On demand TV the death of the DVD?


In 2014 I wrote a blog for the Whiteoaks website about binge watching television – which I was guilty of, and still am. Back then I was making my way through nine series of How I Met Your Mother, and now I’m halfway through season three of Sex and The City (SATC) on DVD. After seven months of the DVD box set sat in a cupboard I finally decided to stop flicking through page after page of unknown films on Netflix and put the disc in the DVD player.

With streaming TV now the norm, it was a struggle to eventually dust off the DVD player. However, the average Brit has £100 worth of unwatched DVDs lying around their home – so at least I know it’s not just me who has neglected the once dependable disc.

It’s not even the video quality of the late 90s sitcom that put me off watching; it was the fact that you physically have to get up and change the discs and not wait 20 seconds for it to auto-play the next episode – like Netflix. Is it a good thing? Making you stop to realise, yes, you really have wasted five hours of your weekend lounging on the sofa in front of the TV. Perhaps it is, but Netflix has made us this way.

A new study shows that binge watching is a growing public health concern with 77{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} of people surveyed watching two or more hours of TV a day and 35{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} said they were binge watchers. So why do we binge on TV? Viewers say because they like to watch what they want, when they want and without adverts. So if this is the case, why is the DVD dying out?

It’s down to a number of limitations and one is actually owning a DVD player. With the rise of households buying smart TVs last year, DVD collections and players have been deemed to be too big to keep around. With smart televisions having access to streaming services like Netflix, there is no surprise this electronic device is being binned. Another inconvenience we all know far too well is when you’re halfway through an episode to find that there’s a scratch and it jumps back to the beginning – it’s already happened to me during a stint of SATC.

So while I’ve still got three more seasons of Carrie and the girls to watch on DVD, I’m not sure how much the home DVD player will be in use after I’ve finished the television series – well, maybe after the two films as well. With catch up and services like Netflix easily accessible on your smart TV, there is no real need to get up and change disc any more. As streaming TV escalates, does this mean that it truly is the end of DVD watching? I think so.