Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the only-109-more-isolated-numbers-until-the-singularity dept.

Media 339

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "The environmental benefits of streaming a movie (or downloading it) rather than purchasing a DVD are staggering, according to a new U.S. government study by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. If all DVDs purchased in 2011 were streamed instead, the energy savings would have been enough to meet the electricity demands of roughly 200,000 households. It would have cut roughly 2 billion kilograms of carbon emissions. According to the study, published in Environmental Research Letters, even when you take into account cloud storage, data servers, the streaming device, streaming uses much less energy than purchasing a DVD. If, like me, you're thinking, 'who buys DVDs anymore, anyways?', the answer is 'a lot of people.'" The linked paper is all there, too — not just an abstract and a paywall.

cancel ×

339 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

environmental benefits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122385)

I also there are also environmental benefits for the researchers having published this study...

Re:environmental benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122597)

Are you even trying to make sense?

Re:environmental benefits (0)

stephenmac7 (2700151) | about 2 months ago | (#47122781)

Environmentalists say that less people leads to a better environment. Therefore, if the researchers dies it would be good for the environment (according to the environmentalists)!

Re:environmental benefits (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47122829)

Yes, but if we get rid of other particular people, it'd benefit both the environment and society. Comcast, Verizon, and MPAA executives would be a good start.

Re:environmental benefits (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122845)

Do you mean "less people" as in "less massive/skinnier people", or did you actually mean "fewer people"? I suppose it makes sense either way.

Nice try cloud guys (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122391)

and i'm sure it's more 'energy efficient' to have apps and office loaded from the cloud too.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (5, Insightful)

Zeromous (668365) | about 2 months ago | (#47122467)

As someone who has spent the last decade virtualizing anything with a power supply that wasn't critical, you would be astounded as to the savings from yes, *gasp* running apps in the 'cloud'.

It just doesn't mean what YOU think it means.

The cloud isn't just a hosted application that moves seamlessly around a cluster. It can be a head on a cluster, that hosts an application and save thousands of KW a year and you the end user wouldn't know the difference. It's a direct analog to the idea of ditching DVDs. Move the application where the backing resources can be shared, and managed remotely and you will save carbon.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (3, Informative)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 2 months ago | (#47122659)

Don't start all this "can't tell the difference" crap. Until you can get internet lags and stutters completely eliminated we'll be able to tell the difference.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about 2 months ago | (#47122681)

NEWS FLASH RUSS, The Cloud is not the Internet. There are clouds on the internet. Last mile's gonna always lag, but I'm still trying to figure out what you exact beef here is.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (5, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 2 months ago | (#47122731)

All "clouds" must be over the internet. The whole point of "the cloud" is that it is located remotely, on someone else's hardware, managed by someone else's IT staff. Elsewise, it's nothing more than the same data center you had a decade ago.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (0)

Zeromous (668365) | about 2 months ago | (#47122813)

No. Again, it is this completely idiotic and narrow interpretation of the cloud that is precluding you from understanding its advantages.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (1)

fullmetal55 (698310) | about 2 months ago | (#47122831)

Public and Hybrid clouds are, Private clouds aren't...

Re:Nice try cloud guys (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122881)

All "clouds" must be over the internet. The whole point of "the cloud" is that it is located remotely, on someone else's hardware, managed by someone else's IT staff. Elsewise, it's nothing more than the same data center you had a decade ago.

Not necessarily true. One aspect of the cloud is being able to rapidly expand capacity or relocate workloads based on application needs. "located remotely, on someone else's hardware, managed by someone else's IT staff" is more like a definition of out-sourcing. Cloud can be on my hardware, managed by my staff, be migrated to or augmented by remote capacity during peak times or special circumstances.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122875)

I imagine he doesn't want his video stream to lag/stutter.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (3, Informative)

mmell (832646) | about 2 months ago | (#47122865)

Most clouds I've worked with to date have been corporate clouds. No internet involved. Networks, yes; but no internet. Lag was never a problem for me in those environments.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (1)

amxcoder (1466081) | about 2 months ago | (#47122783)

Or in the case of the situations and environments I work, your statement should read: "Move the applications to where they are not accessible when you have no internet connection while you need to do your work".

