Now that iTunes allows purchased films to be re-downloaded as desired, it seems like a practical way to buy films. The immediacy of downloaded content beats mail-ordering discs, and to my eyes the 1080p downloads compare reasonably with 1080p from a Blu-ray.
In practical terms, we have nine or ten devices in the house that can play Netflix or iTunes media, compared to the single Blu-ray player connected to the TV. This is particularly useful when Beth develops cinematic obsessions. (How many times can an eight-year-old watch The Lion King in a weekend? How many times do we want to watch it?)
But more importantly, I have developed an intolerance for the preambles and introductory material that pervades films on physical media. Why on earth would I want to watch adverts, trailers, copyright warnings, menu loading screens, or, for that matter, use menus that look like 1990s multimedia presentations? When I want to watch a film, I want to get the film as quickly and painlessly as possible, without hassle or interruption.
We wouldn’t tolerate record companies putting guff like that at the start of CDs, so why do we put up with it with films?