The way we enjoy movies and TV is changing. You might be like me though, still owning DVDs and BluRays. You might be thinking, “Get with the times, grand-dad! Its all digital now!” and you would be right! But it doesn’t mean that physical media doesn’t have a place in today’s society.
Growing up in an age of VHS and video rental places have two sections – VHS & Betamax! – I’ve seen media come and go. I have also got a massive collection of VHS and a slightly smaller collection of DVDs. About 15 years ago I started digitizing my DVD collection and the originals went up into storage. About 5 years ago I got LoveFilm and that converted into Amazon Prime Video and the digital streaming era began (for me, at least!)
I still buy DVDs and Blu-Rays. I also still get them as presents from friends/family. Something that I noticed is that many modern (as in the last couple of years) DVD’s/Blu-Rays come with a free digital version included. This is a great step forward for people like me. Instead of digitising the films myself, I can now stream them for free from the internet!
Here is an example of a Spectre Blu-Ray with the Digital HD Ultraviolet version
Here you get a physical movie and you get a digital copy ready to stream when you want to. Checking it looks like that you have 2 years from point of purchase to activate your digital copy and once you’ve done that, your rights to the film don’t expire and you can watch it online as long as you like.
There are a few different ‘formats’ available. These are the different type of digital versions you can get. They are bit like HDDVD vs BluRay except playing them doesn’t require new hardware, just generally a different app.
You can see a list of UV Copy here.
Disney have their own version. It is currently called Disney Movies Anywhere but used to be known as Disney Digital Copy. You can see films available now with it here – Disney Digital Copy / Disney Movies Anywhere.
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There is two parts to this and they depend on whether you like owning physical media or you just want digital copies of things.
If you like owning the physical copies of things and have no interest in ‘owning’ a digital copy of a film then there are people who will want to buy your digital copies from from you. If you search eBay at the moment you can find loads of people who are selling their UV copies of movies.
However this could be seen as being against the terms and conditions and so sales on eBay can be removed. A quick search online shows plenty of links to other sites/forums where the sale of digital copies happen.
If you like owning digital copies then you can always sell on the physical media if you have no use for it. Much like the selling of the digital copies, it will be against their T&Cs to sell the physical media and keep the digital copy. If you sell dvd/bluray 2nd hand then most people don’t expect the digital copy to be included. You can sell physical media on eBay with no issues. Or if you want a hassle free transaction where you have hundreds of DVDs then you could always use Music Magpie – however they will often give you only pennies for a DVD.
Who knows where this will go? As the studios wake up to the fact people like digital media and it is better to control it than to ignore it, hopefully more movies will be release on a double play (physical media + Digital version). The triple-play (DVD + BR + Digital) always seemed like a strange option so hopefully that will die-off soon. What we have seen is more studios get on board the digital revolution. We have seen Amazon get more involved with TV Series and Netflix gets loads of movies to stream but for people who want to OWN a film (including its digital version), the price for digital movie ownership is huge – Amazon will charge you £10+ for a digital only version of a movie.
Eventually I see there being fewer players in the digital media business. They will buy out the smaller players (this has already happened) and you will see your digital copies moved onto more mainstream services. Eventually your TV will have a digital media channel where you can watch digital copies of all the movies you buy.
Look at Amazon already. With its own music app, you can have access to digital copies of ALL the music you’ve bought on Amazon, going back years. It is the future and it is digital media friendly!