Not everyone works on their computers in a cubicle with the company or home LAN available 24/7. My work is often on construction sites where the network infrastructure is non-existent, or at client sites, where the IT crowd won't let vendors on their network to access the internet. You have what you brought, and if your lucky you might have enough cell service to get a data card to work if you have one.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about 2 months ago | (#47122827)

Maybe your application is not a target for the cloud (or not as mission critical as you think it is)... or perhaps both.

Re:Nice try cloud guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122943)

Cloud is just a stupid term developed to be the "pointy haired boss's newest plaything"

All it is, is virtualized servers and services - absolutely NOTHING new here.

Actually, yes it is. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 2 months ago | (#47122849)

Not to mention that cloud-supported apps should be fully patched at all times (if the service provider is doing their job).

There are advantages and drawbacks to cloud computing; how insightful of you to point out one of the benefits in such an amusing way.

Hard copy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122395)

And if you're unable to read the study online, you can order a paper copy.

Imagine how much we're saving already with mail (2)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 months ago | (#47122415)

Just par for the course for the internet, with snail mail being it's first and biggest victim (and slowest to die).

A more interesting question to me, is what future libraries will look like bereft of physical media.

Who knew, when they were building thepiratebay, they were simply making the library of the future? Not just in an idealized sense, but in an actual sense of keeping the industry somewhat honest, like what the used car or textbook business does.

Re:Imagine how much we're saving already with mail (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47122841)

Snail mail is serving an important role in small-package delivery, something that wasn't needed very much prior to the commercialization of the internet and the invention of Ebay.

Re:Imagine how much we're saving already with mail (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 months ago | (#47122975)

Are you kidding me? Sears and Roebuck, America's biggest retailer up to the late 1980s, built it's business on mail order back in the late 1890s. Mail order catalogs were huge up to the 1990s, internet merely replaced it, didn't invent it.

That said, the USPS still cut it's distribution centers in half a while back:
http://www.federaltimes.com/ar... [federaltimes.com]

Re:Imagine how much we're saving already with mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122853)

I don't know what future libraries will 'look like', but I'm sadly resigned to the fact that they will come with a subscription fee.

Re:Imagine how much we're saving already with mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122873)

A more interesting question to me, is what future libraries will look like

Probably something like this: http://bookriotcom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/fiction-non-fiction.png

Energy cost of DRM? (5, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 months ago | (#47122417)

Did they also calculate how much energy would be saved if we would not waste processor power on DRM decoding?

Re:Energy cost of DRM? (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | about 2 months ago | (#47122477)

Just integrate DRM directly into the hardware -- more power efficient, and it Creates Jobs, Too! (But of course you shouldn't count the energy used for designing and fabricating those little ASICs -- that would be silly!)

Re:Energy cost of DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122983)

Integrating DRM costs money, cpu power, excessive numbers of additional transistors, copper, silicon, etc...

Doing away with DRM would save trillions of kilograms of carbon emissions, I can guarantee it.

Don't Worry, We Spent All the Energy Already (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 months ago | (#47122423)

>> If all DVDs purchased in 2011 were streamed instead, the energy savings would have been enough to meet the electricity demands of roughly 200,000 households.

Or, if you're like my family, the energy "saved" from spinning up DVDs on two different TVs has now gone into a more powerful wireless router (to support better streaming), bigger TVs (bought with money saved from cancelling cable), a digital antenna booster (so we can watch HD network TV without cable), and personal tablets that none my three kids had in 2011.

It's the energy cost of the drive (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 2 months ago | (#47122493)

If you read the article in detail, the energy cost for a DVD rented or purchased by mail is pretty much identical to that of one streamed (figure 4.)

The purported energy cost difference between DVD and streaming is entirely due to the fact that they assume you drive to the store to buy or rent the DVD. (In fact, there is actually a tiny bit more carbon emitted if you stream instead of rent or buy by mail, if you look at the right image on figure 4).

I assume if you buy or rent from a store you're going to visit anyway, this differnce vanishes

Re:It's the energy cost of the drive (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 months ago | (#47122701)

I assume if you buy or rent from a store you're going to visit anyway, this difference vanishes

They accounted for that, only 50% of the trip is assumed to be for the DVD.

You could cycle or walk to the store.

