Be kind. Rewind! It’s such an archaic and foreign phrase in today’s world of Blu-ray, Video on Demand, and online streaming that it makes no sense to most of this generation. Let’s think about how well known that phrase used to be if you were around to experience the awkward rectangle that a VHS tape is. Their entertainment was based on trips to the local Blockbuster Video to see the latest releases or old favorites. I myself remember how much it used to irritate my younger brother’s nerves because I “wasted” my only rent on Child’s Play for the tenth time. What can I say? I loved the shit that scared me when I was a kid. So as the years went by, we went from physically watching movies to pay-per-view VOD from the comfort of our home, to what is now the most common source of entertainment, instant online streaming, and instant downloads.
Being able to stream movies and TV shows instantly from your couch is what has made online streaming such a successful business. In addition to being convenient, you can watch just about any movie or TV show you want in minutes. Think back to when you used to show up at a video store and the movie you wanted to rent was already ready. Either they didn’t have enough copies or it was a new release and everyone wanted to see it. Online streaming eliminates this problem. Now what you are faced with is deciding which service works best for your needs.
Let’s start with Netflix. This popular online streaming service is subscription-based with three plan options: Basic, Standard, and Premium. All options offer unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows priced from $ 8 to $ 12 a month with the added option to add on DVD rental. Watching Netflix is easy when you can access it from anywhere via a smartphone and tablet, or at home via your laptop or video game console, like the Xbox One. Netflix has thousands of movie and show options television and regularly add new movies to give subscribers more of what they want. With the popularity of this Netflix service, it has even diversified and produced its own television shows known as Netflix Originals, such as the hit Daredevil, which premiered last April.
Another of the best options is Amazon Prime Instant Video. This option is an advantage of being an Amazon Prime member. An Amazon Prime subscription costs $ 100 per year, $ 8.25 per month, which ends up being a great value, especially if you shop on Amazon frequently. They carry almost exactly the same movies as Netflix and also have their own produced shows called Amazon Studio Exclusives. The viewing options are similar too, as Amazon Prime Instant Video is accessible through other devices, as well as Amazon’s Fire TV. An advantage over Netflix is the option to rent movies that are not free through Prime, as well as being able to buy movies that download instantly to your account. This gives you a better selection in areas where Netflix may be lacking.
If Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video are at the top of the movie streaming game, then Hulu Plus dominates when it comes to streaming TV shows. At $ 7.99 per month, Hulu Plus has a better TV show catalog than the previous two streaming services and still offers some full movies. This subscription service is for those people who like to watch older shows, as well as those that are currently broadcast in real time. Hulu Plus publishes new episodes of shows that are currently playing days or sometimes hours after they just aired on television. It gives you the convenience of watching your shows later or lets you catch up when you fall behind. Hulu Plus is a good companion subscription to add to the previous two subscriptions to give you more diversity in your TV show selections.
Depending on whether you have an iPhone or run an Android system, it could also open up some options to download content. They may not be the most popular or cheapest options, but they have a sizeable selection for about the same price. iTunes and Google Play stores offer new and old material and you pay for content, rent or buy. YouTube has also entered the field of renting or buying movies.
For me, and I’m sure for many others, online streaming and instant download have transformed the way I get the content I want. No more leaving a video store or Redbox newsstand empty-handed, or leaving my house. Everything is at my fingertips. Who can say that in the future I cannot instantly stream movies in a self-driving car? It would surely make those long journeys much more bearable.