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"If the media companies don't get smart, the hackers will do it for them."

They (the hackers) already have.


Just because there will be new formats and new devices doesn't mean you have to buy in to them. I fully expect to use DVDs the rest of my (quite young) life. I'll start hoarding DVD players if I have to, but I don't see myself ever needing something better, smaller or whatever.


As someone who bought into LaserDiscs, I can sympathize. I spent thousands and now they're obsolete. And I have to say collecting movies really is a stupid hobby. The vast majority of my DVD collection I've only watched once. I wonder why I can't stop.

Personally, I'm waiting for someone to offer flat-rate high-quality VOD. Licensing isn't bad, it's paying for the media (media that becomes obsolete) that's bad.

John Fiala

I've got a small collection of LaserDisks as well - and I've got to admit, when a friend of mine was moving out of town, I happily bought his laserdisk player from him, in case my current one breaks down.

That said, my LD player is a sturdy thing, and has worked fine since I bought it. Part of this may be because I got a less expensive version without the automatic side changer - so there's probably a few fewer working parts. *knock on wood*

Topic - oh! Yeah, I've stopped buying as many DVDs myself, other than dirt cheap ones. In my case it's more because I was buying them faster than I was watching them - so now I'm trying to concentrate more on renting, except for things that really mean something to me.


Throughout the years, I had a Betamax, a VHS vcr, a stereo VHS vcr, a Hi-Fi Stereo VHS vcr (different from the original stereo vcrs), a Laserdisc player, and now 3 DVD players (the first one doesn't play DVD-rs, the second one is a Region 1 player (and there's no hack), and the third one plays all regions). I have piles of BETA and VHS tapes, an entire bookcase worth of Laserdiscs, and a ton of DVDs (some are different versions of the same movie! example- Daredevil and Daredevil- Director's Cut). Because things are changing, I stopped buying movies and just rent them. I didn't buy the Star Wars Trilogy because I know Lucas is going to make yet more "improvements" on the movies. Buying them now is like me wasting my money on those Special Edition Laserdiscs back in the late 1990's.

On the brighter side, I have a few movies on Laserdisc that haven't made it to DVD yet (mostly foreign movies).


I added Tony recently to my Bloglines subs. He writes good stuff (including a couple good Netflix entries).

I don't really find the "one-time buy" model very appealing. The media limitation of a DVD actually does quite a good job balancing everyone's interests (including the customer who gets a reduced price).

The model that really innovates on this system is the Netflix/Napster "pay-as-you-go" model. It offers broad selection, media-independence(eventually), and amortized predictable pricing.

Not to say there isn't room for both, but on a marketshare/revenue basis Netflix/Napster is the future (IMO).


Once I purchase a copy of a movie on DVD, I'm done. If they come out with a newer version, I'm not buying it unless I happen to have to replace a movie due to it being damaged or something. That's why I don't rush to buy DVD's. I wait and buy them when the price goes down. Waaaaaayyyyyy down. :-)


I learned this lesson with 8tracks. It's one of the reasons I use to justify dl'g mp3


Does anyone see DVDs becoming obsolete (maybe when we go all digital)? I'm not sure how HDTV changes the equation, but the next generation DVD technology will be backwards compatible.

For formats like DVD and CD, the quality is so good that I don't see any great need to upgrade. CD and especially DVD was a revolutionary upgrade over the formats they succeeded.

Just a guy

Personally, I doubt this is going to be an issue; DVD audio hasn't made CD obsolete, and two decades of CDs didn't make audio cassette recorders disappear (although it looks like CD-Rs plus MP3 players might finally be doing it).

Many DVD players still play VCDs, and that's a format that was dead on arrival here in the states. I'm sure that players for HD-DVD or Blu-ray or whatever ends up being the next standard will play DVDs, as well as audio CDs, and likely as not, VCD as well. Now that we're all digital, the marginal cost of supporting older formats is really low.

Moreover, my guess is that the transition to the next generation format won't be as quick: moving from tape to digital optical disks had very obvious advantages beyond the quality improvement which for many people are much bigger reasons than quality... more compact, more durable, etc. Quality was a big driving factor for early adopters of all of these technologies, and I'm sure the audiophiles and videophiles will love whatever the next generation format, but my guess is that for many people, a bigger selling point will be a whole TV season (or the whole LoTR extended edition) on one disk (at NTSC broadcast quality) rather than being able to get HD shows or get better-than-DVD-quality movies. I could be wrong there, but I'll stick by the guess nonetheless.

Finally, since DVD's copy protection scheme has been broken, in the very unlikely it DOES turn out that players get scarce on the ground, it will be pretty much trivial to simply convert one's DVD collection to the next generation format.

Steven Hoober

PRE-CISELY! I guess I need a blog so when I say stuff like this, I get quoted.

I want DRM, et. al. to be consistently applied. Right now its /clearly/ in favor of the owners. If I am really buying rights, why do I not get a credit towards purchase of a DVD for every VHS tape I have in the closet? Why can't I pay $2 to get a copy of a DVD if my cat scratches it.

Basically, that's why I use Netflix. I refuse to pay retail prices for all new media. If its a rental scheme, its a rental scheme all the way.

Now, music...

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