Let's continue onward with this debate.
The first con about digital is probably the most frequent negative of all time: the download! While some digital distributors like Netflix has instant download, others require you to sit there and wait "patiently" while the movie (or game (which is truer in most cases)) downloads, and from my experience, will drive you NUTS!!! Even with a good connection, expect to wait several hours for your purchase to download.
Another con about digital download is that once you purchase the product, there's no return! I know this kind of sucks, but at least the company where you downloaded from should give you the option of returning the product and giving you either an exchange of equal (or lesser) value, or return the charge back to your card. I believe that all digital distributors should have at least a 30 day guarantee if you're not satisfied with your product (speaking of returns, one pro I missed about discs is that you can exchange or another. I apologize for not mentioning this sooner!)
A third con about digital download is that the download you're doing could contain malware or some other type of program that installs a product without your knowledge (this is somewhat true also about PC games as well. SecuROM, I'm looking at you). Movies don't have this problem (at least...not yet).
Well, this should give you an idea about the cons of digital download. Check back for the conclusion, and see which is better.
Now that we've seen the pros and cons of owning discs, let's take a look at digital downloads, and I'm kicking things off with the pros.
The first pro is that the product will never run out of stock (unless the company pulls the plug on said product). A clearer way of putting this is whenever you want to purchase a downloadable product (like a game or movie), you won't have to worry about the item being out of stock, but, like previously mentioned, the only way for a digital product to be out of stock is when the company pulls the plug (Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics, I'm looking at you).
Another pro of going digital is that you'll save a little bit of money since digital downloads are tax free (for the most part). What's also nice about this is that the day it's released, you'll get access right away (there's a negative attached to this, but I'll get into that later).
A third pro about digital download is you'll get a package deal (games in particular are known for this, especially if they're in the same series). Unreal is an excellent example of this because there are five games attached to this deal. But when bundled, you'll only end up paying $39.99 (Source: Steam Store) versus $69.95 for all five games. See the difference?
This concludes part 3 of Disc vs Digital. Be sure to check out part 4 when I go over the cons of digital.
Let's continue with this debate regarding which form of media is better.
In the last blog, we took a look at the pros of owning a disc for your media. And now, we are going to take a look at the cons of owning a disc.
The first (and most likely) con of owning a disc is that the disc is vulnerable to scratches and damage. This is something I've had experienced before (and I'm sure I'm not alone), but when you buy something and open the packaging to reveal scratches, the first thing to do is return it to the store or an exchange or refund. I know this can be frustrating because you just bought a movie (or game, or music CD, etc.) and were looking forward to watching (or playing or listening).
The second con is not being able to watch because of a region protection. NTSC is an excellent example of this because in North America, Canada, parts of South America, and a few other countries, you can only watch movies (or play certain games) in said region. PAL is another example of this because if you were to buy a movie (or game) from Europe, you'd only be able to watch (or play) said media in an appropriate player.
The latter I find odd because I have a game (Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 to be exact) that uses the PEGI (the European equivalent of the ESRB) system, and I can play it on my computer fine (then again, if I play my cards right, it may have to do with my DVD player not having any restrictions. If someone can verify, let me know).
And that wraps up the disc section. Check back in a few days for the pros of Digital.
The disc (or disk, whichever you prefer): you've been around for ages. You've been very helpful in storing data and allowing us to carry your precious program(s) with to visit friends, families, co-workers and showing off the latest program. Of course, in 2014, you've still got it, but...what if I told you that there's a contender out there that wants to take your throne? Well, there is, and its name is Digital Download.
Alright, that's quite enough. I'm here today to talk about owning a disc (DVD, Blu Ray, etc.) vs digitally downloading a program to your hard drive. Both have their ups and downs, but today, I'm here to give my unbiased look at both, and see which is better.
We're going to kick things off with owning something on a disc. This first part will take a look at the pros of owning a disc.
The first pro of owning a disc is the packaging has nice artwork on it, which draws you in and makes the decision of buying it a little more clear. Some games (and movies) have really nice artwork, and a good example of that would be Dishonored: Game of the Year edition. The design of Corvo's mask is really cool looking in the game, and it looks even more impressive as cover art. My take on it (as a former artist) would be that the right eye (our left if looking face on) could symbolize a target (of sorts) locked onto a target either to eavesdrop or prepare to kill. The left eye (our right) makes use of the fact that Corvo is watching...so beware. The silver skull shape on black background makes the design pop out, and does add a little of that "spooky" look like as if the game is staring back at you.
