Streaming fatigue makes DVDs seem like the better option

Here I am at Walmart, deep in decades of movies while other shoppers drive by without so much as a glance. The bin, about four feet high, is full of DVDs, to the point where I have to stack them on one side to get anywhere near the center. I pick out the movies I’m going to enjoy this weekend and flip through the copies of them Sonic the hedgehogan all-in-one Ben Affleck movie collection, Gremlins, and a hodgepodge of other films.

I’m pulling out a few old movies that I’ve never gotten around to watching The ring and the Crank collection (yes, I know I’m behind), and throw them in my cart. The variety in Walmart’s DVD tray is seemingly endless: and at a price of about $5 per disc that you can hang on to forever, you really can’t go wrong. (As long as you don’t care about the highest quality viewing experience.) The movies will soon make their way to my PlayStation 4 and will hopefully save me from having to dig something out on a streaming app. Walmart isn’t the only place I started looking for DVDs either. Thrift stores, flea markets, the library, and even the FYE at my local mall have also become places where I get my hands on often ignored discs.

After years of reassuring myself that I don’t need physical copies of movies due to streaming, DVDs have officially re-entered my life.

There’s just something much easier about sorting through a mountain of DVDs that I can pick up and hold in my hands, rather than wading through the thousands of movies on the various streaming services I subscribe to. Plus, unlike streaming, the cost of DVDs is only going down. I also don’t have to worry about activating auto-play trailers when all I want to do is read the synopsis on the back of the case, and I certainly don’t spend hours staring at a screen because I’m exhausting myself with too many choices. The pile of movies at Walmart is another form of chaos, but I’d rather deal with that.

It’s wise to subscribe to all of these services if you’re interested in the exclusive content of each and have the patience to browse their vast libraries. However, the only thing I’ve been watching lately is the junk on Discovery Plus, simply because I’m too tired to find anything else – especially when the extremely specific shows and movies I want to watch keep changing services or simply becoming unavailable are. One of the most devastating examples of this was then both The office And Parks and recreation switched from Netflix to Peacock, disrupting the casual binge-watching sessions I would routinely do when I was done with work.

The overwhelming amount of content isn’t the only thing giving me streaming fatigue; the cost of having a digital library available has also become a factor. Over the past year, almost every streaming service has increased its prices, including Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Paramount Plus, Discovery Plus and Apple TV Plus. Not to mention that Netflix is ​​cracking down on password sharing, which means I can’t even get off my parents’ subscription anymore.

And if you want an endless supply of shows and movies on the cheap, you’re stuck with the service’s ad-supported subscriptions, which is arguably worse than having a subscription at all, simply because of the sheer amount of advertising you have to deal with. sit through. With DVDs I don’t have to worry about commercials interrupting my movie; I can bask in nostalgia as I watch all the leading promotions for the ‘new’ releases that came out 15 years ago.

It’s not just the cost of streaming I have to worry about. Last year I almost exceeded my ISP’s data limit after downloading Baldur‘S Gate 3 and kept up my heavy streaming habits. That was all the more reason for me to invest in DVDs.

I’m not saying DVDs are flawless: there’s a reason why no one wants them anymore! After all, it doesn’t always make sense to buy one movie instead of paying the same (or lower) monthly subscription for an unlimited streaming service. They’re also not as practical for storage, unless you want a backlog of movies to fill your bookshelves, sit in storage bins somewhere in your house, or in binders, and they’re not as convenient as a movie you can queue up. to make. on a streaming platform in seconds.

Despite this, it’s still nice to have something that appeals to you physically own and you don’t even need an internet connection to use. So when Best Buy confirmed it would stop selling DVDs this year and rumors swirled that Walmart would do the same, I was pretty disappointed. I can’t imagine Walmart without its bin of DVDs, and I can’t even imagine Best Buy without its already shrunken movie selection.

It’s 2024 and I’m not ready to say goodbye to DVDs yet; in fact, I’ve only just begun.

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