A friend (and subscriber to LLVJ) asked me what I thought of the eventual phasing out of physical DVD format and the new downloadable option. Here's what I responded:
"I don't like it. I like to watch such things on my TV, in comfort in the
living room. I spend all too much time on my computer as it is, and
watching videos there is not something I want to do.
I don't mind waiting longer to get the DVD.
It's foisting off more work on the customer. Now I have to think about the
issue, make decisions, spend time downloading, then figure out how to burn
it to DVD in a format that will play on the TV, do the conversion, burn
the disc and then can finally get back to where I wanted to be in the
I may well let my subscription lapse when they phase out the DVDs, since
convenience is important to me. I don't have time to waste making it
easier on Michael and Chris. I'm the customer and I want them to make my
life easier, not the reverse. I don't want any more options or decisions.
I don't want any more complications in my life.
The disclaimers on the FAQ entry about this change also says that the
video quality will be less than we're used to on DVD. This also does not
impress me. These are visual images that we're looking at, and high
quality is a big deal for me, as it is for most photographers.
At some point, streaming full DVDs worth of video content may be
convenient and practical over the net. That time is not yet and likely
won't be so for some time, for many people."
Now all that being said, the above comment is predicated on what is available now (individual file downloads), and what has been committed to by Michael and Chris.
I can see their points regarding the hassles of physical media distribution. And getting my LLVJ fix sooner would be a "good thing". ;-)
So.....if they decide to offer downloads in a DVD iso file format, that I will definitely consider, since the inconvenience is much reduced. Downloads can happen overnight...I have a high speed satellite connection, but it will still take a long time to d/l 4gb of data, assuming the ISP doesn't throttle my connection!. Burning an iso to a DVD is trivial, with no video conversion effort required, and then I can relax in front of the home theatre, popcorn at hand, and enjoy the show as I always have. I get the LLVJ sooner and so am willing to trade that level of inconvenience against the faster delivery. But that's about as far as I'm willing to go, and the bandwidth issue is still up in the air.
Will I download individual video clips and jump through hoops to burn 'em to DVD? Not likely. I don't have the time for that, and the inconvenience of that approach outweighs the benefit of faster delivery and even the benefit of watching LLVJ at all.
Of course, YMMV.
Time will tell....interesting times!