Perhaps you pride yourself on having a wonderful collection of DVD’s that spans the full length of your living room. Cool huh? While it may be great to look at, it’s likely taking up a lot of space. Granted, a lot less space than that gigantic VHS collection that you used to show off at cocktail parties in the early 1990’s. What happened to all those VHS tapes by the way?
Unfortunately, the cruel hands of fate that smote the VHS are about to deal a similar blow to your fabulous collection of DVD’s. With access to the Internet widely available, the bandwidth it supports
, an unlimited amount of videos available online, and on demand services just waiting to serve up the movie of your choice at the moment you want it, the need for a way to physically take a video with you is quickly diminishing.
VIDEO ON DEMAND USHERING IN THE END OF DVD
Okay, perhaps it’s not so much a tidal wave that is killing the DVD but a slow insidious virus that has been steadily decreasing the population of spinning discs for the past 3 years. In 2012, more movies were viewed online than in all other physical formats combined, according to a Mashable.com
article. It is estimated that there were 2.4 billion movies viewed on disc and yet over 3.4 billion movies were viewed online.
These types of statistics are further proof that the DVD is dying and that online video streaming is a rapidly advancing force that is conquering the DVD’S habitat. The good news is you are about to get a lot more wall space in your living room.
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THE RAPID ADVANCE OF ON DEMAND VIDEO
Great technology always changes the way that people behave; it usually makes a given task easier and more straightforward to achieve. Just think about the predominant way to find a movie to watch that you didn’t own. You had to go to a video store and stroll the aisles looking for a video you want to rent. Some people even purchased the videos and created the types of entertainment library mentioned above. If you didn’t want to buy the movie you could always take a trip to your red box kiosk or send for it via mail order on Netflix.
Better yet, the popular DVD delivery service Netflix launched and there was another way to rent a movie. How you found the movie you wanted to watch changed. You looked for it on the Internet and waited for it to be delivered in the mail. For some, that still wasn’t quite convenient enough.
Companies like Netflix offered another way to watch video: stream it over the Internet and watch it on your computer (or connect your PC to a TV), on a tablet, or even a smartphone. Just like that your video library is now online and you can watch just about any movie you want for a fraction of the price.
5 VIDEO ON DEMAND SERVICES WORTH WATCHING
While you may want to keep those DVD’s for that rare occasion where you want to play a DVD, just be aware that the variety of choice and the markedly decreased price of video on demand options are providing some solid competition to the physical video library on display in your home. There are a number of ways that you can watch video on demand: through your cable provider, via a set top box like an Apple TV or Roku Player
, over a PS3/Xbox, or on a computer (connect your TV to a PC
), tablet, or smartphone.
Alternatively, if you have an Internet -ready HDTV you can stream your favorite flick directly from an online video-sharing site like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. Here is a list of the major video on demand services available. Some are free to watch and simply require you to create an account, while others are a pay service that often offer free trials for new customers.
1. Amazon Video On Demand:
This is a high-quality film and television service hosted by Amazon.com. The video on demand service boasts over 100,000 movies and TV episodes so there is plenty to watch. You can rent or buy videos. Renting a video comes with an expiration time, while buying a video is more expensive and you can watch it whenever you want. The average movie cost $3.99, which is very reasonable when you compare it to other video on demand services. Finally, Amazon Prime customers have access to some TV shows and movies free via Amazon Prime Video
One of the first companies to offer a streaming video service, Netflix
on demand option starts at $7.99/month. It is a quick, convenient, and high-quality service that is also offered as a service on Apple TV, Roku, PS3, Internet-ready devices, tablets, and smartphones. The selection of movies and TV shows available on demand is limited and changes regularly, but you can always get those through the traditional mail-based DVD delivery service.
3. Hulu Plus:
Similar to Netflix, Hulu Plus
starts at $7.99/month, but it really focuses on TV shows offering a large selection of past and present shows available on demand. Hulu Plus connects to an Internet-ready TV and can also be played through a Roku device, PS3, Xbox, Wii, iPad, Nook and smartphones.
If you want the highest quality on demand streaming video service then check out Vudu
. It has the best overall offerings. Streaming on demand video in the HDX format, the quality is comparable to Blu-ray. Plus, the service often has a large number of current release movies available. The quality and video selection will cost you. For example, the service could end up costing $120/year if you watched five movies/month.
Owned by Sony, Crackle
is the “free” alternative to on demand video services mentioned above. The service offers both movies and television shows free on demand, but they are interrupted regularly with commercials. The content tends to be of the older variety, and there are plenty of movie options available on its YouTube channel.
THE FUTURE IS MOVIES ON DEMAND
It may seem strange to say, but in some ways the world of entertainment and video has almost come full circle; especially if you look at user behavior. Once more you are going to the video store to rent and not buy A movie; the only difference is the video store is now in the cloud and you can access the content from just about anywhere.
What was the last movie you ever rented from your local video store and what year did you rent it? Let us know in the comments below.