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Author Topic: Digital "Downloads"  (Read 8144 times)

Guybrush

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Digital "Downloads"
« on: April 01, 2016, 12:10:53 pm »

Is there such a thing as a real digital download anymore? I know at least with Amazon, you purchase a movie and then you are allowed to stream it through their web-based player that doesn't even support surround sound. I can't fathom why anybody would knowingly give Amazon their money for what is, in my view, the quality equivalent of an iphone in a movie theater. Are there any sites that actually let you download the movie file to view in the player of your choice? With Star Wars out today for downloading, I'd like to get it, but don't see how I can without waiting until next week for the Bluray.
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blgentry

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Re: Digital "Downloads"
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 12:25:50 pm »

That's a really great question!

I'd be interested in full quality downloads of videos that are not tied to a hardware/software platform like Amazon's Fire, or Apple TV, or similar.  But I don't think you or I are going to find any.

Which is why I continue to buy DVDs for very low prices, and simply rip them into my digital collection.  For my own use of course.  When I graduate to BDs, I plan to do the same.

My CDs, DVDs, (and soon BDs) are sort of a waste of physical space, but I guess they are good backups, and physical proof that I bought these pieces of media.

Brian.
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ferday

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Re: Digital "Downloads"
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2016, 12:01:19 am »

Unlike music, movies have very successfully transitioned to streaming...which means I don't see much future for downloads :(  IMO it's partly because movies lend themselves to the renting model rather nicely

At least music has bandcamp
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KingSparta

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Re: Digital "Downloads"
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2016, 07:48:15 am »

also I am surprised there is no 3D phone out yet (that i know of).
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trajanmcgill

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Re: Digital "Downloads"
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 09:37:28 am »

For any movie I care about, I just buy the Blu-Ray disc or DVD. There are of course the obvious enhancements to video and sound quality, and also the fact that I automatically have a digital copy right there (think of ordering the disc as simply initiating a download that takes a couple of days to complete- or an hour if you go to the store to get it- and comes with an offline backup copy already made for you). More importantly, I do not desire to hitch the continued existence of my purchases to the continued success of any particular corporation. When, say, Amazon, or any of their competitors, goes out of business 10 years hence, and 40 million people lose their entire "purchased" movie, book, and music libraries, I don't care to be one of them.
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Guybrush

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Re: Digital "Downloads"
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2016, 08:56:38 am »

For any movie I care about, I just buy the Blu-Ray disc or DVD. There are of course the obvious enhancements to video and sound quality

I agree completely, at least on the basis of quality. I greatly prefer the experience of the disc, however there are rare occasions when a one-off digital purchase would be useful. For example, I recently held a Batman v Superman party just before the movie came out. We compared and voted on best-of clips from the two through the ages from Adam West and George Reeves on down (along with a BvS Injustice tournament.) Was going to compare Christian Bale to Brandon Routh and I realized I didn't own a copy of Superman Returns. Also turns out that local stores like Walmart and Best Buy do not carry it. So I thought it would be easiest to get a digital download, at the time I didn't realize I wouldn't get an actual copy. Only a link from Amazon to stream via web browser (can't stream 5.1 through a web browser.) So Christian Bale got the full use of my surround sound system turned up to reference levels on the Joker/Batcycle chase scene, and Brandon Routh saving the airplane was on awful-quality stereo that was ultra quiet. Had I known that, I would've gone to youtube. I actually wanted to give the only good scene in Superman Returns a fair shot. Needless to say, Batman won that round.
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trajanmcgill

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Re: Digital "Downloads"
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2016, 01:05:12 pm »

That sounds like an amusing and fun party.

I was surprised when you said you couldn't download anything from Amazon, though. I haven't bought digital video from them in a while, and one used to be able to download what you bought from them with some kind of very cranky and frustrating application called Amazon Unbox, which, IIRC, required admin privileges and always wanted to be in your system tray and start up on every login. But it appears that has gone away now, and the only way to watch offline is by using the iPhone or Android app, which I can only imagine downloads a severely compressed version of whatever you're trying to watch.
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blgentry

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Re: Digital "Downloads"
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 07:33:42 am »

But it appears that has gone away now, and the only way to watch offline is by using the iPhone or Android app, which I can only imagine downloads a severely compressed version of whatever you're trying to watch.

Amazon Prime clients are built in to many BluRay players, smart TVs, and a few other clients like the Amazon Fire stick.  I have very very limited experience with these.  But I can tell you that my limited experience was pretty terrible on the quality front.  I think my friend rented a Standard Definition movie from Prime.  It's quality was horribly distracting for me.  There were SUPER obvious artifacts all over the screen.  I'm not sure if it's just the SD content, or just this particular movie we watched, or what.  But it was BAD.  REALLY bad.  The Internet at his place is screaming fast, so it wasn't a bandwidth issue.  It was either an Amazon limitation, or a limitation of the client in his Sony BluRay player.

Brian.
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Guybrush

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Re: Digital "Downloads"
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2016, 08:14:46 am »

I don't know why Amazon can't at least make an app for the PC that allows better quality streaming and 5.1 audio channels. I use my HTPC as a preamp and a content source for everything. I love it, but when I built it I was thinking that a PC would have better quality everything because of ease of access and processing power, but I learned quickly that nobody supports PC. Even the Netflix app for PC was a terrible mess until about December of last year.
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