Many of us rely more and more on streaming services for TV shows and movies and on Kindle downloads for the latest best-sellers. But the market for DVDs, Blu-rays and good old fashioned books remains strong.
At no time is that more true than at gift-giving time.
With that in mind, we've put together a short list of some of our favorite TV shows and movies on DVD this year, and some books we think would make great holiday gifts.
We've listed the suggested retail prices, but keep in mind that many retailers offer discounts off the list price, so you'll most often pay much less than the prices listed here.
2019 best TV shows and movies on DVD and Blu-ray
"Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns" -- This spectacular 16-hour documentary on the roots of country music and its trailblazers -- Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and literally a hundred others -- is one of the most fascinating documentaries we've seen. It's the ultimate gift for a country music (or bluegrass) fan. The box set has the full 16-hour run plus three hours of bonus footage that did not air on PBS. The DVD retails for $99.99 and the Blu-ray at $129.99.
"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: Would You Be Mine Collection" -- While we're in the PBS world (and in the middle of a national Fred Rogers lovefest), this four-disc set is a stroll down memory lane for those who loved the iconic children's series, and it's still extremely relevant for kids today. You get 15 hours of content at a suggested retail price of $19.99.
"Star Trek: Discovery -- Season Two" -- "Star Trek" fans love this series, and the second season was even stronger than the first. The series, set in the pre-William Shatner Trekiverse, streams on CBS All Access, a pay streaming service. Not everyone subscribes, so this is a great chance to make a non-streaming Trekkie very happy. The DVD retails at $29.99 and the Blu-ray at $34.99. (Note: There are some other great CBS All Access shows on DVD that you might consider, like "The Good Fight," which now has all three seasons available on DVD, and the first season of "Tell Me a Story," a horror anthology series created by North Carolina native Kevin Williamson.)
"Robin Williams: Comic Genius" -- A super-sized version of this Robin Williams collection was released last year, but with a super-sized price tag: $200 (the price has since come down a little). This much more manageable 5-DVD set retails at $54.95, but is usually available closer to $40 at most retailers. It includes all of Williams' HBO specials and other bonus materials.
Disney Classics -- With the debut of the streaming service Disney+, "the vault is open." But Disney knows that not everyone can afford (or wants) streaming services. That's why Disney still releases a few of its Signature Collection classic movies onto DVD and Blu-ray every year. These stories are timeless and adored by kids and adults. Some of this year's big titles include "The Little Mermaid," "Cinderella," "Aladdin," "101 Dalmations," and "Sleeping Beauty." Most of these list at around $19.99 each, but there are some special sets that could go up to around $40. Note: If you want to go beyond classics, the recent live action versions of "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" are also now on Blu-ray and DVD.