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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ditch The DVD Player? - Is It Time Yet?

Know The Movie?
    I watch movies while boondocking. I like to. Especially when it's raining and miserable outside. I brew up a pot of coffee, or something cold if it's hot out, and kick back to watch a film. Or, to be honest, sometimes I just watch a few episodes of a favorite old TV series. Way back in the beginning I used VHS tapes. Bulky, not so great picture quality, but they worked. Then I installed a DVD player and "repopulated" all my favorite movies and TV series with their DVD versions. They took up much less space, still had cool cover art and looked pretty decent onscreen. When I upgraded my system to include Digital Media Playing from a USB "thumb" drive or an external USB portable hard drive I thought about ditching the DVD player and offloading all the DVDs. But I haven't done that yet. Why not?

VHS!
Well, the main reason is I have a lot of DVDs! I have the ability at home to convert them to digital files and store them on digital media for playback, but it takes a long time per DVD and, to get it just right, a lot of tweaking of the settings. Much of the newest content coming out of Hollywood these days is already available digitally. And then there's streaming. With a good internet connection, you can stream the videos without even having them on board at all! Since internet connectivity on the road is so spotty, this is realistically a campground or WiFi available only option. This winter I have already converted 20 DVDs to digital versions. I have a small USB powered Hard drive that I have been storing them on. It has 2 Terabytes(!) of storage. Each hour of video takes up about 600Mb of space, so 2Tb=2000Gb and each Gb is worth 1024 Megabytes. That's a LOT of hours!

A Full Entertainment Cabinet
But I still like the DVDs. They exist in the real world, the artwork, the notes on the sleeve...all a nice addition to the pleasures of watching something on a rainy day. Eventually, I will have converted all the DVDs I carry and I'm reasonably sure my practical side will take over and say, "look, you can reclaim an entire overhead storage cabinet filled with DVDs AND half of a forward overhead that has the DVD player in it." It's kind of a no brainer. But I'll hate to see them go nonetheless. The question then becomes, what goes in that space. And THAT is one I rarely get to ask!


Who knows what the next iteration of content will bring? Memory cards? Movies on chips? Little glass cubes? Holographic storage on mylar? Who knows. I know that it all started with 8-tracks back in my car, and then cassettes, then CDs, now digital files on a USB drive (or phone.) Time marches on. Progress? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com

14 comments:

  1. How do you convert your dvds? I’m ready to reclaim my overhead bin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kerri,
      On my PC I use a program called HANDBRAKE. It works well, but requires a lot of tweaking to get it to compromise between picture quality and file size. It's not exactly user friendly, but allows for a lot of control over the final product.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. Go digital! It would take a page to fully explain our digitizing efforts. Before going fulltime 12+ years ago, I digitized all of our DVDs and music CDs. The CDs (about 600, almost 90 days of continuous music) all fit onto one USB stick (we keep copies). The video collection (which keeps growing) is now carried on 4 4-terabyte USB drives. We currently have about 850 movies and hundreds of TV shows (mostly series), much now in hi-def. I add a half-dozen or so new (to us) movies a month, and several TV shows.

    I have the software and hardware to automate a lot of it, but it still takes time to do and maintain. It's another something I can do despite age reducing the ability to physically do as much as I used to.

    Once a nerd, always, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Al,

      What's wrong with being a nerd?!?

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. We took all of our DVDs out of their case and use a CD/DVD case. Like a photo album.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Little Eagle,
      Now THAT'S a great idea!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  4. I remember what a pain it was to convert my old Beta movies to DVD's. It was SUCH a slow process (basically having to run the whole video in order to convert), I just did the ones I REALLY wanted. I'm just going to keep my DVD's as DVD's. We only carry a few with us for those bad weather days, and even then we may opt to read instead of 'watch'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MrTommy,
      Real time conversion of TAPE is a PITA!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  5. You know, if you just got rid of the cases you eliminate a lot of the bulk. If you want, put the paper info into a CD/DVD sleeve with the movie. I've got MANY movies in just a shoebox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine,
      My biggest issue with CDs and DVDs is always the danger of scratches. When the switch to CDs for music happened, it was a step back. You handle them like Records, where cassettes were easier and more sturdy for vehicle use.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  6. There are a lot of DVD 'copiers' & 'rippers' on the market, but Ive found that 'WONDERFOX DVD Ripper' is a very user-friendly program. It can make a 1:1 copy or a copy of the main movie of most all DVDs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donald,
      I've use it many times, Handbrake, while more difficult to setup, gives me better results with smaller file sizes. Wonder Fox is really easy to use.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  7. We also use our DVD player to view movies we rent from Redbox locations while on the road. Our player is integrated into our sound system so does not take any additional space.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown,

      Tough to find a Red Box when boondocking!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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