Streaming/Cord Cutting vs Discs

russ_watters
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Main Question or Discussion Point

This is a spin-off of the streaming vs disc discussion in this thread:
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/terminator-dark-fate-movie-review.979853/
I'd really like to hear more opinions on discs vs streaming and/or cord cutting because the landscape is complicated.

I'm a movie fan and I've been a Netflix subscriber for at least 15 years; since before there was streaming. I'm on a 2 disc at a time plan for $15 a month, plus streaming for $13. I also subscribe to Amazon prime primarily for the shopping, but do occasionally watch movies/TV on Prime Video. And I still buy the occasional disc, ~$20. Also maybe once or twice a year I'll rent a streaming movie from my cable company (Verizon) when a new movie comes out that I really want to see, since cable companies get them first (Endgame). They cost $6. I've never rented from Amazon, but I checked and they are $4. I once subscribed to Hulu for a few months, but I don't think I ever watched it.

Per the other thread, my main reason for using Netflix for discs is the new movies. There seems to be some ambiguity on this point, so I just checked. Here's the top 10 discs on Netflix:

Green Book
The Mule
Captain Mavel
Aquaman
The Upside
Bohemian Rhapsody
Glass
A Star is Born
Cold Pursuit
Outlander (TV)

Of them, only Captain Marvel is available for rent on Amazon ($4), and Outlander to stream on Netflix or buy episodes on Amazon. I've watched 4 of these on disc (and a couple more on airplanes). So to me this validates my choice of discs. I watch a lot more on disc than on streaming specifically because more new movies are available. Also, I'd guess maybe 1 disc in 20 comes damaged (and I've never had one I own become unwatchable...though I have lent some out that never came back).

So I guess my main question for non-disc people is how do you deal with the issue of getting recent movies to watch?
 

Answers and Replies

11,108
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Ive always bought my discs for really special movies that i plan to watch and rewatch.

Recently though my wife gave me an Amazon prime subscription. Its been great so far. You can download movies and tv show seasons to watch offline which avoids any network slowdown issues or worse streaming on your cellphone plan.

Other streaming services must have similar offline viewing features that make discs obsolete and reduce your clutter at home.

In answer to your question though i dont watch recent movies unless i go to the theatre.
 
StatGuy2000
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Is Netflix still in the business of selling or distributing discs? I was under the impression that they have fully transitioned to the streaming business model.
 
russ_watters
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Is Netflix still in the business of selling or distributing discs? I was under the impression that they have fully transitioned to the streaming business model.
They treat the discs as a different business unit under a different website (dvd.com), which google tells me is 2% of its 140M subscribers in the US.

This amazes me given what I see is a spectacularly obvious content superiority in the discs.

This amazement/confusion is why I started the thread. I don't understand why the disc subscribership is so low and it concerns me because I don't want Netflix to cancel the service.

I'll give an example; I'm watching The Handmaid's Tale (a Hulu TV show) on disc. How would I do that without Netflix disc service?

...and not to pick on anyone, but it doesn't appear to me that streaming-only subscribers recognize what they are missing (they think they have access to things they really don't).
 
Evo
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They treat the discs as a different business unit under a different website (dvd.com), which google tells me is 2% of its 140M subscribers in the US.

This amazes me given what I see is a spectacularly obvious content superiority in the discs.

This amazement/confusion is why I started the thread. I don't understand why the disc subscribership is so low and it concerns me because I don't want Netflix to cancel the service.

I'll give an example; I'm watching The Handmaid's Tale (a Hulu TV show) on disc. How would I do that without Netflix disc service?

...and not to pick on anyone, but it doesn't appear to me that streaming-only subscribers recognize what they are missing (they think they have access to things they really don't).
I think that's it, most people are unaware that Netflix still has or even ever had disc service, or what the benefits would be. I have Sprint and they gave me HULU for free with my cell phone plan. I canceled it on my home service, so they offered it to me for a year for 99 cents a month. I just don't have the time to watch it. I also canceled Netflix, so far, they haven't contacted me with any screaming incentives to come back. I think the offer was $10 a month.
 
russ_watters
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I think that's it, most people are unaware that Netflix still has or even ever had disc service, or what the benefits would be.
Maybe - I guess I'm just having trouble processing that. Having very limited or no access to 90% of recent movies seems like it should be an obvious problem to me/people who want to watch new movies.

