Image: DVD Consortium

Despite technically superior alternatives such as Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray, there are still plenty of people who insist on buying their favorite movies and TV shows on the ubiquitous but aging DVD format. This has been made clear by a chart compiled by FlatpanelsHD, which collected the latest data from Niesen VideoScan and Media Play News to show that the DVD market has actually grown by nearly 20 percent over the last few years, even throughout disruptive events such as the ongoing pandemic. The chart also seems to confirm early speculation that Ultra HD Blu-ray would slowly but surely cannibalize the standard Blu-ray format due to the latter being a middle ground that provides neither the best quality nor cheapest pricing.

Some Ultra HD enthusiasts frequently suggest that movie studios should stop releasing DVDs, apparently thinking that consumers would then upgrade to higher-quality formats. I don’t expect that would happen. The cost-conscious DVD buyers would more likely switch to streaming options. Studios would be crazy to stop the cash cow that DVD still is. And it provides essential volume for the optical disc replication plans, of which there are fewer now than during the peak days of CD and DVD, to keep running at a decent load.

Source: FlatpanelsHD

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37 Comments

  1. It’s easy. When blue ray and DVD both come with the same digital ownership experience lots of people buy the movie on DVD, register the code for the digital version, and never actually use the dvd.
  2. Well you can get software for free that plays DVD’s on a pc, for the life of me I can’t get anything free that plays blu rays.
  3. I have a friend who has a giant-@ss blu-ray movie library. It was originally DVDs, and over time he traded most of them in and replaced with blu-ray versions. I later asked him if he was gonna get rid of all of those for Ultra HD blu-rays, and he said something along the lines of "f_ck no." Everyone else I know stopped buying physical media for movies long ago. I still very rarely buy BDs but only if they are super-cheap, like a few dollars. I prefer BD rips. One of my other friends built a NAS to store, among other things, his Ultra HD BD rips. I haven’t made the jump to 4K+HDR movies because all of my displays are 1080p or less (except my primary monitor which is 1440p), none of them support HDR (well technically my primary monitor does, but it really sucks with HDR), and also because I do not have the space for that shiznit. Maybe one day. For now though, 1080p movies suit me just fine. I sometimes forget that regular DVDs are still being sold.
  4. FWIW, there’s always someone at the DVD rental vending machines around here.
    You can find them in drugstores, supermarkets etc. Seem popular.

    I suspect more ppl have DVD players than I thought, I have one that’s been in the closet for the past 6 years or so…

  5. I have one that’s been in the closet for the past 6 years or so…

    The only standalone DVD player I ever had was a Pioneer unit in the very early 2000s. One of the first devices I had which had Component video output. That thing started acting up after a few years, with the tray refusing to open, or closing automatically (so I would have to hold it open with my hand to insert a DVD), and it eventually died on me. Not sure what happened to it. Probably rotting away in my parents’ attic. After that, all of my DVD players have been game consoles and optical drives in PCs. PS3 is one of my favorite players. I tend to use it over PS4 and XB1. I’m one of those weirdos that still has optical drives in my main PC too. I brought over the DVD burner from my 2010 X58 system when I built my current X99 system in 2014, and not too long ago for my berfday I received a blu-ray drive, so I got that too. I actually prefer to use that now, since it loads BDs waaaaaay faster than any console or standalone player that I’ve ever used. Like I said in my previous post though, I don’t usually use actual discs very much.

  6. I still have the old Netflix DVD mail service – used to be the only way to get Blu-ray quality since my ISP sucked.

    Now that I have starlink I’m considering canceling.

    The last DVD player I bought was … ‘03? Since the PS3 I’ve just used consoles on the rare occasion I still play one.

    NAS + Plex for nearly everything though. I can’t do 4K BR though, and not going to invest in the equip to do it either.

  7. I still buy UHD Blu-Ray discs, mostly because that’s really the pinnacle of the content and format, audio- and video-wise. I have a NAS and competent Plex server too, but I haven’t invested much time in figuring out how to rip stuff. I do have a 5.25" Blu-ray drive but I don’t think it’ll handle the UHD discs, and it’s eight to ten years old itself.

