Three Options: Digital Signal, Physical, and Digital Media.
Digital Signal (TV Channels). Provided by satellite and cable companies, the movie channels vary greatly in names, not so much in content. Pros: Depending on the provider, the quality of images and sound can be almost perfect; you don’t have to worry about choosing among so many movies because they choose them for you. If you miss a showing, you can catch it the next time at a later hour or use their on demand service if available. There’s also the option to pay per view new movies. Cons: Sometimes satellite signals suffer temporary glitches due to weather conditions while cable companies raise prices periodically. Then, when you have an issue with these companies, it’s an ordeal to depend on their poor customer service to fix it. Also, you need to pay extra for movie channels after you pay for a “mandatory” basic package of channels you don’t really watch. Once you do, you might enjoy the movies shown until you realize they keep on repeating them ad nauseum. Like commercial radio, they only play what they programmed for you, not what you really want. Maybe you’ve read about a specific movie, already out for a year or two you’d like to watch, and you can’t find it on your channels because they only show you what they want you to see when they want you to see it. So, your choices are very limited. On the other hand…
Physical Media (Digital Discs). They are the best in quality so far for images and sound, from the highest 4k (soon to be replaced by 8k?), Blu-Ray, and last, DVDs. Pros: Beautifully packaged, with booklets and special features discs, they are addictive to movie collectors. You can lend them or give as gifts to friends and family, take with you, display, and watch as many times you want when you own them. You can buy them from electronic stores, internet suppliers, and bookstores, to name a few. You can find titles not available anywhere else. I recommend CCVideo.com (Critic’s Choice Video) for this. Cons: Once you’ve collected great movies, the marketeers will come up with a new format that will entice you and make you spend more money on the same movies you already own. If you rent them, you need to return them by mail or in person. If you scratch them, say bye. With time, DVDs lose their original quality (or simply you watch the other formats and their more vibrant colors and begin to hate the one you own). After a while, you’re running out of room to store them. However, there is still hope…
Digital Media (Streaming). This is more likely how most people will get their movies from now on. Pros: You can search faster and more efficiently for the movie or actor you are looking for. You can rent, buy, and view instantly. It doesn’t occupy any physical space. In some cases, the video and sound quality is as good as the discs. Cons: There are many older movies still not available for streaming. The quality fluctuates depending on your internet speed, so movies may show the hated “loading up” symbol.
STREAMING MOVIE SERVICES
NETFLIX. Pros: The front runner video service provides tons of categories and sub-categories to choose from. Great original content, international, and different. Its price is very accesible for basic quality streaming and you can also choose 4k at a higher price if you want. Cons:Most new releases you won’t find here, Yoda says; only some exceptions like Roma. Most of their movies are not quite movie theater material. Monthly fee.
Amazon Prime Video. Pros: Great original content also, great series, documentaries, and pay per view new releases. Cons: A lot of C quality movies and documentaries. Annual fee.
Vudu. Pros: Huge selections of new release movies, still showing in theaters category, independent films, suggestions by mood and genre, monthly free selections with limited commercials. Only service that provides you with a gauge to measure your internet speed saving you time and money when choosing to rent or buy. Cons: Pay per view movie, not many classic ones, lots of C movies.
Hulu. Pros: Great economic monthly fee. New exclusive movies, good classic selections. Cons: More TV shows than movies.
Until next time, I hoped this information may help you decide what’s your best choice.