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Physical Media and the Impact of Blu-Rays to This Space
Physical media is very much alive and well in early 2022, as it shall be for a long, long time yet, and this is all thanks to the collectors space of physical media items, big and small.
Physical media is important, and we think that it is blu-ray that takes the limelight when discussing this phenomenon, as we see time and time again proud blu-ray disc owners showcasing their collections, big and small, on social media platforms, the most prominently of course being YouTube.
There are hundreds and hundreds of YouTube channels dedicated to the blu-ray collecting of physical media, and these videos consist of blu-ray reviews, collection updates, collection overviews, and just about anything that you can think of regarding these blu-ray strains of art.
Blu-ray has become a physical media collectors haven even after years have gone by since its inception, and for good reason. No one really talks about CDs, DVDs and vinyls really much anymore, but there is a lot of love still out there for the HD blu-ray format.
Blu-ray collectors have become obsessed with being known all over the internet, most prominently on YouTube, with hundreds of blu-ray collection channels, showcasing their blu-ray collections to the masses, and doing blu-ray update videos and the like.
DVD's are still extremely popular, but given the dip in resolution and overall quality that these discs have when compared to the likes of blu-ray it's clear to see why a lot of physical film collectors stray more towards the HD quality blu-rays.
The key to remember here is that blu-rays are not going anywhere for a good long time yet, with almost all new movies coming hot off the box office almost certain to come to blu-ray, and the blu-ray collectors out there big and small will see this format thrive for some time yet.
The State of Blu-Ray in 2022:
Blu-ray in 2022 is doing better than ever before due to the arrival of the 4K blu-ray format, which has subsequently led to standard blu-rays shooting down in price overall, as it is now possible to buy blu-rays for as little as £4.99 (roughly $7-$8).
The blu-ray format launched way back in 2007 and we believe they are doing their very best in 2022, which we see as a big year for blu-ray, as there are more collectors now than ever before, as more and more people begin and expand their blu-ray journey.
Blu-rays and 4K blu-rays differ surprisingly, as 4K blu-rays are 4 times better (image quality, sharpness, depth of colours, sound etc.) than standard blu-rays, and quite often come in the packaging of 4K blu-rays with the addition of the standard blu-ray disc for the film purchased.
However, 4K blu-rays cost three times as much as standard blu-rays at this current time, and for the majority of people/customers will not make a lot of sense regarding the higher price tag of the 4K format as not everyone has a 4K TV, or perhaps even a 4K player, which is all necessary to use the blu-ray discs.
4K blu-rays as they currently stand are not worth the excess price tag over the standard blu-rays in our opinion and therefore should be held off on until the prices of 4K TV's, 4K blu-ray players, and the 4K blu-ray discs themselves plummet. We recommend people stick with the standard blu-rays, which play phenomenally well on large screen TV's, and will cost customers a fraction of the price, when compared to 4K blu-rays.
However, 4K blu-rays are a good way to future-proof your blu-ray collection, so perhaps buy a few when there are deep discounts, and are paying a maximum of £10-12 ($15-$20), which is a great deal that does occasionally occur in online retailers stocking the 4K format.
Standard Blu-Ray's is the Deal Worth Buying in 2022:
Standard blu-ray discs are beautiful and believe it or not offer better performance on the disc than any streaming service, as the streaming services output is all dependant on broadband speed and connection overall.
However, when watching a blu-ray disc there is no possibility for disturbances as the input is coming direct from the disc in the blu-ray player. Picture quality, sound, sharpness, colour vibrances, and all other elements of a movies viewing is all greater on a blu-ray than it is on a streaming service provider.
Whether you're heavy into movies, an avid viewer of movies, or perhaps simply casually into your movies, there is a blu-ray out there for everybody, and it is a simple joy to own a movie on blu-ray, similar to how there is joy to be found on owning physical media in other areas; such as CD's, DVD's, and vinyl records.
Where Best to Buy Blu-Rays?
Sadly, not a US page, but having seen numerous American YouTube blu-ray hunt videos it would be safe to assume that the best places to buy blu-rays in this region of the world would be Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Amazon US.
Here in the UK, or to be more specific, England, we have an abundance of places to purchase blu-rays new and pre-loved, which includes on the newer side of things; HMV, Zavvi, Zoom, and Amazon UK. Finally, on the pre-loved side of things there's CEX or Ebay.
HMV is particularly good due to their offer that seems to be permanent of 2 for £13 on a large selection of blu-rays, and if you spend over £20 on HMV then there is the option for free delivery, whereas their main competitor, Zavvi, will charge a delivery fee of £1.99 no matter what the customer spends online through their store.
Zoom.co.uk however, unlike HMV, have not faired so well in recent memory, as the online retailer has gone down hill rapidly, selling barely any of the popular blu-rays out there, and as such is a retailer we would recommend avoiding. Which is a shame, as Zoom used to be one of the better bargain blu-ray sites, but ownership changed, and with that the quality of the online retailer.