    And I’ve used it less times than I can count on my fingers, for anything.

    Mostly, I have the OLED TV, Blu-Ray player, a receiver that can handle UHD / HDR / Atmos, and decent enough speakers that I’ll set up again when I get a house. If I’m going to watch a movie that was worth getting a hard copy of (for a likely rewatch or worth having for guests), then I’m going to want to watch it properly.

  8. I still buy DVD’s or Blu rays of movies that interest me, not that many streaming services available around here and netflix while avaiable seems to be rather limited in content they offer compared to for example the states.

    I try to buy most of them trough offers like 3 DVD’s for 15 € or something.

    I also still buy music CD’s :p

  9. We have a lot of kids content on DVD – Charlie Brown, Garfield, claymation Christmas, and so on. I wouldn’t even know where to stream that stuff if I wanted to, so the old blue Ray player from 2007ish gets a workout on a good number of weekends.

    Disney + is also getting used fairly frequently, as we have a limited number of Pixar things on DVD, and it’s just as easy to fire up Disney + as it is to pull a disc off the shelf.

    so… we’re a mix

  10. It’s easy. When blue ray and DVD both come with the same digital ownership experience lots of people buy the movie on DVD, register the code for the digital version, and never actually use the dvd.

    I never use those digital codes that come with the discs. I should probably just throw them out instead of leaving them in the cases :ROFLMAO:

  11. I never use those digital codes that come with the discs. I should probably just throw them out instead of leaving them in the cases :ROFLMAO:

    I let mine sit for around a year or so because I misunderstood and thought somehow they’d lead into another digital mouth to feed. I finally got around to looking into it around 2019 and then entered all that I had on hand, that we’re still good. It’s kind of cool having something accessible from anywhere I’ve got a device with internet connectivity. Sort of like plex but for my 4K stuff it’s been great.

    I’m still more heavily into physical media, although the codes are a nice bonus, for the better quality and I admit streaming has come a long way in recent times. However, I mostly stopped buying DVDs years ago, close to a decade. I upgraded many things to BD, some to UHD, but generally not upgrading unless it’s a real improvement and not just a cash grab. However, I generally do a bit of research on new releases for their mastering process before getting anything.

  12. I upgraded many things to BD, some to UHD, but generally not upgrading unless it’s a real improvement and not just a cash grab. However, I generally do a bit of research on new releases for their mastering process before getting anything.

    Since 4k is about the most that can be reliably pulled out of most film stock, I think studios waited for it before doing their ‘real’ remasters. There’s quite a few that are better than their ‘HD’ releases not because of the increased transport resolution but because the studios put significantly more effort into them.

    The Alien and Aliens UHD releases come to mind, as an example!

  13. I let mine sit for around a year or so because I misunderstood and thought somehow they’d lead into another digital mouth to feed. I finally got around to looking into it around 2019 and then entered all that I had on hand, that we’re still good. It’s kind of cool having something accessible from anywhere I’ve got a device with internet connectivity. Sort of like plex but for my 4K stuff it’s been great.

    I’m still more heavily into physical media, although the codes are a nice bonus, for the better quality and I admit streaming has come a long way in recent times. However, I mostly stopped buying DVDs years ago, close to a decade. I upgraded many things to BD, some to UHD, but generally not upgrading unless it’s a real improvement and not just a cash grab. However, I generally do a bit of research on new releases for their mastering process before getting anything.

    I have been buying nothing but UHD Blu-ray for the past 5 years. I started before I even got a 4K TV since you got a standard Blu-ray included anyway. Some things just don’t or won’t see release on UHD, so in those cases I’ll buy a standard BR if it’s something I really want. Arrow Video has recently started doing UHD releases which makes me very happy. You unfortunately do still need to do some research before buying because a lot of things are still just a lazy upscale. One thing that bothers me a lot with streaming is the digital noise in the picture. I see it and my brain is unable to focus on anything else.

