No More Video Store Rentals – Watch the Same Movies Legally Online

You can now kiss Blockbuster® and Netflix® goodbye forever. Rather than renting DVDs, you can legally download or stream late-breaking Hollywood hits by subscribing to an online streaming video portal for a very reasonable cost. Smooth delivery is assured over any high-speed Internet connection thanks to the latest data compression technology being used by these portals.

Do you remember the nights of renting VHS tapes from Blockbuster® or the local video store? Remember needing to watch them right away to avoid paying late charges? Ever lose one of these tapes? I got fined $80 once! After VHS came DVDs but the rental system was like as before. Remember driving to the outside drop-off box in your nightclothes in order that your movies would not be returned late?

A few years ago, Netflix® came onto the scene. You were able to access their movie list online and pay the flat rate for one of their plans and your DVDs were sent to you in the mail right away. You could keep one to four DVDs at a time, depending on your plan, and you could receive the next DVD on your online list as soon as you mailed back a video in one of the provided free envelopes. Soon, Netflix® began offering clients the alternative of streaming some of the available movies instead of getting the DVDs sent out in the mail. This applied to some movie titles, but not all. And, just like today, there was always a monthly charge to pay for streaming rights or DVD delivery by mail.

Most recently, sites appeared that would allow you to stream movies and TV programs for free. The problem is that the movies on those sites are not recent blockbusters and the TV shows are limited to certain episodes or clips available from the major TV networks.

For not too much money, there is now a paid streaming alternative offering unlimited downloads of recent movies for a specific period of time, 3 months, 1 year, 5 years, etc. at different costs. How much? You can buy a five-year term for about what you would pay for about 4 to 5 months of Netflix® streaming service. No, you won’t be able to download movies that are still in the theatres but you will learn that the movies available to you are quite up-to-date, as new as you will be able to rent at your local Blockbuster® store or on Netflix®.

Unlike the video store, once you have downloaded a video, it is yours to keep, even after you are no longer subscribing to the online movie streaming portal. In the past, watching videos or movies on the web could be a real nuisance, especially if you did not have a high speed Internet connection. There were always buffering issues, which meant that the download was not moving as fast as the movie was playing. When the player would run out of material to play, it would just come to a standstill until a supply of new material was in the computer’s buffer after which it would resume playing the movie until the buffer was empty again. This completely killed the joy of watching a movie.

To make sure this does not happen, the better movie portals are streaming their videos utilizing data compression which means that redundant material is not transmitted over and over. Let’s say you placed a movie camera onto a tripod. The picture you were filming was that of a child chasing a ball across a lawn. If the data were compressed, the pixels involving only the lawn and sky would be transmitted only once while only the ever-changing pixels of the child and the ball would be continuously updated. The person looking at the download would never notice this but the video would download much faster because there would be fewer pixels to download.

While it’s certainly best to have a high-speed Internet connection, modern streaming technology makes viewing possible over somewhat slower connections. You can even look at your movies while they are downloading. The downloads are faster now, as well, thanks to data compression. You are not limited to watching videos on your computer, either. This approach operates on all devices that can download videos, even handhelds.

And, it is a snap to plug your computer into your living room TV with a simple cable. If you have high definition equipment, you can view high definition movies streamed over the Internet into your home. Things have improved dramatically since the early days of renting VHS video tapes!

© 2011 Robert M. GillespieScience Articles, Jr.

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