By John Fraser
All good things come to an end, and my faithful Blu-ray player needed replacement. I sought advice from a contact at Makro, who told me Samsung is no longer importing them into South Africa.
A trip to a couple of retail outlets revealed a couple of display units still on offer, along with some really expensive units. A trip to the Takealot website showed a few units, but no direct replacement for my dying one.
So I suspect the writing is on the wall. Just like VHS players (of which I could find none on the Takealot website) DVD, Blu Ray, CD players are slowly on the way out.
I did manage to find a suitable Blu-ray rayplacement, purchasing it from Amazon in the US. It was expensive to ship, the import duties were harsh, and it had the wrong plug.
But it was soon up and running, working well, and it plays my Blu-rays, CDS, DVDs, while having an excellent streaming facility which gives me access to Netflix and YouTube.
But what do I do if this one lasts less long than I do? I have a good collection of CDs and DVDs, many of which replaced now-discarded VHS and audio cassettes and vinyl (I did not expect the vinyl revival).
My assertion is that the people who sold me all of these discs of one sort or another should have some responsibility for keeping them valid. Either by getting their associated electronics businesses to continue churning out the players, or by starting their own production.
When I asked someone in the industry about my fears of the death of DVD, he responded: “Have you tried streaming?”
I have, yes. But I still want to return to the favoured drama, comedy and music for which I have already paid. Streaming is not cost-free. If you don’t have uncapped data, it can be cripplingly expensive. And not everything is readily available online.
So, it worries me that as technology evolves, some of the hardware to drive your home entertainment is facing extinction.
I would like to think the entertainment industry shares my concern, but there is a nagging doubt that it will recklessly continue to offer new products, new systems, so it can cash-in afresh, again and again.
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