For example, when Avengers Endgame came out for home, I looked into how I was going to be able to see it. Currently the choices are:
-Paid rental from Cable Company
-Netflix disc service
-Disney+ streaming (launched today)

It's not available from Netflix or Amazon streaming at all; not even as a paid-extra rental. So I guess this means almost nobody watched it via streaming? Or are a ton of people doing paid rentals?
 
Last edited:
BWV
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For newer movies I rent from directTV and then just about any older movie can be rented from Amazon (or purchased)

stuck with discs for the kids to play in the car
 
BWV
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One argument for discs is Disney- they will remove older movies from streaming platforms if they perceive them as cannibalizing new sales, wanted to rent the 90s Alladdin for the kids, and it’s gone due to the new live action release
 
russ_watters
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For newer movies I rent from directTV and
That appears to be the general answer [via google]: $16B US market in 2017 with cable companies accounting for half. By comparison Netflix streaming revenue is about $1B in the US by my calc.

So, fair enough. Discs are cheaper depending on how many/what you watch, and I'm concerned they might be phased out for that reason. Fortunately that's the only way netflix can deliver the majority of its content so hopefully it will keep the service around.
 
russ_watters
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One argument for discs is Disney....
And for buying discs - kids watch their favorite movies over and over. That's almost exclusively a Disney phenomena though. I'm curious to see how their streaming service goes.
 
StatGuy2000
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@russ_watters , btw, the DVD service for Netflix is not available in Canada.

BTW, for context, here is an article dating back to 2017 about how the DVD-by-mail service offered by Netflix only plays an ever smaller role (which no doubt feeds into your concern about losing that service entirely).

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/netflix-quarterly-report-dvd-1.3942524
(Note that the article is presented from a largely Canadian perspective, but is still relevant in terms of the impact of streaming services)
 
11,108
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The November 18th Time magazine has a graphic on page 59 comparing the various streaming platforms that may be of interest to you.
 
Bystander
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curious to see how their streaming service goes.
Like Li batteries, not ready for "prime time."
 
FactChecker
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I have both the streaming and DVD Netflix accounts. Most of the older and classic movies are only available from their DVD service. Most of the movies that I search Netflix for (in the last week: Tremors, Sharknado, Citizen Kane) are only available on DVD. In fact, I bet that if you search for the movies on AMC's 100 best movies, you will find almost nothing available on the streaming service, but most are available on their DVDs.
 
7,801
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I'm with @jedishrfu , very few recent movies appeal to me.

The news is that in the coming year several new streaming services will start, and some content owners will yank their content from Netflix/Prime. Disney/Fox is an example. So Netflix and Prime will have much less content to offer.

They are trying to move the cord cutters to the model where they need to subscribe to 10 streaming services at $10/month each to get access to all the content they want. That way their monthly bills will be right back where they were before cutting the cord.

I assume that applies only to the streaming market, so maybe @russ_watters might be happy to see resurgence of the DVD market again, or maybe a pay-per-view streaming model.

Let's see, "cut the cord" is our verb for abandoning cable. What will the verb be for abandoning streaming? :nb)

It reminds me of the rise/fall of shopping centers/big box stores/online shopping. Consumer tastes change, and are influenced by what they are offered.
 
PAllen
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This is a spin-off of the streaming vs disc discussion in this thread:
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/terminator-dark-fate-movie-review.979853/
I'd really like to hear more opinions on discs vs streaming and/or cord cutting because the landscape is complicated.

