What the Tech? In the defense of the DVD - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? In the defense of the DVD

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Like many, if not most households, streaming is how my family watches movies. We used to rent DVD's, first from a neighborhood rental store. When that went out of business we rented from Blockbuster. When the DVD business dropped, we started getting DVDs from a nearby Redbox kiosk.

Today, we stream them on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

Yep, that's how things are done these days. I don't like it though. We get tired of the video needing to buffer or re­starting from the beginning because the bandwidth isn't strong enough to stream in HD. So these days, I'm diving into the discount bins at Walmart, looking for something we've never seen, or a movie we can enjoy for the 21st time.

And you know what? I'd forgotten just how great the picture quality is on a Blu­Ray disc.

Film buffs will tell you in a minute that nothing compares to watching a movie on DVD with the exception of in a theater. The picture quality is much better because DVDs use a higher bit rate than any of the streaming services. Great quality requires more bits than can fit through the cable coming into our home.

Sound is better too from a DVD player. Streaming services can offer 5.1 surround sound, but Blu­rays do 7.1 surround. That's the difference of a spaceship flying by and flying right above your head!

When was the last time you searched for a film on Netflix or Amazon and found it available to stream? Want to watch "Throw Momma From the Train" or "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", you'll have to buy them. Neither service makes it available to stream.

Sure, we can watch "Zoolander" or "Word's Greatest Dad", those seem to be available all the time on Netflix and Amazon.

Whenever we go to a Redbox kiosk on Friday evenings, we're stuck with the same old movies that were there a month ago, (or 8 since there always seems to be a Christmas movie in stock in August).

I'd totally forgotten that Netflix still has a DVD rental store. www.DVD.com is owned and operated by Netflix and costs around $5 a month to get one movie each month. If you want to get two, you'll pay $8 and more if you want them on Blu­ray. But at least I can find just about anything I want to watch. Netflix has thousands of movies on DVD that it'll send you in the mail. If you have a hankering to see "Some Like it Hot" you can get it by mail but you probably won't find it to stream.

DVDs also have cool "Bonus Features" like deleted scenes, director's commentary and bloopers. You won't see those in a stream.

So we, or at least I, prefer to watch movies old school, on an old fashioned DVD player. Is it really time to call DVDs 'old school'? Probably.

According to Netflix it currently has 83 million members but only 4.5 million still get DVDs by mail. Revenues at Redbox dropped around 24% late 2015.

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