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Answerman - Is It Safe To Replace My Discs With Streaming?


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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2484
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:19 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
For me, Blu-ray is for the stuff you love. The shows that you want to revisit in the future, and know that they'll be there. The ones that you're proud to have on your shelf, like a great book. The ones where you want bonus features. The ones you want to pass on to your kids. The stuff you want to show support for. The stuff that you absolutely must have in its best, highest quality. With some shows and movies, I am simply not willing to take the chance that it might not be available some day.


I agree. I used to go crazy during Rightstuf holiday sales and buy shows on disc just because they were 6-10 dollars a coeur, but these days I've reached the point where I have to honestly ask myself whether I liked a show enough to have it take up space in my house.

To that end, I now keep a list of "shows to buy when they come out on Bluray" that I revise at the end of every season. There are only 4 shows that streaming in 2018 that are on that list, which feels about right, I think.

I'm still buying a ton of hard-copy manga, though.
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tsukikage85



Joined: 30 May 2018
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:23 pm Reply with quote
l don't know to what degree you answer questions in the forums, but I've been wondering whether digital purchases are a safe bet. On the one hand, it saves space, and you don't have to worry about the discs physically degrading or getting lost or damaged in a fire, etc. On the other, do companies have any legal obligation to keep purchased digital media available forever? Or at least as long as the company remains somewhat solvent? Could Amazon decide to just shut down its video service entirely one day, causing everyone who made Amazon video purchases to lose access to those titles?
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1599
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:27 pm Reply with quote
Justin answers in a much more eloquent fashion than I could, but for me the simple answer is, "No."

Of course, I am an outlier in this regard. I'm not someone who has any urge or feeling of obligation to keep up with new shows as they come out, or feel any need to be a part of the larger conversation. Therefore, I prefer physical simply because it allows me to watch on my schedule. Streaming, unfortunately, requires you to watch on someone else's schedule, whether it's the streaming service or simply the limited time offered by the license, should it not get renewed.

For example, it was through streaming that I was able to watch shows like Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutaro or Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold, and I wouldn't mind re-watching them at some point in the future, years from now. Will I actually be able to do so, though? Who knows, because CrunchyRoll could very well not renew the licenses for those when they expire, and neither has been given a home video release over here. Same goes for some stuff that I do want to watch, like Fafner Exodus, but would rather own it on DVD/BD so that I can watch it when I truly feel like it, than feel like I'm being forced to watch it, simply because I never know when it will be gone.

I've had it happen where I saw something via streaming once, and then when I finally got someone into wanting to watch it, it was suddenly not available anymore, even though it was still there just a month prior. Since the chances of it ever being given a physical release are negative, though, not only will I never be able to re-watch it with English subtitles, but now I can't even recommend it to others. Streaming is awesome, & I'm happy that it's changed the very way anime is now available for everyone to watch, but it will never be a proper replacement for physical media.
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Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
Posts: 843
Location: Europe
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:27 pm Reply with quote
Even in Japan very few Japanese ever buy a DVD or a BD.
Only hardcore otaku collectors will spend money on them. Before streaming age, they would rent the anime if they want to see it again. and now streaming are taking the place of those renting stores. After all, the space on Japanese homes are not as big as the west and physical media is very low on the list of things to have at home.

Unless is for a matter of collectors (i, myself are one of those hardcore collectors), renting and streaming will take care of anime needs.
Of course there are the risk of license endings and streaming sites going down. But lets hope a streaming company will take the place of the other, and rescue the licenses.


Last edited by Jonny Mendes on Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Яeverse



Joined: 16 Jun 2014
Posts: 681
Location: Indianapolis
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:28 pm Reply with quote
tsukikage85 wrote:
l don't know to what degree you answer questions in the forums, but I've been wondering whether digital purchases are a safe bet. On the one hand, it saves space, and you don't have to worry about the discs physically degrading or getting lost or damaged in a fire, etc. On the other, do companies have any legal obligation to keep purchased digital media available forever? Or at least as long as the company remains somewhat solvent? Could Amazon decide to just shut down its video service entirely one day, causing everyone who made Amazon video purchases to lose access to those titles?


