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Tuesday
Sep272011

Amazon to add 2,000+ FOX Titles to Prime

Amazon.com has inked a deal with FOX which adds over 2,000 movies and TV shows to Amazon's Prime Instant Videos streaming service.

Dear (Amazon) Customer,

I have big news for Amazon Prime members - we've just signed a deal with FOX to add a broad selection of movies and TV shows to our unlimited instant streaming service later this fall.  The new additions from the FOX library include 24, Arrested Development, The X-Files, Ally McBeal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and - available on digital video for the first time - The Wonder Years.  We now have deals with CBS, NBCUniversal, Sony and Warner Bros, and adding FOX will bring the total to more than 11,000 movies and TV shows available for unlimited instant streaming.

Amazon recently added some additional CBS TV shows to Amazon Prime Instant Videos streaming, including a variety of Star Trek series episodes.

Amazon Prime membership costs $79 per year.  Prime members get free two-day shipping on the majority of Amazon products with no minimum purchase requirements.  The unlimited Amazon Prime Instant Videos streaming is included for no extra charge.

Saturday
Apr232011

Physical Media Still Dominates!

According to the NPD Group, more Americans use DVD and Blu-ray discs to watch movies at home than all forms of non-physical media combined.

More than three quarters of U.S. consumers continue to view movies on DVD and Blu-ray Disc; nearly 80 cents of every dollar spent on home video movies goes toward the purchase or rental of physical discs.

Personally, I'm glad physical media is still dominant.  It is my desire to see Blu-ray continue to grow and eventually replace DVD.  I realize that some people can't see or hear the difference in image or sound quality, but I certainly can.  I haven't purchased a DVD in over two years and I've rented as few of them as I possibly could.  With its 50 gigabytes of storage capacity (compared to DVD's 8.7 GB), Blu-ray is the only current physical media that has the encoding bandwidth necessary to deliver clean, artifact-free video on today's high-resolution television displays.

Streaming is Inferior to Blu-ray

Most movies on Blu-ray are encoded at a healthy 25-35 Mbps versus the 5-6 Mbps of DVD.  Granted, DVD is pushing a smaller image through the "pipe" so it needs less bandwidth.  But look at streaming providers.  The bandwidth they encode their HD content at is, at best, about the same as DVD.  Yet, they are pushing a much larger image through their pipe.  It's a difference that I can see, particularly during fast-motion sequences in movies and sports.  Streaming just doesn't encode at a sufficiently high bandwidth.

If you want the best possible picture and the best possible sound, Blu-ray is currently the only way to go.