Is the End of Physical Media Inevitable? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Is the End of Physical Media Inevitable?
Yes, physical media will quickly disappear altogether 23 2.13%
Yes, physical media will slowly disappear altogether 203 18.78%
No, new physical formats will continue to be developed 378 34.97%
No, but physical media will become a niche market for enthusiasts 477 44.13%
Voters: 1081. You may not vote on this poll

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post #91 of 938 Old 04-07-2013, 04:24 PM
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Any one remember the Walmart Digital service with a server you had to auth against to play music. Good ole' Sam screwed a lot of people over that one.
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post #92 of 938 Old 04-07-2013, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWhip View Post

As for 4k media, I do not expect there to ever be a physical format for that other than the BD data discs that Sony is supplying for use with their 84" 4k display. 4k will be downloads only.
Don't be so sure.
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post #93 of 938 Old 04-07-2013, 11:29 PM
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I am among the masses, here. I believe current bandwidth needs for the best video content with today's technologies and reliance on external sources for content will hinder the over-the-wire delivery system for some time. Not all of us have always-available broadband. Some of us have bandwidth caps or surcharges that limit content delivery. I also read reviews on sites like Blu-Ray.com that indicate the best image quality is still on the blue ray disc, when compared to Internet content sites. Read the differences in the Lincoln release - http://www.avsforum.com/t/1466831/lincoln-itunes-vs-vudu-vs-amazon-vs-blu-ray/0_100 .

There was a time when I thought MP3 was horrible, before sample rates at 160kHz or higher were adopted. There may be a day when I get to reflect back on the day I thought my current concerns were an issue when they no longer exist. A future thinker will probably solve our issues in this arena...
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post #94 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

That's a pessimists viewpoint. An optimist would say that the market will adapt, but it will also shed legacy "physical" formats that make no sense in a networked digital world. Apple will find a way to broker re-selling digital files and others will follow. This article mentions that both Apple and Amazon are working on the issue: http://www.techspot.com/news/51872-apple-patent-would-let-you-sell-your-itunes-content-to-others.html

I had not seen that article before and that is indeed very interesting. That said, I still do not want all my media to be digital files stored on a computer.

As it is now ATT has a data cap on how much you can download a month. They charge more to those they consider to be "power users" and they also throttle their speeds for different uses. So in reality, you do not even have full control of your internet anyways.

Also, I may not have as much control on the price by selling a used digital copy as I could with a hard copy, where you are located plays a large role in this...

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post #95 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 02:00 AM
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Where are you getting the latest games for 5 or ten dollars?
There are quite a few places, but just to name a few: amazon, Steam, Origin, GameFly and Green Man Gaming. Like I said, you have to wait a few months, but the sales come quickly for most games. I just did a quick scan of my order history on amazon. I got Spec Ops: The Line for $2.50 on amazon 5 months after release. Max Payne 3 for $9.99 6 months later. I also got, Dead Space 2, Medal of Honor (horrible game), Crysis 2, Bulletstorm, Metro 2033 and Saints Row The Third amongst others all for $4.99 or less. You won't find a brand new release for that price on launch, but wait a couple months and you'll often find it for less than $25. Just keep an eye out for deals, and be patient. wink.gif
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I went to Gamestop last night. They had Wii games on clearance for $2.96, and they were Buy 2, Get 1 free. Not only do I have them to play and lend, I have no need to worry about servers going out. You can get physical media cheaper than digital in almost all cases with the same amount of time, just a little more effort. PC gamers simply chose to dive in and it's a shame.

Steam has no official policy regarding their service's demise either. I always hear, "Gabe said he'll remove the DRM!" Great, but what's in the EULA? Nothing. Think Steam is invincible? People thought that about Sega in the early '90s too. The reality is that Steam needs the publishers, but publishers don't need Steam. Same goes for Netflix and the movie studios. For as much as people fight it, they'll end up on Origin if it's something they want to play.
We didn't choose to dive in. We weren't given a choice. You either adapted to the changing landscape, or you simply weren't capable of playing the newest games. Also, comparing Wii games to core PC games is like comparing VHS to Blu-ray. PC gamers don't spend so much on hardware to play games that look like they were made 15 years ago. But no. I don't think Steam is invincible, but I also don't see it going anywhere over the next decade. And much like Steam, Origin had a bit of a rocky beginning, but they've worked out most of the kinks already (security issues notwithstanding). As a BF3 player, I got saddled with Origin from day one, but it's pretty unobtrusive now.

I know this thread was intended more for movies/music, but what you see happening in the gaming industry (not just with PC, but with the next-gen consoles like the PS4 and Xbox 720), can illustrate some of the things we may see soon on this side of things as well.

