The Case Against Digital Movie and TV Show Collections... - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:28 PM
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Default The Case Against Digital Movie and TV Show Collections...

I really wanted to go to a physical media-less collection. Honestly. DVDs, CDs, Box Sets, all taking up space in my living room and all showing no signs of shrinking.

Flash back to 2007, when I was solely focused on expanding my collection with the next big thing: HD DVD. Of course, things went South for HD Dvd and I ended up picking up almost 100 films for less than $5 each. Between DVD and HD DVD, my collection was huge and I was focused on high def and getting the best quality out of my films.

Back to present day and, for whatever reason, all that has changed. I looked at my collection one day and was apalled at the amount of space it was taking up. I made the decision to sell the films that I didn't really watch all that much, and to try and convert the films I wanted to keep to digital files stored on an external hard drive.

I ended up recycling 96 DVDs and selling about 87 HD DVDs. That left me with a modest collection of about 75 DVDs and 35 HDs. Now came the fun part: Do I keep these discs or convert them all to digital?

My digital store of choice: Amazon.com. I started checking out their deals and converted several TV shows to digital, bought a couple of movies. But then something happened. I felt like buying a few movies I had been eager to watch again. Checked out the digital price: Mostly $9.99. Checked out the DVD price: $.01 plus shipping. No brainer.
So now, instead of going digital, I have found it much more economical to buy DVDs for 2 or 3 bucks. Not even Hi Def Blu-Ray or Hi-Def download. Good old fashioned DVD.

Somehow, I went in completely the opposite direction and am now buying DVDs again.
Perhaps one day I will have an empty living room, but until the studios start charging less for digital distribution, I see no end to buying $.01 DVDs.

Has anyone tried something similar? How have your purchasing habits changed?

Last edited by pwrof3; 01-31-2012 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:47 PM
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I personally buy my BDs and then covert them as 1:1 copies into a digital format for my personal use and store the original in my storage area in my home. The direct access across my network from multiple video servers to the full quality BD is nice to have and gives me and my family a lot of flexibility in our viewing options.

The downside is the storage space, which is currently running at over 16TB of networked storage, and is likely in need of another expansion this year.

I can visibly see the difference everytime I start up a DVD movie compared to a BD, and the quality is significantly lower when I'm viewing it, which is why most people here are using BD to begin with, but as far as what can be had for the least amount of money, then I think that would be Redbox, or one of the online services for rentals. For ownership, DVD is definitely king of 'cheap'.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:12 PM
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Well HD DVD only has 300 titles available forever and Blu-ray has thousands of HD movies and approaching 6000 titles of all types. Blu-ray as the sole surviving HD optical disc format has quality much higher than DVD and for a consumer price points where DVD was a few years ago with many titles available for $7 to $10.

Streaming just does not have the availability of packaged media and if you are going to collect things it really does not make a lot of sense to collect lower quality DVDs instead of BDs for slightly higher cost.

I like the idea of collecting Blu-ray Discs and having a digital option like UltraViolet for portable digital usage as its not worth the hassle to me to digitize my Blu-ray collection. It does not bother me much to take up a wall with my Blu-ray collection as my house and home theater is large enough and its not like I'm living in a small apartment.

It would be cool to have the highest quality high definition versions all digital but I'd rather have some clutter and the associated high quality of Blu-ray Disc than to be dependent of lower quality digital alternatives.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:27 PM
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Keep in mind with the way I'm doing it Kosty that I am doing a 1:1 digital version of the BD so I have zero loss in the output of the final video. To often people are compressing the BD to something else when they move it to a MKV (or similar) and it does bring down image quality compared to properly getting a 1:1 copy of the original. The headache, of course, is the space requirements for it.

I don't mind having the discs, but the convenience to have any movie anywhere in my home, accessible directly from the TV is a big plus in my situation.

About 600 movies and over 2,500 television episodes. Over half the movies are BD and almost all of the TV shows are HD.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
Keep in mind with the way I'm doing it Kosty that I am doing a 1:1 digital version of the BD so I have zero loss in the output of the final video. To often people are compressing the BD to something else when they move it to a MKV (or similar) and it does bring down image quality compared to properly getting a 1:1 copy of the original. The headache, of course, is the space requirements for it.

I don't mind having the discs, but the convenience to have any movie anywhere in my home, accessible directly from the TV is a big plus in my situation.

About 600 movies and over 2,500 television episodes. Over half the movies are BD and almost all of the TV shows are HD.
I get you. With cheaper and cheaper storage and bigger cheaper networkable harddrives that seems to be a great solution. It would be my preference also to keep the Blu-ray quality and trade that off for more space.

But for my needs right now, its not that much of a hassle for me to physically take the Blu-ray Disc out of the case on the shelf and throw it into the slot on the PS3 or Blu-ray player when I want to see the movie.

For stuff I do not have on Blu-ray Disc like content I watch or DVR on DISH or TV shows I watch on Netflix the cloud or DISH is good enough for me.

It would be nice to have a portable cloud based UltraViolet version that I could access anytime of the movies I already own anytime while I am outside my home or on the road, but the superior Blu-ray version of the theatrical movie on the physical disc is good enough for me now.

