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?
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...
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?
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?