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Watching Movies on Surface

jseltzer

New Member
Okay, so I downloaded the Netflix App so I can watch movies via WiFi. But, how do I watch movies when there's no WiFi, like on the Subway? With iPad, I just went to the iTunes store and downloaded for later viewing. Can I do that with Surface?
 

TeknoBlast

Active Member
If you download movies by "other" methods, you can copy movies to the hard drive. Make sure the movie files are in DIVX format. Not sure what over formats the Video app plays. I've already upload a few The League episodes and about three movies.
 

J515OP

Super Moderator
Yep, you can rip dvds and convert them to the proper file formats to play on the tablet. You should also be able to download movies from the Microsoft store (not sure if they have this set up yet) or any other online store, iTunes, Amazon or Google and then transfer that file in the proper format to your tablet. Should play the same way without streaming. Once you buy a movie from any source you should be able to download it and have the file like any other file. Most videos these days should be in one of a few standard formats that the Surface should be able to play. Rentals on the other hand probably wont work because they will be DRMed to a certain eco system so they can expire after a certain time.
 

ravenas

New Member
Okay, so I downloaded the Netflix App so I can watch movies via WiFi. But, how do I watch movies when there's no WiFi, like on the Subway? With iPad, I just went to the iTunes store and downloaded for later viewing. Can I do that with Surface?
You have two methods available:

1) You can provide DRM-free content via the ripping/converting route that most people do. Then load the files onto a microSD card or USB storage device for playback/transfer.
2) Purchase content from the Xbox Live Store, just like you do Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and iTunes. Microsoft just does it a little differently having you buy Xbox Points and use them to redeem for content. For instance if you wanted to buy a copy of The Avengers, it will cost you 1600 pts for HD / 1360 pts for SD. 1600 points cost 19.99. You can buy them online or in the local store wherever gift cards are sold.

[Complete current prices are:

400 Microsoft Points - $4.99
800 Microsoft Points - $9.99
1600 Microsoft Points - $19.99
4000 Microsoft Points - $49.99
6000 Microsoft Points - $74.99
Or you can buy a code from a store and redeem it]

Netflix is a streaming-only service. You cannot download for viewing while offline. Amazon, Google and iTunes allow you to buy or rent video and save it for offline viewing IF you use their proprietary apps to handle the DRM decryption. As of now, there is no app available for these services on RT.

Hope the info helps. I'm learning too. I took a USB thumbdrive full of video to test out the Surface today. MP4 it had no issues with. Matroska (.mkv) it didn't recognize the file.
 

TeknoBlast

Active Member
I would say don't buy too many points because I read an article that MS is doing away with the points system. Not sure when this will happen.
 

Twisticles

New Member
I would say don't buy too many points because I read an article that MS is doing away with the points system. Not sure when this will happen.
Yeah but I guess anyone with points will have them converted back to cash value...I just got 1000 free points for my loyal Zune subscription.

Now someone needs to launch a WinRT version of VLC or similar so we can view MKV files...
 

LA33R

Member
Yeah but I guess anyone with points will have them converted back to cash value...I just got 1000 free points for my loyal Zune subscription.

Now someone needs to launch a WinRT version of VLC or similar so we can view MKV files...

I seccond the MKV stuff. We need an app for that!
 

Marco

New Member
Here are the movie formats that I've tried on the Surface Video Player App so far.

- .avi works
- .m4v works
- .mp4 works

- ISO image does not work
- .mkv does not work
- .mpg does not work

All of these play on my laptop on VLC. Hopefully MS & VLC will get together and get us a VLC app real soon.

Also watching Netflix HD tv shows is awesome because they are the exact same size as the screen with no black bars. It feels like I'm watching on a TV because it looks so good. Good job Microsoft for that part!
 

whyjoe

New Member
I don't know if the points transition is complete, but the Xbox Video app is now quoting prices in real currency. As an aside, $20 for a DRM movie with no Blu-Ray extras, and there was no physical distribution, no manufacturing to worry about? Yeah I don't think so. Hello USENET?
 
