The Sorry State of Video

As mentioned in my New Year’s Tech Resolutions, one of them was to work on creating my digital library on my Synology NAS using Plex. Part of this is necessitated by the constant searching for movies (my two-year-old loves to move them around), as well as ensuring a copy should one get destroyed or ruined. Another reason is that streaming video, especially 4K, chews a lot of bandwidth which Comcast/Xfinity has deemed a scarce resource and restricts usage to 1TB or less unless you feed the Pay Phone more quarters.

In beginning my quest to digitize I started by integrating all my digital accounts via Movies Anywhere, if you haven’t done so I urge you to. You can combine Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Vudu all into a single pane of glass to show all your digital content. Most major studios are on board which makes it very handy.

Movie Library from Movies Anywhere
Several of my movies after linking the retailers in Movies Anywhere

Some of these movies I only own digitally, others are movies where there was a code inside the physical disc to enable a digital copy. Also a few of these movies are 100% 4K that I purchased through various places. Here’s the rub, while you can download movies from the various digital movie stores, you can’t download them in Full 1080p HD let alone 4K. They don’t tell you that up front but after downloading a few known 4K movies and launching them they all were about 4GB and were 720P. Apple, Microsoft, Google (which doesn’t even let you download on a PC) and Vudu. I don’t have a physical disk, I have no other way to get them onto my NAS. Yes I can stream them through the movies anywhere app or any digital store app but again I’d like to let them sit locally on my NAS. My NAS has a better uptime than anything Comcast offers as well as the stream is a much faster connection.

Movies are where we were with MP3’s years ago. I am sure the studios are 100% behind it, and probably enforcing the stores to toe the line or they won’t allow their movies to be sold. Remember when the recording industry enforced all kinds of crap on the various music stores, iTunes included? The pirates all find a way anyway, it just makes it harder for the rest of us. At this point I would be fine even with some type of DRM as long as I could maintain a copy on the NAS and stream it to anything.

In the mean time I will still buy physical Blu-Ray, especially if the price is the same (or in some cases less), and rip them to my NAS.

Chris Gahlsdorf

I have been a System Administrator for 15 years now. I have been an avid Microsoft fan for over 20. From my first 486 with Windows 3.0 to my latest custom rig with Windows 11. I have gone from tinkering, to programming, to managing servers, and virtualization. I am a Windows Insider MVP as part of the Windows Insider Program.

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