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krisbee
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:20 pm

Not only that, but occasionally there is just free content on there... plus usually you can watch a movie for a few minutes for free, so if you just wanted to even test the quality, you can go for it.
 
techn0lizard
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:49 pm

donbga wrote:
mommom wrote:
Some people live in the country.If I take my truck to the nearest Redbox I will spend $10 in gas on top of the movie rental.

+1!


+1

The nearest Redbox for me is over an hour away!
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UserInSeattle
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:22 pm

I have Amazon, VUDU, Netflix, and regularly use Redbox an average of 1.5 times per week (6 times a month).

AmazonOnDemand still has a very long way to go with their general user interface. I have a hard time using the Roku Amazon interface to find anything...so I always default back to the Amazon site on my computer to use the much better search options there, then come back to the Roku, and do a second keyword search on the same title. It would be great if some ambitious programmer here came up with a "helper" program along the lines of the great Instant Watch Browser or MultiQs that helps out in supplimenting the Netflix channel here on the Roku. The quality of the feed and encoding of nearly everything I've watched from Amazon has been really un-great.

VUDU's regular prices are, at least for me, not competitive with other options. The only thing I watch via VUDU are probably 5 or 6 per month of their Daily 99 cent Special Movie, which, via their at their great proprietary method of delivering full resolution and Dolby surround audio, are a terrific value. Also, since these 99 cent specials are from back catalog stuff, it's a good way to watch things I haven't seen in years, and would not spend anything on buying in hard physical disk form in these modern days to watch only once for old time sake. VUDU also has promised since launch to offer 3D streaming movies, but only seems to do it for what appears to be one brand of TV (and only certain models of it) along with about 5 or 6 individual BluRay players that seem randomly picked out. Points plus for video/audio quality and cheapness of the oldies...points minus for overall value of their ondemand catalog's current per unit pricing, and lack of one price subscription model.

I'm fortunate to live within walking distance (less than a mile or so) of four Redbox kiosks, and they are all along my common pathways to places where I normally shop for other things anyway...but I completely understand the lack of value for anyone who has to drive any significant distance at today's gas prices.

The biggest thing I like about Redbox is getting VERY good quality on both the audio and video sides. As an example: I saw Tron in the theatre. Loved it for its bombastic over-the-top techno feel. In fact, saw it too many times there ($$$-ugh!), and hated the crappy movie theatre popcorn (again $$$$-really ugh!). Got Tron at Redbox on BluRay after a couple of months of it's theatre release. Great full bit rates on the video, terrific 7.1 audio tracks that were fully immersible via the big screen here and surround system. Just watched the Netflix version last night. Um, not good at all. Video quality looked like probably 1/4 of the resolution of the BluRay, and audio quality was total crap (wasn't even offered in surround, just stereo, and not even a good stereo that could be kidded into being semi-surround via Dolby magic decoding upward). Thought it might be network issues, but just tried it again today (mid-weekday), and same crappy encode.

So, under my scenario, Redbox does serve a nitch for when I want to indulge the "let's see a bangy-wizy adventure movie with lots of sizzle and little plot tonight" need.

It is also very good for me from a health standpoint, as it gives me a great excuse to get off my butt (twice in two days) to walk to get the movie, then again to walk off the gigantic portions of heavily buttered popcorn the next morning to return the disk.

Amazon: -1
VUDU: neutral rating
Netflix: neutral rating
Redbox: +1

--Bill In Seattle
 
catastrophegirl
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:12 pm

Forza wrote:
Why would people buy, for example, $4.99 to watch Cars 2? Why not rent from Redbox for $1.10? Still trying to figure out the best way to use my R-XS..

i don't know why they'd rent cars 2 from it, but as a cord cutter, amazon streaming video was the only way to keep up with the most recent season of Doctor Who without waiting a year or more for netflix to get it. some things i can be patient about. the doctor isn't one of them
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kc8pql
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:23 pm

catastrophegirl wrote:
some things i can be patient about. the doctor isn't one of them

:lol:
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catastrophegirl
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:48 pm

donbga wrote:
If I add the Amazon channel, can I just browse the titles for free? Would I have a monthly charge or a one time charge for that privilege?
Donbga


also, i found a lot of fun extras on amazon for free. i'm a fan of the show Bones and amazon had a bunch of clips and extras that were in continuity but i didn't find them anywhere else. totally for free. they have occasional cartoons, clips, interviews - even a free House/Hugh Laurie music video. it's worth taking a look.
and if you are on twitter, every once in a while you can participate in a twitter promo where amazon gives you $5 streaming credit to spend by the end of the month
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trothatl
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:04 pm

UserInSeattle wrote:
It would be great if some ambitious programmer here came up with a "helper" program along the lines of the great Instant Watch Browser or MultiQs that helps out in supplimenting the Netflix channel here on the Roku.

Someone correct if I'm wrong (I'm not a Roku channel developer), but I don't think that can be done because, as far as I can tell, Amazon has not released an API for their Video on Demand service. Without an API, a third-party developer can't tap into the Amazon database as they can do with Netflix, which does have an API.
 