Re:It's the energy cost of the drive (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47122869)

That 50% assumption is stupid. You can't stream the food items or other things you buy while you're at that store. So you need to go to the store anyway, DVD or not.

Re:It's the energy cost of the drive (2)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 months ago | (#47122935)

It means that for every time you were going to the store anyway (but get a DVD too), you go to the store only for the DVD.

Re:It's the energy cost of the drive (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | about 2 months ago | (#47122953)

That 50% assumption is stupid. You can't stream the food items or other things you buy while you're at that store. So you need to go to the store anyway, DVD or not.

I agree completely. If you're going to make the trip for any item, plus dvd, the only fair comparison is the extra energy used to carry the weight of the dvd around as a percentage of the other items you bought. Which would, of course, be negligible.

Re:It's the energy cost of the drive (4, Interesting)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 2 months ago | (#47122987)

I assume if you buy or rent from a store you're going to visit anyway, this difference vanishes

They accounted for that, only 50% of the trip is assumed to be for the DVD.

You could cycle or walk to the store.

I rent or buy Blu-ray, not DVD. I do stream every so often. However, the local Redbox, which is within walking distance, is cheaper. I did have Netflix for a while, but they suck for new movies so I dropped them.

I'm willing to bet that the energy use would reverse if they did the same study using Blu-ray quality bit-rates. The energy used to go to the store to rent would end up being the same (possibly lowed due to higher fuel efficiency) but the streaming energy cost would increase due to the higher amount of data being stored, streamed, etc.

Re:Don't Worry, We Spent All the Energy Already (3, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 2 months ago | (#47122539)

Since, on a global scale, 200,000 homes' use of energy is completely insignificant, I think we might want to focus the effort elsewhere.

ObPr0nFTW? (0)

undulato (2146486) | about 2 months ago | (#47122425)

Energy saved enables cataracts surgery

False comparison (5, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 2 months ago | (#47122427)

Apples and oranges comparison.

.
When I buy a DVD, I own that DVD. That is why I buy DVDs. I don't want some DRM server somewhere suddenly saying that I cannot stream a movie I purchased.

Now if streaming allowed me to purchase and keep a copy free of DRM, then I'd be interested.

But so long as there is DRM, I'll continue buying DVDs.

Don't forget privacy (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about 2 months ago | (#47122511)

If I pay with cash, it's mine and nobody has that data to sell to someone about me. Also, nobody ever knows if I ever watched it at all, or if I went back and watched a hot sex scene or some dude's head exploding over and over again.

Streaming services track this kind of info. Many just blow that off, but it matters to some.

Re:False comparison (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 months ago | (#47122553)

In addition, streaming from, say, Amazon only provides the movie itself, not any "extras" - and, for example, I enjoyed the extras for Gravity (on Bluray) a lot. Do other streaming sources, like Netflix provide more? In addition, the experience / bit rate is limited by the available bandwidth and any transient events (I had a streaming movie from Amazon pause on me for about 30 seconds 3/4 the way through the movie last night)

Re:False comparison (2)

by (1706743) (1706744) | about 2 months ago | (#47122557)

But DVDs *do* have DRM -- it's just easy to circumvent. Is your issue with more advanced DRM that it's centralized (servers owned by some company), so your rights could be revoked at any time?

Re:False comparison (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 2 months ago | (#47122859)

DVDs are generally fine - a given DVD will always work on any DVD player around at the time it is created, and any newer player.

Blu-Ray is different - those can potentially be retroactively revoked, but in practice this isn't implemented. Otherwise discs will always work on newer players, but potentially not in older ones. At least, not until the master keys are determined (I don't think they are yet, but if enough get discovered they apparently can be found).

Re:False comparison (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47122883)

DVD DRM is so trivial, and already circumvented, that it might as well be ignored.

More advanced DRM forms cannot be ignored, and haven't been circumvented yet.

Re:False comparison (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 months ago | (#47122891)

If I can't "own" a copy on my own disk and copy that to another disk that I also control, then I don't really "own" anything.

Doesn't matter if it's physical media, a stream, or a file.

Centralized revocation of rights through DRM is a very real problem. Access to works get revoked or entire services go offline.

Some of my own media is older than any corresponding "service".

