The DVD was launched in March of 1999 with a promise to offer improved resolution and longevity over magnetic tapes (more commonly known as VCR tapes), which degraded over time with each playback. Because of these benefits, the popularity of the DVD immediately soared.
When HD (high definition) DVDs came along soon after, they weren’t immediately accepted as mainstream, but when the better quality Blu-ray discs were introduced, the public finally latched on to the HD idea. These were better protected than the originally designed DVDs; this reduced piracy, to some extent.
To those who love streaming movies on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vudu, and others, the era of the DVD would seem to have passed. But has the DVD become a physical media relic, much like the cassette tape?
Yes, DVD sales have fallen over recent years, but there is still high demand for DVDs; many people prefer to watch movies on a physical DVD. When you buy a DVD, you own it—unlike live streaming, where you are at the mercy of the internet and the rights stipulated by the streaming service. With a DVD, you can watch your movie over and over again, whenever you want to.
A few FAQs about DVDs:
Will CDs and DVDs Disappear?
Although many are predicting that CDs and DVDs will become obsolete, it seems they’ll still be around for quite some time. DVDs are advantageous because you can watch movies even when the internet is down, or when you do not have wifi.
They also come with great features and higher resolution than what you get with live streaming. And as prevalent and available as the internet has become, parents want to keep their kids off the internet until they are of age.
DVDs offer the advantage of allowing children to watch appropriate movies without utilizing the internet.
Do DVDs Last Forever?
According to this report by the Guardian, commercial DVDs are expected to last up to 50 years. This is assuming that the DVD is high-quality, well-pressed, and carefully handled and stored; DVDs that are commercially written—that is, stamped, not burned—fall into this longer-lasting category.
When burned as backups, DVDs can last anywhere between 3and 200 years. For anything that outlasts a human lifetime, then it can be said that it lasts forever. Discs need to be stored vertically in a cool dark place, and nothing should be written or adhered to them.
If you have used DVDs for backup, you should check them every couple of years to ensure that they are still safe.
How long will DVDs be around?
It is hard to say, exactly…but, as with most things, DVDs will be around for as long as there is demand for them. Though their demand is diminishing, it seems safe to say that they might still be around for many years to come.