How Streaming Video Could Kill The DVD Special Feature -- Or Save It

Streaming video is rapidly becoming the movie-watching mode of choice, but does the takeover of streaming video mean that the special features and commentaries that accompanied DVDs are dead?

With the release of the previously redacted Bond movie commentaries, we were left wondering about what the future of streaming video meant for special features down the line:

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Actually, this whole thing makes me sad as we begin rapidly transitioning into the streaming, non-physical media age. I really love the whole idea of having a film and then having all sorts of additional related material to heighten and augment the experience. Criterion in particular has the best bells and whistles for those who love movies. Are commentaries going to go extinct? Behind the scenes featurettes?

I am assuming Criterion has enough of a following and has captured the collector's market enough to continue what they are doing. But I imagine we are going to get a lot less "making of" docs and other contextual stuff than we used to as we phase into this era of purified digital consumption.

Theoretically, though, streaming video could also open up the field for movie commentaries, maybe even ones not released by the studio, but made by individual actors, visual effects artists, producers, writers, and even fans:

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That shouldn't be too much of a problem in the streaming age. Ostensibly, any video file can be packed with multiple audio tracks. It shouldn't be too difficult to select a different audio track to accompany a particular video stream.

Whether that actually happens, or happens at no or a reasonable cost, is another question.

What do you think? Give us your opinion — along with your picks for the best extra features that shouldn't be missed — in the comments now.

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