The second pro of owning a disc is that sometimes you'll purchase an anthology, and you'll get multiple discs (the Lord of the Rings is a good example to use).
This wraps up Part 1. Check back in a few days for Part 2.
If you've been to my website (thank you for doing so) and read my works (thank you for doing that as well), you probably noticed that none of these have been published. Why?
Do they suck? Probably. Am I afraid of rejection? Of course not! While all of these questions are 100% legit, the real reason is because I can't find a good publisher.
My old English professor told me about Spectacle Publishing, and while it is true that they're looking for works of all kinds, the problem comes from their requirements. I've seen the list, and it's quite a task. While I am (metaphorically) dying to publish my stuff, the reason I'm not publishing my stuff is because (as previously mentioned) I would like to find a publisher that's good for beginning writers, not too many requirements, and can provide honest feedback (that's not to say all publishing companies are liars).
What I'm trying to say is I would like to find a publishing company that's flexible and can work with me on making my works better (and not to mention increase my chances of publishing success).
When I do get my works published, this will look really impressive on my resume.
Today I've decided to go in a slightly different direction with this next review, as I am not reviewing a single product, but a broader topic: canned air. Should you spend your money on chemically made air (check the MSDS for details), or opt for something else?
My first thought on canned air is "what the...? Canned air?!" I thought this was a little weird at first, but after realizing how useful this is, I decided to try it.
While it really doesn't matter which brand you use, they all serve the same purpose: cleaning out electronics, computers, hair clippers (I now opt to use a straight razor when I "cut" my hair) and so forth. What truly separates one brand from another (besides name and can size) is price. I find it ridiculous that two different cans of canned air cost different because one can is bigger than the other (save that sort of thing for food).
Let me put my previous statement in another way: if I were to go to a store and I see can A that is 10 oz for $4.98 and then I go to another store to see can B that is also 10 oz (keep in mind same brand) but costs, let's say, $5.28. Really?! Would bang for your buck come into play? I don't know, you tell me. While it is true that no two companies market the same product for the same price, I would've felt better if consistency was in effect (and it is also true that each retail wants to make that dollar). Canned air is canned air, regardless of size and brand. Just because one is cheaper than the other doesn't make it less effective (the same rule applies in the other direction).
Overall, canned air is a nice thing to have, but just keep in mind that because you pay for more doesn't mean you're getting more bang for your buck.
It's really starting to become quite a trend for people to record their game sessions and post them on YouTube (yours truly should have a good video camera come summer...hopefully) or any other site (dailymotion, vimeo, etc), and while there are a lot of DVRs out there that will do the trick; this one in particular is my recommendation. Why? Well, read on.
For what it's worth, this little device does a solid job of recording gameplay footage. The quality it records is very good, and looks clean. What's also cool about this DVR is that you can place your own logo so that people who view your video knows who it belongs to.
Setup is also very simple. While it isn't overly complex, there is one catch: you HAVE to install the drivers onto your REGULAR hard drive, not an external. I learned that lesson the hard way because I prefer to use my external hard drive for most things. Plugging in your device (for example, an Xbox 360) is also very easy if you have HDMI. I prefer HDMI because it takes less time and less guess work.
The price I paid for this DVR was actually quite reasonable. If I remember correctly, I paid about 80 some dollars, which is actually pretty good.
Are there negatives to this? The answer is of course, but the good news is there's only one gripe I have about this device: there is a 2 to 3 second delay between shots (meaning that the TV and the recording don't sync, which can throw off your timing if you're going to take screenshots. Believe me, I've taken a few bad pictures myself because I took them too soon).
Another negative is that the PS4 isn't supported. If the Xbox One is supported, why not PS4? It is true that the PS4 has its own recording device, but the problem I have with that is you can't take the images or videos from the PS4 and put those onto a flash drive (but then again, the odds of the video being huge are likely, thus taking up a lot of space on the flash drive).
Overall, this device will do wonders for the video game reviewer to be (like yours truly). The only drawbacks are lack of PS4 support and delayed syncing of audio and video. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give this DVR a 3.5 out of 5.
Ken Kriho is an upcoming videographer. He has a YouTube channel (link at home page). Ken is also a graduate with a degree in Art from UWEC.