Thursday, December 23, 2004

Media Sources

The slash-and-burn approach of the MPAA has claimed another victim in the demise of suprnova.org, the popular bittorrent tracker site. This seems like an opportune moment to list sources of film that make it possible for one to partake of the numerous offerings - good, bad or ugly

1. Netflix: At the top of one's list, both for the convenience and breadth of offerings. One cannot live without it, and the competition pales in comparison.

2. OnDemand Digital Cable: HBO, Cinemax and Showtime offer 100+ films each week to the digital cable subscriber for anytime access. While many are reruns and have already been out on DVD, it is a convenient way to catch up on blockbusters at no extra cost and with the ease of DVD usage

3. DVD purchases: Amazon, DeepDiscountDVD, Walmart, Bestbuy et al - I tend to purchase either films that I have loved since forever or films that make an impact. Recent purchases: The Cooler, Family Guy, Life Of Brian

4. Movielink: A download version of Netflix, some free films (AOL-only?) and others at rental rates like $4.99 - once downloaded, the films are valid for 24 hours from initial viewing. Good only if you have a TV Out on your PC/laptop. This is the legit answer to suprnova from the studios. Good concept, and worth a try. Last watched: Frenzy, Blood Daughters Of Dracula

5. Pay-per-view: The couch potatohead's dream come true - the variety is surprisingly good, with everything from blockbusters to classics to GLBT films. The prices could drop - what's with this $4.99 price point?

6. ifilm.com, pocketmovies.net, etc: A variety of sites for short, free films exist, and a number of good films are available here.

7. The theaters - Although, a good theater has the most immersive experience around, one doesn't visit them too much, for one because they are overpriced. Another personal reason is the two-year old at home, limiting one's choices and undisturbed viewing length. Last seen: The Incredibles. Last film walked out of: 21 Grams (baby, not quality of film)

8. The underside of the Net: One has explored these alleyways, and one is conversant with the lingo - from Telesync to KVCD. More a pain than anything else, due to poor quality, incomplete downloads, and the FUD factor.

So many sources, so little time.

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Time traveler, world traveler, book reader