Monday, 7 August 2017

TV and Movie Streaming

Moving on to TV and Movies, let’s talk about subscription services. The final post in this series is about that Prime and other subscription services work and why. Let’s just say that Prime Video looks like the bargain shelves in Blockbusters. I don’t get The Long Goodbye for free, and I have to stump up for MUBI to watch Two or Three Things I Know About Her. It looks like I can watch all the kids movies I want. So let’s just toss Amazon in the bin.

You know how Amazon is really J C Penny on steroids? The streaming services - Apple, Netflix, Amazon - are Blockbusters on steroids. That’s why looking at what they offer always reminds me of walking round Blockbusters, or Fopp in Covent Garden, with the difference that Fopp has, and Blockbusters had, art movies. Blockbusters worked because some people were prepared to wait a while to see the latest movies, but mostly because all of us would watch something that was cheap to rent and looked “okay” but that we would not splash out a full-price cinema visit to see. Streaming services make money because of those grim Sunday afternoons when you’re bored and will watch anything. Amazon’s in the bin because Prime doesn’t actually apply to any movies I want, and do you notice how hard it is to find out what Netflix actually has to offer, and if any of the films or programs have an additional charge? So did I. Let’s give Netflix a pass. If you like it, you pay for it.

I'm going to stick with cut-price box sets from Fopp.

It’s Curzon Home Cinema I really want. I’ve ranted about their crazy commercial decisions before, but hey, let’s rub it in. When it started, they used the browser and I could plug an HDMI cable to my laptop and watch on my TV. Then they revamped the service, and now the Curzon app does not support any form of output re-direction. No Air Play. No Lightning to HDMI for the TV. Who the heck wants to watch a film on an iPad? Even Amazon’s iOS app supports Air Play! Ah, but wait. Curzon has an app for the Apple TV. That’s £139. Since I’m a Curzon member, £139 is about 10-12 movies depending on when I go. And it costs to rent the movies, so breakeven is way down the line. And they all come out on DVD anyway, and eventually for about £5-£10. This is not looking good for Curzon Home Cinema. I’ll just watch the movies when they come out instead. (Note: this is only because I work in central London. If you’re outside the M25 in a town with no council-sponsored art house, then it’s a bargain.)

So if I'm going to get an art-movie subscription, I’ll get MUBI instead. Ya na na ya na. (In this case, it’s the commitment to watch at least one art movie a month that’s the stumbling-block.)

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