    Funnily enough, I actually bought a DVD movie a couple years ago for a movie I really wanted and wasn’t seeing any release otherwise. It is a horror movie called The Shrine I saw once on a random pirated stream and remembered being creeped out by it. It was as good as I remembered and hope it will see a proper release some day. I would love to get my hands on a BR of the original French version of Martyrs barring a UHD release.

    Since 4k is about the most that can be reliably pulled out of most film stock, I think studios waited for it before doing their ‘real’ remasters. There’s quite a few that are better than their ‘HD’ releases not because of the increased transport resolution but because the studios put significantly more effort into them.

    The Alien and Aliens UHD releases come to mind, as an example!

    There are a few video houses I watch intently and will not hesitate to buy their releases because of the effort they put into remasters. Those are Arrow Video and Criterion Collection. Hellraiser from the former and Scanners from the latter are a couple of the best video transfers I have ever seen.

  14. I still buy DVD’s because I have an HD-DVD player :cautious:

    One of my friends has a combo HD-DVD/blu-ray drive in his current X58-based system built in 2009, and he also owns the HD-DVD drive for X360 (which works on PC). He has a pretty sizeable HD-DVD collection.

  15. One of my friends has a combo HD-DVD/blu-ray drive in his current X58-based system built in 2009, and he also owns the HD-DVD drive for X360 (which works on PC). He has a pretty sizeable HD-DVD collection.

    I still have one on my PC, as well, and is the reason I’m still rocking a full size chassis because smaller ones don’t come with external 5.25" drive bays anymore.

  16. Since 4k is about the most that can be reliably pulled out of most film stock, I think studios waited for it before doing their ‘real’ remasters. There’s quite a few that are better than their ‘HD’ releases not because of the increased transport resolution but because the studios put significantly more effort into them.

    The Alien and Aliens UHD releases come to mind, as an example!

    Yep, I’ve got Alien. Almost got Aliens but I think I’ve burnt myself out on it. Used to be one of my favorites but I just can’t seem to finish watching it anymore. LOTR 4K came out great. Finally got SW, original trilogy, on sale a few months back on disc. Blade Runner, The Unforgiven, Pitch Black, Flash Gordon, and a handful of others I can’t remember off the top of my head, all on disc. I’ve got Final Countdown on pre-order.

    Ironically, as we’re talking about streaming stuff too, I’ve got a few things you can’t even get on disc yet. Star Trek 2 Wrath of Khan Directors Cut 4K UHD HDR on Prime, and it’s the real cut with the missing Spock scene at the end, Star Trek VI Directors Cut HD on prime, X-Men Rogue Cut 4K UHD HDR from something but I can’t remember the original source. Recently got Event Horizon 4K on streaming but I know the disc on coming out soon.

  17. I still buy DVD’s because I have an HD-DVD player :cautious:

    I bought the 360 one when game stop was getting rid of them and then went to BB and got a few that we’re on closeout sales. I was really proud I got it to work on my old Pentium 4 and the radeon card that was in it. Had Excalibur on it years before the blu-ray came out.

  18. I still have one on my PC, as well, and is the reason I’m still rocking a full size chassis because smaller ones don’t come with external 5.25" drive bays anymore.

    I’ve got bd writer in a case for an old rig but my laptop has one as well. I recently broke down and got paid versions of anydvd and dvd audio extractor for backing up or converting various things with it. That, combined with Foobar 2000, and my needs are mostly covered for ripping things. It’s a shame that 4k PC players are such a pain to deal with because I’d like to do the same but at least with the codes I can get the same end result as long as I have internet connectivity.

  19. I’m going to guess DVD is still popular because of the elderly, children, and families with lower income. DVD is the defacto common standard playback device and I think every household has some type of tech that will play one. The elderly peeps that I know cannot see the difference between SD or HD, or not enough to care anyway. H*ll, my mother would still own a VCR and be buying tapes at flea markets if she had her way. And for kids… parents will pick the lowest price option for kids shows/cartoons. Have you been into a discount store like Big Lots or Dollar General? They have huge selections of bargain movies and they are all DVDs.

    edit : I forgot another target audience… people who live in areas where you can’t get decent bandwidth to stream, or it costs too much money. My bro-in-law has a place in the mountains and his internet is 1mb DSL, and most phone service doesn’t work there. He has a pretty decent physical disc selection to keep the wife and kids entertained. Some are DVD’s, kids don’t really care just as long as they can get their cartoon fix.

