Google Play store. On each of those devices I have the Google Play Movies and TV app. I can quickly and easily purchase any movies through my Google account. With my Android Phone (or if I owned an Android tablet) I can easily “pin” movies that I want to watch later if I know I am going to be offline.
Drawbacks to Digital
1) Limited Selection – I prefer buying from the Google Play Store. My Google TV has the app and it works really well. It’s also just easier to have all the movies in one place. Unfortunately, not every movie is available for purchase from the Play Store. The Hobbit, and all of the Lord of the Rings movies, are only available for rental through Google. I had to venture over to the Amazon Store to purchase it digitally. It’s not a huge deal, but there is some inconvenience. Amazon does not offer an app for my Google TV, the video gets played through a media player on their website. Loading up a movie to watch is not as effortless as it is through the Google Play App. It will also play on my Chromebook, but not on my Android Phone.
2) Who Owns Your Movies When You Die – This is the biggest complaint I have heard from people about moving over to digital movies. They like to have the physical discs because they actually own them. Currently, when you die, the license to view these movies die with you. This is not just for movies, but for all digital purchases like music and books (some of the same people I have heard the movie complaint from have extensive digital music and book collections).
I really don’t see this as a big deal. I look at the movies that my parents owned and I’m not really clamoring for my dad’s copy of Top Gun. I’m sure my kids will feel much the same way about my movie collection. Even more importantly, technology becomes outdated. If my parents left me all of the VHS tapes they own, I wouldn’t even have any way to play them. I haven’t owned a VCR since the 90′s.
I have no idea what could be beyond digital files, but I do now how technology (and capitalism) work. Something will come along within the next 15 years that causes a shift in the media that we use and we will have to pay to convert or repurchase the media we own anyway. Records, 8-tracks, cassette tapes, VHS, C.D.s, Laser Disc, DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Downloads.
There are also groups working to get these digital restrictions changed and I believe that as we move to become more digitial, laws will come about that change the restrictions on passing on our digital possessions.
While there are still some some drawbacks to purchasing digital movies, for me, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Not having to store the movies, always knowing where they are, always having them with me, being able to buy them right when I want to watch them, paying less for the movies, and not having to get off the couch to put a new movie in are all big pluses for me. I won’t be purchasing DVD’s again.
Have you purchased any digital movies? Have you considered moving from dvd’s to digital? Let us know in the comments below.