The Storyteller Blog πŸ”΅ Our Webmaster Wears a Elephant Suit and a Jetpack.


Why Physical Media is Important and Are They Still Relevant? πŸ’Ώ πŸ“€ πŸ“š πŸ“–

 


Before the digital age we have always used used physical media to buy our books, movies, music and software, because it was the only thing we could have. But now, most general people buy our favorite media digitally but at a cost. The pros of digital is that it cannot get scratched, burned, or physically destroyed, it can be uploaded to the Cloud just in case if your device is damaged, and it can be duplicated. But, most digital media you buy, you actually don't own it. You see, jerks like Amazon, Netflix or Microsoft have the right to take your precious media away for many reasons (violating TOS, Copyright expires, certain rights of ownership) and most people don't release it 'til it's too late. Unlike physical media, you actually own it, you can hold it on your hands because it's physically there and the corporations can't take it away from you.


Almost 10 years ago, I bought FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood on the Xbox Store (Now Microsoft Movies & TV) with my hard earned money. I used to download or stream it when ever I want to, until years later, I got the news that the Funimation, the license holder, license of the rights of the show was expired, meaning I can no longer purchase more episodes, however I can still stream and download the remaining episodes I purchased. But, when I went to a friends house in the backwoods of Appalachia (no internet), My friend wanted a duplicate copy of the show, so we tried to duplicate it, but got a message that we weren't allowed to do that. Then after spending a good month without internet, my Xbox system said that my "watching license" had expired and that I would need to connect to the internet to continue to watch it.  After that, I said "screw digital"! and that's when I began supporting and advocating for physical media for many years. One bad thing about digital is that most digital stores and services have very tight Digital Rights Management ( or DRM for short). Digital rights management tools or technological protection measures are a set of access control technologies for restricting the use of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works. DRM technologies try to control the use, modification, and distribution of copyrighted works, as well as systems within devices that enforce these policies.

For Movies and TV, there's many people that use mainstream services and stores like Netflix, Amazon and Disney who have absolute control of what you can (and cannot watch) and don't have "real" ownership of what can you watch, because your membership subscription gives you the "privilege" of watching their content. As I told you that Microsoft Movies & TV had weird DRM, the Xbox One and PC version of that service won't allow you to download and it's streaming only. Most mainstream and alternative studios still make physical media but mostly bare-bones. Alternative and Independent licencors like Shout Factory, Kino Lobar, Discotek Media and Criterion really put effort for physical media with high quality and adding extra content. 


For games, as they get bigger and bigger, the controversy still continues on physical vs.digital. PC games, for years, used to be physical CD and DVDs, now that is RARE, because Steam has a monopoly on their PC digital market and most of the games have DRM. They also sell movies but you can only "stream" them, meaning you can't even download them them. Game consoles from Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox are the only ones that mostly still uses physical media for games. However, the greedy mainstream game publishers mostly don't put any effort and half-ass put full games on physical media leaving the remaining part digitally for an extra price. This has been very concerning to consumers. 


For music, some people think CD and Vinyls Records are irrelevant but they are not! Music is often bought, streamed and pirated digitally through the internet, but people still buy CDs and Vinyls are making a comeback (cassette tapes too)!  

For Books, Amazon has the biggest digital e-book and audiobook store and some are sole exclusives. But physical books and audiobook have been going strong unlike Movies and Games, and are still selling very well as they always have been for centuries. Just like Music CDs, Audiobook CDs are still relevant. 


So, the question is why is physical important?

- It's more secure. 

Yes, physical stuff can break, but data can corrupt a file, causing errors, crashes, and glitches. And hackers can steal your files without a trace, if you have something phyical, they would have to physically steal it like breaking into your home. 

- Not everyone has high-speed internet, and really can't afford it. 

Despite the net neutrality gone, the competitive prices are still high, and most ISP limits data usage. Many video games, movies, and music still take up a lot of data to download, what Blu-ray’s hold up to 25 gigs a layer. How long does it take to download 25 gigs on a 15/1 connection? It takes a long time! It’s easier to just go out and purchase the disc to play and you’re not taking up hard drive space. Steaming movies and shows have compressed video and audio with very low bit-rates, with Blu-ray it's uncompressed video and audio with very high bit-rates up to 35 - 40 Mbit/s. 

- Physical media will still be around even after the servers go down. 

What if today you lost all your iTunes music because apple ceased to exist. No servers to hold your information, or to even download from huh. Pretty scary if you ask me! Same as games, if Steam goes out of business what happens to all my digital games?  What if Facebook's servers all catch on fire and you lose all your precious pictures? Would’ve been nice to have them all on a disc huh! In 2021 Sony formally announced they would shut-down the PlayStation Store for PS3 nad PSVITA systems. Many customers and fans uproar over the announcement, because there's many PS3/VITA games that don't have a physical version and has not been remade or remastered to another generation system. After the backlash, Sony announced they will keep the PlayStation Store open. Where lucky there are brave people on the internet working to preserve time almost daily.

- They are more visually attractive

Most people like the colorful and attractive artworks and the summaries on the physical covers alot because they can anticipate what the story will be about. Also, I just simply love art and details. Period.

- They are suitable for collectors.