    Well you can get software for free that plays DVD’s on a pc, for the life of me I can’t get anything free that plays blu rays.

    VLC can play blurays that do not include crazy levels of javascript menus and such. Also MakeMKV can rip your BR down to an MKV that will play on just about anything. If you feel like spending money, Anydvd and others like that.

  20. I still have the old Netflix DVD mail service – used to be the only way to get Blu-ray quality since my ISP sucked.

    Now that I have starlink I’m considering canceling.

    The last DVD player I bought was … ‘03? Since the PS3 I’ve just used consoles on the rare occasion I still play one.

    NAS + Plex for nearly everything though. I can’t do 4K BR though, and not going to invest in the equip to do it either.

    Same here Brian… I am still subscribed to the netflix disc service to get new releases or backfill older movies not on streaming. It does seem like I only get 1 or 2 a month now though… I should probably cancel it. In the pre-covid times when people left their homes on a regular basis, I used to hit a 7-11 by the house frequently to get gas and would rent a movie or game from Redbox… but when covid came around, those things were picked clean of even the junk movies, people were so desperate for entertainment.

    I actually won my first DVD player as a company xmas holiday door prize in 1999, back when they cost a lot. I was a big Laserdisc fan back then and wasn’t going to re-buy all my movies (I told myself, it happened later anyway LOL). 1st gen Panasonic something… it wouldn’t play anything that was burned and I gave it away a few years later.

    Currently I have 2 standalone BR players (one not even plugged in, in the bedroom) and PS4. I don’t play discs a whole lot any more, I have converted my huge physical library to PLEX a couple years ago. But I still have most of the discs and 90% of my audio CDs.

  21. I’m going to guess DVD is still popular because of the elderly, children, and families with lower income. DVD is the defacto common standard playback device and I think every household has some type of tech that will play one. The elderly peeps that I know cannot see the difference between SD or HD, or not enough to care anyway. H*ll, my mother would still own a VCR and be buying tapes at flea markets if she had her way. And for kids… parents will pick the lowest price option for kids shows/cartoons. Have you been into a discount store like Big Lots or Dollar General? They have huge selections of bargain movies and they are all DVDs.

    edit : I forgot another target audience… people who live in areas where you can’t get decent bandwidth to stream, or it costs too much money. My bro-in-law has a place in the mountains and his internet is 1mb DSL, and most phone service doesn’t work there. He has a pretty decent physical disc selection to keep the wife and kids entertained. Some are DVD’s, kids don’t really care just as long as they can get their cartoon fix.

    VLC can play blurays that do not include crazy levels of javascript menus and such. Also MakeMKV can rip your BR down to an MKV that will play on just about anything. If you feel like spending money, Anydvd and others like that.

    I’ve had a good experience with WinDVD Pro for standard BR. Not going to jump through all the BS to try and play UHD on my PC when I have 3 consoles now that can do so natively.

  22. Not going to jump through all the BS to try and play UHD on my PC when I have 3 consoles now that can do so natively.

    Ditto. 99% of my movie watching is in the living room where many devices live. I rarely watch movies on my PC (I mean like one I have to bust out a disc for)

  23. VLC can play blurays that do not include crazy levels of javascript menus and such. Also MakeMKV can rip your BR down to an MKV that will play on just about anything. If you feel like spending money, Anydvd and others like that.

    VLC and Blu ray never worked for me, I use some 20 year old cyberlink software I once got gor free once with a DVD drive or something

    Audio CD’s I rip with creative centrale which I got with a MP3 player over a decade ago, but it’s a bit dodgy on win10 and seems to be abandoned.

  24. Audio CD’s I rip with creative centrale which I got with a MP3 player over a decade ago, but it’s a bit dodgy on win10 and seems to be abandoned.