Re:False comparison (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122561)

Most people aren't hoarders. Once I've watched a show or movie, it's unlikely that I'll watch it again in the near future or ever. What's the point of collecting a huge library of DVDs when most of them will just sit there in their cases taking up space?

Re:False comparison (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 months ago | (#47122727)

Most people aren't hoarders. Once I've watched a show or movie, it's unlikely that I'll watch it again in the near future or ever.

They assume a purchased DVD will be watched five times, based on a cited study.

Re:False comparison (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about 2 months ago | (#47122937)

We have watched the extended editions of the LOTR trilogy about once a year (sort of replacing the old Wizard of Oz annual broadcast). We have probably gone through the entire Harry Potter series more than five times. And both sets have been lent to others. I *like* having my own copy, with no connections, with no oversight, lendable, playable at other locations.

Re:False comparison (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 2 months ago | (#47122871)

I presume, then, that you have no children. Kids often want to see the same movie over and over, even though they know what's going to happen. If you own the DVD, you can let them watch it whenever they want; if you have to stream it, they can only watch it again if the streaming service still offers it.

Re:False comparison (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about 2 months ago | (#47122957)

I think this is changing though. Younger kids may still want the non-interactive experience of watching a film whether once or more often, but I think as they get older they turn more and more to games on portable devices, YouTube videos about games, tutorials etc. At least that has been my experience.

Re:False comparison (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 months ago | (#47122989)

It's not a lot of space really. If it's something you like, then you will watch it again. When that time comes, you won't have to worry about whether or not it's being shown any more or whether or not it's being shown in some mutilated form.

"cable edits" were a big problem for awhile.

Then there are carriage disputes and the likely Netflix equivalent.

Some people are just intent on making themselves as powerless as possible.

Re:False comparison (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122573)

Same reason I still get DVD or Blu-Ray's.
If the service don't feel like they are making enought and shut down what am I gonig to do with a file I can't play that had DRM locked to that service?

Re:False comparison (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122613)

When I buy a DVD, I own that DVD. That is why I buy DVDs.

When I rent a DVD, I own that DVD. That is why I rent DVDs.

Re:False comparison (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122679)

When I buy a DVD, I own that DVD. That is why I buy DVDs.

When I rent a DVD, I own that DVD. That is why I rent DVDs.

When I illegally download a DVD, I own that DVD. That is why I illegally download DVDs.

Re:False comparison (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122737)

But buying the DVD robs you of the opportunity to stare at a "buffering" screen 4 or 5 times randomly throughout the movie... Why would you deny yourself the chance to make your blood pressure surge like that?

First you need real broadband (0)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 months ago | (#47122433)

As those of us in the U.S. know all too well, our broadband service, let alone broadband service providers, is woefully lacking compared to the rest of the industrialized world.

With the advent of "net neutrality which isn't really neutral", that discrepancy will only increase, costing end users even more money for the same slow speeds.

This doesn't take into consideration the fact that if I want to own a movie/show so I can watch it whenever I want, the DVD is the way to go. I've bought it, I can watch it a billion times if I want (assuming the DVD lasts that long). As far as I know, you can't do that with streaming.

Once again, analog beats digital.

Re:First you need real broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122809)

um, ..., you do know that DVD stands for "Digital Video Disk" and that there is no analog data on it right?

s/Video/Versatile (1)

mmell (832646) | about 2 months ago | (#47122903)

Fixed that for you!

I've burned plenty of DVD's with absolutely no video in sight (and I fully expect to burn in Hell for a truly horrible double entendre).

Re:First you need real broadband (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 months ago | (#47122919)

Analog meaning a physical item compared to a stream of transient electrons.

No kidding! (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 2 months ago | (#47122897)

Up here, there really only is one broadband provider, and they gouge us by forcing us to bundle their cable service to their cable modem, and the total cost runs us over $150 for a basic 60 GB.

And how much energy will be spent... (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 months ago | (#47122445)

...constructing the infrastructure to support all that streaming? Not saying we shouldn't build it, but let's not suggest that it's any more "green" to go that way.

