Is it Really Worth Buying a DVD Anymore?

Is it Really Worth Buying a DVD Anymore?


If you’re over 30 then there’s a good chance you’ll remember the time that DVDs came out. They really were a revelation, weren’t they? Crystal clear video, scene selection and other special features. Can you believe it is now 22 years ago?

Still, time (and technology) has moved on faster than anyone could have imagined. So much so that I now find myself asking if it’s even worth purchasing a DVD anymore? 

Today my wife called me from the supermarket to say that my son desperately wanted to buy one of his favourite movie trilogy sets on DVD. The price was £15. While I wanted to say yes – as I know how much he loves it – I couldn’t help but feel that he’d be better off buying it as a digital movie on Amazon*. The cost of all three movies on Amazon was £18.97 but I felt the benefits of buying the movie to stream rather than on DVD made the extra cost worthwhile. 

So what are the potential benefits? Let’s consider a few.

You Can Stream a Movie on Any Device

The first benefit of buying a film to stream is that you can watch it on almost any device. 

We have a couple of TV’s in the home and sometimes the main TV is occupied, usually due to my love of sports. This TV is the only one that currently has a DVD player available via the PS4. This is going to pose a bit of a problem if my son wants to watch his film at the same time. 

If you buy the digital film from Amazon rather than the DVD, though, then it’s possible to watch it on another device. These include the other Smart TV we have in the home, his tablet, or even on a phone when we feel he’s old enough to have one. 

I know you’ll need an internet connection to watch it, but it’s very rare that people don’t have one these days. Even when they go to their friends houses they usually hook up to their WIfi. Which leads me nicely to my second benefit.

You Can Stream a Movie Anywhere

Another benefit to buying the digital version of a movie rather than the DVD or Blu-Ray is that you or your kids can watch them anywhere, not just at home. 

Girl watching movie on mobile phone

Our kids often spend time at their friends’ houses and sometimes like to watch movies when they do. If you buy a digital version of a movie rather than the DVD, then they will be able to easily watch it wherever they are, even if their friends don’t have a DVD player. So long as they can access the internet, they can access their online movie library. 

What About Streaming Services?

I mentioned buying a digital movie to a friend not long ago and he seemed to think I was mad. He felt that – with so many streaming services available such as Amazon Prime*, Now TV* and Netflix – you don’t really need to purchase movies anymore. 

While I get where he’s coming from, we all know that these services don’t carry all of the films your kids might like, at least not in one place. Often they will only have one film from a certain series and the other ones might not be available. This just won’t work for my kids as they do tend to watch the same films again and again. In this case I think it can pay dividends to buy a digital copy of their favourite ones outright.

Future Proofing

Another benefit of buying the digital version of a movie over a DVD might be future proofing against when DVDs become obsolete. 

I may be wrong here but I’d imagine that most people these days will watch a DVD through a games console or a TV with a built-in DVD player. The way things are going and with how much internet speeds are improving, though, it’s easy to see a time in the not so distant future when physical discs are simply a thing of the past. This could be especially true if we all download games directly to a games console with no disc required. 

Maybe I’m thinking too far ahead with this one but if you buy a digital version of a movie through a big company like Amazon or Google Play, then at least you know you’ll be able to watch it for decades to come, without having to drag out your old PS4 or XBOX!

More Durable

Before we look at a few downsides to buying a digital movie, I think it’s also worth mentioning one last upside. This is that when you buy a digital movie, you won’t have to worry about the disc getting scratched or the laser on your console or DVD player wearing out. With a digital movie purchase, you’ll know that it won’t ever get damaged.

Downsides to Buying a Digital Movie Over a DVD?

All of the above being said, I do appreciate that there may be some downsides to buying the streamable version of a movie over getting the DVD.

The first and most obvious one is that if you don’t have an internet connection, you might not be able to watch your movie. While this may have been a big problem in the past, I feel it is less so these days. It’s very rare that you’re unable to connect to the internet now. If you have a particularly slow or dodgy internet connection at home then I can appreciate why you might want to buy the DVD, but most internet connections can easily handle HD streaming these days. On top of this, a lot of streaming services will now let you download movies to your device while you have a connection, so that you can watch them offline later.

Another potential downside is that you won’t be able to sell your movie on ebay* or other sites if you or your kids get bored of it. As there is no physical disc or case with a digital movie, you will have nothing to sell on at a later date.

Then we have the price. As I mentioned earlier in this post, it did cost more money to buy the digital versions of the movies my son wanted, but this may also work the opposite way depending on if there are any special offers available.

Finally, there is the possibility that the streaming company you’ve bought the film off could go bust in the future, leaving you unable to watch your movie. While this is a possibility, I’d say it’s unlikely if you were to purchase through an established company like Amazon* or Google Play.

What Do You Think?

You’ve now heard my thoughts on whether it is worth buying a DVD vs buying the digital copy. I think you’re better off with the digital version. But what do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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