Say Goodbye to the DVD Player

DVD

I remember getting my first DVD player and the movie “The Waterboy”. I also remember streaming my first movie in “Hulk”. Years since, people have debated about losing the tangible disc and moving to streaming. Eventually we knew the DVD would become a thing of the past. As technology improved and new devices came out this year, we may have seen the last viable use for the DVD. Here is why:

Blockbuster

Blockbuster

Blockbuster Goes Bye-Bye, Streaming Video Grows

Blockbuster video rentals closed up in November. This was after a long run and competing with Netflix, followed by Red Box machines. When DISH network bought out Blockbuster, they gave it a home. Its apparent that DISH didn’t want to get into the physical video rental business. So the doors closed.

Netflix tried to close their DVD rental doors a couple years ago with the whole Qwikster debacle — a move that almost killed the company. Somehow they came back stronger than ever, pushing more streaming TV shows and introducing quality shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Add to that promotions — such as the launch of Chromecast: Netflix gave 3-month subscriptions to the first buyers.

I have to admit, I still have my Netflix subscription…

Since Netflix switch to TV show-based content over movies, newer movies take a lot longer to show up on the service. That is where Amazon is leading the pack. You can rent or own the home digital rights of a movie or TV show instead of going down to the store and picking up the box.

Well, at least, kinda…

This last week Disney made Amazon pull back owners rights of holiday movies. It brought up some issue about if you actually own a video. Will that stop millions from buying movies? Probably not.

ChromeCast

Streaming Getting Better

Google Chromecast did two things. They brought the streaming app device down to an affordable price (not that it wasn’t already with the Apple TV and Roku). Chromecast also extended the life of older LCD TVs.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on TV’s with apps inside, they could get a cheaper TV and a set top box to run their content. Sure, the TV is not 1080p 120 Hz, but how many homes care about that type of quality? Especially if the TV is in the bedroom or even since our generation spent years staring at a Cathode Ray Tubes with full satisfaction.

Ultimately, they just want to get Chromecast and Netflix, then possibly cut their cable.

Netflix_Web_Logo

Netflix and YouTube in 4K (2160p)

Time to move to bigger and better video quality. 4,000 pixels – or 2160p. At CES, we will definitely be bombarded with 4K television technology — and we will LOVE it.

Even though some home theater experts have adopted 4K, home Internet speeds don’t really take into account 4K streaming just yet. A 4K video will take 6-12 Mbps connection. DSL won’t be able to handle that, especially if you surf and watch at the same time.

Nonetheless, we move forward. Netflix announced earlier their popular “House of Cards” series will be shot and streamed in 4K. YouTube already has 4K video available, although if you try to stream via Roku or Chromecast, it will most likely try to push the 720p version first. 

iPad 2 Smart Cover

Tablets, Game Consoles, Computers Go DVD-less

Even the computer is losing the DVD drive. Current Mac models don’t come with any type of optical drive. Tablets and smartphones also are disc-free. As desktops lose ground to tablets, the DVD will join the floppy disk, Zip drive and tape backup.

The Pawn Shop Effect

The best way to watch the DVD market is to watch the resale of the DVD. Major chain Pawn America runs a special on Tuesdays for DVDs. In May, they started special events where DVD movies only cost $1.

While newer titles might fetch your more, if you pawn a DVD title, they will most likely buy it at .10 cents so they can make .90 cents.

With all these factors (along with others such as DVR technology and flash drives), 2014 looks to be the year we finally lay the DVD optical disc format to rest. Blu-Ray discs still have value, but the DVD player will definitely be placed with the old TV and VCR down in the basement or garage.

House of Cards Emmy Win: Further Validation of Netflix and Streaming

House of Cards

House of Cards

Last night at the Emmys, Netflix took a win by taking the Best Director prize for his original “House of Cards”. One of a few original shows you can get when you subscribe to Netflix.

Although they didn’t sweep the Emmys by any means, Netflix’s win shows an award winning TV program can be found through streaming media. It also means publishing a series all at once does not change the fact it’s an Emmy contender.

This Emmy could bring more original independent works to Netflix. It doesn’t mean they all can win Emmy’s – as Netflix’s store-bought “Arrested Development” and prison show “Orange is the New Black” shows us. However, Netflix now can show and compete with premium channel content such as those shows found on HBO and Showtime.

Binge Watching or Weekly Episodes?

Netflix_Web_LogoHouse of Cards was released all at once – causing people to “Binge-watch”. This might also cause people to go over to a friends’ house for 12 hours and not invest in the service themselves. If Netflix plans to put out a regular schedule of shows, will the same model be relevant? Will putting out 1-2 episodes weekly be a better alternative?

A couple years back, Netflix had a contract with Starz; along with that the rights to Starz original programming. At the time, Sparticus was in it’s first season. You could watch Starz live from Netflix (SD through Internet Explorer) or wait a couple days for the episode to show up in the streaming section.

There is one big advantage to weekly episodes – build-up to the next week. AMC has really taken the lead on this with their “Talking Dead” talk show right after the episodes air. New guests on the show make it for a great companion to the Walking Dead – and you stay on AMC for another 30 minutes.

Of course the other advantage to weekly episodes would be subscribers – instead of someone going to a friend’s house to binge-watch, they just pay the $8 a month and watch at their convenience.

So congratulations to Netflix and House of Cards for disrupting the Emmys. I can’t wait to see what other streaming content will be part of next year’s Emmys.