To Stream, Or Not To Stream
By Manuel Rose
There’s no arguing that streaming movies, shows, and music is extremely convenient to the average user, but is it truly worth it? Being an author and recording artist myself, I’m not a big fan of streaming services, since they only pay pennies of royalties for any musical composition that they stream. This is not fruitful to the average musician that used to make dollars on CD sales. Streaming services like HULU, NETFLIX, and AMAZON picked up hundreds of new subscribers last year, mainly due to the pandemic that we’re still fighting. Disney and Discovery just recently launched their own streaming services. Major Hollywood production companies reported that they would release new motion pictures via streaming at the same time to the theaters.
But what about the local cinemas? If anyone could watch a new theatrical release on their tablets or smartphones, why would you want to go to the local movie theater? This could undoubtedly hurt the theater industry. I’m all for supporting the local businesses, especially for that BIG SCREEN experience. Obviously, now is not the time to be mingling with crowds of people until we fight this dreaded virus, but what happens when it’s over? Will we really return back to business as usual, or will we still isolate ourselves at home with our IOS devices?
I recently read an interesting online article stating that Blu-ray was dead, and that it was killed by Samsung. The article mentioned that Samsung announced in February 2019 that it was no longer producing new 1080p or 4K Blu-ray players. The editorial went so far as to mention that Blu-ray was becoming obsolete in a similar manner as HD disks, VHS tapes, and Laserdiscs. Blu-ray 4K offered us all the best quality picture and sound for the home theater. Soon, we will not have anything tangible in the form of music, movies, or literary articles to pass down to our children. Ah, the good ole days of holding a REAL BOOK, CD, DVD, Blu-ray disk, tape, or LP record in your hands…will soon be gone forever. This is a great part of our culture that we mustn’t let slip away.
Streaming has its downfalls. For instance, I’m not crazy about taking on yet another bill. Streaming services may start out cheap, but like anything else, the prices will eventually go up as new subscribers enter the game. To throw another monkey wrench into the service is the question of, what happens when the cable goes out during a big storm? Also, what if you’re in a low fringe reception area, like being underground on a subway train or in a tunnel? There goes your music or movie. Unless, you have prerecorded media, or downloaded files, you will not have any entertainment…bummer.
I, for one, pride myself in having a home theater with a projection system, and a large selection of movies and shows in various formats such as, 16MM films, Blu-ray discs and DVDs. I still like to go out to the movies, especially watching a horror or thriller with my daughter. I miss going out to the theaters, or going out to the local restaurant. We must all be diligent to conquer COVID-19 and return back to normal.
As for streaming, it has become a very big part of our lives; well, for most of us. Unfortunately, not every title is available for streaming. Certain classics and especially indie films have yet to be added. Also, please be advised that since almost everything on the internet is compressed, you’re not going to get the same quality as a CD or Blu-ray disc; and forget about 4K, especially projected on a big home theater screen. That’s not going to happen with streaming. You must also note that streaming high-definition videos is only as good as your high speed internet service. However, for those of you who are short on storage space in your home, streaming maybe advantageous to you.
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