In our era of fast-paced technology everything is so rapidly changing that sometimes we don’t even notice how our familiar things become yesterday’s fashion. Thus, we had to say “Good-bye” to VHS videotapes and players, Polariod cameras, floppy discs… The similar process seems to be happening now to DVD and Blu-ray video discs: we can do well without them!
Just have a look at the following facts:
- all current generation TVs can play video files from USB flash drive or have HDMI port to connect with a PC;
- Netflix, Hulu, MTV, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, Crackle offer all possible movies, series and TV shows for online playback;
- YouTube and Netflix apps come to smart TVs;
- Dropbox, Google Drive and similar software make it possible to store and share video files online;
- most Apple Macbooks are sold without an optical drive;
- DVD discs sales are falling every year, while Blu-ray sales never really took off.
So is DVD/Blu-ray disc burning really dead? Should we throw away standalone DVD players and buy a TV set with smart TV or at least USB stick support? We decided to address these questions to an expert. Please welcome Rob Boirun, the founder and editor-in-chief of Reviewster blog, who’s been testing and reviewing DVD/Blu-Ray and Video software for over 10 years.
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Freemake: Rob, do you often burn discs for yourself?
Rob: I still use DVD mainly for my movie projects. Our family has 3 DVD players in the house and this is what we use mainly for movie playback. I also burn Blu-Ray discs for this purpose as well for projects that I create in HD. Blu-Ray is also useful for large data backups that I want to store offsite.
Freemake: Do you feel that the global trend leads to phasing out of disc burning?
Rob: Trends are surely pointing that way. Now with digital movie streaming and on-demand services available through cable and satellite providers, many people choose this for movie consumption. On the data side, flash drives are really more convenient to use, since people are able to constantly add or remove files, in contrast to DVD backup.
However, there are still many useful things burning to a physical disc can provide. For video, many people still want a hard copy of a movie that they can access at any time. Believe it or not, but many people are still creating Audio CD’s from their music files, so that is still relevant.
Freemake: Do you agree that Blu-ray didn’t manage to conquer the mass market?
Rob: It’s true that Blu-Ray didn’t have the same market appeal as DVD did. When DVD came out in the 90’s, it was a totally new format that offered better convenience and picture/audio quality compared to VHS. As costs came down, it made it affordable for anyone that wanted a better movie experience.
But with upgrade from DVD to Blu-Ray, it was a tougher sell since people need to not only upgrade their players but their TV sets as well to get the full benefit. So the costs involved with a true HD experience were much higher than it was from VHS to DVD. That does not mean that Blu-Ray won’t eventually get to the same market appeal as DVD, it’s just a slower transition because most people are happy enough with what DVD provides and don’t see the justification for HD.
Freemake: What is your forecast for DVD and DVD burning? Will it still be popular in 5 years? in 10 years?
Rob: As I stated in an article I wrote last year, “on PC’s and Macs it is estimated that 95% of computers have at least a DVD reader on them while the majority of these drives have a burning functionality.” Just because of this, it will still be used, in what capacity is still to be determined. But I don’t see it completely phasing out within 5 years. In fact, over the past 2 years I have noticed that the trend has leveled out, meaning that it is no longer decreasing, but has come to settle at a certain level of interest.
Freemake: You’ve reviewed a lot of DVD/Blu-ray burning software. Which tools did you like most of all and why?
Rob: What really kicked me off in early 2000’s was the invent of an easy way to rip DVD movies started by DVD X Copy. The developers stated that everyone should have the right to make a copy of discs they own and this meant bypassing copy protections that were placed on the originals. Eventually the company was forced to shut down, but this launched a slew of other types of software that would do the same thing. They got around the illegalities by not including the decrypter in the software but making it possible for software users to access by 3rd party decrypters and the software would operate as normal.
Today there are plenty of quality software makers still updating their DVD/Blu-Ray software. Notable companies are Corel which owns Roxio, Cyberlink, Pixabyte Studios, Sony, AVID, and a few others. There are not many newcomers to this space mainly because these guys do a good job in what they offer and what they continue to add to their software.
And what is your opinion: DVD and Blu-ray video burning is dead or still alive? Share your thoughts in comments.
If you believe that it’s alive, you’ll appreciate our Gold Pack release with advanced DVD burning and menu editing options.