Be Proud of Your Blu-Ray Collection
Blu-rays are a form of media art, and as with any physical media collection this is something to be proud of, as it is you who formed this selection of movies in physical form.
Whether the blu-ray collection is big or small, a select number of titles, or an entire library of titles, this is an extension of your love for film, and that is something to cling on to as the collection begins to grow.
Blu-rays quite often receive promotions for blu-ray collections, which means there may be a deal on to purchase an entire series of movies under one packaging. For instance, it costs roughly £6-£8 to buy a blu-ray copy of a Fast and Furious movie, but to buy the series as part of a collection (total of 8 movies) costs roughly £35, which is just one of many star bargains out there on the blu-ray marketplace.
When growing a blu-ray collection it is important to know the movies that you're buying, which is why it is best to stream a movie before taking the leap to purchasing it as the movie may not be what you were expecting and you are left with a blu-ray of a movie that you don't even like.
Blu-Rays Are Super Affordable in 2022, And 10 More Reasons Why Blu-Ray Collecting is Still a Viable Thing to Do This Year
Blu-rays have never been more affordable, and a viable of an option like they are in 2022, with businesses scrambling to take your business, and this is simply the beginning for why blu-rays are still viable for collecting this year.
Here are 10 more reasons to start collecting blu-rays in 2022:
No.10 - Blu-Rays Look Great On Book Shelves
This is a simple one, but still worth mentioning, as when compared to DVD's overall appeal on shelves blu-rays look ten times better in our opinion. A good book shelf can make the world of a difference when displaying blu-rays proudly, which is why it is important to work out what book shelves best suit your blu-ray collection in the space that you have available to work with.
No.9 - Blu-Rays Have Better Discs Than DVDs
DVDs have a lower resolution, and scratch and damage easier. DVDs have and will always be inferior in every way to blu-rays. That isn't to say that DVDs are bad and not worth collecting, but when compared to blu-ray they simply do not match up in overall quality.
No.8 - Blu-Rays Are Still the Future
It may be an inclination that many people have that the 4K disc will one day wipe out the very name of blu-ray, but we highly doubt this as blu-ray is still as solid of a disc as anyone could ask for.
4K's are in all technicality better than the standard blu-ray in resolution, image clarity, colour depth, and overall quality, but similar to the story of DVD in comparison to blu-ray nothing is stopping blu-ray as we move into the near or far future.
The quality of blu-ray is phenomenal, beaten of course by the 4K disc, but this is a lot more expensive than the standard blu-ray, and the affordability when mixed with quality of disc is still won by blu-ray, as for the average home movie audience member the blu-ray is still more than adequate.
No.7 - Blu-Rays Have So Many Providers
In 2022, there is a whole mass of blu-ray providers out there that take things beyond the standard blu-ray transfer, and these are companies that have built up an outstanding following, thanks to all the added extras that these blu-ray products provide over the standard blu-ray version.
These blu-ray providers includes companies such as Arrow Video, Second Sight, Shout/Scream Factory, 101 Films, 88 Films, and many, many others. Arrow Video is perhaps the best known worldwide, thanks greatly to the presentation that their releases provide, with bonus features, behind the scenes talks, interviews with the cast of the movie in question, and then there is the overall packaging.
With Arrow Video, there are a few choice options when purchasing one of their releases, as we have the standard release, which is basically the standard blu-ray packaging release with a clear case. Bear in mind, this standard edition typically comes with the choice of a 4K or blu-ray edition. Finally, there is the big box edition (4K or blu-ray options), which includes the standard edition case within a hard slip case, along with art cards, a poster, and a thin booklet.
Second Sight releases are all standard slip case releases similar to Arrow Video's premium editions, as they come with a standard case for the movie inside a hard slip case, along with a poster and thin booklet. Sadly, we feel Arrow Video's releases are better in terms of overall packaging for the premium price tag, but the transfers for the movie in question are certainly on par with Arrow Video.
Shout/Scream Factory is a US blu-ray provider, most known for their horror blu-ray/4K releases, but unfortunately do not sell products here in England or the UK in general.
Other blu-ray providers do exist, but the best known ones have been listed above, but that isn't to say that the others are in any way or form bad, they just simply don't have the same calibre as Arrow Video, Second Sight, and Shout/Scream Factory when pumping out blu-ray movies.
No.6 - Blu-Ray Hunts Have Become Increasingly Fun In-Stores and Online
Hunting for blu-rays hasn't really changed that much over the years from an in-store point of view, except perhaps for the shortage of customers shopping around these physical media stores due to the online retailer market taking over.
However, the internet blu-ray market has exploded over the past 20 years, with an abundance of blu-ray selling retailers, and a library of blu-rays available to purchase which is way beyond what any singular store could house on their shelves. Not to mention, the prices of blu-rays online has come down quite some in recent years, making blu-rays the most affordable they have ever been.
On the other hand, physical stores are still exceptionally fun to shop in for blu-rays, and the one good thing about the lacking of customers in these stores is the free space we have to stretch our legs and wonder freely around checking out the blu-ray titles for some hidden gems at reasonable prices.
