Is the DVD on its deathbed?

With Netflix and Apple seemingly intent on phasing out the venerable optical storage disc, its future looks less than shiny

(Image credit: Tetra Images/Corbis)

Earlier this month, Netflix jacked up the price of its DVD-by-mail service, prompting speculation that it is trying to phase out DVDs altogether, much the way Apple notoriously "killed" the floppy disc. Then, just as Netflix was denying any nefarious motives, Apple itself — purveyor of the DVD-less new Lion operating system and optical drive-less MacBook Air laptops — introduced a new line of Mac Mini desktop computers with no DVD drive. Should we prepare the DVD's obituary?

"It's time for discs to die": Apple is clearly scrapping the DVD, but "the revolution shouldn't be limited to Apple, or even just to PCs for that matter," says Tony Bradley at MacWorld. Now that we have better options — web streaming and flash drives, for instance — it's time to kill off the power-draining, noisy, space-consuming, inconvenient anachronisms. So three cheers for Netflix, Apple, and, if rumors of a disc-less Xbox are true, even Microsoft for taking us to a DVD-free future.

"Die, discs, die! Six reasons to kill the DVD"

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Don't write the DVD's obit just yet: I, too, "would love to see the DVD's demise," says Jared Newman at PCWorld. But it isn't happening anytime soon. DVDs are cheap, easy to lend, simple to sell, and "idiot-proof" for the Luddites who just want to pop in a movie and hit play. On top of that, Hollywood is stingy with streamable movies, and "a significant chunk of the U.S. population still doesn't have high-speed internet" capable of high-quality streaming.

"5 reasons Apple's Mac Mini isn't killing the DVD"

The DVD will live on, but "on borrowed time": Even Apple isn't killing off the DVD entirely, says Shane Richmond at Britain's Telegraph. If you want to use optical discs, there will be Macs that run them for a few more years, and PCs for a few more years after that. But most people wouldn't miss a DVD drive, and their numbers will only grow. Let's face it, "the days of the optical drive are numbered." Ready or not, you'd "better get ready to live without it."

"Apple bids goodbye to the DVD"

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