Affordable video recordings played at home allow people to have access to many films and TV shows that would be difficult to see if they had to rely solely on broadcast television or local movie theaters.
It's surprising what turns up in the clearance bin of some video stores. I recently purchased a VHS tape of the 1915 D.W. Griffith silent film "Birth of a Nation" for a dollar. The film of course is about the Civil War and has its share of flaws and stereotypes, but it also perhaps unintentionally tells us what life and attitudes were like in the USA when it was released in 1915.
Years ago before home video became common, public television ran occasional silent films, but the silents for the most part were basically unavailable back then. I cannot ever recall seeing a silent film on local or network commercial TV. When a silent film did show up on TV it was often jerky or too fast. I think it had something to do with running the old films through modern projectors incapable of the proper speeds. My grandmother saw silent films in theaters in the 1920's using contemporary projectors and she told me the actors moved naturally in those films. Today the home video versions of silent movies I've seen have largely corrected this problem.
My first silent movie experience were the Charlie Chaplin shorts on public television. I especially remember "The Rink" with Eric Campbell. Chaplin later supervised a musical score for some of his motion pictures.
When I moved to Florida, the local PBS station showed Lon Chaney Sr. movies like "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "The Monster" with Johnny Arthur and "He who gets Slapped," a tragic clown movie.