I'm a movie fan and I've been a Netflix subscriber for at least 15 years; since before there was streaming. I'm on a 2 disc at a time plan for $15 a month, plus streaming for $13. I also subscribe to Amazon prime primarily for the shopping, but do occasionally watch movies/TV on Prime Video. And I still buy the occasional disc, ~$20. Also maybe once or twice a year I'll rent a streaming movie from my cable company (Verizon) when a new movie comes out that I really want to see, since cable companies get them first (Endgame). They cost $6. I've never rented from Amazon, but I checked and they are $4. I once subscribed to Hulu for a few months, but I don't think I ever watched it.

Per the other thread, my main reason for using Netflix for discs is the new movies. There seems to be some ambiguity on this point, so I just checked. Here's the top 10 discs on Netflix:

Green Book
The Mule
Captain Mavel
Aquaman
The Upside
Bohemian Rhapsody
Glass
A Star is Born
Cold Pursuit
Outlander (TV)

Of them, only Captain Marvel is available for rent on Amazon ($4), and Outlander to stream on Netflix or buy episodes on Amazon. I've watched 4 of these on disc (and a couple more on airplanes). So to me this validates my choice of discs. I watch a lot more on disc than on streaming specifically because more new movies are available. Also, I'd guess maybe 1 disc in 20 comes damaged (and I've never had one I own become unwatchable...though I have lent some out that never came back).

So I guess my main question for non-disc people is how do you deal with the issue of getting recent movies to watch?
I also continue to maintain a netflix dvd subscription in addition to several streaming services, but no cable for some time. The netflix dvd library is over 80000 movies, and for many indie/foreign movies I want to see, Netflix dvd is the ONLY source at all. However, I have noticed that Netflix dvd coverage is steadily declining, leaving me dissatisfied, especially as streaming alternatives are just not competitive. Perhaps, over time, services like Vudu will catch up, but for the number of movies I watch they are twice the monthly cost of Netflix. There are also some small scale movies that seem to be only available to ‘buy’ on streaming services for outrageous prices of $15, while they are available at no incremental cost on Netflix dvd. Logically I see no reason for this, and actually hope that sometime there will be no need for dvds, but that still seems some unknown time in the future.
 
11,108
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In response to @anorlunda's question, cutting the cord we go to streaming. To cut streaming we must go back to nature and live a less stressful life reading books and/or developing our creativity and imagination.

Long live our books!
 
PAllen
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Just as an aside, my wife and I currently have over a hundred movies on our netflix dvd queue. Of these, only about a third are available at any cost from any streaming service. The third that is available would cost much more on a streaming service due to $4 to $5 dollars per rental or $15 to buy, except for the very few that are available with either amazon or Netflix streaming subscription.
 
11,108
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Are they recent movies or over ten years old?

Also have you seen the Taika Waititi movie: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Its a great movie made in New Zealand starring Sam Neill and Julian Dennison.
 
PAllen
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Are they recent movies or over ten years old?

Also have you seen the Taika Waititi movie: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Its a great movie made in New Zealand starring Sam Neill and Julian Dennison.
a few new, but mostly old, 10, 20 or more years old. I haven’t seen that one, I’ll look into it.
 
11,108
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Yeah, I like the old movies too. Decades ago, I got to watch the Janus collection on PBS. It featured many of Alex Guinness' early movies known as the Ealing Comedies. The most memorable was "Kind Hearts and Coronets" where Alec Guinness played a character who is disowned by his family and sets out to murder each one. Curiously, he played the main character and all the family members too. He finally inherits the family title of the 10th Duke of Chalfont.

In the end he is undone by a lover who reports him to the police for a murder he didn't commit and while in jail he writes his memoirs ie his murders. Unexpectedly the lover recants her testimony and he is set free and as he is talking to the press he mentions his memoirs and then realizes they are still in his jail cell...

Another great one is the Man in the White Suit with Alec Guinness that is one of my all time favorites.

And now back to our regularly scheduled discussion of cord cutting.

cutting2-e1477137433378.jpg
 
jtbell
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Let's see, "cut the cord" is our verb for abandoning cable. What will the verb be for abandoning streaming?
Close the spigot?
 
Tom.G
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Cut the noose?
 

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