Monday, October 31, 2016

Calling Time on Region One

As part of our decluttering exercise prior to moving, at the weekend LC and I had another cull of our DVDs. This involved identifying a number that could go to a charity shop, and another number that, being Region One discs, were no use to such a shop and instead had to go to the bin. (Of course, either of these could have gone to Ebay to recoup a little of the money spent. But since the goal is to clear some much-needed space, and to do so quickly, we didn't take that option.)

In the course of doing that job, I came to the conclusion that it's long since time that I abandoned Region One entirely, much as I abandoned VHS a number of years ago - ever since we moved to the Playstation 3 as our primary means of DVD playback, the writing has been on the wall. (Actually, there's a strong argument that both DVD and even Blu-ray are already obsolete as well, and should be phased out. But that's another discussion for another day.)

What that means, I think, is that in the course of the move (probably while unpacking at the far end), I'll take the opportunity to sort out the Region One discs from the rest. These will then be divided into three sets - discs to be replaced with Region Two equivalents as soon as possible (eg "Die Hard"), discs to be discarded at the next cull (hopefully, there won't be too many of these - they should have been culled already), and discs that can't be replaced.

From there, there's an easy next step and then a harder next-but-one step. The easy step is to simply spend the money to replace the discs in the first set. Yes, it's a little galling to have spent money on a DVD of "Die Hard" only to spend more money on another disc and then throw away a perfectly-good disc... but it's not that much money, and so it's not that big a deal.

But the next-but-one step is harder, because that's a question of doing something with the discs that can't simply be replaced: things like "Reboot", which was never released on Region Two, or the "Babylon 5 Movie Collection" which is long since out of print. (The latter can be replaced, but only by replacing the entire series.)

The reason that one's tricky, then, is that those are DVDs I would very much like to replace but can't. And for the exercise to have any great meaning, I really do want to get rid of them, and the player as well. So it's tricky.

(Annoyingly, I did once have a bit of software that would have allowed me to rip those DVDs onto computer files, and go from there. I actually never used it for that purpose, but only to use my laptop as a multi-region player. Alas, that software went with the laptop some years ago, and is no longer available because the 'ripping' function was of questionable legality.)

Anyway, I guess the difficulty of that next-but-one step really depends on how many DVDs we're talking about - if it turns out that the two I've mentioned are the only ones, I'll probably take the hit and replace "Babylon 5" and abandon "Reboot". But if the list is significantly longer, maybe I'll hold onto them until the player finally gives up and I'm forced to make a final decision.

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