Here's my question (piggybacking on what others have said): Much like we (PC gamers) were forced to accept the change, if the movie studios decided to adopt a similar strategy as the PC gaming industry, what would people do? So many of us are fans of film and television (obviously, being on avs), are you all really ready to give up on all that if you were forced to a similar model for all new releases starting January 1st 2014? While I do like my BDs, I can honestly say that I wouldn't be averse to a Steam-like service for movies. Of course, this would require movie studios playing nicely with each other, but I think we're still in the early stages of development. 10 years from now, who knows? Maybe we'll look back and wonder why we were ever worried in the first place.
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post #96 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 02:17 AM
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Let's just take a moment to remember poor old "interactive CD-ROM", which Microsoft (once) though was so cool, they didn't even bother to pay attention to the internet. Every single argument being made on behalf of Blu-ray and whether it will be around in a few years, was once made for CD-R.

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post #97 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 08:47 AM
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I see video playing out in a similar way to music 10 years ago.

Late 90s, MP3s brought file sizes down and storage had gotten cheap enough that you could have a decent sized music library on a low-mid range PC.
1999: Napster and early portable players came out, the format got more popular, and CD sales started truly cratering.
2001: The ipod in '01 made it worse, and pirating became rampant.
2003: The itunes store and other services stop the bleeding, but still have the overcompression problem. Their DRM wasn't as bad as some, but it was still pretty irritating.
2007-2009: itunes starts removing DRM and bumping up the bit rate to 256kbps.
Since then, storage has only gotten cheaper, enough that large libraries of CD quality music and beyond are practical for more and more consumers. I personally am buying lots more CDs these days so I can rip lossless.
Higher resolution formats are struggling, though. They're not really practical for portable applications yet, and its so difficult to take advantage of the slight improvement in most setups that it's just not worth the hassle for most consumers.

For video I see it happening the same way:
I'd equate a good DVD rip to an 128kbps MP3. It looks and sounds good, and it doesn't interfere with your enjoyment of the content, especially if it's not a complex presentation, but if you pay any attention to the picture and sound details, the flaws are easy to spot. DVD rips are easy to get online, and the file sizes make it fairly easy
A good Blu ray rip is 256kpbs aac - a big improvement over DVD, and file size is still fairly manageable.
So let's call lossless blu ray the equivalent of lossless CD - it's not perfect, but nearly so.
4K and 8K is like 24 bit music I think. You're squeezing the last bit of fidelity out of the content, but the law of diminishing returns kicks in big time, and the vast majority of the population is probably not going to care. I could be wrong, and it may be that the jump from 4K to 8K is where a critical mass of consumers stop caring.

Under that model, we'll eventually reach equilibrium point with video when storage gets cheap enough (or pervasive mobile data gets fast enough) to store a large library of lossless bluray or 4K rips on a portable device or on a cloud based disk service like dropbox. We're there now with audio, and it will take a while for video, but we'll get there fairly soon.

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post #98 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Let's just take a moment to remember poor old "interactive CD-ROM", which Microsoft (once) though was so cool, they didn't even bother to pay attention to the internet. Every single argument being made on behalf of Blu-ray and whether it will be around in a few years, was once made for CD-R.
Went to see this in theaters in Imax 3d over the weekend. When this scene played on screen, literally the entire theater erupted in laughter. I also had a chuckle. Oh, 90's technology....you are S0 obsolete wink.gif

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post #99 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 10:16 AM
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Well, one difference is that Internet service has improved sufficiently to allow a 700mb download (CD-R equivalent storage) in a reasonable period of time. At the time 56k dial-up was the de facto standard for home Internet service.

Combined with improved compression algorithms and the sacrifice of some bits on the alter of lower quality, technology has even achieved "HD streaming" (at least for the video component of a presentation). The thing is, as far as the US is concerned the installed infrastructure of cable and DSL service has pretty much met its ceiling. Short of pulling new service connectivity (fibre to every home) the typical US consumer isn't going to get much more than 40Mbps, in fact the average US consumer was only getting about 7Mbps down in 2012. With those kinda of numbers, it simply isn't practical to expect 4k streaming or downloads, at least any time in the near future.

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post #100 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 11:00 AM
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Will internet streaming keep up with 4K resolution and lossless audio? If not, then some sort of physical media is a must I would think.
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post #101 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 11:18 AM
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There is no doubt that the vast majority of end users will opt for monthly entertainment services to provide their audio and video needs. Who can deny that having voice activated music and movies on-demand will be the end of hard media (except for the purists)? I would love to be driving down the road (ebing auto-piloted down the road?) and simply asking for, "That Beatles song that goes nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, hey Jude"" and it starts playing. Or sitting down and asking to see that "desert movie with Peter O'Toole".

