Organizing your DVDs – Part 1

I don’t think most average group of friends occasionally find themselves intentionally discussing DVD box package and how you organize your collection.

Well most average people don’t own kind of big DVD collections, which is not a case with my friends, it’s not rare that we find ourselves discussing how we manage our lack of actual space in our houses or apartments.

Last Wednesday I twittered this article from, about a certain type of DVD packaging that Sony is testing. It’s only about about it’s usability standpoint, but the package is quite unfriendly for collectors or people who re-watch the same set of DVDs several times. Not that the all packaging used to sell DVDs nowadays can be called ideal to handle the disks.

I figured that aside licensing and profit aspect of the studios and other expenses, the thing that does influence a lot in the cost of a DVD it is the packaging.

The most common packaging format as I far as I could gather:

  • Traditional Amaray (which pretty much replaced those very first cardboard packaging), it’s major problem, is that it can get pretty bulky (you should see some Taiwanese R3 US show releases, and compare them to the original R1 ones) if you’re talking about a single multi-disk collection, in which each disk is stocked in separate cases. I’ve seen and own some inventive solutions, using amaray, in which you can stock up to 4 (I heard there is a 6 disk solution, but never saw one myself), using the sides of the cover, and an internal feature for additional disks. Warner Bros, in Brazil, chose an very awful way to try to save space, bundling 4 disks in one amaray case, using only the sides.
  • Slim (which Fox Home Entertainment, – but not only – had widely adopted for their TV release), very space friendly as each only takes the same space of half Amaray. Lately I’ve seen distributers, creating packages that will fit two disks in each case, instead of holding only one, so the entire package of a tv show, becomes even slimmer.
  • Digistack (never saw R1 releases in this format, but is widely used in Brazilian R4 releases for some TV Shows), as you get the same size for the corresponding Digipack package, but in a little book format, where you’ll flip through the disk pages. The US release that actually use this type of package in some extent, is in the season packages for the complete collections of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
  • Digipack (which seems like the most expensive format from the ones I’m listing here). They have a somewhat slicker design, in which the package open ups to several flips. I love double disk digipacks they look very  neat. Critically to save “flips” and even space, a saving solution found was to stack to disks on the same “flip”, causing the problem of disks touching each other, which with time will end up damaging the disks.

This seems to be most common solutions each day. I’ll come back another day, with another part about this subject, in which I plan to share some pictures, and share how awful DVD cases from China look like, and also a little talk about pirating.