Originally Posted by Actionable Mango
I buy disc and digital. So I think I'm pretty agnostic....here are my thoughts on loss of ownership, which apparently are very unconventional even though they are based off of real-world experiences.
The fear that the "disc-only" people have ("poof"--losing one or more titles) is a real possibility but it has also never, ever happened to me or anyone that I know. In fact this is not the first time a digital service has gone down. I've been through three closures personally, and I've read about two others. In all cases so far, titles transferred to another service (VUDU usually, or UV ironically). Frankly this was kind of welcome because consolidation is nice.
In contrast, I've personally experienced and know many people who have "poof" lost their physical media in a myriad of ways. Countless discs (and tapes before that) were lost to pets, kids, scratches, leaving them in a hot car, theft, etc. Even if you keep them in perfect condition there is risk of bit rot, which has affected LDs, CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and worst of all virtually every single Warner Brothers HD-DVD.
I've had two different coworkers lose their entire collections due to house fire.
Ripping to a server in order to have a physical backup does protect from accidental damage and bitrot, but not from theft or house fires (and as someone who rips to a Plex server, let's be honest...it's also a time consuming and expensive hobby unto itself).
So although there is indeed theoretical risk of loss in the digital world, in reality (A) the physical disc isn't some kind of 100% guarantee against loss, and (B) physical is actually where all of the existing losses have been, by far.
Regarding ripping to a server...
Take a look at the risk of your house burning down or someone breaking into it and stealing your computer/server. I can assure you the odds of either occurring are beyond scant. You're better off not driving to work out of concern of an auto accident.
Putting my 400 or so BD's on my server took about two weeks (bout 3 an hour, 25 a day), and since I'm not a digital hoarder, I just add units I'd actually want to watch again, so my collection has prolly not grown by 50 titles in the last 5 years. Storage is SHOCKINGLY inexpensive now, so storing a few HDDs off site is virtually a non-issue. My brother has mine.
Streaming substandard, compressed, content is just not worth it on the titles I care about. Kodi and Plex are perfect options, meanwhile. Almost every steaming service sucks in one regard or the other. Netflix is a perfect example...it's only "decent" cause it's cheap (if $15 a month is "cheap"). Pick twenty 3+ year-old movies you actually want to see: you won't find 5 of them. I still have Netflix for my 7 year-old, after that, forget it- MOSTLY.
So people cobble together all of these streaming options- some free, some not- and are impressed with themselves because they don't have an $80 cable/sat bill. Congratulations. Let's not even get into how they're watching their local
pro and college sports teams.
None of this takes into account of course the still absurdly slow, third-world ISP speeds many suffer through (I'm in a 3 year-old subdivision 15 minutes outside of a major metro area and we're currently stuck at 18-24 Mbps) nor the current or pending data caps that are popping up more and more.
Until things drastically change, I'll take the 15-20 minutes to rip a title to my server and access a perfect copy, anywhere in my home, at any time, and also have access to it on any of my mobile devices, anywhere, anytime. It's really not that big of a deal.