I also have no doubt that the future audio and video quality will be better that any current hard media.

Embrace the future!
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post #102 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waffles View Post

Will internet streaming keep up with 4K resolution and lossless audio? If not, then some sort of physical media is a must I would think.

The upper limits of physical media will probably always outpace the abilities of internet delivery at any given time. But we'll eventually get to a point where the human eye will be unable to detect the improvement from the "next big format". We've been bumping up against that limit now in audio with 24 bit music vs. CDs for a while. We're a few formats shy of that threshold in video formats, but we're getting close. So eventually we'll get to a format that will be more or less impossible for the human eye to tell apart from the previous format on the largest practical home theater screen. 4K may be that format for most consumers, and if not, 8K almost certainly will be. A few years after that, internet streaming and/or cheap storage will catch up. It may still lag 16K or whatever the next format is called, but no one, not even us, will care because it will offer no visual improvement.

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post #103 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 12:58 PM
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I sure hope physical media doesn't disappear. I, for one, still have a concept of "ownership" in my mind that encompasses more that a license to stream something. I can't believe how drastically this concept is fading over time,

But let's face it - we all know how this works anymore. Whatever generates the most profit is the direction things will go. It's inevitable.

I'm not a businessman. I don't know the financial specifics of physical vs. streaming. I only know the one that generates the most cash will be the long term answer, whether it's for the best or not.
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post #104 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 01:21 PM
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In my opinion from the audio perspective, I have not heard anything that is downloaded that sounds better then the equivalent CD recording.
That method may be out there but I haven't experienced it.
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post #105 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waffles View Post

Will internet streaming keep up with 4K resolution and lossless audio? If not, then some sort of physical media is a must I would think.

For the time being, if they're going to do lossless, 24 bit object-oriented soundtracks (as the audio-post industry is moving in that direction) on top of high quality UHD video, you'll need a physical medium. Streaming cannot even do 1080p at Blu-ray quality yet and they don't use lossless audio. It will take a day or so on the average ISP for downloaded UHD content (as in one movie) that's probably compressed to hell... and then what are you going to store it on? What happens when the studio no longer supports the video file and your hard drive has crashed?

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #106 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 01:59 PM
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I am guessing who I just got an infarction from... pretty obivious where AVS allegiances lie with the new ownership.

Go ahead people go discless. you'll be crying about how content has become overpriced and restrictive licensed use.

Not to mention ISP caps and excessive over charges.

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post #107 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

For the time being, if they're going to do lossless, 24 bit object-oriented soundtracks (as the audio-post industry is moving in that direction) on top of high quality UHD video, you'll need a physical medium. Streaming cannot even do 1080p at Blu-ray quality yet and they don't use lossless audio. It will take a day or so on the average ISP for downloaded UHD content (as in one movie) that's probably compressed to hell... and then what are you going to store it on? What happens when the studio no longer supports the video file and your hard drive has crashed?

You can bet if 4K ends up with streaming/downloading only that the option to own will either not be available or it will be prohibitively expensive. The days of pay for every play at least with A-list content is quickly approaching.

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post #108 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCbridge View Post

In my opinion from the audio perspective, I have not heard anything that is downloaded that sounds better then the equivalent CD recording.
That method may be out there but I haven't experienced it.




It's also my opinion that even the HD downloads don't come that close. But I will say they are getting better. We need better download quality for music. Movies are getting really close in some instances but they seem inconsistent and the audio isn't blu ray quality. If we keep demanding better quality then hopefully we'll get it.
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post #109 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toknowshita View Post

You can bet if 4K ends up with streaming/downloading only that the option to own will either not be available or it will be prohibitively expensive. The days of pay for every play at least with A-list content is quickly approaching.



Unfortunately they've been shaping us for this for many years. I know I'm not alone when I say I want to own my media and I don't mind paying for it.
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post #110 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 05:39 PM
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Put it this way, when they can't even stop printed media from being printed (and that's the easiest thing to substitute), how do you think other physical media will die? They still can't do 1080 properly and 4K is on the horizon, streaming will only be playing endless catch-up.

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post #111 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 06:13 PM
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Let's not forget the reluctance of the studios to license any video content for streaming, and even when they *sell* a digital streaming license on Amazon Video on Demand- for "perpetual" streaming rights.... they can and HAVE blacked that out when they do a pay-per-view run of the same content. Until the studios stop being stupid about streaming, physical isn't going away. And the studios have a hell of a track record on stupidity....

