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Home video revolution: Innovation or laziness?

Christian Harding
Staff Writer

Consider this: about 10 years ago, if you suddenly felt like watching one of your favorite films and you didn’t already own it, the only way you could see it was to drive out to the nearest Blockbuster, or any similar video rental store, to check it out on either VHS or DVD, and try to remember to have it back in a matter of days.
Now-a-days, if anybody feels this urge, there are a couple dozen ways for them to watch said film, and making a trip out to the local video rental store is on the bottom end of the more widely used methods. Hell, VHS tapes aren’t even being made anymore. Today, the list of film watching implements is practically endless, with such opportunities being (but not limited to) DVD, video on demand, DVR, Netflix, Hulu, etc.
digital mediaThe instant convenience of having any film (or episode of a television series, for that matter) readily available on your computer screen just moments after deciding you want to watch it, has all but wiped out the physical formats such as DVDs and VHS tapes.
Just like the Internet is slowly killing off demand for printed forms of news medias (a moment of silence for Newsweek magazine’s print circulation…), all of these instant and readily available for streaming implements are doing some serious damage to the more long-lasting forms of home viewing devices.
Older generations used to feel a sense of pride in having all the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” films in their personal video cassette collections. The modern day equivalent to this is some X-Box addicted preteen bragging about how many recent releases he has stored on one of his flash drives, most of which he hasn’t even watched yet.
But now having gotten all of that out of the way, I concede that any number of these new mediums can prove to be quite useful in certain circumstances. For instance, if Joe Everyman is working overtime at ShopRite and doesn’t have time to watch the newest episode of “Hillbilly Lumberjacks: Generation Three”, then it’s sensible for him to want to prerecord the show on DVR so he can comfortably watch it after a long day of working.
In the end, I suppose that the recent upheaval of technology is pretty symbolic of its role in nearly every other facet of our lives. Progression is inevitable, and I’m certainly not condemning technological growth at all. It’s just that maybe it’d be nice if we gave the older methods a more traditional and satisfying sendoff besides moving onto the newest thing right off the bat.