Collectors enjoy physical books, movies and game more than they would with a digital collection. Enough said. People love collecting vinyl records and big box PC games.

- You can lend it to a friend.
Easily you can lend your favorite book, game or music to a friend if you don't want it anymore. There are some digital stores that allows it with restrictions but mostly don't allow it at all, thanks to DRM.

- More privacy 
Digital stores ans services don't know you what products you bought if you purchased a item physically from a store, especially using cash. They also don't collect your data and be nosey.



So, are they still relevant?

Yes, they are. Let's take a look at each medium in detail.


- Books

For thousands of years since Roman times, yes, they are and always will be. Forever. 

Do I need to say more?

The covers are appealing to the eyes, no internet required, it's yours forever, you can lend it to a friend and they are the reason for libraries to exist.

Books were the foundation for physical media and free speech. Novels, biographies, non-fiction, comics, manga, children's books, photo-books, etc., no one will control what you physically bought, unless they want to burn it. Always buy physical books! 

-CDs

People still use them, CDs are used mostly for music and audio-books, with uncompressed LPCM stereo audio. They are also used for small computer software such as computer games. The standard also specifies the form of digital audio encoding: uncompressed 2-channel (stereo) signed 16-bit LPCM sampled at 44,100 Hz. Although rarely used, the specification allows for discs to be mastered with a form of emphasis. CDs are read through red lasers pouncing signals of ones and zeros to read the data.












The sound is crystal clear and still good today!

One thing you must know is CDs are prone to scratches, if they're scratched it will be a unpleasant listen. There's anti-skip technology to help it though, but not cure it. Also keep it away from dust and water. If you're a responsible intelligent person, then you should be fine. Keep it away from little children.

Instead of listening through a CD player, you can "rip" copy any CD to your computer and transfer it to your device such a as your phone or portable media player. Most people do this and most computers come with a built-in CD ripper. 

There's other CD formats such as MP3-CD, Super AudioCD and CD_G, however, not all CD players are compatible, but devices such as DVD/Blu-ray players and some game systems are.  

MP3-CD is a compressed version of the CD that contains digital audio in the MP3 file format that stores more music and audio all in one disc, instead of multiple discs. The optical discs do not have to spin all of the time, potentially saving battery power; however, decompressing the audio takes more processor time. Unlike normal CDs, MP3-CDs mostly contains and shows album covers, music/chapter title, artist name and other info from the MP3 file in the disc. The number of files that a disc can hold depends on how the audio files are encoded and the length of the audio. A standard audio CD (74 minutes) can hold about 18 audio programs, a 650-MB data CD (equivalent to 74-minute audio CD) containing mid-quality (160-kb/s) audio files can hold approximately 9.5 hours of audio or about 138 audio tracks.This technology is most commonly used in audiobooks new on CD since 2000 or so. Especially since unabridged audiobooks can run into many hours length. 

SuperAudio CD (SACD), a very different format, allows multiple audio channels (i.e. surround sound or multichannel sound). It also provides a higher bit rate and longer playing time than a conventional CD. By 2009, the major record companies were no longer regularly releasing discs in the format, with new releases confined to the smaller labels. Sometimes they are bundled with a CD on a 2 sided disc. 

CD+G aka Karaoke CD is an extension of the compact disc standard that can present low-resolution graphics alongside the audio data on the disc when played on a compatible device. Karaoke is still popular, especially in Japan. CD+G discs are often used for karaoke machines, which use this functionality to present on-screen lyrics for the song contained on the disc with limited graphical capabilities, 16-color (4-bit) raster graphics are displayed on a field which is 300×216 pixels in size, of which only the central 288×192 area is used with a flat-colored border (6 pixels wide, 12 lines high) drawn around it. No, you can't play Doom on it, it's too slow, but you can read it's lyrics. Oh wait...

Since 2003, some standalone DVD/Blu-ray players have supported the CD+G format. Regular audio CD players will output only the audio tracks as if it was a normal music CD, unless otherwise designed to read the extra data (lyrics and images). CD+G karaoke albums are still made today by several UK and US manufacturers including Sunfly, Zoom Entertainments, SBI Karaoke and Vocal Star. Although the popularity of CD sales are dwindling the format is still widely used as MP3+G downloads.


Although GD+G found its market in karaoke entertainment, some music labels, like Warner Bros., were keen to experiment with the format and a number of albums were released which featured graphic images, animations and text. These special edition CD+G releases are now very rare and have become collectible items as a result. Daiichi Kosho is a former karaoke music manufacturer and their high quality edit-a-vision range of 99 CD+Gs are still highly sought after by karaoke presenters today. Most of the artwork in these albums are truly unique and artistic.

Some albums released include:

  • Alphaville - The Breathtaking Blue (first)
  • Anita Baker - Rapture
  • Chris Isaac - Silvertone
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash - Live It Up
  • Donna Summer - Another Place and Time
  • Fleetwood Mac - Behind The Mask
  • Jimi Hendrix Experience - Smash Hits
  • Little Feat - Representing the Mambo
  • Lou Reed - New York
  • Simply Red - Picture Book
  • Talking Heads - Naked
  • Information Society - Information Society

                           Some will tell you a story without saying or reading a word, in a niche way.

