It's all over the web; downloading movies is here. Unfortunately, many consumers are unaware of the benefits of the service and recent developments. When informally polling consumers on a home electronics website, it appeared that concerns revolves around not having the equipment or knowledge of how to download, the cost, the time involved, and lingering questions about the legality of downloading. Let's address these one by one.
o Is downloading movies legal?
Consumers no longer have to worry about unwittingly obtaining copyrighted material illegally through peer-to-peer file sharing nor being exposed to viruses that are so common in peer-to-peer situations. Both Movielink and Cinema Now offer movie download services in agreement with the movie studios. Movielink in fact is owned / operated by Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Universal, Sony, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. In addition, they finalized a deal with 20th Century Fox in November 2005 giving them content from all of Hollywood's major film studios. Movies can be rented or purchased and downloaded to PC; however, those knowledgeable about the industry indicate that it is reasonably the ability to transfer movies onto DVD and then play them on television is forthcoming.
o Does downloading movies take a long time?
The time it takes to download depends on a number of factors such as the file size, the user's connection, and the computer's capabilities. As connections and computers have become faster, the time required to download has been significantly reduced. In general, it takes 45 to 90 minutes. Faster downloading is certainly in the future but in reality it takes no longer than going to the store to pick up a movie. In addition, downloading can be completed 24/7, allowing users to download while they sleep.
o What equipment is necessary for downloading?
As an example, to download from Movielink, high speed internet access, Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, and Windows 2000 or XP is needed. Movielink recommends at least 300 MHz, an Intel Pentium III + processor, 128 MB of RAM, a full duplex soundcard and speakers, and a 65,000 color video display card set. The movies will play through Real Player 8.0+ or Windows Media Player 7.1+.
o Is downloading movies more expensive that renting at the store?
No. Most local video stores will rent a DVD for a recent release for $ 3.60-5.00 for overnight to one week. Movielink rental prices are in the $ 1.99 to $ 4.99 range and purchases are priced from $ 8.99 to $ 27.99. There are no membership fees or commitments, only the per movie fee.
o Is downloading movies difficult?
No. It is generally a process of selecting the movie, initiating a Movie Manager type program to download, and then storing / saving the movie to the PC. Most movie download sites understand that this is a new process for many people and they offer tutorials and comprehensive FAQ pages to answer questions and offer instruction on the process. Movielink even allows users to participate in live chat if they have unanswered questions or if problems arrise during the downloading process.
Armed with information about the true benefits and current status of downloading movies from the internet, it should become clear to consumers that it is a viable option and strong competitor to DVD rental. With no commitment or membership payments, downloading offers new users the chance to "try it on for size" without any worries.