MultiQs
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:16 am

Someone correct if I'm wrong (I'm not a Roku channel developer), but I don't think that can be done because, as far as I can tell, Amazon has not released an API for their Video on Demand service. Without an API, a third-party developer can't tap into the Amazon database as they can do with Netflix, which does have an API.


The problem isn't catalog access, the first version of MultiQs (FlixFamily at the time) was actually written for Amazon (since they didn't have queues at all...) The problem is that there needs to be a way to tell the Amazon Roku channel which title you would like it to play. Roku makes that easy, but it was obvious (by the way Amazon threatened to sic their lawyers on us if we continued) that they have no intent of implementing that feature at this time.
 
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KennyJ
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:09 pm

I've recently rented several movies from Amazon for $1. I currently have Margin Call and Columbiana waiting to be watched. That's better than Redbox, imo.

Since my last post, I actually have used Redbox a few times because there happens to be one just around the corner from me now. But Amazon is still more convenient and they have a much bigger selection.
 
SuetyStanes
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:47 pm

This might not be the best place to put this since it might get buried, but Amazon seems to be dabbling in original content like the other online providers. They've got a number of movies available for free right now they're calling an Amazon Studios Test Movie, and stating that they're "rough draft[s]" of movies.

I haven't watched one yet, but there are a few of them. You can search for Sky Pirates to find one of them, and the rest should show up as related titles (at least on the website).

Amazon seems to be stumbling into online content, but I have a feeling they'll be polishing what they have soon.
 
mkiker2089
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:26 pm

The short answer is that there really isn't much point. Amazon is too expensive because they are priced to make the studios happy. Amazon VOD has been declining greatly as have all VOD services on the same price scheme while Hulu and Netflix have shot through the roof.

However if someone does want a movie badly they may occasionally rent a VOD stream.
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krisbee
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:33 pm

I think the TV show rentals of current shows are priced well - we watch Top Chef and occasionally Tosh.0, and they are up within 24 hours. For us cable cutters, it is great to have these few shows (like Mythbusters) available to supplement our netflix streams.
 
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KennyJ
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:13 pm

krisbee wrote:
I think the TV show rentals of current shows are priced well - we watch Top Chef and occasionally Tosh.0, and they are up within 24 hours. For us cable cutters, it is great to have these few shows (like Mythbusters) available to supplement our netflix streams.


Even though I've been buying the HD versions of Downton Abbey S2, I disagree on price. I did it because I wanted to see it in HD and my PBS station wasn't giving it to me in HD. But at $3 an episode, I think it's a rip off -- just happens to be a rip-off I was willing to pay for. It wouldn't make sense for me to to do it with more than 1 series at a time though. at $3 (HD) an episode, you're looking at $12-15 a month. At some point, it'd be cheaper to just get cable/satellite.

The only good news is these are purchases, not rentals. I think the price needs to be dropped in half. There are a few shows with $1 SD rentals, but most aren't.

Because of that, I now just wait for most shows to come to either Netflix or for the season to go on sale at Amazon.
 
krisbee
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:34 pm

KennyJ wrote:
Even though I've been buying the HD versions of Downton Abbey S2, I disagree on price. I did it because I wanted to see it in HD and my PBS station wasn't giving it to me in HD. But at $3 an episode, I think it's a rip off -- just happens to be a rip-off I was willing to pay for. It wouldn't make sense for me to to do it with more than 1 series at a time though. at $3 (HD) an episode, you're looking at $12-15 a month. At some point, it'd be cheaper to just get cable/satellite.


It is true, and it depends on want/need. I have an SD TV still, so my tv purchases are $2 ($8 a month). There are only one or two shows I can't live without, and even that it depends. So, arbitrarily, for me I was spending $100 on satellite, so that is a lot of shows I could buy and still have a better deal and with no commericals, own them, and be available on my time schedule. However, it really depends on the circumstances. There were only three shows that we (read: she) couldn't live without, and both Tosh.0 and Project Runway are available on their channels respective sites (either in content or outright). Only Top Chef was one that isn't. Other shows that we like are only a season behind on Netflix, so we are good there, and maybe we occasionally "treat" ourselves, but with all of the stuff we have been grabbing OTA, we actually haven't really wanted/needed to do that. We are still episodes behind on some shows.

However, I think there should be some price drop on some of these shows... like $1 an episode for an older show. Heck, it can even be $1 an episode for a current show, but as a rental.

Slightly off-topic: I think more things should be put out there. Look at the success of the comedy special by Louis C.K. who put out his own special for $5, and made MORE money than if he did it for HBO, within one week I think he was over a million dollars with no real advertising and the video is yours to do with as you like (watch unlimited, make a dvd, whatever). The process was painless, and I was able to drop the video right into my Roksbox folder and watch on the Roku :)
 
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gonzotek
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Re: What's the point of Amazon stream?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:46 pm

krisbee wrote:
Slightly off-topic: I think more things should be put out there. Look at the success of the comedy special by Louis C.K. who put out his own special for $5, and made MORE money than if he did it for HBO, within one week I think he was over a million dollars with no real advertising and the video is yours to do with as you like (watch unlimited, make a dvd, whatever). The process was painless, and I was able to drop the video right into my Roksbox folder and watch on the Roku :)
+1 to Louis C.K.'s 'experiment'. Hoping to see more of that from other content creators soon.
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