Monday Jan 17, 2022

To transmit, or not to transmit

It can’t be argued that streaming movies, shows, and music is extremely convenient for the average user, but is it really worth it? Being an author and recording artist, I’m not a huge fan of streaming services as they only pay royalty pennies for any music composition they stream. This is not profitable for the average musician who used to earn dollars selling CDs. Streaming services like HULU, NETFLIX, and AMAZON garnered hundreds of new subscribers last year, mainly due to the pandemic that we are still fighting. Disney and Discovery recently launched their own streaming services. Major Hollywood production companies reported that they would release new streaming movies at the same time in theaters.

But what about local cinemas? If someone could see a new theatrical release on their tablets or smartphones, why would you want to go to the local cinema? This could undoubtedly harm the theater industry. I am totally in favor of supporting local businesses, especially for that BIG SCREEN experience. Obviously now is not the time to mingle with crowds of people until we fight this dreaded virus, but what happens when it is over? Will we really go back to normal or will we continue to isolate ourselves at home with our IOS devices?

I recently read an interesting article online that said that Blu-ray was dead and that Samsung killed it. The article mentioned that Samsung announced in February 2019 that it would no longer produce new 1080p or 4K Blu-ray players. The editorial went so far as to mention that Blu-ray was becoming obsolete in a similar way to HD discs, VHS tapes, and Laserdiscs. 4K Blu-ray offered us the best picture and sound quality for home theater. Soon, we will not have anything tangible in the form of music, movies, or literary articles to pass on to our children. Ah, the good old days of having a REAL BOOK, CD, DVD, Blu-ray disc, tape or LP record in your hands … will soon be gone forever. This is a large part of our culture that we must not miss.

Streaming has its downs. For example, I am not crazy to accept another bill. Streaming services may start off cheap, but like anything else, prices will eventually go up as new subscribers enter the game. Throwing another spanner into the service is the question of, what happens when the cable goes out during a big storm? Also, what if you are in a low-strip reception area, such as being underground on a subway train or in a tunnel? There goes your music or your movie. Unless you have pre-recorded media or downloaded files, you won’t have any entertainment … bummer.

For my part, I pride myself on having a home theater with a projection system and a large selection of movies and shows in various formats, such as 16mm movies, Blu-ray discs, and DVDs. I still like going to the movies, especially watching a horror or suspense movie with my daughter. I miss going to the theater or the local restaurant. We all must be diligent to conquer COVID-19 and get back to normal.

As for broadcasting, it has become a very important part of our lives; well, for most of us. Unfortunately, not all titles are available for streaming. Certain classics and especially independent films have yet to be added. Also, keep in mind that since almost everything on the Internet is compressed, you won’t get the same quality as a CD or Blu-ray disc; And forget 4K, especially projected on a big screen in the home theater. That is not going to happen with the broadcast. You should also keep in mind that streaming HD videos is only as good as your high-speed internet service. However, for those of you who have little storage space in your home, streaming may be to your advantage.

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