Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 189: The Demise Of Rental Stores

It's been a long run for movie rental stores. I can remember back when VHS movies were first available for rent. Back then the technology was so new that most people had to rent a bulky VHS VCR/Player just have that fresh technology in their home. This was due to the fact that a player was in the $400+ range, which in the mid 80s was a lot of cash.

The rentals then were usually from a convenience store. Then dedicated rental stores started popping up all over the place. Then came Blockbuster and Hollywood Video and a few other chain rental stores. The VHS gave way to the DVD and the DVD recently has started being overtaken by the popular Blu-Ray disc, which is in High Definition. Also now on the market are 3D Blu-Ray players and who know what is next out there. I am guessing that the next phase will be videos on either jump drives or on flash memory cards, like SD or Compact Flash cards. This will allow for even smaller player units and possibly every TV being equipped with technology to play HD content itself and eventually eliminating the need of additional devices. You are seeing this already with TVs being internet ready with Youtube, Netflix, Pandora and other internet apps/ programs installed.

Right now we are seeing the phasing out of brick and mortar rental businesses in favor of Redbox kiosks. These handy little units have popped up all over the place. The biggest plus? They are cheap at $1.00/ night for DVDs and $1.50/ night for Blu-Rays. Another handy thing is you can rent from one Redbox and return to any other Redbox. I would think that this is very handy for vehicles equipped with DVD units in them on trips. Just stop and rent the kids a movie, when they are finished watching it return it during the next rest stop. Convenience seems key. The only downside I have seen so far is waiting behind people that want to scan the whole catalog of available titles, reading each description, then going back through them all again. Here's an idea for that group of people - rent them online and just swipe your card and take off. Don't take 20 minutes to make a 30 second decision.

But as technology changes almost daily, it is good to know that God and His Word never changes. Technological advances may help to sow the seeds of the Gospel, but the message itself does not change. At no other time in history has it been capable for a person to sit in Paducah KY and talk to someone on the other side of the globe face to face. As long as an internet connection is had then the Gospel can be readily shared. This does not eliminate the need of missionaries though, so don't think that the "hard work" is no longer needed.

God is firmly in control today as He was when He spoke the Universe into existence. It is awesome to think that He knew when He was walking with Adam in the Garden of Eden that He also knew that Blu-Rays and the internet would be used today. Nothing takes God by surprise and nothing happens without His consent. When He used The OT Saints to write His Words down and when He used Paul, John, Luke and the others to write the NT, He knew that those Words would be easily accessible in the year 2011 by the majority of the Earths population. Now that is awesome to dwell on for a few hours.

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