The Future of Home Media: Beyond the Blu-ray

At this time, the chief physical platform for movies is still the DVD. It is packaged with almost every Blu-ray release as an extra bonus for those out there who still don’t own a Blu-ray player. And it is a slightly more accessible format for those who do not have portable devices equipped with a Blu-ray drive, in order to go on the road or on vacation.

At the same time, the Blu-ray is the best current format for home viewing that allows one to experience a film or TV series in the best visual and audio quality outside of a theatrical environment. But Netflix, Amazon, and I-Tunes are coming up fast as the better alternatives, due to instant downloads, large streaming libraries with monthly fees, and the ability to carry your entire collection on a single computer or hard-drive.

The question is, will there be another physical format to replace Blu-rays in the near future, or will everything go completely downloadable? Will people still crave a physical box to house their favorite films in on an expansive living room shelf? Or will they come to appreciate the convenience of the digital library, complete with a searchable database, and every single TV show and film they could ever want, not only for lower prices, but a smaller footprint and price-tag when moving from one home or apartment to another?

  • It is worth mentioning that 20th Century Fox is planning on releasing "Ultra HD Blu-Rays" which are the equivalent of current Blu-Rays but with 4K resolution. So in that sense, there are still physical releases being produced for movies. That being said, how successful it will be is another matter entirely, especially considering that the process of getting more people to upgrade formats is a slow one. And sometimes not all formats are successful: 3D Blu-Rays did not sell nearly as well as 2D Blu-Rays. I think it would be very interesting to look at how much digital media has grown over the years and also maybe find out if it is doing better than physical media today if you can find anything about it. – Seth Childers 8 years ago

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