If you've ever tramped all the way up to the video store, only to find there is nothing you want to hire, then perhaps it is time you started thinking about starting your own DVD collection. Sure these days its easy enough to download movies, and watch television shows online, but there is something about owning a DVD that enhances the viewing experience. So wipe those hard-drives of illegal downloads and start buying up on all of your favourite titles.
Sick of Rental Places Never Having the Movie You Want?
Obviously we can't give you a strict guide on how to build your own DVD collection, it is going to depend on what you like, but we can help you out with choosing the essentials of your collection, where to buy them, and how to organise. You'll be hosting movie marathons in no time.
So obviously every person's DVD collection is different. You could be a mob movie maniac or a coveter of comedy, it is important to buy movies and television shows that you love, but here are some good places to start collecting.
Movies you love: You've probably already got some of these even if you don't really buy many DVDs. These are those favourites that you can watch time and time again. Try and write down a list of your favourite films and television shows, it doesn't matter how long it is, then start buy buying these. If you think it's worth it then get some of these on BluRay, because you'll be watching them so often you'll want them in top condition. My Picks: Almost Famous, Six Feet Under, Doctor Who
The Classics: These are the movies you'll find by trawling through the top 100 lists from places like IMDB. The movies that are universally accepted as being amazing. For television shows these lists will contain a lot of HBO and Showtime shows, and movies will be ones like Citizen Kane and The Godfather. They aren't necessarily old movies, but they good movies. You don't have to buy a DVD just because it is in a 'best of' list, but if you come across some you like then the classics will be a great addition to your collection. My Picks: Rear Window, 12 Angry Men, It's a Wonderful Life
The Childhood Favourites: If you were a huge fan of the Care Bears or Degrassi Next Generation when you were a kid, then don't feel ashamed and buy up on your childhood memories. These are great, because no matter how terrible they are you'll still love re-watching them. These are also a great purchase if you have kids, because you'll be able to show them what you watched when you were their age. Sadly many nostalgia programs and movies aren't available on DVD, but if you see one buy it, you never know how long it will be available for. My Picks: Super Mario Bros, Dinosaurs, Care Bears II
Foreign Films: Branch out a little and give some foreign films a spot in your collection. Subtitles aren't for everyone and some people can be turned off a film because they're not used to reading at the same time. There are still some great films out there that you might otherwise overlook. Another great bit about foreign films is that they can help you learn and familiarise yourself with other languages. My Picks: Xich Lo, Le Dinner De Cons, Amelie
Obviously you'll have to get your DVDs from somewhere. You could pop down to the store and buy them all in one day, but that'll probably be an expensive way to do things. Build your collection up over time, and make sure that you're getting a good deal.
Online Shopping: Online can be a great place to get DVDs, usually prices are a bit cheaper and there is a huge range to choose from. Try out somewhere like Amazon for a great range of movies and television shows, or find more specific sites like DVDonline who specialise in Asian movies. Online can also be a great spot to research new DVDs to add to your collection. Take advantage of things like Amazon UK's free shipping to Australia. Beware: Don't fall for scammers selling you dodgy DVDs, and always check the region code is compatible with your player.
Find the Sales: Not all DVD shopping has to be done online, places like JBHIFI and BigW will often have DVDs at a pretty reasonable price. The main thing is to always double check a price online before you buy it from a store. Sales can be a great time to get DVDs at bargain prices. JBHIFI often have sales where you can buy 3 already cheap DVDs for the price of 2, and they also have a good selection of films under $7. The best bit about buying in stores is that you are guaranteed that you are buying a genuine product, and it is far easier to return something if it has any problems. Beware: Just because something is on sale, doesn't mean it is actually a good price.
The Organisation The key to a great collection is being organised. What is the point of having great films if you can never find the ones you want, or forget you even own them. Having a big collection also means that friends are going to want to borrow your DVDs. Being organised means you can keep track of what is coming in to your collection, and what is temporarily going out.
Delicious Library Screenshot
Arranging: Find a way to arrange your DVDs that makes it easy to find. Buying a big, but cheap, cabinet from somewhere like IKEA is a great place to start, this way you can keep all your DVDs in one place. You'll then want to decide if you are arranging your DVDs in alphabetical order, by genre, or by director. Obviously there are even more ways to arrange them, but find something that suits you and your collection. Alphabetical is always an easy way to quickly find what you're looking for.
Indexing: Keeping a record of your DVDs can be just as important as placing them in order. If your collection is ever damaged or stolen you can loose a lot of money, having an index makes claiming insurance so much easier. My top pick for programs to use is Delicious Library, but this is only available for Apple Systems. I like this program because I can scan items in using the webcam, and also 'loan' items to friends so I know who has my DVDs. There are lots of other programs out there, or you could always just keep a list of DVDs on Excel or Word.
If you have any tips for building up a great DVD collection then add them to the comments. We'd also love to know what are your top films or television shows in your collection.
I'm a total DVD collector! And your categories reflect mine - I have different ones to cover different viewing moods, and arrange them this way as well. There's art house, for when I need mental stimulation, rom-com for when I have the Sunday blues, kids movies from my childhood for when I'm feeling nostalgic, the 'boy movie' section for when I want blood and guts and violence, the classics section for rainy days, the Australiana section and the period drama collection (the last one is extensive, with not one, but two adaptations of Jane Eyre). Then I have all my TV series sets - Sex and the City, SeaChange, Peep Show, IT Crowd, Flight of the Conchords... all shiny and orderly. Never mind watching them - it makes me happy just to look at all the covers lined up!
I love collecting DVDs of movies from my childhood! Forget it all those cartoons are the best and they are definitely collectible. Care Bears, Voltron, Smurfs, Snorks (the underwater knock-off of the Smurfs), and MacGiver! So great.
What's also good are BBC and Masterpiece Theatre DVD Box sets.
Ancient TV shows are good too: Little House on the Prairie, Dark Shadows, and Scarecrow and Mrs. King!