It would be unusual to find a movie buff that has not built a personal movie collection. Since the advent of the VCR (video cassette recorder) three decades ago, film fans have been buying and recording movies that they want to keep. Some fans have even been known to record every movie they could if it was playing on television. At one time, the latter required a lot of fortitude and money. VHS tapes, while not terribly expensive individually, are not inexpensive if one is trying to record all of movie history from television.
When the technology for the consumer DVD was developed, it presented consumers with a better media choice over videotape. For one, the resolution it provided exceeded not only VHS recording media, it exceeded the standard analog broadcast resolution available at the time. Movies could be bought on the new format in a package that was easier to store.
There were other advantages of the DVD over VHS tape. Since VHS was essentially media stored on a long ribbon of magnetic tape, each full play of, or recording, on the tape required the tape to rewound. When the tape is at the end, the tape is essentially useless until a rewinding operation is performed. Rewinding a VHS tape could take at least two minutes or more.
The other related downside of VHS being this long ribbon of magnetic tape, there was no instantaneous way of skipping to a different scene in a movie. Repositioning, altogether, was poor. Without visually watching where you were, you might depend on a recorder's tape counter that provided a relative close indication of position.
The Writable and Rewritable DVD Disc
Following the development of the DVD, the writable and rewritable disc became commercially available. DVD recorders also became available and movie collectors were able to record off of television as they had done previously with VHS tape.
The major downside of recording off a broadcast signal was that the recording was done in real time. In other words, the time required to record a movie was the same as the length of the movie. The other downside was that if you were recording off the analog broadcast signal, the resolution was no better than of that signal. This was significant for DVDs as their resolution capability is almost double that of the standard analog broadcast.
Movies Became Downloadable
The capabilities of the (re)writeable DVD came to fruition for movie collectors only after movies became available on the Internet for download. Movies in high resolution could be downloaded to a computer's hard drive at a high digital transfer speed and transferred to a DVD relatively quickly.
Though illegal downloads became popular through P2P file sharing, many legal file servers popped up for business. Downloadable Flicks is a website that identifies several of the legitimate download sites from which you can legally watch movies online from their extensive collections of films.
No Excuse Not To Have an Extensive DVD Collection
An avid movie collector has seen a vast improvement in the technologies and services made available since the birth of the original VCR. With those improvements and services, a collector of films has now a vast choice of movies to own and keep that are of high DVD quality and which do not have to be individually purchased.