But doing what you do with Blu-ray quality on your home network server or storage would be nice and that seems to be the best of all worlds.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
Keep in mind with the way I'm doing it Kosty that I am doing a 1:1 digital version of the BD so I have zero loss in the output of the final video. To often people are compressing the BD to something else when they move it to a MKV (or similar) and it does bring down image quality compared to properly getting a 1:1 copy of the original. The headache, of course, is the space requirements for it.

I don't mind having the discs, but the convenience to have any movie anywhere in my home, accessible directly from the TV is a big plus in my situation.

About 600 movies and over 2,500 television episodes. Over half the movies are BD and almost all of the TV shows are HD.
Wow! That's impressive and really cutting edge. I only have 1TB of space for my digital movies and to save space I use iTunes HD. While it's not BD quality, it is convinient.

I still buy BD, but I find myself with less space on the movie rack.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:56 AM
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I'm with AV, I'm doing exactly the same, but it's scary how quickly you eat through HDD space when ripping Blu-Rays. I started with an 8TB NAS but soon realised I'd outgrow it very quickly, and I'm currently up to 25TB with about 1/3rd free and room for about another 6TB when drives come down again.

I don't think it's an option for most consumers at the moment though, once you get beyond an 8-10TB NAS you're into either having multiple NAS boxes, or building your own server using kit that's really intended (and more crucially, priced) for business users, where the controllers and enclosures can cost more than the disks.

Ray Von
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:11 PM
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Completely honest question here:

What is the benifit of having all those BD's ripped and stored on a NAS as opposed to just buying a BD player for each TV and using the disc? Seems like a titanic waste of money, time, and energy to rip all those 1-1 and have a box filled with 20 drives and an extensive network all to accomplish what you could do with three or four $79 stand alone players...


I mean if you're waaaaaaaaay into geeky PC shit, by all means, it just seems like a Rube Goldberg approach to home video. And I say that as a SCADA technician who's sitting in front of three 23" monitors...
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm082e View Post
Completely honest question here:

What is the benifit of having all those BD's ripped and stored on a NAS as opposed to just buying a BD player for each TV and using the disc? Seems like a titanic waste of money, time, and energy to rip all those 1-1 and have a box filled with 20 drives and an extensive network all to accomplish what you could do with three or four $79 stand alone players...

I mean if you're waaaaaaaaay into geeky PC shit, by all means, it just seems like a Rube Goldberg approach to home video. And I say that as a SCADA technician who's sitting in front of three 23" monitors...
Heh, you sound like my missus when she goes on about why do we need a big TV and speakers everywhere when she was happy when she just had a 24" CRT in the corner :biggrin:

For a start, I need the server for my work anyway, as well as acting as a media server it hosts my server VMs, FTP site, proxy server etc, so the box is there and running anyway. As it's my trade, most of the kit is either purchased at cost, or recovered from servers I've decommissioned for clients, and my OS' are "free" through my TNP subscription. Drives were a major outlay, but by grim fortune a colleague made me an offer I couldn't refuse when the supply chain ran out of large HDDs and prices skyrocketed - reducing my capacity by 4 x 2TB drives got me 85% of my HDD outlay back.

Ripping/re-encoding time is only a consideration in machine hours, in actual man hours it's trivial, for DVD it's less involved than ripping a CD. BD is more complex than CD/DVD and could tie up the unwary, but once you know what you're doing and have the right tools, that's fairly trivial too. For me, it's a minute of a job and then just leave the server to do its thing.

As to why, I've got the best of both worlds - the convenience of digital without all the drawbacks, coupled with the best quality available (with my BD rips) and all the extras that EST usually lacks, immediate access to all my content on any media player, tablet or PC/laptop in the house, and streaming access to it from anything with a browser when I'm working away (though I re-encode the streaming stuff at much lower quality). Plus in rooms where the TVs are wall mounted (like our main bedroom and the conservatory) a little 6 x 4 inch media player is much easier to secrete neatly than a relatively bulky BD player, and they're silent too. It also means I can retain a physical movie collection, but it can be kept out of the way in my office rather than having to keep it somewhere more accessible, and my collection is backed up.

I'm certainly not suggesting it's a solution that's for everyone, I used to scoff at people who said they'd rip their entire DVD collection but I wouldn't be without it now. And you don't have to take it to these extremes - given the OP has gone back to DVD anyway he could have had a relatively cheap off-the-shelf NAS that would easily hold 800 DVDs (not right now though, the drives are too expensive).

For me though, a better question would be "I've got the wherewithal, so why wouldn't I do it?".

Ray Von
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:44 PM
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With two young children in the house, the idea of trying to track a bunch of discs is less than ideal. As well, we wanted a single point of playback which was available anywhere in our home, which with our setup is feasible. For me, multiple Blu-ray players means that I'm stacking them one on top of the other in the basement, but with my setup I get remote access in every room without having to run downstairs to load discs every time.

I used to have a 400 disc DVD player, but the load times were slow and the interface was clunky - at best. Now, I get a nice graphical interface with cover art and instant access to over 2,000 TV episodes and hundreds of movies.

As said, the price for new hard drives right now is cost prohibitive, but it is just a matter of time before I add another NAS unit to my setup.

The ripping of discs takes a total of about 30 seconds of my time. Put disc in drive, right click, 'rip to hard drive', and walk away. An hour later, the disc is on the server ready for playback.

I do still have a couple of Blu-ray players around the house as well with my PS3 and a BD/VCR. But, for pure convenience, browsing through my collection right on the TV is a pretty darn convenient way to do things.
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