Pretty soon, the famous blue and yellow signs we’ve all come to know could disappear from buildings and shops around the country. Once the largest video-rental firm in the world, Blockbuster was forced to file for bankruptcy protection in September, citing debts of more than $900m. Increased competition from rivals offering DVD rental via the mail and even streaming services, as well as enormous leaps in piracy, have hit the company hard. Sales of DVDs are also down 40% from their peak.
The company will go under the hammer at a New York bankruptcy court today. Bids in the region of $290m and above are expected for the US company, which was valued at $4.8b as recently as 2002.
It has really been a long time coming: Facebook video streaming and a gang of similar competitors could be the straw that will break the DVD’s back.
But is it possible for DVDs to really become obsolete? What else is on its way out?
It’s strange to think that there are many of us who only have vague memories of VCRs. DVDs spelled the destruction of VHS, which has taken its place alongside Betamax, typewriters, and Discmans as items made obsolete by their successors.
Now, it looks like DVD players are the ones knocking lightly on death’s door: With the saturation of the movie streaming market, and consoles like the PlayStation 3, yesterday’s DVD technology is undoubtedly on its way out.
But DVDs aren’t the only things going out of style. What about laptops? We’ve recently seen an enormous increase in mobile technology, iDevices, and other such technologies. It doesn’t seem outrageous to believe that soon enough, laptops will be completely replaced.
Think about other items such as GPS Navigation systems. Almost every new smartphone has navigation capability, so in the future, the need for separate systems will disappear.
I guess what we need to accept is that it’s time to say our goodbyes and stop building our DVD collections. This is our send-off: You’ve been good to us, and the first time we laid eyes upon your shiny, thin, donut-shape and compared you to the ugly bulk of a video tape was a revelation. We’ll look back fondly on weekend trips to Blockbuster, but not so fondly on those phone calls reminding us we still haven’t returned our rentals.
Tell us what you think in the comments section! What else is on it’s way out?