Wednesday , September 23 2020
Ten years ago $400 got me a DVD player. Two weeks ago, it did the same exact thing.

The DVD Player is Dead, Long Live the DVD (and Blu-ray) Player

Ten years ago I made the most expensive purchase I had ever made to that date. I went out and for $400 bought myself a DVD player. The player itself cost so much that I had very little money left to buy DVDs. I spent the next two weeks figuring out just where to start my DVD collection; with my limited finances I realized that I could really only afford to purchase three DVDs and I wanted to make sure they were the right ones. What did I end up with? Mission: Impossible, The Graduate, and Rain Man (quite honestly it didn’t strike me that all three movies had either Dustin Hoffman or Tom Cruise or both in them).

I tell you all this because two weeks ago that $400 DVD player broke. I know that I should be happy that the thing lasted for 10 years, but I was also somewhat disappointed; after all, it had lasted 10 years. Originally purchased in New York, the player quickly found its way to Baltimore for a couple of years, then back to New York for a few months, then to Los Angeles, then to three more places in New York, and finally out to California once more (the Silicon Valley this time) before dying an ignominious death. The DVD player had been everywhere with me, and was part of my life for more than twice as long as I’ve been married. Those three original DVDs even occupy a hallowed location in my collection, which has grown to over 300.

Losing that DVD player was like losing a part of myself. It actually hurt to throw it away. But, once it was gone, there was but one thing I could do – run right out and spend another $400 on a DVD player. Ten years later, and I spent the exact same amount of money (before tax) on my beautiful new DVD playing machine. Who said money doesn't go as far as it used to? For my $400 I now have a beautiful machine that is not only capable of playing DVDs, but Blu-ray discs, too. It's got a full-time connection to the Internet, a web browser, and even plays Playstation 3 games (this last feature is due to mainly to the fact that it's a Playstation 3).

Of course, having this fantastic new player left me with the same question I faced 10 years ago – having spent $400 on the player, I can really only afford (with my wife's blessing) three Blu-ray discs and I need to figure out what those should be.

Enter UnSpun (where, it is true, I am also a writer). Someone actually created a handy-dandy "Best Blu-ray Movies" list, which features some pretty nifty choices. Take a gander:

Not all of the above are available yet on Blu-ray, but it's certainly got me thinking. I'm not quite sure that Clue would really have anything added to it by existing on Blu-ray (and I'm not sure I'd replace my DVD copy), but the Lord of the Rings Trilogy? Now that I'd buy on Blu-ray. There are probably others that I should consider buying too, and if you have any thoughts as to those, don't hesitate to add them to the above list.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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