No.5 - Blu-Rays Have Glorious Blu-Ray Siblings, Known As Steelbooks
When blu-ray is concerned there is the typical plastic blue case which we are all quite familiar with, and then there are steelbook cases, which cost more but look and feel out of this planet. Steelbooks have a premium feel, design, weight, and look incredible sat side by side on the book shelf together.
Steelbooks all come with their own unique designs, finishes, colours, and presentations, and much more. The designs are sometimes totally awesome, but can occasionally look washed out, too ordinary, boring, and soulless, but then there are other times where there is an air of originality, joy, artistic values, and an overall interesting design.
There is a steelbook to suit everyone, and almost all new blu-ray/4K releases have the option for purchasing a steelbook version of the specific release, depending of course how well the movie did at the box office, as this is the justification the movie studio has for creating the steelbook for sale to the masses.
Price is seemingly the biggest factor in deciding whether or not to purchase a steelbook edition of a film as the prices can vary greatly, as typically a new steelbook release depending on whether it is a movie fresh out on the market or perhaps it is a steelbook for a film that has been out for years, the prices typically start at £20 ($25), going all the way up to £30-£33 ($35-$40).
However, there are cases where the prices can be cut quite dramatically and this is during sales, online predominantly, and in-store. For instance, Zavvi, a huge online retailer for steelbooks (among other pop culture related things), sells a lot of reduced price steelbooks, either because they have excess stock they're trying to shift, or there is an online sale happening regarding the steelbooks. occasionally, these sales for their steelbooks can be incredible going for as low as £10 ($15), or other times they can be between £15-£20 ($20-$25), which are all good prices.
Then, there is HMV, whose sales for steelbooks can be nothing to the bare minimum, which is why this store in particular (operating solely in the UK) is best comparing first with online websites like Zavvi, as often times the prices will be much easier to swallow at Zavvi when compared to HMV.
No.4 - Blu-Ray Media Books/Film Books/Digibooks Are a Super Underrated Design of Packaging
Film books (as we'll call them) are a blu-ray packaging that simply means the blu-ray discs come housed in a slim book-like product, and look superb sat together on a book shelf. Inside this slim film-book (such as a book would imply) packaging are pages about the movie; including how it was made, pictures, illustrations, etc., as well as housing the blu-ray discs themselves.
The artwork on a lot of film books are absolutely stunning, some better than steelbooks, but unfortunately film books are not sold too often at blu-ray retailers, or any retailer for that matter. However, when film books are sold for a blu-ray release they are nothing less than impressive to gaze upon for a short time here and there while sat in our blu-ray collections.
No.3 - Blu-Rays Can Be Purchased Everywhere (New or Pre-Loved)
Here in the UK blu-rays can be bought brand new from HMV, Zavvi, Amazon UK, and supermarkets, or second hand from places such as Ebay or CEX, just to name the major places at hand.
In Northern America, blu-rays can be purchased brand new from places such as Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon US, and Shout Factory. Second hand speaking, blu-rays can be bought from Ebay, and a whole array of second hand book stores.
The fact that blu-rays are so accessible in 2022 makes them all the more appealing, and to grab the best deals it is always worth shopping around as titles can be much cheaper in one store when compared to another.
No.2 - Blu-Rays Allow Owners to Own a Piece of Movie History
Blu-rays truly are the finest way to own a piece of movie history, as unlike with streaming services, these fine pieces of art can be touched, admired, and stored proudly on our book shelves.
No.1 - Blu-Rays Are Fun to Collect
Finally, blu-rays are fun to collect. If DVDs are a joy to collect, then blu-rays are next level fun, as nothing pleases the eye quite like the blu-ray packaging, which is a large reason why HD DVD failed.
There is a great community of blu-ray collectors out there who can surely point you in the right direction for new blu-rays worth adding to the collection, but most of all blu-rays are a joy to own and collect.
A Few Blu-Ray Recommendations, Based Purely On the Cover Artwork
Blu-rays sometimes have incredible poster artwork on their front covers, and other times the artwork is lacklustre to say the least. This is why we decided to create a list of a few standard blu-rays that have incredible artwork, while also ensuring the quality of these movies themselves are stellar.
A few points worth reminding:
- these covers are visually striking, and a joy to the eyes, and all of which are incredible movies, well worth owning on blu-ray.
- this list does not include steelbooks or media books, as these would require a separate list as it would not be fair.
- this list is not a fact, but rather my own humbled opinion.
Here is the list:
1. Zodiac (2007) (standard Blu-Ray)
2. Annabelle Creation (2017) (standard Blu-Ray)
3. 300 (2006) (4K Blu-Ray)
4. Alien (1979) (40th Anniversary) (4K Blu-Ray)
5. Fargo (1996) (standard Blu-Ray)
6. Shaun of the Dead (2004) (standard Blu-Ray)
7. The Dark Knight (2008) (standard Blu-Ray)
8. Scream (1996) (4K Blu-Ray)
9. - Gremlins (1984) (4K Blu-Ray)
10. Drive (2011) (standard Blu-Ray)
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