I took the brave jump recently and stored all my DVDs in a caselogic case. For pure personal convenience, you understand.
232 was the final count. As I did this, I took the opportunity to weigh the cases (in their garbage bags, 60 per bag), with the notion of figuring out how much a film weighs. The less it weighs, the more convenient as a travelling companion!
This gave me a total mass of 78 grams per film, including standard cases. That's just the 20cm high case, not the battleship containers they come in, all well disposed of, mere minutes after purchase.
Toying around with these numbers, that gave me a collection mass of 18 killograms (about 40 of those imperial pounds). But, by throwing out the packaging and sticking to sleeve books, this came down to 3.2kg, or, on a per DVD basis, a mass of 13.7g.
That's better than a 80% compression, mass-wise. Which got me thinking, what's the mass of a DVD on a hard drive? Uncompressed, you can get about 40 films on a 240G drive. The bathroom scales wouldn't budge with the drives I had to hand, so I stacked up 10 of them, and averaged back to about 400g (just under a pound), giving a per-film mass of about 10 grams.
But, if we add a compression ratio, we can get that right down! Say, 5 to 1 compression, which exists, so I'm told, and I can get the whole collection onto one single disk drive. Which leads to a DVD mass of about 1.7g per.
Putting an entire collection on a single drive makes a lot of sense. One can imagine the day when one wonders why PCs weren't the primary interface to movies. Selection of movie, display of the information, quick flick through the scenes, all this stuff makes much more consumer sense when considered magnetically, not with optics.
Which means that the PC takeover will happen, given time, and the patient efforts of programmers around the world.
(Veteren FCers will recognise the DRM link to FC here.) One of the things that I thought would give the film industry a breathing space to work out a DRM architecture was the brute data size of films. That coupled with the lack of fat pipes for consumers meant that copying DVDs was a marginal activity.
No longer. It may well be that Hollywood, as it is structured, is already caught in the trap that the music industry got itself stuck in (MP3s, ages ago). Which makes the news from tinsel town even more amusing: on the one hand we have the Passion's innovative channels, and $20 DVDs of interviews !!!
On the other, the FBI claims that DRM is priority number 3 for them. Who's thinking over there, and who's just changing the colour of the pretty lights? Hollywood can't even claim that their way is more convenient - retail DVDs are just too heavy to compete against the net.
|collection size|| number
| in original
| in sleeved
|in disk drives||comments...|
|Total collection||232||18. kg||3.2 kg||(400g)||All of them...|
|single big drive worth of DVDs||40||3.1 kg||548 g||400g||240Gb - would need 5 drives|
|single drive, compressed||240||18.6 kg||3.2 kg||400g||240Gb @ 5:1 compression|
|per single DVD||1||77.6g||13.7g||1.7g||mass per film|