Bro…Do You Even Digital?







     What it is nerds? I’m back with a conundrum rolled up in some angst then wrapped inside a First World problem. This is a relatively new (for me) issue, so I thought I’d jump on here and do some out-loud thinking and maybe get some feedback from my seven loyal readers.

     Here’s the deal:  New Movie X is coming out on DVD/Blu-Ray on Tuesday.  Should I spring for the Blu-Ray or buy it on Amazon as a digital download that gets added to my Amazon “Video Library?”  As usual, there seem to be some pros and cons…

     Not to go all “old dude” on you, but back in the day, if you wanted to see a movie after it was gone from theaters, you had to wait two years for an edited version to show up on ABC’s Sunday Night Movie. Then HBO came along, followed by VHS tapes.  That’s right Sonny…back when I was young, we had to get up and press “REWIND”…AND WE LIKED IT!!!–A golden age of nerdom was dawning across the land.

     Around 1996, I got my first DVD player (remember, I’m a late adopter) and it was on like Donkey Kong.  My DVD collection grew like a weed. Once, while discussing my home owner’s insurance coverage with my agent, I mentioned my DVDs vis-a-vis did I need extra coverage?  By then I probably had 200+.  He was shocked. Shocked I say! He was all, “You mean you buy movies and then watch them over and over?”  Well duh?  Who doesn’t?

     By the time my house burned down in 2011, I probably had 400+ DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.  Luckily, in an effort to store them without sacrificing valuable bookshelf space, I’d put about 75% of those discs into some storage binders which were under a table and luckily survived more or less unscathed.

     So here I am in 2014.  I don’t purchase as many movies as I used to–not enough time to watch them and I’d like to think my taste has become more refined. But I still probably pick up one or two discs a month. My single DVD rack is maxed out and I really don’t have anywhere else to put new ones.  My lovely wife frowns upon furniture built out of Blu-Ray cases. Although it did occur to me that I could wallpaper the Nerd Cave bathroom with them and that might look pretty cool…

     Then along comes Amazon Instant Video.  It started out innocently enough.  My wife loved Taken (with Liam Neeson) and really wanted to watch Taken 2.  Amazon typically puts up brand-new releases for purchase a week or two before they can be rented.  Me, being the Husband of the Year type that I am, I sprung for the purchase. I think she got tired of me yelling, “It’s so implausible” in my best Crow T. Robot (MST3K) voice, but the first step had been taken and I’ve purchased probably 20 or so digital movies since.

     Most of those flicks are not new releases but tend to be old favorites of mine from back in the day–Creepshow, Westworld, Swamp Thing, Shock Waves, Capricorn One–you know what I’m talking about. Interestingly, one might be prone to assume any movie ever made is available for digital download but, alas, that’s not the case.  I’ve been jonesing for some 19th Century Charles Bronson action up in here but Death Hunt and White Buffalo are nowhere to be found. So there’s that.

     Now that I’ve clearly become comfortable with buying digital movies and NOT owning an actual disc, I’m wondering if I should purchase hard copies of ANYTHING in the future. Obviously the people of the world have spoken when it comes to digital music. The CD section of my local Barnes & Noble is barely there but the movie section remains as large as it’s ever been. Hmmm.

     Personally, I’m having a hard time coming up with a good reason to ever again buy a physical disc.  I’ve got no room to store them, they get scratched, and I’m ashamed to admit I’m often too lazy to get up off my kiester, find a disc, and put in in the PS3. Then I gotta find the case for the disc that was in there…unless I want to do what my kids do…set it aside for “later.”   It’s way easier to just jump on Amazon, hit “My Video Library,” and press “PLAY.” Plus I can watch my movies on my phone or the tablet I don’t yet own–Hey, isn’t Fathers Day coming up soon?

     Of course, being a bit of a “bird in the hand” kinda guy, I balk a little teeny bit at “owning” something that I can’t actually hold in my hand.  What if I amass a huge digital library on Amazon and one day they go away?  Is it likely? Probably not, but stranger things have happened I guess.  On the other hand, if they’re still around when I’m in my 80’s, I’ll enjoy being able to watch They Live on my 3-D/HD/VR tablet while I slam Ensure smoothies in a nursing home somewhere.

     So, that’s it for me kids.  If anybody out there has resolved this First World problem for themselves, leave me a comment.  Until next time…stay nerdy my friends.

Copyright 2014 It Came From The Nerd Cave