Re:And how much energy will be spent... (2)

alen (225700) | about 2 months ago | (#47122587)

ha ha

most of the internet buildout of the last few years have been to support streaming. without streaming video 10 megabit would be more than enough for everyone

the streaming cost should include all the switches and routers added in the last 5 years while the delivers for DVD's is already there to deliver other things. not like UPS/Fedex only drive around and deliver DVD's

Useless metrics (0, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 months ago | (#47122447)

Not including the power used by DRM enforcement
Not including the power used to burn a disc, let alone harvest the material to make it
Not including the power of the people involved in making such a thing happen
Not including the money used to lobby Congress
Not including the money used to lobby the EPA
Not including the money to lobby the FCC

If you're this fucking stupid, you deserve what you get.

DVD still have use. (4, Insightful)

PhotoJim (813785) | about 2 months ago | (#47122451)

I still buy physical DVDs - primarily because they are passively archival and don't depend on me a) having connectivity or b) having my server nearby. I view programming at some locations (like my cottage) where it's easier to bring a few DVDs than it is to copy a bunch of data onto a hard disk and then connect a computer to the television.

I also wonder if the energy consumption considers the issues of ramped-up Internet infrastructure and server capacity required to store, back up and stream the content. This isn't free and isn't emission-neutral. High-def (e.g. Blu-Ray) content is even moreso whereas the cost of a Blu-Ray disc versus DVD is actually almost trivial. Once you own the Blu-Ray player, you're done except for the marginal two or three dollar cost for the higher definition media.

Re:DVD still have use. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122563)

I buy DVD's because the programming I want to watch is not available via streaming. As an example: I own every Doctor Who DVD the BBC has seen fit to publish. This is basically, at this time every Who which is still existent. Netflix and the BBC in their infinite wisdom have seen fit to make a mere fraction of those serials available via streaming, approximately ten serials I believe.
Some older movies or recent ones are not available at all. Many classic TV serials are not available.

Re:DVD still have use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122689)

One serial per season of Dr. Who doesn't cut it here either.

Re:DVD still have use. (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 months ago | (#47122687)

"I still buy physical DVDs - primarily because they are passively archival and don't depend on me a) having connectivity or b) having my server nearby."

Uh, yes, you do You're a fool.

Re:DVD still have use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122771)

I also wonder if the energy consumption considers the issues of

I doubt it. This was probably assembled by people with a specific motive in mind, so all facts that dont progress that motive will be ignored.

So you are saying is... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122453)

That pirating movies has actually been helping the environment the whole time? I for one am glad keep up with my civic duty for a better tomorrow...

Re:So you are saying is... (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#47122655)

if you pirate CP, you're doing the world two favors!

Can't wait (1, Funny)

neglogic (877820) | about 2 months ago | (#47122455)

I can't wait for Bennett Haselton's comments on this study.

Blu-ray? (1)

su5so10 (2542686) | about 2 months ago | (#47122491)

Interesting that mention of Blu-ray is only in passing in the original article. Once again raises the question of why did we even bother with the Blu-ray / HD DVD wars when video-on-disk is so close to being obsolete.

Re:Blu-ray? (2)

arjan_t (1655161) | about 2 months ago | (#47122773)

I noticed the exact same thing. The reason why we bother is probably because nearly 8 years later it's still the highest quality you can buy, and it was miles better than any streaming format when blu-ray just came out. Even if in 6 years streaming will be in 50Mbit/s with better or comparable quality, then it still means we have had some 14 years where blu-ray was the best thing out there.

I also found blu-rays to be often cheaper than digital offerings (e.g. many TV shows are cheaper on blu-ray than they are on iTunes).

Further more, for a lot of countries (e.g. The Netherlands) download options for TV shows are incredibly limited. It's often impossible for those countries to stream from places like iTunes, Amazon or the Sony store. The number of shows offered on blu-ray is much larger and while blu-rays unfortunately can be region protected there are still more options to import.

Re:Blu-ray? (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 2 months ago | (#47122993)

I still see a lot better quality from disk. We stream nearly everything, but on the occasion that I put in a Blu-ray, I always say, "Wow, that looks really sharp!" At least for the first minute or two. After that I'm not sure if I notice or care. Hard to tell once you get into the story.

what about ongoing streaming costs? (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 months ago | (#47122495)

i buy a DVD or blu ray all the delivery costs are paid for once
i stream Dune or some other movie more than once and the costs of the data center and delivery have to be paid each time in electricity

maybe geeks don't watch movies on TV, but all my movies are watched on a TV using the same game console or an apple TV. and every blu ray player does streaming as well

I buy DVDs for the same reason I buy CDs (1)

mpercy (1085347) | about 2 months ago | (#47122503)

I like to have the media in my grubby little hands so that when the powers-that-be decide the lose my purchases in the cloud or decide that I need to purchase the same movie/music once per device, or...

