Sony Pictures Home Entertainment recently released an infographic showing the evolution of video for the home since the introduction of the VHS tape (click to enlarge the graphic). While we've come along way since then, a review of the graphic shows the the journey has not been a quick one; it took more than 20 years until the DVD was released and we could finally leave those dreadful tapes behind ("Be kind, rewind!").
It was eight more years after the DVD that video streaming into the home started to become commonplace with the launch of YouTube in 2005. Which was great, if you wanted to watch video on your computer, because tablets, smartphones (at least smart in the way we think of them today) and Internet-connected TVs were still a futurist's dream.
Today, there's no doubt that we are firmly planted in the stream-anywhere era. My kids are just as likely to be watching a video on a tablet as they are on the TV.
For those who still have a library of DVDs or Blu-ray discs at home, your investment is still safe. Many of those movies may have come as a combo pack that includes a digital copy in either Digital Copy (yes, that's the actual name) or UltraViolet format.
If you didn't get a combo pack, a number of titles can be converted to an UltraViolet version for only $2 (or $5 to upconvert a DVD to 1080p) that can then be streamed to up to 3 devices simultaneously. The selection of movies available for conversion to UltraViolet is currently limited to titles from Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Universal Pictures (notably absent is Disney).