Remove ads with our VIP Service
Add Your Comments
- Covington, LA: Movie Tavern Northshore Opening July 31, 2014 [7/25]
- Youngstown, OH: Cinemark Movies 8 Reopens as Boardman Movies 8 [7/18]
- "The Giver: World Premiere Red Carpet Event" Coming to Select Theaters Ahead of Movie's Release [7/14]
- Lansing, MI: Lansing Mall Gains Regal Cinema, Loses Lansing Mall Cinema [7/11]
- Milwaukee, WI: Avalon Theatre Reopening Delayed [7/11]
- Towson, MD: Cinemark Towson and XD Opens Today [7/10]
- Warner Robins, GA: GTC Parkway 6 Cinemas to Close [7/9]
- Akron, OH: Nightlight Cinema Now Open [7/2]
- Lancaster, OH: Regal River Valley Mall 10 Closed [7/1]
- Beloit, WI: Luxury 10 Cinemas Gets New Owner [6/30]
Amazon.com, a merchant in our Gift Shop and no stranger to selling movies and TV shows on DVD, has released a new video download service called Amazon Unbox.
The new service allows you to rent or purchase videos online and download them to your computer for viewing via your Windows PC or compatible portable device (PlaysForSure devices, not iPods).
Studio support for their service is strong, with seven movie studios listed and 26 TV channels from which to choose:
| Movie Studios||TV Channels|
|20th Century Fox|
The Biography Channel
Unsurprisingly, Disney and ABC are not represented in the above list. Apple will reportedly introduce its own movie download service next week, and since Steve Jobs heads both Disney and Apple, there shouldn't be too much of a surprise whose movies will be highlighted at that announcement and conspicuously absent from this one.
Does it work? Is it up to our standards? I don't know, yet. In my opinion, it has to pass the test of the three P's:
- Picture Quality
Regarding price, TV shows are $1.99, which is pretty much the standard set by Apple's iTunes last year. Movies are $3.99 to rent, and between $7.99 and $14.99 to buy. That's up there, but the convenience factor may justify the cost, so long as the picture quality is acceptable.
There's no mention of what the resolution of these downloaded files are, so it's difficult to know without going through the purchase process to see for one's self. I find the 320x240 resolution of iPod downloads much too small to be acceptable, and I would hope that Amazon hasn't done that here, considering they aren't saddled the limitations of that particular portable device.
For a TV comedy, it might be passable, but for a movie, it's downright horrible. Even Apple does better with their movie trailers that are available in 720p and 1080p HD resolutions, so I would imagine that Amazon has stepped up with at least DVD's 720x480 resolution if they actually want us to watch this stuff on a TV. Offering something approaching HD resolutions would be wonderful, but it would also constitute dreaming on our part, so we won't even go there.
The last part of the test is the real pinch; portability. When you buy a DVD, you can take it anywhere you have access to a DVD player. You don't have to worry about DRM restrictions getting in the way of being able to watch it, and you don't need a PC tethered to that portable DVD player just to watch it. The Amazon Unbox downloads come with a portable-friendly sized version of the video as well, and there are a few portable devices on their "tested and compatible" list, although there is a mention that any device compatible with PlaysForSure should work.
When we get a chance, we'll check it out for ourselves and report back. In the meantime, if you try it out, please be sure to send us a note in the Feedback Form and let us know what you think!
Add Your Comments
No comments found. Be the first and let us know what you think!
Add Your Comments
|Commenting on Journal Articles is available only to our readers who have customized this site, which makes it easier for you to complete the form and for us to contact you with any questions or concerns about your comments.|
Please login or register a new account before continuing.
Log in to retrieve your saved settings.
Forget Your Passcode?Send My Passcode To Me
Not Registered? Create a New Account!
Our registered members enjoy more features, including:
- Save Your ZIP Code -- the site remembers your ZIP code, no having to re-enter it each time you visit
- Favorite Theaters List -- keep a handy list of the theaters you attend
- Favorite Movies List - movies you want to see, all in one place
- Write Movie Reviews -- share your opinions of the movies you see
- Block Ads with VIP Service -- view this site ad free (subscription req'd)
Basic accounts are free -- sign up today!
Concerned About Privacy?
Journal/Blog - The Marquee - Movie Links - News and Events - Now Showing - Reader Reviews
Customize - VIP Service
|The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a service of SVJ Designs LLC. All graphics, layout, and structure of this service (unless otherwise specified) are Copyright © 1995-2014, SVJ Designs. The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a trademark of SVJ Designs. All rights reserved.
'ACADEMY AWARDS®' and 'OSCAR®' are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.