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post #112 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 07:25 PM
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There are a couple guys I work with who built servers at home, ripped blu rays, stream movies. blah blah blah. They make fun of me because I always say "physical media for life, yo!" Then I hear them complain about how a hard drive crashed, a power supply failed, their nas died. blah blah blah. I just don't want to spend that kind of money for that kind of failure. I want to be able to go pick out a movie, put it in a disc player and watch it.
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post #113 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by captclueless View Post

There are a couple guys I work with who built servers at home, ripped blu rays, stream movies. blah blah blah. They make fun of me because I always say "physical media for life, yo!" Then I hear them complain about how a hard drive crashed, a power supply failed, their nas died. blah blah blah. I just don't want to spend that kind of money for that kind of failure. I want to be able to go pick out a movie, put it in a disc player and watch it.



Me too smile.gif
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post #114 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 07:45 PM
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The funniest part is they "ripped blu-rays". If there is no more physical media, what are they going to rip the movies from?

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post #115 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captclueless View Post

There are a couple guys I work with who built servers at home, ripped blu rays, stream movies. blah blah blah. They make fun of me because I always say "physical media for life, yo!" Then I hear them complain about how a hard drive crashed, a power supply failed, their nas died. blah blah blah. I just don't want to spend that kind of money for that kind of failure. I want to be able to go pick out a movie, put it in a disc player and watch it.
I like to take that Blu-ray or DVD off of the shelf or out of the mail box, and copy only the movie to my external hard disk as an ISO file. Then I move the HDD USB connection to our BD player. We watch the movie without previews and commercials that my wife won't let me skip. Then I delete the movie from the HDD and shelve the disk or send it back to Netflix depending on who the owner is. There is nothing to loose unless my OPPO dies. The ISO feature can't be replaced.

My fear is that Netflix will succeed in dropping Blu-ray and DVD disks from their inventory. They've been known to do stupid things in the past. eek.gif
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post #116 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 08:12 PM
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I like to take that Blu-ray or DVD off of the shelf or mail box, and copy only the movie to my external hard disk as an ISO file. Then I move the USB connection to our BD player and we watch the movie without previews and other adds that my wife won't let me skip. Then I delete the movie from the HDD and shelve the disk or send it back to Netflix depending on who the owner is. There is nothing to loose unless my OPPO dies. The ISO feature can't be replaced.

My fear is that Netflix will succeed in dropping Blu-ray disks from their inventory. They've been known to do stupid things in the past. eek.gif

Hate to quibble, but I can't condone ripping a rental disc for your own use. That definitely is a form of pirating (though, you aren't turning around and selling the dupe file). I'd have no problem if it was a disc copy you already bought and used for backup purposes due to a full RAID that needed space or a hardware crash... then I'd say rip away.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #117 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 08:20 PM
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The funniest part is they "ripped blu-rays". If there is no more physical media, what are they going to rip the movies from?



Sadly more and more movie theaters are going digital. But I do believe physical media will be around a long time. I also have to say that some CD's I bought recently sounded really bad and I'm wondering if there isn't a reason for that. Sadly a lot of people don't know what real music sounds like. They believe if it sounds good through their earbuds or on their laptop it's just fine.
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post #118 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 08:24 PM
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Keeping some physical media is inevitable for the relatively short-term, but who knows how the kids of today (like elementary school young) will relate to intellectual property and media? These are the people who are growing up with touch screen phones, tablets and now computers; app stores fueled by in-app purchases and all sorts of similar consumer patterns. Vinyl is still alive and well and I think enthusiasts will always create enough of a demand to keep some physical media, but who knows where we're going as a culture.

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post #119 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Sadly more and more movie theaters are going digital. But I do believe physical media will be around a long time. I also have to say that some recent CD's I bought sounded really bad and I'm wondering if there isn't a reason for that. Sadly a lot of people don't know what real music sounds like. They believe if it sounds good through their earbuds or on their laptop it's just fine.

I agree, too many CDs such as Michael Buble's last CD and Rod Stewart's Soulbook sound like crud. When the mastering is crud, no media can help the sound quality frown.gif

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post #120 of 938 Old 04-08-2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captclueless View Post

There are a couple guys I work with who built servers at home, ripped blu rays, stream movies. blah blah blah. They make fun of me because I always say "physical media for life, yo!" Then I hear them complain about how a hard drive crashed, a power supply failed, their nas died. blah blah blah. I just don't want to spend that kind of money for that kind of failure. I want to be able to go pick out a movie, put it in a disc player and watch it.

If they have that many issues they're doing something wrong. My 23TB NAS is rock solid.

So I buy a movie, rip it to my NAS, then pack it away. When I want to watch a movie I just switch to the HTPC and pick one. Works like peach pie on a hot summer day.

Looky here!
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