    There are many ways to do this, but I have used DBpoweramp forever. It still exists but it’s not free any more, but it does have a trial period. I liked that it has real multicore support so it can rip through cd’s really fast. EAC (exact audio copy) and FLAC are also popular.

    If you need to rip movies, MakeMKV and Handbrake are free.

  25. I’d be interested in backing up my collection to my NAS depending on the hoops involved…
  26. I’d be interested in backing up my collection to my NAS depending on the hoops involved…

    Not really any hoops, just time intensive depending on speed of your rig and quality settings you chose.

    MakeMkV and Handbrake – it’s down to basically three mouse clicks and swapping discs. If it’s DVD and not blu ray, Handbrake can do that without MakeMKV if you download the DLL

  27. I guess I should shut up and try the suggestions :D

    Got both of those downloaded and installed, we’ll see what’s what!

  28. I don’t remember ever owning a DVD player. Only DVD drives in my PC. Heck, I’ve never owned a bluray player either. Only a bluray drive.

    I still have a dusty old box of DVD’s somewhere in the basement, none of which have been played in the last 15-20 years, and some of which have never been played. I wouldn’t even bother watching any 480p content these days. If something isn’t available in 1080p or higher I probably just wouldn’t watch it.

    It just goes to show that there are many people for whom quality does not matter. I find watching low resolution content outright painful, but they just don’t care at all.

    As for my movie library, it is made up mostly of bluray rips. I buy blurays on sale and sometimes even used, rip them to the NAS, and then put the blurays in a big box I never touch again. I may even throw it out. Not sure. It’s starting to take up space. I prefer this over any kind of streaming due to the higher bitrates, and the dependability of locally stored content.

    And I ahve better **** to do than worry about whether or not I am watching the very latest content. I can wait until I can find something on blu-ray for cheap, and rip it. I’m not bothered by FOMO. Everyone else can be watching something, but it does not bother me. I still have yet to watch any of the Hunger Game of Thrones, and I am cool with that. I haven’t been to a movie theater in over a decade, and I don’t plan on going any time soon.

  29. Well you can get software for free that plays DVD’s on a pc, for the life of me I can’t get anything free that plays blu rays.

    I’d just use MakeMKV to rip the content you want to watch, and then play back the MKV. No need to play anything directly from a disc.

    This is a little more difficult for 4k discs than for regular blurays, but I haven’t migrated to 4k for media yet.

  30. This is a little more difficult for 4k discs than for regular blurays, but I haven’t migrated to 4k for media yet.

    Requires a specific drive with compatible firmware, but other than that, it’s the same MakeMKV / same process.

  31. Requires a specific drive with compatible firmware, but other than that, it’s the same MakeMKV / same process.

    I thought you also had to hunt the internet for a decryption key for the specific disk you were trying to rip. Is that no longer the case?

  32. I thought you also had to hunt the internet for a decryption key for the specific disk you were trying to rip. Is that no longer the case?

    I haven’t tried, I don’t have a compatible drive, so honestly I couldn’t say. I thought the encryption was cracked though, or rather, the firmware would just go right around the encryption (LibreDrive). LibreDrive has only been in MakeMKV for a little while though (2019 maybe)?

  33. Requires a specific drive with compatible firmware, but other than that, it’s the same MakeMKV / same process.

    I did a lot of research on 4k ripping and said screw it. I have ripped my movies since it was technically possible to do so…. 1080p BR is good enough or else I will try a 4K stream. I am not going through all that again, but not like you can rent 4K UHD anywhere anyway.

  34. I did a lot of research on 4k ripping and said screw it. I have ripped my movies since it was technically possible to do so…. 1080p BR is good enough or else I will try a 4K stream. I am not going through all that again, but not like you can rent 4K UHD anywhere anyway.

    Same reason I never went and invested in a drive that was compatible.

  35. The proliferation and quality available with streaming is pretty surprising to be honest.

    We did the whole Star Wars + Rogue One sequence and it had to be the best quality I’d viewed yet.

    Still, I’d like to be able to back up what I have…

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