I generally buy used CDs and DVDs from Amazon, rip them to FLAC (for music) and .mp4 for movies then put them on my in-home NAS for streaming. So the discs are touched once by me. I also convert the FLAC files to mp3 for portable devices like iPhone. I have a closet in my house that holds nothing much more than CDs and DVDs. A fire-proof safe holds a 2TB USB drive with a backup of the media just in case.

When I RIAA comes after me, I will be able to put my hands on media proving I didn't pirate anything.

I still pay for a netflix DVD delivery, too, because the PTB will not agree to let netflix stream all the movies that are available on DVD. The streaming selection sucks relative to the disc availability. Oh, and I don't rip the netflix discs 'cause that'd be stealing. I use netflix to watch a movie for the first time, if there's replay value, I'll go to amazon.

Please don't let Comcast hear about this (1)

ShaunC (203807) | about 2 months ago | (#47122505)

They'll hold Netflix up for even more ransom.

Is this a joke? (2)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 2 months ago | (#47122517)

And if cloud services didn't disappear from time to time either all together or on legacy platforms, risk me losing access to content due to an account block on some other part of the providers service, rely on me always having a fast connection handy, allowed me to download the content in high quality and transcode it for all my devices, maybe that would be okay.

But they don't. So it isn't.

Re:Is this a joke? (2)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 2 months ago | (#47122537)

Oh and let's not forget with Comcast buying out TWC and talking more about metered/capped plans, it may in fact soon cost even more money if you want to watch too much of the content you've "bought" or rented, every time you watch it.

Came to say the same thing (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 months ago | (#47122667)

The savings are infinite when you cannot play at all what you wanted to see, a dark screen uses no power at all.

Forget about traditional power savings... (0)

phillk6751 (654352) | about 2 months ago | (#47122521)

What electronics manufacturers really need to focus on is boosting energy efficiency by using harmonics. Using 60hz for nearly everything is very inefficient. There are various YT videos showing efficiency gains (although some like to call it over-unity/free energy when it's not) by matching the input frequency to the harmonics of the devices (light bulbs for example).

Re:Forget about traditional power savings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122617)

What are you talking about? Harmonics? Do you even know what that means?

Re:Forget about traditional power savings... (0)

phillk6751 (654352) | about 2 months ago | (#47122697)

Sorry, to clarify what I mean is oscillating at the resonant frequency of the device.

Re:Forget about traditional power savings... (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | about 2 months ago | (#47122819)

This is what causes bridges (and everything else) to fail. Resonating at the harmonic frequency of anything will eventually cause it to fail.

Technical expl. of harmonics, with car analogy (3, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 months ago | (#47122857)

It means, as the poster alluded to FREE ENERGY. Though, as he says - it's not - because then we would call him a quack. He's just implying that 100-102% efficiency is possible when you synchronize the frequency of your input power source to the harmonic frequency of your target power consumption or device.

If you need a car analogy, it's like filling your gasoline tank in your car and marking down the mileage, and then checking to see how many miles you have gone when you fill up the next time. This is where the quantum effect also plays a role, because by simply never filling the tank all the way up, you'll get an infinite number of miles per gallon. Example: Fill tank at 12,400miles, partial fill 4 times, then complete fill of 8.26 gallons at 13,175 miles = (13,175-12,400)/8.26 = 93.8 miles per gallon. Once you fill up the tank and mark the mileage down, though, you've cut off your "harmonics" and you'll get a finite value. That's why it's not really "free energy" because to get free energy or over unity you would never be able fill up the car all the way. The longer you can go without completely filling the tank and triggering the measurement, the closer you are to matching the engine/gasoline fill harmonics. I've achieved well over 300mpg in my truck this way, but I've also got special magnets on my fuel line and installed an "open flow" regulator on the air intake, so there are other advantages which helped me achieve this which are unrelated to the harmonics.

