Streaming services exponentially grew in popularity over the past five years. Netflix was the first to create the buzz in the early 2010’s. Blockbuster and Circuit City may have fallen due to the demand for streaming services, but their demise isn’t indicative of the low demand for Blu-rays. Streaming services are tremendously popular and continue to increase in value. For more insight on their stock prices, refer to RJ O’Brien.
There are exclusive benefits of Blu-rays or even digitally owning a movie that most people may not realize. Streaming services provide convenience and possibly a cheaper alternative to buying Blu-ray, however, Blu-rays are worth the expense, especially for people who value movie watching experience. While the factors int Blu-ray and general physical media support seem small, there is a significant amount of supporters buying them.
Here are three advantages of owning Blu-rays which will explain why they will stand the test of time amid the popularity of streaming services:
1. Better Picture and Sound Quality
The most essential element of watching a movie is the picture and sound quality. Since access to wifi is dependent upon to watch movies on streaming services, it may affect the quality of the content. Some people may not care about it because the effects can be subtle or the viewers' standards are low. However, the quality can be lowered to unwatchable. Often times sound is deeply impacted. These two are undoubtedly required to fully enjoy the content.
The precarious relationship with streaming services makes owning Blu-Rays preferable in most circumstances. One thing Blu-Rays can guarantee is highest-quality streaming content. The gold standard for home video is 4K, generated from using at least 8 million pixels which is near the resolution of movie projectors.
Here is how it works: the line of pixels on each side of the screen make up the standard resolution which could be, for example, 3840x2160. 4K offers much denser, sharper images than the older HD standard of 1080p. 4K offers much more picture information than 1080p.
Although contingent upon wifi service or internet connection, Netflix and Amazon could offer 4K quality, the same quality that is comparable to 1080p Blu-Ray. A/V enthusiasts at WhatHiFi.com compared the three formats, discovering 4K is more in line with 1080p. The better quality color and contrasts give Blu-Ray an advantage. Streaming services also can’t handle the latest surround sound technology. Streamed content did not hold up to Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio standards. Streaming services offer five-speaker sound at lower fidelity which doesn’t hold up to the modern surround sound system.
2. Unreliance on Wifi/ Internet Access
In terms of sound and picture quality, the problem of streaming is compression. In order for the information to be transferred efficiently, the picture and sound information are processed in a certain way to make this happen. Compression has improved greatly over the years. Even the improvements result in a loss of information along the way.
Compression makes dark scenes appear worse than they would on Blu-Ray. Sunsets become blurry as they turn into blocky digital stripes. The advantage of physical media such as Blu-rays or even DVD’s is they do not have to rely on internet connections. Slow internet connections and underperforming wifi networks damage picture and sound quality. Since access to wifi is dependent upon to watch movies on streaming services, access can be limited.
Would if the weather is bad? Would if the electricity goes out? These are the uncontrollable events affecting your home viewing experience. In another instance, airplanes and travel buses require exclusive access to streaming content. The beauty of Blu-rays is the immunity to the need for wifi or paying for premium streaming services on commercial travel transportation.
3. Access to Added Features and Consistent Access
Collecting physical media is an underappreciated practice. The activity has become a hobby in itself, especially among film enthusiasts. The community of movie/ tv show collectors is the added extra content that streaming services don’t provide.
Beyond technical aspects, there is a selection of extra content to watch when you own a Blu-ray. The film, ‘Logan”, had released a chrome version in the Blu-ray copy.
An alternative, old-fashioned way to experience the movie. While this may not be a deal breaker for most people, it’s a small addition that gives owning Blu-rays more value. Blu-rays come with extra content such as behind the scenes featurettes, commentary, and interviews that give insight into the filmmaking process.
The Criterion Collection is great for acquiring extra content with the movie you purchase. Criterion provides “film essay” features and other critical discourse surrounding the film. Owning physical media is a fun, underappreciated practice. It’s cool for guest to peruse your collection of movies and TV to get a sense of your taste and reflect your passion for movies.
Written by Josh Nelson
Read more posts by Josh Nelson