D

dvdcatalyst

Guest
I don't know if the points transition is complete, but the Xbox Video app is now quoting prices in real currency. As an aside, $20 for a DRM movie with no Blu-Ray extras, and there was no physical distribution, no manufacturing to worry about? Yeah I don't think so. Hello USENET?
All the video-stores use similar pricing, but aside from the pricing, there is a bit more about those darn movies that many people don't realize.

A few weeks ago, in response of an article on a website that was promoting these types of files, I wrote some thoughts about it in a newsletter:

DVD Catalyst Newsletter 74 | Tools4Movies | DVD Catalyst 4

Online Video, or, the Death of DVD and Bluray:

With Barnes & Noble and Redbox now following behind Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Samsung and many others by also providing access to movies and TV shows over the web, it seems the death of physical content such as DVDs and Blurays is coming closer.

If you want to watch a particular movie right now, you can., without having to take a trip to the store. You just sign into one of these services, and tap the Buy or Rent button, and by the time you would normally take to actually pick one up, you are almost done watching the full movie already. Convenience rules.

Unfortunately, all these services are competing with each other. These content-provider companies strike deals with media-creation companies to have exclusives, movies that will only be available on one service and not on another, or a timeframe of a couple of weeks between them. Deals also expire/get canceled, so while a show might be available on one service now, who knows if it will be there next year.

* Forced brand-loyalty.

In order to maximize profit, these services don’t inter-connect with each other. If you purchase a movie for your iPad3 through iTunes, you are not able to watch the movie you bought on an Android device. The same with movies purchased through Google Play, those will not work on an Apple device, so if you are an avid movie purchaser such as myself, after a couple of months, you have build up a nice collection of movies, and you are basically stuck with the device brand you are using in order to not lose your movies altogether.

* Out of control.

When it comes to access to content, the company who own the service has complete control over the content, meaning that if they lose a contract with a certain media creation company, or if the company goes out of business or decides the service is not profitable enough, the content you purchased can disappear along with it.

* Personal usage tracking.

Because the movies are tied to an account you setup with the service (or as is the case with Ultra Violet, an account with each movie studio you have movies from as well as Ultra Violet itself), the owners of the service have full access to the way you experience your movies as well as what kind of movies you watch, your age, sex and much more. They can see if you use a phone, a computer or a network enabled Bluray player for watching movies, as well as additional information about the device you are using and the physical location, what times you watch your movies, how much you spent on movies a week/month/year, during what months you purchase the most etc.

For advertising purposes, this information is invaluable, and you are the one paying them to do it.

* Buy or rent for a lifetime?.

My wife and I often pick up DVDs in yard sales and pawn shops. For us it provides a cheap way of expanding our collection, but for others, it is a great way to get a few extra bucks by selling movies they no longer watch/want or when they are in need for cash due to some emergency.

With digital content, you purchase a “license to use”, meaning you don’t actually own the file, you own the license. As a result, your digital purchases cannot be sold or even given to someone else.

If you just rent movies online, the above isn’t a really big deal, but if you like to keep movies for keeps, the fragmentation of all these video services is just too messy to make it feasible.

I see it as a big risk to purchase a movie online, especially for a price that nearly equals that of a disc bought in the store. The 3 major digital stores, Amazon, Google and Apple, sell DVD-versions of movie/tv content (SD) for an average of $14.95, and HD content for $19.95.

If you pick up the disc version of a movie like The Avengers at Walmart or order it online at Amazon, you are looking at $16.95 for the DVD and $19.95 for the Bluray +DVD combo version. With that, you can be assured you can still watch the movie 5-10 years from now, or when needed, resell it if needed.

Why pay the same price for the same movie with more restrictions and limitations, let alone the difference in visual quality?
 
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