The same thing applies to power - whether it be lightbulbs or networking equipment or freely spinning bicycle wheels, though in an entirely different way.

If my ideas are intriguing to you, I would be happy to subscribe you to my newsletter.

How many are reading that paper in ... (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 months ago | (#47122525)

I wonder how many people are reading that journal in printed in paper and mailed to subscribers form. And how many are streaming it? When would the journal Environmental Research Letters switch to pure electronic delivery to be friendly to the environment?

Re:How many are reading that paper in ... (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#47122707)

0

Everyone

2006 when it first started.

I wonder how many slashdotters are unable to click on links and read what is there?

Environmental benefits staggering? (4, Informative)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#47122527)

Not quite. The only difference seen is with people driving cars to purchase the dvd.

So all of the 'environmental benefits' boil down to the assumptions they make about those purchases.

Perhaps it's just me, but I would lean more towards people already being at a store/mall for another purpose and picking up the dvd as an impulse buy. Non-impulse buys of dvd would seem to more logically take place over the internet.

Re:Environmental benefits staggering? (4, Informative)

pla (258480) | about 2 months ago | (#47122743)

Not quite. The only difference seen is with people driving cars to purchase the dvd.

This - THANK you, someone on Slashdot knows how to read! Hell, you don't even need to read, just look at the pretty chart.

Physically dragging yourself to the store, just for the purpose of buying or renting a single DVD comes out to more energy used. Every other scenario comes out to less energy, including buying it and having it mailed to you. And if you ignore the salmon-colored portion of each bar (the part that goes toward driving) because, for example, you bought a DVD while out and already at the store getting other stuff... Store-bought would actually come out as the most efficient.

More suspiciously, I find it odd that they dropped the "client device operation" energy consumption by over half for streaming. I don't know about you, but my USB-powered DVD drive draws under 2.5W; My TV draws 80-90W. I'd love to ask the authors what part of streaming magically makes my TV 20x more energy efficient.

"This info-tisement brought to you by Netflix and Blockbuster, who really wish you'd quit insisting we stock all these damned physical discs; and by the MPAA, who would like to remind you that you only license the contents of your DVDs, they can still revoke that license any time they want."

They can have my DVDs... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122535)

When they pry them from my cold dead hands !

When your media is stored in the cloud, you don't have physical control and it can be taken from you via any number of means, and for any number of reasons.
When you have physical possession of the media, it is MUCH harder for it to be taken from you!

We have already seen this problem in the Amazon case where they revoke "ownership" of 1984 (believe it or don't) and other cases of music services dying and taking peoples collections with them. Also services aren't allowing your media collections to be passed to your heirs! This is easy when you possess the media !!

The cloud is just NOT a good idea...

Re:They can have my DVDs... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122665)

The cloud is a great idea for everyone but the consumer. The actual bits are licensed, not "owned", and can be taken away at any time for any reason. Look how Valve can drop a VAC ban on anyone at anytime, and there is no recourse whatsoever, except creating a new account and re-buying all your games.

I've had music stores "forget" I bought certain tracks, so when it comes time to re-download or stream them, out comes the hand wanting a ten-spot for the same album.

Lets be real... best of all worlds is discrete media, be it physical CDs, DVDs, etc... as one has a lot more options to do something with the contents as opposed to a heavily DRM-ed stream that is dependent on the cloud provider and the upstream provider's whims if you get decent video quality or the chasing dots every 2 seconds.

One is forced to wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122543)

I'm going to assume that they took into account that most DVDs are probably manufactured overseas so our power consumption there is probably about as close to zero as you can get. I would assume tho I could be wrong that a computer is going to use a bit more power than a DVD player.

I personally doubt that the whole of the DVD viewing population has access to highspeed internet? Or the hardware for streaming, not that it takes much but still. Or that ISPs that have traditionally tried to avoid upgrading their infrastructure whenever humanly possible (but never seem to have a problem jacking up their prices) could handle all that extra volume?

Also did they look into the financial effects that the loss of the logistics and retail jobs might cause?

..and the drawbacks just as bad (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 months ago | (#47122589)

1. no control over purchase as it can be revoked at any time for any reason.
2. even the best internet streams hitch, lag, and drop frames.
3. complexity: the majority of nontechnical people understand the concept of placing a disk in a tray and hitting play.
4. value proposition. I won't pay $20 for a movie I can't really own.