Isnt that what happened with Micorosofts zune store? you cant redownload purchases, and etc.
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beholder242



Joined: 26 Aug 2016
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:29 pm Reply with quote
tsukikage85 wrote:
l don't know to what degree you answer questions in the forums, but I've been wondering whether digital purchases are a safe bet. On the one hand, it saves space, and you don't have to worry about the discs physically degrading or getting lost or damaged in a fire, etc. On the other, do companies have any legal obligation to keep purchased digital media available forever? Or at least as long as the company remains somewhat solvent? Could Amazon decide to just shut down its video service entirely one day, causing everyone who made Amazon video purchases to lose access to those titles?


Personally, I would lump "digital purchases" in with "streaming". In both cases, no guarantees are made that the thing you "bought" won't disappear when a license expires, and I think Justin covered this when he mentioned content being removed from iTunes. I'd heard or read recently about a controversy about an iTunes user who had bought several movies a long time ago and finding them removed from his library due to licenses expiring.
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zendervai



Joined: 06 Apr 2012
Posts: 114
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:33 pm Reply with quote
My collection is a little big and unwieldy (and no one wants to buy the stuff I'm trying to sell. Why doesn't anyone want the blu-rays of the Patlabor movies and original OVA so I can get that Ultimate Collection set?) but I'm lucky enough to actually have room for it and space to expand. But yeah, I'm mostly past the phase of "that looks vaguely interesting, I'll buy it" with the exception of the occasional Discotek release that doesn't have any streaming. Or Viz things because they don't stream in Canada.

My rule is basically "will I want to rewatch this?" If yes, I'll buy it. Admittedly, I do bend the rule when a really good sale comes around, but I try to limit myself. Especially after getting some stuff that it turns out I really don't like.
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 416
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:38 pm Reply with quote
I must admit that I have only skimmed the article at this point, but my answer is a resounding ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I love the fact that anime is so accessible now. Long-gone are the days of VHS fansubs and having to pay crazy prices for tapes or discs. Discs are much more reasonably priced, and now we can access any number of services and find all sorts of things available to stream. Anime has never been more accessible. But that said, streaming is NOT something you can rely on to be there when you want it to. I'm sure that all of us have been frustrated at one point or another when a show we liked disappeared from a streaming service for whatever reason.

There are a lot of shows which simply aren't on any streaming services either. Lets say you want to watch Evangelion....tough. Unless you bought physical media years ago, or you're willing to pay collector's prices for it now....you're screwed. And if that's true for a blockbuster title like Eva, it's certainly true for more obscure shows.

Digital purchases can be nice but they are not necessarily trustworthy either. There are plenty of real-world examples of how legal issues can result in people suddenly losing the right to play back music and videos which they supposedly "bought". Read the fine print in the Itunes (or similar) agreement and you'll find that you don't actually own the music or the movies which you "bought". At any time that stuff might disappear out from under you.

If there is a show which you enjoy and you want to be able to watch again in the future, the ONLY reliable solution to that is to buy physical media.
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tsukikage85



Joined: 30 May 2018
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:39 pm Reply with quote
beholder242 wrote:
Personally, I would lump "digital purchases" in with "streaming". In both cases, no guarantees are made that the thing you "bought" won't disappear when a license expires, and I think Justin covered this when he mentioned content being removed from iTunes. I'd heard or read recently about a controversy about an iTunes user who had bought several movies a long time ago and finding them removed from his library due to licenses expiring.


Fair enough, although in my experience I've noticed that often there will be iTunes media I've purchased that I can re-download, but that is no longer available for purchase - I assumed that's what he had meant re: iTunes content being removed.
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:40 pm Reply with quote
I love buying anime on disc (mostly Blu-rays). I do not buy them to simply have access to the content; they are a symbol of my fandom. I watch 50+ anime shows each year, and I usually buy 10 of those shows on disc because I like them enough to rewatch them multiple times. Perhaps it is silly, but I love to look at my shelves and see physical copies of my favorite anime.
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Just Passing Through



Joined: 04 Apr 2011
Posts: 242
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:46 pm Reply with quote
Is it against the law yet, to 'back up' your discs to a home media server, create digital copies for your own use only, to stream anywhere on your premises, or to take with you on your phone? It's like streaming but with the knowledge that your physical collection is safe in a storage unit somewhere.

I wanted to do this at one point, but today I realise that I'd spend so much time backing my collection up, that it's easier just to watch the discs.
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R. Kasahara
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 169
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:50 pm Reply with quote
tsukikage85 wrote:
Fair enough, although in my experience I've noticed that often there will be iTunes media I've purchased that I can re-download, but that is no longer available for purchase - I assumed that's what he had meant re: iTunes content being removed.

