Your Loyal Friend The DVD 

Your Loyal Friend The DVD 

By Brooke Swanson

April 22, 2024

In a world of ever-changing technology, the DVD stands the test of time.

Picture this: It’s been a long week, you’re tired and ready to wind down for the night with your  favorite show, “The Office.” Wait, what’s this? Netflix has pulled the show and it’s been moved to NBC’s new streaming service, Peacock.

To watch your favorite show, you must now subscribe to yet another streaming service. Before you know it, bills have skyrocketed and you’ve subscribed to every platform possible with no guarantee of finding that one specific show or movie.

In the past decade, streaming services have dominated the entertainment industry, heavily altering the way media is consumed. Thanks to advancements in technology and the transition to a more digital world, streaming services have been very successful in gaining users by the thousands. However, this begs the question, are streaming services really the superior way to consume media? 

No matter which streaming service someone chooses to subscribe to, there are still limits to what they can watch. Decisions are being made based on what a service offers, rather than what is wanted. 

Platforms like Disney+ and Paramount+ only consist of media that is owned by their parent corporation. Whereas Netflix and Hulu offer shows and movies that are not owned by them, content can be time-sensitive and subject to being pulled for new additions each month or so.

With physical media, like a DVD, there is freedom to watch shows and movies whenever. After all, you own it! 

Streaming services rely on a strong Wi-Fi connection to properly display high-quality video for users to enjoy. However, this can become an issue in a variety of situations; whether on trips, in bad weather or anytime there is a disruption to the internet connection. According to Vox, DVDs have an edge in quality even when compared to streaming through a strong internet connection. In fact, 4k resolution on a streaming service was comparable to 1080p on Blu-ray. This makes the reliability of streaming services ultimately lower when compared to the DVD. 

By far, the biggest issue concerning location and streaming services was in May of 2023 when Netflix announced that it would begin cracking down on password sharing and the use of one account per household. Many companies like Hulu and Disney+ began to follow, causing a major panic for thousands of college students using their parents’ accounts from school, leaving students questioning – how will I watch TV from my dorm room now? 

To watch a DVD, all that’s needed is the disc and a DVD player. In a matter of seconds, your favorite movie is playing ad free in high definition, just the way it should be.  

Owning a physical copy also means having the ability to watch the film untouched, without any edits, censorship or cuts. The dreaded disclaimer, “This film has been modified from its original version,” can cause heartbreak for many movie fanatics.  

A prime example of this can be seen in the original Star Wars” trilogy. Many fans know that if they watch the versions on Disney+, they are not watching the iconic films in their original form, but rather the remastered versions with controversial changes from Director George Lucas. This type of editing occurs frequently in films that are uploaded to digital platforms; alterations could be a particular line being rerecorded, a scene being cut or the overall image being modified to fit the screen. While this may not bother some viewers, it can completely change the viewing experience for others. 

Finally, there’s the matter of price. According to Variety, Americans spend an average of  $48/month on streaming services, while the average cost of a DVD from Best Buy ranges from  $10-$20. The purchase of a DVD can last much longer than any movie’s stay on Netflix.

When it all comes down to it, the ultimate dilemma with streaming services is that they will never be able to offer the one thing that physical media can – ownership. The shows and movies that streaming services provide will not be available forever,  but the DVD will outlast them all.  

Despite the popularity and advancements of streaming services in the recent decade, growing issues concerning these services have kept viewers from enjoying their favorite movies and TV shows. Whether for a die-hard movie fan, or just a casual viewer, DVDs will always have significant advantages in reliability, convenience, quality, and ultimately, ownership. It’s time to drop streaming services and bring back your loyal friend, the DVD.

Brooke Swanson is a junior at Michigan State studying Public Relations and double minoring in  Business and Writing. In her free time, Swanson is an avid movie-watcher and enjoys all genres of films. Brooke is especially a fan of Disney movies and Netflix Originals. Additionally, she has a collection of her favorite films on DVD at home.