Still buying DVDs here (5, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | about 2 months ago | (#47122627)

I'm still buying DVDs, because
  • they are a good archival media
  • they are multilingual
  • they play everywhere, thanks region-free DVD players
  • they are not DRM-infested like BluRay (thanks DeCSS!)
  • they are faster to get than to download, esp. box sets of series
  • they are always available, and can't be revoked or disabled by some anonymous entity

Who buys DVDs? Have you seen these prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122645)

The prices for physical media are dropping through the floor, a full season of a quality TV program might be under $30 these days. Rip them to your favorite open source media player and the physical copy becomes your backup copy. Sure, the complete Cheers box set might be more than a year's subscription to Netflix, but they are future-proof against changes in Terms of Service and the pending mutation of Netflix into something more insidious. Added benefit to no streaming: my viewing preferences don't get tracked by the gov't / unreliable corporations.

What about multiple lecture? (1)

MouseR (3264) | about 2 months ago | (#47122647)

Movies I buy (and I still do buy DVDs as well as online content such as through iTunes), usually are bought because I plan to watch more than once.

I'm sure the manufacturing and distribution costs of my DVD purchases are a lot less of a strain on the environment than having streamed these movies over and over. I cant count how many times I have watches some movies in my collection.

Sure why not (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | about 2 months ago | (#47122683)

Now if only companies such as Concast would allow people to experience that "rich multimedia Internet" I keep reading about rather than terminate people's internet because "they used it too much" then we could go down this road without being hassled for using the service we purchased.

But then again, when you are a monopoly (or near monopoly) why would you care?

Pft. I buy DVD's and blu ray disks more than ever now. Streaming from Amazon Prime and Netflix over a provider who's up front with the terms of the contract rather than hiding it. I know how much I can use and I track all traffic through my firewall using vnstat.

If we were to stream all content we receive it would easily blow through the monthly limits these guys have imposed. Not hard to do especially these days.

Physical media, the one big mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122769)

If the copyright industry could only go back in time! Their one mistake was permanent media you can own and archive. If only ... they had made their CDs and DVDs so they self-destructed as they aged. (We get that FUD every few months on slow news days.) If only ... they had foreseen streaming and never sold physical media at all. If only ... they had known in the 80s anyone could rip media on a cheap laptop. If only ... there had never been a hard disk and all computers had been diskless workstations. The mistakes of the past are haunting the copyright industry today. They could be making a lot of money, if only they had foreseen what was going to happen! Now they're stuck with people who already have all the music they want, and have ripped it, and don't need to buy it again ... and again ... and again.

I'm not like you (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122799)

Article says: "If, like me, you're thinking, 'who buys DVDs anymore, anyways?'.

Nope, I am not thinking like that. I buy DVDs so that I can watch them on my portable DVD player. Some foreign movies and TV shows are not available online. End of discussion. don't like that I buy physical DVDs from Amzon.com or Best Buy (brick and mortor store)? Don't criticize what I'm doing. I don't criticize online streaming. What is next, you gonna yell at me for using a Walkman instead of a smartphone to listen to my music? Leave me alone, ok??

signed, fed up

2B kg of CO2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122817)

2 Billion kg of CO2? Wow. that is like practically 3 ten-billionths the weight of our atmosphere.

one should also reconsider consumer capitalism (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 months ago | (#47122835)

The american notion that we should continuously purchase new things as quickly as possible so as to ensure our continued virility and happiness is whats really the problem. Imagine if instead of remaking a movie half a dozen times, we contented ourselves with the original and cultivated an appreciation for film as not just a disposable commodity but an art. Instead of butter-churning 10 sequels we stopped trying to milk storylines for box office parity. If instead of buying ever newer and larger televisions, we contented ourselves to only upgrade when and if the technological advancement were warranted and only if the purchase did not remove or restrict features already present. If instead of e-readers we maintained a small library of books we enjoyed, and when we were through donated them to a library. If Blu-ray and DVD werent packaged so extensively in a misguided attempt to thwart theft and instead came in a simple cardboard sleeve im certain a sizeable quantity of energy would be saved.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>