Its a pity the format didn't take off, It found its niche in Karaoke use, but the only manufacturer who took full advantage of its capabilities was Daiichi Kosho. It deserves to come back! 

Checkout The CD+G Museum YouTube channel and their website for your interested in this niche variant. http://www.cdplusg.com/cdplusg/Main.html Other: https://goughlui.com/2019/03/31/tech-flashback-the-cdgraphics-format-cdg/


Some soundtrack albums have CD-ROM content like Enhanced CD that have extra goodies like wallpapers, MP3 files, low res music videos, interactive content, website links and etc. They are for Windows PCs, most modern Mac computers cannot access the Enhanced portion of these CDs. They are collectible. 

Audio-books and audio-dramas mostly use audio CDs since the 90s and are still in use. Just like a song from a music CD, the narrator's voice and sound effects are pleasant and crystal clear. Since audio-books are very long, they require alot of discs like Game of Thrones audiobook is a 21 CD set. You'll often see Audiobook and audiodrama CDs at your local libraries and many people love them. You can check our other article all about audio-books here. Why you should try audiobooks and audio dramas. 🎧 πŸ”–

Alot of PC games were released using CD-ROM in big box packages with extra goodies, but today almost all mainstream publishers have stopped doing it. It's mostly independent game publishers like Legacy Games, GameHouse, and On Hand Software, that still due to this day, they mostly release casual, puzzle and hidden object games in CD jewel cases. Make sure the newer ones from other publishers like Atari don't require a stupid internet connection or a Steam account to activate. Atari's newer CD-Rom games have this. Most of them are for Windows OS, some for Macintosh, but most for Windows are compatible with Linux OS using PlayOnLinux (recommended), Proton (hardcore) or Wine (Pros). So they won't be useless. Some CD-ROM games like Quake, you can listen to the game's soundtrack by inserting the disc in a normal CD player. Most PS1 games do this too. Cool, huh?

PS1 was the last video game console to use CDs.

So, are CDs still relevant and useful today? Um, yes! With high quality uncompressed digital sound, unique cover art and a few extras. 

-DVDs

For software, audio, and games, yes. For movies, it depends. 8.5 GB DVD-Video offers 480p standard definition MPEG-2 AND MPEG-1 compressed video with a bit-rate of 1 to 9 MB per second. The audio data on a DVD movie can be uncompressed LPCM, DTS, MPEG-1 Audio Layer II (MP2), or the compressed Dolby Digital (AC-3) format. Just like CDs, they are read through red lasers pouncing signals of ones and zeros to read the data.

Depending on the player, you can have good picture, but If you're a videophile, who's obsessed with video quality and wants to see the film or show the way it's meant to be seen, you would go for Blu-ray. But if you don't care about the 480p picture, then yes, they are still relevant for casual viewing. Most TV shows and cartoons are exclusively on DVD because some studios like CBS and Paramount are cutting back on Blu-ray Disc releases in favor of DVD-Video, claiming that low sales do not justify the more expensive Blu-ray Disc format.

DVDs offer subtitles, chapter selections, basic menus, and multi-angles to view several versions of certain scenes.

A significant selling point of DVD-Video is that the storage capacity allows for a wide variety of extra, or bonus, features in addition to the feature film. These extra features can include audio commentary; documentary features, commonly about the making of the main title; interviews; deleted footage; outtakes; photo galleries; storyboards; isolated music scores; trivia text commentary; simple games; film shorts; TV spots; radio spots; theatrical trailers which were used to promote the main title; and teaser trailers advertising related movies or DVDs. They used to make basic but fancy and unique interactive menus with identity, but sadly no more. DVD-ROM / data files that can be accessed on a computer like mini-games and wallpapers, sadly the main studios have discontinued this and it's very rare these days, Halloween 2021 Shout Factory release and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie BD/DVD re-release.

Most new DVD releases from major studio like Paramount and Universal are barebones without bonus content but they are cheaper than Blu-rays.

Extra features require additional storage space, which often means encoding the main title with lower than possible data rate to fit both the main title and the extras on one disc. Lower data rate may decrease visual and sound quality, which manifests itself in various compression artifacts. This is usually why DVDs and Blu-ray have separate discs for extras.

DVD's still have a good market share but are declining over favor for HD Blu-ray and streaming. By 2017, digital streaming services had overtaken the sales of DVDs and Blu-rays for the first time

  • DVD – 55.2%
  • Blu-ray – 39.8%
  • 4K UHD Blu-ray – 5.0%
DVDs are alot easier to make your digital copy of your favorite movies without creating an online account using ripping software on your computer. You can use the ripped DVD to transfer and watch it on your computer, tablet, phone and media player.

Most studios both mainstream and independent, offers Blu-ray/DVD combo packs which is a great value, instead of buying them individually. And you can use the DVD that's included as your "digital copy" to rip. Nothing wrong with that.


In Japan, DVD are popular for audio-only content, called DVD-Audio. Just like CDs, it offers LPCM audio with a maximum permissible total bit rate is 9.6 Megabits per second. Major music labels have released or are continuing to release albums on DVD-Audio, but the number is minimal compared to standard CDs New high-definition titles have been released in standard DVD-Video format (which can contain two-channel Linear PCM audio data ranging from 48 kHz/16-bit to 96 kHz/24-bit), "HDAD", which includes a DVD-Video format recording on one side and DVD-Audio on the other, CD/DVD packages, which can include the album on both CD and DVD-Audio, or DualDisc, which can contain DVD-Audio content on the DVD side. DVD-Audio remains a niche market but some independent online labels offer a wider choice of titles.

Just like CDs, DVD are prone to scratches, if scratched it can make both video and audio unpleasant. So again, if you're a responsible intelligent person, then you should be fine. Keep it away from little children.

Are DVD's still relevant? In my opinion, yes. Looking back, are the terrible? No! Some DVD Video, DVD Audio and DVD Rom discs (especially the older ones with cool menus, DVD-Rom content, and Open Matte) are collectible. If a DVD is barebone and expensive, it's not worth it. 


From a thread from Blu-ray.com from @milojthatch.

While I found threads wondering when DVD would die off or what new title someone has bought on DVD, I didn't see any threads talking about what uses DVD still had specifically in current year, so I thought I'd start one.

This thread isn't about if DVD should still be in use. For the sake of this thread, we're assuming it has lots of uses and we want to figure them all out. It's not looking at flaws. Rather, it's about trying to find the positives of the format still and what it's best modern uses still are.

So, with that out of the way, let me kick off a few uses I still see DVD having and why getting rid of the format would be a bad idea.

1.) Education titles. This one is close to my heart as I work in an education setting. Yes, there are many classrooms that use streaming, however sometimes the internet doesn't work at school (I've personally dealt with this issue) and the teacher has to find a disc. Sometimes a school is in a place where the internet isn't as reliable or streaming video eats up bandwidth really fast. So, having education based discs is still important. For the issues of cost, if a school district does supply some kind of physical media player, it's probably just going to be a DVD player and it's very rare to find an education title on Blu-ray or 4K. You'll probably only ever find them on DVD. DVD can still have a niche market and use for this area.

2.) Pre-school/children's entertainment. This kind of continues from the last area, but also is very much it's own. You probably won't see episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Paw Patrol or Mr. Rogers make it to blu-ray. Even slightly older children's animation or shows just tend to be more available on DVD. If you look at the children's shows that do make it to blu-ray, like Gravity Falls or Batman: The Animated Series, they tend to be ones that have a sizable adult audience. Most children's shows don't. DVD is a great way to get these kinds of titles released on disc, and if DVD went away, so would the chances of seeing these kinds of shows on disc.

3.) TV Shows. There are a lot of TV shows from the past and currently on TV that have no chance of release in physical media if DVD were to ever go away. That said, there are a number of shows that have or will make it to blu-ray, but as of right now your only way to enjoy a show like Psych, Beverly Hill Billies or Reba is with good old fashion DVD. Some of these titles may get a blu-ray release one day, but most will never. DVD is the best way to get the largest collection of old and current TV shows possible on physical media and always will be.

There are three ways I see DVD still being of use in modern times. I'll end it there for now and let others share other ideas. I do have more, but I'd love to hear what other collectors have to say on this topic. While I personally have blu-rays in my collection and tend to go after a title on blu-ray first if it is available, I have no issues buying new DVDs or having them in my collection right next to my blu-rays. To me, discs are discs.

I don't see any reason why it should change at all.Yes! There are a lot of titles that frankly will never get a physical media release on Blu-ray or 4K that has been released on DVD. My feeling is there are still more such titles to go that would never get releases if DVD went away.

There are also old made-for-TV movies that were produced in standard definition and (likely) have no surviving film prints for HD restoration. Examples of such movies where I've noticed this being the case are pre-2005 Disney Channel Original Movies and many other made-for-TV movies from that era.


The Eclipse box sets from Criterion are exclusively on DVD with the best quality possible. These are typically important, hard to find films for which suitable HD elements may not exist to bring them to Blu-ray, or simply lesser known films, hence they appear on DVD. 


Most classic, CBS, Nickelodeon and MTV shows from CBSViacom like SpongeBob, Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, Beaves & Budhead, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: DS9 and more will most likely will not get a Blu-ray release, and are lucky to have a DVD release. As much as I’d love to have these shows on Blu-ray, DVD only is far better than only being able to have these shows available to purchase on places like iTunes.

Transformers, the original American 1984 series is released on exclusively DVD because of it's standard definition source, but the movie and Japanese version of the TV series released is on Blu-ray, because they have the original film elements and popularity.


Remember those "full-screen" DVDs back in the 2000s, well most of those movies are presented in Open Matte. Shooting in an "Open Matte" is the process of achieving a different aspect ratio than the one you are shooting in by masking part of the full frame image with black bars. Meaning those full-screen versions of those movies, are the original aspect ratio that was originally shot. Half of those movies, are intentionally suppose to be widescreen, but you get more image and quality in full-screen. Some people think full-screen DVDs are useless and dated, but they are actually unique in their own right and every shot has a different composition than the widescreen version. It's VERY rare for Blu-rays to offer a full-screen Open Matte version of a movie or show, like Transformers: The Movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Big Trail, and Battlestar Galactica 1978. They are considered collectible because of their uniqueness and better picture quality than widescreen DVDs. Here's an on-going list.


Lots of PC Games have been released on DVD-ROM, but not like they used to due to digital distribution. Mainstream publishers now just use online stores like Steam, if they did physically that would mostly half-ass do it by only putting half of the game in a single disc or release an empty DVD case with a online code. But there's is some indie developers that still releases their PC games physically on DVD like Goat Simulator. Good luck getting these, because they are expensive now. 

For video games consoles, PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 were the last systems to release their games on DVD. 

If DVD was to go away, then the chances of seeing more of those getting released would be gone, as SD content on Blu-ray is a rarity that most studios don't bother with (and to be honest, it's practically a waste to release an SD movie on Blu-ray IMHO).

You'd be surprised to know how many SD made-for-TV movies are still not available on DVD to this day, some of them never made it past VHS as far as physical releases are concerned.

There are  thousands of movies, concerts and documentaries exclusively on DVD that are not released on Blu-ray and 4K UHD. So yes, they are still relevant today. Let's be thankful that DVD is still around for physical media. 


-Blu-ray's 

Blu-ray's were introduced in 2006 along with the PS3. Blu-ray in technical terms is vastly superior than DVD in video and audio. It offers clean full 1080p high definition picture in three different competing codecs, AVC, VC-1 and MPEG-4 with a bit depth of 8-bits per color YCbCr with 4:2:0 chroma subsampling. The maximum bitrate is 40 Mbit/s. Most movie discs can hold up to 50 GB. Blu-ray takes advantage of the 1080p HDTVs for their original purpose unlike DVDs that were made for 480p SDTVs. 

The sound is crystal clear with three mandatory competing sound codecs, uncompressed LPCM, and the compressed lossless DTS Master Audio and Dolby Digital. The maximum bitrate for uncompressed LPCM sound is 27.648 Mbit/s and that's alot more than CDs. Dolby® Digital (640 kbit/s), Dolby® Digital Plus (4.736 Mbit/s), Dolby® TrueHD (18.64 Mbit/s), DTS digital surround® (1.524 Mbit/s), DTS-HD® (24.5 Mbit/s), China's DRA (1.5 Mbit/s) and DRA Extension (3.0 Mbit/s) audio formats. Dolby Atmos and DTS X are optional codecs. 

Optionally, some Blu-ray titles mostly from Fox and Universal offer D-Box motion code which gives the audience a realistic experience with D-Box theater seats, the seats are motorized in such a way to create an effect of movement, timed precisely with that of visual images, and making the audience feel that they're tilting back and forth or moving up or down. The seats can also vibrate and shake in time with explosions and other kinds of action sequences. It is an amazing experience, and I'm surprise not all of the major or independent studios are using the technology, especially Warner Bros. and Sony. 

Unlike CDs and DVDs, Blu-rays have a special coating that prevents sensitive scratches, making it tougher and little more durable. BUT, it's not invisible like Superman, so always be careful with your discs. 

Also, instead of reading the discs data through a red laser, it's read through a blue laser, that's why it's called Blu-ray. The reason why is because it makes reading the transferring data much faster then red lasers. 


Just like DVD, extra and bonus content makes the top selling point and makes the disc have more value for your money. Blu-ray offers BD-J, a more "advanced" interactive and animated menus than the basic DVD menus, it offers pop-up menus without leaving the movie, stream a secondary video/audio decoder (PiP) and it you can connect to a LAN network or the internet via BD-live. It is also used for making video games, Disney, Fox and Lionsgate used to make mini-games and pop-up trivia in movie releases but sadly not anymore, however there has been a growing hombrew community on creating games for the BD-J format, one talented Russian dude ported Doom and it runs very well. It has unique potential and you can read my article about that here. Blu-Play/Blu-ray Java, Small-scale homebrew games for Blu-ray players and game consoles.

BD-Live allows you to access Internet-based content. BD-Live features have included Internet chats, scheduled chats with the director, Internet games, downloadable featurettes, downloadable quizzes, and downloadable movie trailers.

Some Blu-ray releases come with CD soundtracks of the films as a bonus from Blue Underground, Warner Bros and a few others. Also just like DVD, it's not worth it buying a barebones Blu-ray for $19.99, especially for short movie, wait for the price to drop. Movies and TV shows that are very good, a worthy time length and with hours of bonuses brings value and are worth your dollar. 

Uniquely, Blu-ray can install stuff on each BD player's mandatory 1 GB storage like BD-J data content and updates from the disc or the internet and read it faster without using the disc. Example, each movie disc from the Alien Anthology installs the menu's data so you can switch the other discs without waiting awhile to load. You can delete the BD data at any time on your BD device via settings. 

New Blu-ray disc releases are a little more expensive than DVDs but the discs themselves cost no more to produce than DVD discs.

Purists will refuse to buy full price Blu-rays that are "burned" via BD-R, because they do last as long as "Pressed" Blu-rays. A good example, that Shudder originals had releases on BD-R, and many people who wants those movies will rather get the "pressed" 480p DVD.  https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=329827

 Blu-ray discs are used to distribute PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X games, and the aforementioned game consoles can play back regular Blu-ray discs. So far, no PC games has ever been released on BD-ROM, because adoption is also limited due to the widespread use of streaming/digital media. But there's been a heavy concern for disc-based mainstream console games, mostly from EA, Activision, Ubisoft and Microsoft, unprofessionally releasing their games that are buggy, half broken or incomplete, thus forcing users to connect to the internet to download software updates called "patches". It is uncalled for and it's making customers angry because they like to relax and enjoy the game out of the box offline without a problem just like music and movies. One major incident, when the most anticipated game, Cyberpunk 2077 from Polish studio, CD Project Red, unprofessionally green-lit and released their $60 broken game on disc to the public that had hundreds of bugs and crashes. This became very memorable memeable, caused many people to refund the game, and made everyone self aware of this on-going problem.

Thankfully, there are testers/reviewers that will tell people on what not to buy and many indie publishers publish their games non-broken.  But we shouldn't have to worry about such non-sense if the mainstream publishers took their time to make a professional finished release.


A variant called Blu-ray 3D is the same as Blu-ray but offers 3D movies using a special codec based on AVC called MVC. Blu-ray 3D requires an 3D TV, 3D glasses and a BD player that compatible with Blu-ray 3D. It's an amazing format, but it's more amazing if the movie's 3D is native instead of a conversion. Sadly PlayStation 5 does not is not compatible but most game systems are. Most Blu-ray 3D relases come with a separate 3D disc for the MVC codec, but there are some Blu-rays like House of Wax that contain both AVC and MVC codecs. Most studios don't do this because longer films will have to be compressed to fit both codecs in a single disc, so that's why it's always in separate discs. There are some Blu-ray movies like Friday the 13th and recently, Silent Madness, use Anaglyph 3D without using the MVC codec or any 3D TV. 

I've tried the format myself and Avatar and Transformers: Dark of the Moon were the best 3D releases ever!

Half of the major studios have discontinued the format in North America in favor for Ultra HD Blu-ray but Warner Bros. still continues to make 3D movies due to it's demanding niche popularity. Xbox 360 and PS3 released games that was compatible with 3D, but that was also discontinued in favor UHD 4K gaming. Very few PS4 games were released in 3D and PS5 is not compatible with Blu-ray 3D discs. 

Another variant called High Fidelity Pure Audio and PureAudio Blu-ray, created by Sony Music and Universal Music Group, launched as a potential successor to the compact disc (CD), it has been compared with DVD-Audio and SACD, which had similar aims, but it's beginning to be more popular than the aforementioned discs. Music ranges from classical music to hit soundtracks. HFPA is encoded as 24-bit/96 kHz or 24-bit/192 kHz linear PCM ("high-resolution audio"), optionally losslessly compressed with Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS X, or Auro 3D Audio. Auro3D Audio offers 11.1 surround sound for music. For PureAudio Blu-ray, if your Blu-ray player is connected to your home network, you can use any web browser on your computer to access portable copies of the songs residing on the Pure Audio in your player. mShuttle opens the possibility to enjoy music content from a Blu-ray Disc in any format from Wav, flac, aac, to mp3. This includes booklets, covers, as well as audio and video content for mobile devices like tablet computer and smartphones.


The HFPA and Pure Audio Blu-ray can be operated either with or without a screen: by on-screen menu navigation or by screen-less navigation. These menu screens give information about  the tracks, track lengths, audio streams or additional information e.g. production credits. 

HFPA and Pure Audio Blu-ray are compatible with ALL Blu-ray players, they are region free and popular in Europe, especially Germany. For those audiophiles who have yet to experience this value for money, the uncompressed 24-bit sound quality is truly impressive (even better considering the minor difference in price between this and the ordinary CD format). As of November 2019, Deutsche Grammophon is the most prolific publisher on the format, with Beethoven 250 having 3 Blu-ray audio discs. Just like BD/DVD combo packs for movies, HFPA and Pure Audio Blu-ray mostly come with a CD version. 

Many films and TV shows have been mastered and remastered in HD with a 4K master from 8K and sometimes 16K scans. The crystal clear 1080p high definition picture is theater quality and allows you to see the picture that was originally intended to see than the 480p DVD. Many studios have been cleaning up older movies and shows to their former glory that original was. 

If you importantly care about the HD video and crystal clear audio also advanced menus, 3D, D-Box and alot of bonus content, yes, Blu-ray is defiantly worth it. 

Oh, another cool thing is when you insert your disc on your device such as a PS3, PS4, PS5 or a PC. The disc's icon and title will appear. I thought that was neat touch, and every normie in the book has know it idea that feature existed. For some reason, not all players from Xbox, Samsung or LG don't do this. 

-4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Many think it's a gimmick, but pure videophiles don't think so. 

Ultra HD Blu-ray or Blu-ray 4K, supports 4K UHD (3840 × 2160 pixel resolution) video that is 4x sharper than normal HD at frame rates up to 60 progressive frames per second, encoded using High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). The discs support both high dynamic range (HDR) by increasing the color depth to 10-bit per color and a greater color gamut than supported by conventional Blu-ray video by using the Rec. 2020 color space for brighter lights and deeper blacks. With a max of 144 Mb/s.

This time, their's only one mandatory video codec called HEVC, the successor of the AVC because of it's superiority over the other 2 codecs. For sound codecs, they are all the same as Blu-ray, with optional Dolby Atmos and DTS X. 

There's one mandatory HDR format called HDR10 but their's 2 optional competing formats, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. There is others such as HLG (from BBC/NHK) and Technicolor's AHDR, but there is no studio or hardware that supports these yet because universal adoption is a slow process. All of the competing HDR formats are all unique and different. Fox and Universal still releases titles with D-Box motion code.

Is it worth it? If you're a videophile who's obsessed picture quality and can't get enough out of the 1080p. 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is the closest thing to a "ultra" theater experience. Normies and people who just prefer the already clean 1080p, it's best not. 

-Vinyl Record

Believe it or not, this old boomer tech is vastly superior than CDs and Pure Audio Blu-rays COMBINED, because it's PURE analog audio. Vinyl comes in different sizes from 7, 10 to 12'' using a sharp needle instead of a laser to read the groove signals to produce the pure analog sound. Vinyl gives you natural sound that you wouldn't hear on CD and PureAudio Blu-ray because the analog technology is natural. We've been using them since the early 1900's, they've grown very popular from the 1930s to the 1980s. But they began to decline since the introduction of the cassette and the CD during the 1980's and 2000s. However, in 2007, vinyl sales made a sudden small increase, starting its comeback, and by the early 2010s, it was growing at a very quick rate.  

Even movie and video game soundtracks are on vinyl to take advantage of the analog sound. 

Collectors love Vinyls because of their big unique cover art and that one of the most attractive things about it. I love album art and the vinyl sleeves are just a great way to display them. You can play an digital album on your phone anytime, but there’s just something special about handling the vinyl record, placing it on the platter and starting it. It provides a connection with the music that doesn’t exist in other mediums. Most Vinyls come with beautiful covers, inserts, beautiful gatefold jacket, booklets and much more, especially the ones from the artistic and unorthodox labels. That is one of the selling points as Vinyl for collectors and they are more appealing in the eyes than normal CD/DVD/BD plastic cases.

There's a CD Vinyl hybrid they made, which is pretty cool!

Digital optical discs mentioned above are known to be scratched unless handled carefully, Vinyl is not as easy to scratch but you still must use care. Don't hand-take the needle out while the record is playing, you can damage it and keep it away from dust, mold and water, because it will damage the grooves. 

Vinyl is an antiquated, awkward to handle, and a expensive format. But I still really like it and depending on what album you like, it's defiantly worth the price!   

With big cover art and pure analog audio is what makes the Vinyl record albums so special. 


- Honorable mention: Laser Disc

Ah yes, the Laserdisc or LD, the Vinyl album for movies (and games). It's a behemoth version of the compact disc and the granddaddy of DVDs, the LD is a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium that used analog video and sound. It was one of those products that was both a few years too late and way too far ahead of its time. Many people have know idea it existed, because it was for videophiles and it was expensive. Its superior video and audio quality made it a popular choice among videophiles and film enthusiasts during its lifespan, but it did not take off mainstream

It was initially licensed, sold and marketed as MCA DiscoVision (also known simply as “DiscoVision”). Pioneer Electronics later purchased the majority stake in the format and marketed it as both LaserVision (format name) and LaserDisc (brand name) in 1980.

                                                    Get in the LaserDisc player, Shinji!

Most LDs come with beautiful covers, inserts, beautiful gatefold jacket, booklets and much more, especially the ones from Japan. That is one of the same selling points as Vinyl for collectors and they are more appealing in the eyes.

Many mistaken for being digital, but it's not. It used standard definition analog video and stereo sound using the red laser.(480p is very rare). The video quality is superior than VHS, but not as great as DVD. But in 1993-1997 the Japanese created the MUSE/Hi-Vision Laserdiscs, that provided "HD" analog video, Hi-Vision is not as close to Blu-ray but it was great picture for it's time. In 1995, LD used an optional Dolby Digital track and in 1997 used optional DTS Digital sound, if the consumer has a player that can encode those two formats. There has been a long debate wither or not the LD analog sound was better than digital sound. Unlike, DVDs, LDs can at least hold at least 4 tracks (each channel), depending on the discs and there was subtitles, but Closed Captioning. There is no region lock, meaning any LD can be played on any LD player. 

Laserdiscs only used 2 analog video codecs, CLV (compressed) and CAV (uncompressed). The video is simply a high quality analog signal and it was the best that standard video could offer at the time.

CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) discs were about 30 minutes per side and offered the still frame, slow motion. If you bring up the playback info, CAV discs will show a frame number. These discs did not play linearly - meaning it wasn't one continuous path for the laser to follow. The easiest way to describe it would be to say each frame was like a ring on the disc. That's how it does the still frame. The player just stays on that one ring, playing it over and over. If you look at the surface of the disc, you can see a different pattern for the video data. CAV discs rotate at a constant 1800 rpm.

