To be honest, I almost didn’t write this column this week. The pain of losing my favorite video store is still pretty fresh and recommending other sources of video rental seemed like I was being disrespectful.
Also, I don’t want this to come off as an advertisement for any particular service, just wanted to share some of the avenues that I have gone down since losing my other option.
Now that I have that “disclaimer” out of the way, let’s get down to it.
Now there are actually several different sources for movie rental out there.
There are the queue and wait versions. Those are the services that you rank movies you want to rent in order of importance and they arrive back to you one or two, etc. at a time.
For me, I don’t really like that type of service. I did it in the past and sometimes the disk would arrive and not work. That is pretty frustrating to say the least.
Also, there would be these random occasions where it just seemed like it took forever for the next movie to arrive.
Plus, I always had this feeling, in the back of my head, that I really needed to watch it as soon as I got it and send it back to get the most out of this service.
It got a little bit unnerving as I rushed between film to film to maximize my viewing dollar.
So I knew that I didn’t want to go back to that particular situation.
So I turned my attention to the web and video streaming as an alternative.
For the most part, I have found this to be a better option for me.
Of course, I have a maxed out internet connection that won’t bog down during a streaming session. (At least not all the time.)
Not all of you out there have that luxury so this might not be a suitable alternative for you to explore.
Luckily, a lot of these services have “trial” offers that will allow you to test your system to see if it will handle digital streaming.
Some of these services are bundled on your blu-ray players or digital televisions, you just have to look for them.
Services like Vudu, Amazon Instant Video and Blockbuster on Demand are just a few of those that I found just by looking through the apps on my blu-ray player and I am sure there are many more.
For me, I like the interface on Vudu much better than some of the others because it seems like it is geared more towards an easier and more pleasant experience.
Page 2 of 2 - I like the fact that I can see ahead and plan according to which movies I want to see that week and even save them in my watchlist.
Also, it offers you the chance to see a two-minute preview and the movie trailer to see if this film will actually interest you.
But, that is just my opinion.
To be honest, though, I still miss the movie store experience. What I am doing now seems to mechanical, too cold.
I miss walking through the front door and hearing someone call your name and ask you how things are going.
A video streaming service can’t really do that. It is just a series of pixels staring back at you from your video screen.
Maybe someone, someday will find a way to blend those two types of services in some way.
Wouldn’t that be interesting to log on to your service and hear a voice call out to you “Hey Gary, how’s it going?”
I probably would spend the rest of the night huddled under a blanket trying to figure out if that was a ghost or not.
But anyway, there are many different options out there for you to enjoy movies at home. You just have to do a little investigating. Then spend time figuring out which one is a good match for you.
Gary Darling is the geekiest employee at the Maryville Daily Forum. His email is: email@example.com. Drop him a line sometime!