Flash forward fifteen years and we could be considered to be living in yet another Golden Age of home video. The HD wars are long behind us, Blu-ray has had a very healthy run (and is still going) and DVDs, at least for serious collectors, are a relic of the past (and the $5 bin at big box retailers).
The new format of choice for A/V enthusiasts is 4K UHD—which offers four times the amount of pixels as Blu-ray alongside HDR, giving an increased range in color—and the television sets and projectors and sound setups to go along with them. In fact, new market research suggests that the market for DVD and 4K Blu-ray players is only going to expand over the next five years.
For people who care about presentation, there has never been a better time to collect physical media. And if the advantages in technical specifications weren’t enough, the floodgates have seemingly been opened for just about anything to get a luxurious disc release, from an ever-increasing plethora of boutique home video labels fulfilling desires of collectors around the world.
In the heyday of DVD, the big name for home video enthusiasts was the Criterion Collection, a home video imprint that spawned out of the Voyager Company and was aligned with Janus Films, a theatrical distributor known for bringing world cinema to the US. Criterion was joined by the aforementioned Anchor Bay as well as boutique labels and distributors like Blue Underground, Kino Lorber, Tartan, Shout! Factory, Milestone Films, Mondo Macabro and more for DVD releases that combined offbeat curation with robust supplements and the AV presentation that collectors expected.
Blu-ray expanded upon that greatly with an international roster of labels unearthing forgotten gems while also offering up seemingly definitive presentations of revered canonical staples. Labels like Arrow Video, Grindhouse Releasing, Second Sight, Indicator, Severin, Twilight Time, Olive Films and many more all contributed to the home video collector marketplace by bringing their own unique brand to the format.