Friday, June 3, 2011

DVD's are Big and Stupid (Condensing the Movie Collection)

When Krissy and I first moved in together, we initially combined all of our belongings and then began to get rid of duplicates. We got rid of the largest duplicates first (i.e. the second bed), and then slowly worked our way down to the second set of silverware, second can opener, etc. The last duplicate to go? Our second copy of the DVD for the movie Gladiator ("I will have my this life or the next." That Gladiator).

The point is that DVD's are easy to let pile up and forget about. We of course had less of a use for a second Gladiator DVD than any other duplicate we had. We probably used even the second can opener a handful of times over the few years we had it, but never was there a use for the second Gladiator.

At our peak we had about 150 DVD's. And we never thought twice about them.

We actually began to get rid of our DVD's about a year ago, when we started our Netflix subscription. Once a movie that we owned became available in the Netflix "Watch Instantly" library, we sold the DVD. After all, if we can watch the movie whenever we want on Netflix, what purpose does the DVD serve? Through this process, we eventually sold half of our DVD's, winnowing our collection down to about 75 movies and TV shows. We have learned two lessons about DVD's.

First, DVD's are incredibly expensive. At about $20 a piece, we bought the 75 DVD's that we sold for around $1500. And we probably watched each of them once or twice, if that. Considering we could have simply rented those movies when we wanted to see them (at a slightly increased inconvenience) for substantially less, owning a DVD is a real rip-off. Even worse, they are next to worthless used. We were able to sell our best movies for maybe $5, but others we were able to sell for only a single dollar, and some not at all and we had to give away for free. Overall, the cost of ownership of the DVD's was extremely high, and their value to us was extremely minimal. As a purely economic matter, then, we concluded that DVD's simply aren't worth owning.

Second, in the aggregate, DVD's are extremely bulky. Look at our stack of 75 remaining DVDs:

That is four linear feet of DVD's! Not only does that stack have no place on a boat, but for how often we use those DVD's, they really have no place in our house. We have decided to sell them all before we move onto our boat. Most of them should appear on Netflix Watch Instantly at some point (probably before we'd ever have the desire to watch them), and if not, we can always pay a rental fee. Or better yet, just watch a movie we haven't seen instead. We have considered ditching the bulky plastic cases and keeping the discs in a big CD binder (think 1990's music collection), but even a CD binder of DVD's is not worth the space it consumes on a boat--we simply don't watch them frequently enough to justify even the reduced space they require. We have also noticed that DVD players are more finicky when it comes to scratched discs than are CD players, and the binder may very well cause some of the discs to become unwatchable. Being that we really don't watch them to begin with, however, that point is secondary.

So, in summary, DVD's are big and stupid and we are getting rid of all of them. Except for our CSI DVD's, which Krissy watches all the time and are not yet available on Netflix. Netflix, are you listening?

1 comment:

  1. I keep over 120 DVD's in a binder. I watch some of them pretty frequently (like NCIS and Band of Brothers). I haven't have problems with scratching yet.