Options for streaming movies

February 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Spending Valentine's Day in this year? Now you and your loved one can easily and cheaply stream movies from the web onto your big-screen TV and be watching a movie in minutes. Stacy black rents several movies a month without ever leaving her house via the web.

"I don't have to spend the time going into Blockbuster, looking around the aisles for a movie that I want to see. I can look online," said Stacy Black, Netflix Customer.

A $9-a-month subscription through Netflix gets her rentals in the mail, and for no extra charge, instant, on-line access to 17,000 titles, both movies and TV episodes.

To connect your TV to an online service, you need an internet-ready TV or a device, such as a Blu-ray player, Playstation 3, or an X-box 360.

"There are other Internet-ready boxes you can buy that aren't too expensive, including ones from Roku, