Should you buy expensive movies? Sometimes renting or streaming video gives you abetter long term bang for your buck.
Yesterday, Toshiba announced they will stop producing the HD-DVD, which puts a definitive end to the questions concerning which high-definition DVD format would dominate the markets. This wasn’t really a surprise to many people, as the Blu-Ray format was backed by most of the major Hollywood movie studios, and several technology giants. Last week, Wal-Mart and several retailers also announced they would only carry Blu-Ray DVD products in the coming months.
What does this mean for consumers? Well, until recently, people had to choose between two competing high-definition DVD formats if they wanted the most up to date technology. The only problem was that for the first few years, no one was sure which format would emerge as the standard. Each side, the Toshiba backed HD-DVD format, and the Sony and Panasonic backed Blu-Ray technology, lined up movie studios, production and manufacturing companies, etc. Both companies poured billions into research, development, and advertising in an effort to make their product the world standard. The winner would stand to earn billions of dollars in the coming years.
Fear of buying an obsolete product. Because consumers didn’t know what the outcome would be, many people were afraid to make the initial investment in the electronic hardware and the DVDs, both of which are considerably more expensive than regular DVDs and DVD players. Now, that the answer for which high-def format will be the standard has been resolved, consumers pretty much have the green light to go out and buy the Blu-Ray format high-def DVD player and DVDs without fear of the technology becoming obsolete right away.
Don’t rush out to buy it just yet. I don’t think it is a good idea to rush out there and immediately buy a Blu-Ray DVD player and a vast library of Blu-Ray DVDs. And if you have a CRT-TV like I do, the difference probably isn’t even noticeable. You will need a large screen, HD-TV to really get the maximum benefit of the high-definition DVD players.
Buying the player right away is not a good move. The demand for Blu-Ray DVD players will increase right now because the format war is officially over. This could keep the prices high for awhile until the demand drops. Don’t be surprised if new manufacturers license this technology and begin producing it in the coming months, which will further depress the prices. As with all technology, the player prices will continue to drop. I think if you wait a few months, the price will be much more affordable than it is now.
The Blu-Ray players are backwards compatible with standard DVDs, so you don’t need to rush out and buy dozens of new movies. If you have a Blu-Ray player, buy the Blu-Ray DVDs as needed.
Early technology adopters pay the highest price. Beyond higher hardware prices for adopting new technology, there are other associated costs such as the accompanying software, DVDs, upgrades, etc. Unless the new technology makes a fundamental change in your life or your work, it is often best to wait until it becomes standardized. Continual improvements and cheaper technology will drive prices down, and eventually you will be able to purchase that new technology at a reasonable price… or decide that you just don’t need it after all.
The final thing to consider is whether or not you even need to buy movies. The idea of buying movies is becoming less popular with the prevalence of companies offering DVD rentals and online streaming, such as Netflix and Blockbuster. The more popular of these companies is Netflix, which offers online movie streaming and video rentals through the mail. Our Netflix review covers their plan offerings and prices. Netflix is very affordable, coming in at less than the cost of a premium movie channel on cable or satellite.