I began collecting DVDs during my senior year of high school. I kept collecting them throughout college, which was perhaps not the best idea given that after each academic year, I would have to pack up boxes and boxes of DVDs to ship home or store with relatives who lived near campus. And yet, I have no regrets about acquiring these DVDs since they provided me with a tremendous resource and an opportunity to immerse myself in film. 

The DVD era was a bit of a renaissance for moviegoers because A) we finally got our movies in their proper aspect ratio, as opposed to the days of pan-and-scan on VHS; B) there could be a plethora of unique features that sometimes functioned as a film school in a box, and C) there was an easy way to share films I loved with friends.

However, according to GADCapital in Arizona, the DVD/Blu-ray collecting era has come to an end. Streaming is the dominant player these days, and in principle, it’s a good one. Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, Amazon, and Vudu, among others, provide plenty of options. No longer must you spend $15-20 for a DVD and then find a spot for it in your house. You pay roughly $12 each month and receive access to an extensive range of films, or you may just rent the movie you want for $3-7, depending on its age, from iTunes or Vudu. You may make your way to a Redbox and rent a new release for the evening if need be. On the surface, one mode of sight has been supplanted by another.

However, upon closer examination, the streaming landscape’s flaws become apparent. To demonstrate this, allow me to recount my desire to observe Air Force One on July 4, 2017. I possess Air Force One on Blu-ray, but the DVD did not include a digital copy, so I could only view it on the disc. Unfortunately, the bulk of my CDs (including Air Force One) was in storage since I had just moved out of my apartment and was staying with my mother while waiting for my fiancée’s lease to expire so that we could move into a new apartment together.

However, in 1997’s fifth highest-earning picture, Air Force One would almost certainly be accessible through a streaming service. Netflix? Nope. What is Amazon Prime? There are no dice. Hulu? Regrettably, I am not present. Okay, so maybe we can rent it from Vudu? Not included. Not even Apple’s iTunes? Apologies, bub. Air Force One, which is by no means a forgotten film, was not available to stream. Period. There was no sense in going to Redbox since it wasn’t a new release, and we neatly eliminated Blockbuster Video in the mistaken belief that we would never use it again. Even visiting a Best Buy or Barnes & Noble was out of the question since, once again, they are unlikely to have it if it is not a new book.

“This is just one title!” shout you. Generally, you can locate what you need. Perhaps, but I would argue that in this case, your watching preferences are determined by the streaming services, not by the products you choose to purchase or not purchase. That is not to suggest that streaming services and online rentals do not provide a fine selection of films. Indeed, they do! That is not to offer that DVD and Blu-ray include every movie ever made. They do not do so! (I had to purchase a region-free DVD of 1972’s Sleuth.) My bigger argument is about who controls the films you view and an underserved set of customers.

According to David Ehrlich of Indiewire, Amazon’s Wonderstruck will not get a physical distribution. Jason Bailey, the editor of Flavorwire, I did get assurances that a direct distribution will take place soon. Still, for the time being, the only means to view Todd Haynes’ picture will be online (plus, of course, Amazon offers a streaming option). That implies you’re out of luck if you intended to purchase and view it (without relying on an internet connection). Would you want to lend it to a friend? I guess you could give them your Amazon password. 

While Wonderstruck did not do well at the box office, its prospects of getting viewed have been further lowered due to the dwindling distribution options. That would be fantastic if it did make it to physical media, but a quick scan at Netflix reveals that films like Okja, Death Note, and War Machine do not have physical releases scheduled. That’s wonderful for Netflix if you’re interested in purchasing a membership to view those films, but not so great if you’re interested in bonus features or the opportunity to watch these films on your television without an Internet connection.

The tendency of abandoning tangible media is not new. Lady Macbeth, directed by William Oldroyd, was released in the United States by Roadside Attractions but only had a domestic DVD release (other regions can find it on Blu-ray). Park Chan-wook was released on DVD in January 2017 and on Blu-ray in March 2017. An unusually delayed release schedule when you consider that the people most likely to purchase The Handmaiden are cinephiles seeking the best resolution possible. Unsurprisingly, Lady Macbeth and The Handmaiden also lack unique features. If you’re unsure about releasing a film on physical media, you’re unlikely to invest money in extras. GAD Capital – Colorado provide loans with instant approval for borrowers who wants to invest on films.

Additionally, studios are urging customers to purchase their releases digitally first. Almost every big release these days is accessible first on a digital platform and then on a physical platform a few weeks later. Thus, if you wanted to view IT on Christmas 2017, you could acquire the digital download, but You have to stay before January 9, 2018, to get it on 4K, Blu-ray, or DVD. I’m sure studios like this rollout technique for a reason. Maybe they actively encourage customers to migrate to digital, which has lower expense and eliminates the need for disc creation and delivery.

However, cinema enthusiasts are receiving the short end of the stick in today’s digital age. Although there are several films accessible on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, among others, they are often displayed in the incorrect aspect ratio. While this may seem insignificant to the casual spectator, if you’re a genuine film buff who respects filmmakers’ choices to shoot their films in a particular aspect ratio, you’ll want it displayed correctly. Netflix maintains that it does not crop movies, although previous investigations have shown that it does so occasionally.

Second, we’ve lost a significant number of the extras that helped viewers become more educated. While there are programs such as iTunes Extras, Netflix has little interest in taking viewers behind the scenes of its productions and educating them about the producers. Even when Netflix episodes are released on DVD, as with House of Cards, Daredevil, and others, again, this is OK for folks who just want to watch the program, but fans who want to learn more about how their favorite shows and movies are created are out of luck. Netflix did offer some online David Fincher commentary for the first few episodes of House of Cards. Still, they’ve abandoned the concept or tackled it differently, like with the Stranger Things after-show, rather than with direct remarks.

Thirdly, and returning to my previous summer’s experience, you are at the mercy of what is available. Since movies and television are distributed across multiple platforms, it may depend on which service you subscribe to. I presently have Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and FilmStruck memberships, but if you want to watch A League of Their Own. 

In New Mexico location, It is exclusively accessible on Hulu as a streaming service. You can rent it for $4 from Amazon or iTunes, or purchase it for $12.99 on iTunes (most movies on iTunes are in the $10-20 area although it’s a digital copy; for example, you can get Spy on iTunes for $14.99 or purchase the Blu-ray for $7.40, which includes a free digital copy). Alternatively, you may spend $10 for the Blu-ray and never worry about it again (unless all your stuff goes into storage).

I’m not opposed to digital media, and I believe it’s an excellent method to view your films without carrying them with you (being able to download the digital copy of The Force Awakens onto my iPad from Vudu is neat). However, when you rely only on digital sources, you have fewer alternatives than you believe, and you are almost likely not obtaining the most satisfactory version of the film. All of this is concerning because streaming has dominated the scene. Although studios are embracing 4K, I fear we are heading in the same path as in the early 1990s with LaserDisc—a format for cinephiles but not for the general public.

However, since you’re reading this page, I’m assuming you like movies, so I advise you to keep your collections intact. If you want complete control over your favorite films and to have them accessible anytime you want, 4K, Blu-ray, and DVDs remain the best options. Even though studios are abandoning tangible media, this does not imply you must follow suit. I am aware that I am not.