Best way to buy digital movies?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by greganpace, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. greganpace macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2011
    I have decided that it is pointless to buy dvd's and am deciding I am going to start purchasing the movie digitally and storing them all on hard drives. I am looking at a few different ways, but am wondering what the limits are to each to know if one is going to be better than the other. I have my mid 2009 Macbook, a PS3, and 720p 32" tv (for the time being) with 5.1 surround. I would like to buy everything HD. (probably 1080p for future investment) A couple of options, iTunes and Playstation Store/Vudu that I have looked at, but I am wondering if buying from one or the other is going to limit me on where I can watch it. If I buy a movie on iTunes (no Apple TV), is it possible upload it on a flash drive and copy it and watch it through my PS3? I don't have the adapters and cables to connect my laptop directly to my tv, but would be willing to buy them if necessary, I know that would work. I don't like the idea of storing 100gb of movies on my laptop to be able to use and it might be a pain to move it over from an external just to watch it. But I do have 160gb give or take on the PS3 that is not really being used. also... iTunes is around 15, Vudu is 19 for a new release, but I can't find anywhere where it says iTunes is 1080p. Any ideas? Besides appleTV, because I already know that would be the best way to go.
  2. jfrancis04 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2010
    I'm going to resurrect this one from the grave to see if anyone has an answer because I'd love to know.

    I have a PS3, iTunes, Amazon Prime, etc... so I have a variety of different options to purchase digital content. Is there any kind of site out there that ranks where you get the most bang for your buck based on price, flexibility of the format, etc...?
  3. HobeSoundDarryl, Jun 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    If you buy digital movies, you're pretty much locked into only what the source of those files supports. For example, if you buy from iTunes, you're pretty much locked into Apple iDevices and iTunes-running computers for playback. If you buy from Vudu or Amazon, you're locked into those digital sandboxes.

    What I read in these posts is a desire for high quality at 1080p across devices that don't share a sandbox. And I read a related desire to store a collection of movies on hard drives instead of managing physical discs.

    Best suggestion: by the blu ray discs for max quality 1080p and then rip them into the playback formats desired. That will get you highest quality video & sound with the flexibility to make your own digital copies so that they can play on anything you own now and may add in the future. Then, put the discs away as a backup should you ever lose your digital files (such as a hard drive dies and you forgot to back it up).

    Besides getting the highest quality video, this will tend to work out as the more economical way to go too... as BD movies seems to be able to be found at lower prices than digital-only versions of the same film. Yes, that doesn't seem to make sense but it is how things tend to be at present.

    Lastly, if the goal is a collection, only BD will give you the easy ability to sell- or give away- the collection later so that a buyer can actually get full use out of ownership too. With iTunes, Vudu, etc DRM you can't really sell a digital-only collection in the same, full way.

    Maybe someday there will be a DRM-free source of 1080p that is fully toe-to-toe with BD for quality. When that day comes, it will be a great option for the desires stated by the OP. Until then, it's all compromises related to how much flexibility you want vs. the convenience and availability of the various player's offerings. And just about everyone overlooks the idea of full ownership (you get with discs) vs. individual licenses for you only (you get with digital DRM).
  4. greganpace thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2011
    To give my 2 cents since that post, I have maybe bought 5 or 6 movies in the last six months. Those include LOTR extended BD, Star Wars complete collection BD, a few TV series, and a couple more that are timeless classics that I will watch over and over again. Everything else I have now rented through vudu or amazon prime. I have not really had the desire to watch anything more than twice, and I have been totally fine with it. I did recently purchase a google TV on sale (799!) and it has features where I can look up any movie and it will tell me where I can watch/rent/buy it, which does make it easy to sync the various services. Eventually, when I have the money, I'm going to buy one of those network hard drives (I don't really know what they are called) and at that point I may start ripping movies, but for now, I still can't justify purchasing a movie for 20 dollars when I usually only watch it once after I buy it.

    Just my personal (temporary) solution.

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