CLV (Constant Linear Velocity) discs were about 60 minutes per side and did not offer the various playback effects unless the player had some digital features to store the frame (not a common feature). In general, pausing a CLV disc will not give you a still frame. If you display the playback info, it will show a time reference instead of a frame number. CLV discs are more like audio CDs in how they play. The laser follows a spiral path as the disc rotates. This is why there's no still frame with CLV. Stopping the laser means the playback data is not always at the location the laser is reading as the disc spins. The disc is spinning at like 1800-600 rpms so it can quickly realign with the video to continue playing. With CLV, the laser starts at the center and the disc starts spinning at 1800 rpm. It gradually slows down to 600 rpm at the outer edge of the disc.

Analog audio was the only mandatory audio, some say it's better than digital and some say it's not as great as vinyl, but that's debatable. Analog-only tracks were only in mono and stereo. 

CBS created freely-licensed noise reduction technology called the CX, which increases dynamic range, reduces noise, and less interference with both analog video and audio. Only works with mono and stereo. CBS tried to use it on Vinyl, it worked and it was a cool technology but their was less adoption because many sound engineers didn't like them on Vinyl and condemned it. But it was very successful on LD and many major studios was adopt it. To experience a CX analog track, it requires a CX decoder, it will work on a normal LD player without a CX decoder.

When the CDs came out, people were hungry for digital sound, especially digital stereo, so, Digital PCM was added as an optional codec, but needed a player that can decode it. In NTSC regions they mostly came with both Analog and Digital tracks including CX tech. Both PAL regions couldn't do both because PAL video took up more space. Digital Sound was only stereo or mono. 

In the 80's, Dolby Laboratories created their own optional analog 4.1 surround sound system "Dolby Surround" and in the 90's created Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound (or AC-3 as we no today). 386kbps on LD, over 650 mbps on BD. Dolby Digital was the jam at the time with it's digital theater-like audio quality.

Now comes DTS, who helped Steven Spielberg create the Jurassic Park sound experience (George Lucas was supporting Dolby instead) and they wanted to find a way to turn it into a commercial product. DTS was another optional digital codec, that has been considered superior and expensive than Dolby. (DTS is still better than Dolby).

LaserActive games (the Vinyl of video games) uses the proprietary Roland RSS system (Realtime Specialization) used to provide stereo specialization (sound location) to extend the playing experience. Very interesting. 


               LD       CD      DVD      BD
Analog             ╳        ╳        ╳     Strange how optional codecs become mandatory overtime because merits.
PCM       ╳         ✔        ✔         ✔
Dolby     ╳         ╳        ✔         ✔
DTS       ╳         ╳         ╳       


Some LD titles offered audio commentaries and isolated scores waaay before DVD did that. 

 More info on LD sound. https://www.lddb.com/help/sound/


There are movies, some versions and extras from movies are exclusive to Laserdiscs and has never been released on any other format including DVD and digital stores. Like the Song of the South, E.T.'s Harrison Ford deleted scene, and Alien's Laserdisc Collector's Section (later ported to Blu-ray). 

In the 90's LaserDisc was ahead of it's time but also late, when they introduced bonus features that we now often see on DVD and Blu-ray. It contained audio commentaries, deleted scenes and interviews. LD did not have main menus like DVD, but the closes thing to a "menu" or "interactivity" was slideshows, showing photo galleries and text-based info via chapter selection. Example, Collector's Section of the 1992 extended Special Edition of Aliens LD (way ahead of it's time) would go on to prove immensely popular. 

Some soundtracks were released on LD, but they didn't sell well in favor for the durable and better Vinyl. 

For video games, there was a were alot Laserdisc arcade games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. But rarely for normal LD players like MysteryDisc series that came out in 1983, predating the FMV games in the 90's and they were pure analog. Check this website dedicated to Arcade LaserDisc games.

   A screenshot of MysteryDisc: Murder Anyone? 1983. It's primitive, but very interesting and ahead of it's time. 


In 1993, Pioneer created the LaserActive, a digital video game console that used Laserdiscs. It was sort-of the "vinyl" for video games because it was the only video games to use those "big sleeve" covers. The LaserActive never launched because it was expensive and their were better alternatives, so it was a commercial failure. 


So, should Laserdisc comeback? Well...that's been divided. Most likely it will not, even with a better successor using 3.5 TB of UHD Blu-ray technology. But the closest thing we're going to get for Laserdiscs, are classic "big sleeve" vinyl covers for Blu-ray, which Disney, Warner Bros. and a few other has been releasing in limited quantity as a UK exclusive. Why?  They should seriously bring those back because they are freak'n cool! BTW, Disney released Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Blu-ray movie in a big sleeve viyle cover WITH  the 12" Viyle record. Yeah, they should bring that style back!


As we are in the digital age, the mainstream consumers, that just don't care, they will go for streaming and digital stores, but there will be always a market for physical media. Physical media is very important and has many advantages over digital. It's scary enough that PC games are almost digital only with harsh DRM, some movies and TV shows are exclusive to streaming, Audible (Amazon) is making deals with publishers to have their audiobooks exclusively to their platform, creating a digital monopoly. Amazon tried to get everyone to switch to digital e-books via Kindle, but it didn't work out. Corporations shouldn't control on what you have legally purchase. It's yours and yours forever. You can do anything with it, it's your right. We must embrace physical!


                                                                       片青ディスクです。                                                                                                                            θ£θΏ”γ—γ¦γŠζ₯½γ—みください。



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