There's at least one album I purchased off of iTunes that was removed from the store and, best I can tell, is impossible to redownload. Fortunately, I have one or two backups of said album, and give the same treatment to my other digitally-purchased music.

Needless to say, I continue to buy hardcopies of anything I remotely care about whenever possible (and am pretty much a Luddite when it comes to books). One area in which I'm still pretty bad about getting hardcopies of, when available, is PC and many indie games. However, those are less of an issue, since thanks to patches, DLC, and whatnot, most any game's hardcopy is still reliant on some downloadable component, for better or worse.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3111
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:54 pm Reply with quote
One thing I do that i would not recommanded, is owning titles in order to complete a collection, like how I own Ergo Proxy(which i do not hate mind you, just not big on it) so that I can own the 4 Manglobe original titles.
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
I'm still buying a ton of hard-copy manga, though.
Yeah there is something about having a physical book that an ebook just does not have.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 3806
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:35 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
Justin answers in a much more eloquent fashion than I could, but for me the simple answer is, "No."


You would think that an old-school anime fan, who dates back to the early 90's, would be the LAST person on planet Earth ever to recommend streaming/DRM over DVD.
We were a people who grew up on the idea of preserving something permanently, before it disappeared again.

You don't have to have guarded your one 2nd-generation laser-copied fansub VHS of Totoro to appreciate the idea that in the old days, your one shelf copy was the difference between seeing your fan favorite and never seeing it again. My copy of Viz's Maison Ikkoku DVD Vol. 6 is testament to that.
Things aren't as extreme these days as they were back in the days of purple tape-traded VHS, before Disney discovered Ghibli (or during that time they tried to embargo it in the US), but it still emphasizes that a disc in the hand is worth ten in the clouds.
Especially in anime, where licenses can change with the weather, and you might not GET your program in streaming, if you trust it to other people.

Justin wrote:
But even paid "digital locker" based services like iTunes, Amazon and Google Play occasionally delete content. Usually everything that's up there stays available, but as all of those services will tell you, there's no guarantees.


Just last summer, a teen on social media discovered that half of his iTunes library had disappeared overnight, and proclaimed "Hey, wait...I just found out you don't own the movies you buy on iTunes!"
There was PANIC across the Internet. From folks saying "...You don't?? Shocked ", even though the disk fans had been saying exactly that for literally seven years. The rest of us disk fans were reminding the first folk how long they'd been saying that.
Of course, later, it turned out that the teen had just moved to Canada from Australia, and that the movies had been internationally rights-blocked. The panic-folk all breathed a sigh of relief, said "Oh, that", and went back to ignoring the issue....They probably shouldn't have: Folks, you've just had your first fire drill.

As for DRM, that may now have officially gone down in home-theater history as a FLOP. Past-tense.
There's a whole list of wrong ideas that went into the industry, but the main thrust is that the studios thought they could bypass stickler Blu-retail customers, and save money selling DRM to people who "didn't care" about how they kept their movies, and who just wanted quick easy convenience.
Unfortunately, the problem came from selling a new network to folks who didn't care: Survey numbers showed that less than 30% of those polled had even bothered to redeem their free bonus disk code for the new Ultraviolet "locker" network, and those who did objected to having to use Warner's Flixster service, when they usually bought their movies off of whatever service was handy to their device (eg. Amazon, iTunes for Apple, Google for Android), or otherwise found out, heyyy, my movie isn't on my usual library! Ultraviolet was finally given up for dead in fall '17, after four merchants went out of business, two studios dropped their movie content, and Disney rounded up a new service out of the four companies that had refused to join Ultraviolet at the beginning: Amazon, GooglePlay, iTunes and Disney.
Ultraviolet's slogan for the miracle of DRM--which they offered a hundred glorious reasons why it would "replace" Blu-ray/DVD within two years--had been "All Your Movies, Forever", in that if one merchant went out of business, your movies would still be safe in the central account...Nobody occurred to ask what would happen if Ultraviolet went out of business. Razz
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3164
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:38 pm Reply with quote
There's a lot of my collection that not only isn't streaming, it's not even licensed anymore... sadly, it happens in my movie collection as well. Streaming rights are not straight forward unless it's something being made "now" and if you're only interested in "what's now" then you wouldn't be buying physical media in the first place. So another "no" from me.


Buying digitally? Make sure you know their copyright/download policy before purchasing and make copies of everything and then copies of those copies.
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