Posted May 8, 2012 by Michael Pirovano in DVD

Phasing Out DVDs: What Comes Next?

Before there were DVDs there was VHS. Before that, there were 16mm movies. Before that? Boredom. The question is, what comes after the DVD? Predicting the successor to the DVD is a lot like predicting the apocalypse; both offer a variety worthy candidates. Here’s who’s in the running.

Blu-rays: Blu-ray disks had a slow climb to fame. Offering movies in higher definition (and higher cost) than standard DVDs, Blu-rays were not exactly an easy sell. However, film junkies everywhere soon found themselves giving in to the power of high-density optics. Will Blu-rays replace the DVD? Probably not. But they’ve played a large part in phasing out the DVD to make way for a new medium of cinematic entertainment.

Internet Streaming: As Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime dominate the online movie market, the younger generation of moviegoers has started to phase out their use of physical copies of their favorite films. For most viewers, putting a DVD in a DVD player is far more convenient than fiddling around online to rent our favorite flicks. As of now, this seems like the most likely option. But it’s not the only one.

3D TV: The 3D movement has grown slowly in its popularity. Most viewers are not ready to put up with the burdens of 3D glasses or, if 3D glasses are not required, can’t find many 3D movies that are worth their time to watch. However, as our understanding of 3D technology improves, it will come as no surprise to find more convenient options being made available. It is doubtful that 3D television and films will be the death of the DVD, but they will likely serve as a gateway into the next level of entertainment technology.

Holographics: This is no joke. The development of holographic technology is underway. In fact, it already exists. Holographs were used during the election 2008 when Jessica Yellin was beamed into the CNN Election Center from Chicago to report on election progress. It took three weeks for engineers to set up a ring of cameras to capture the reporter from every angle. Clearly, this technology is not ready to be commercialized. However, various sources report that holographic capabilities will be made available to the public by 2020.

DVDs have had a good run but all good things must come to an end. While it will be several years before we can fully wean ourselves off of things like Redbox, Blockbuster kiosks, or free DVD rentals at the local library, you can expect to find newer, more advanced alternatives begin to emerge in the coming years.

Michael Pirovano

Michael Pirovano is an acclaimed comedy writer and voice actor. He is currently studying Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.