Why Do New PCs No Longer Have DVD or Blu-Ray Drives Any More?
In the early days of computing, users relied on CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays to storage precious data. Whether you wanted to play a new game, install software, or back up and reinstall the operating system, doing so was possible by inserting a small disc into an optical drive. Their storage capacity was often greater than what hard drives could support. However, most new PCs don’t come with an integrated drive anymore. What is the reason for this? We’ll answer this burning question in a bit.
Size Is Important
Although optical drives were small, they still took up considerable physical space on computers. A standard CD is 4.7 inches in diameter. Compared to the size of laptops these days, that’s relatively big. So, the first major reason new PCs don’t use the DVD is straightforward. They’re too big for the modern, slimmer design of computers.
Nowadays, most people favor laptops because of their functionality and portability. Therefore, they need to be relatively lightweight and smaller in size. If modern computers include the optical drive, carrying them would become bothersome. For that reason, many manufacturers decided to remove the optical drive from computers altogether.
Less Storage Capacity
The storage capacity of CDs is around 700 megabytes. When DVDs hit the market, they could accommodate 4.7 gigabytes worth of data. Blu-Ray, which superseded DVDs, could store 200 gigabytes. Using these mediums for storing data just isn’t enough for most people these days. Instead of a CD, people opt now for a USB flash. The reason for this is that a 16 gigabyte USB is now available for approximately $12, depending on the retailer.
In a nutshell, DVDs and Blu-Rays don’t satisfy the consumer’s digital storage needs these days and a flesh drive, with the greater storage capacity, is cheaper.
Decreased Demand for Physical Media
Physical media saw a boom at one point. Everybody was using DVDs, CDs, MP3 players, etc. Then, digital devices became more compact and provided storage that could accommodate everything an average user would need. There was no need to listen to the special MP3 player when phones could store music.
A similar thing happened with DVDs and Blu-Rays. With an increased interest in streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, there’s no need to store a movie on a DVD. It occupies significant physical space in a house at a time when more and more people are turning to minimalism. Furthermore, it’s entirely possible to get the software you need without, say, borrowing a CD from a friend.
As technology progresses, items that you once couldn’t imagine living without have become obsolete.
Blu-Ray Format Issues
Ever since its release, Blu-Ray has seen significant improvements. The main reason for most of the improvements was to prevent the illegal distribution of the content. To stop users from uploading a movie from the Blu-Ray to a crowd sharing website (a move that can eat into sales), the manufacturers encoded the format to make uploading and viewing difficult and, thus, resilient to various illegal actions.
However, some old integrated drives weren’t able to play these new, improved formats. For that reason, many consumers decided not to purchase Blu-Rays for the fear of spending money on something their computer wouldn’t support. So, although this move prevented illicit duplication, it also affected the sales of those Blu-Rays.
Although we’ve listed the most important reasons new PCs don’t have DVD or Blu-Ray anymore, there are a couple of others worth mentioning.
First, it’s important to note that the optical drive uses considerable power to operate. Although this isn’t much, it affects the battery life on the computer. Secondly, the size of the laptop directly affects the size of the motherboard. To accommodate the optical drive, the motherboard on a laptop must be significantly smaller, thus limiting performance.
Finally, the ease of access to downloadable data is another factor. Most of the programs and media users need nowadays are available on the internet in an on-demand format. Whether it’s technical software or a game, it’s possible to pay for it and use it within seconds. There’s no reason to amass a pile of CDs with programs you might use only once.
What to Do with Old DVDs and Blu-Rays?
If you have an extensive collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays, you’re probably wondering what to do with them. Do you need to get rid of them altogether? Fortunately, there’s a solution. The answer lies in creating a digital library of that content. However, you do need a computer with a built-in or external optical drive to do this. But just this once.
Once you insert the disc, you’ll be able to rip the content from it onto your computer. You can do this with DVDs and Blu-Rays. This way, you can use your computer or an external hard drive to store photos, movies, or music, which you can access at any time. As a bonus, you don’t have shelves full of dusty DVDs.
Discs Are Dying
Although it might seem like a terrible thing, the fact is discs are slowly becoming obsolete. Optical drives tend to occupy much space, thus making computers bulky, which isn’t attractive anymore. Moreover, discs don’t have the same storage capacity as USB flash drives or external hard drives. There are also security issues with the Blu-Ray format that discourages some users from purchasing it.
How about you? Do you think computers are better off without optical drives? Or do you still use DVDs and Blu-Ray? Let us know in the comments section below.