I was poking around the other day looking for an app for my TV that would provide me with the animated Rocketeer show. Which is from Disney Jr. but is not available on Disney+. I also found a Pocoyo app that’s free but won’t play anything unless you’re subscribed, which is ridiculous given that Pocoyo is already on Netflix. I’ve had to sneak in and delete the app when my three-year-old wasn’t looking, because she keeps asking to watch “Pocoyo eating popcorn,” which is the icon for it. More and more, I’ve become happy with what I can just put into the Blu-Ray player and watch without worrying about who’s playing it.
The Criterion flash sale was yesterday, and tons of my friends bought things despite being subscribers of the Criterion Channel, because it turns out there’s still a good reason to own physical media. I’d been getting seriously into Perry Mason on Amazon Prime, and then without warning, they switched it to CBS All Access. And rather than subscribe to yet another streaming system, I just bought myself a few discs of Perry Mason episodes, because no one can take those away from me.
There’s a lot of talk about the rise of piracy in this age of streaming, and I’m sure that’s a thing as streaming gets more and more splintered. While everyone I know had wanted a la carte cable for many years, you can pay considerably more for all the streaming services you need to make up for a basic cable subscription than the cost of a basic cable subscription. That’s an issue. We have three services, and everyone I talk to seems shocked that we get by on just those—no, I don’t have the Criterion Channel, because I simply can’t justify a paid streaming service with no children’s programming, at least not until the kids are both in school and I have more chances to watch Criterion-type movies. But my goodness can those channels add up.
Lately, a lot of my independent watching—as in, “not what my kids want” watching—has been discs, because Zorro isn’t on Disney+. And for some of my favourite live action Disney movies, I haven’t bothered looking, because I know they probably aren’t there. But I don’t have to rely on what’s streaming to watch certain things. I’ve several times bought cheap discs of three or four episodes of a show my kids like because it’s not available without subscribing to another service, and I’d rather just put up with the limited episodes than pay for more than that on a monthly basis.
Because that’s a definite advantage to me—when I buy Knives Out, which I’m definitely planning to do, I’ll pay for it once. It won’t matter if it’s on Prime or Netflix, or if it goes from one to the other. It will be in my house, there, ready to be watched. Yes, it’s going to be a pain when we move to deal with all those boxes of movies and books; there’s a reason I move as seldom as possible. (I’m also a crafter, which is a pretty stuff-intensive hobby itself.) On the other hand, once they’re in place and on my shelves, they’re organized the way I want them and no one can take them away, and streaming doesn’t have either of those options.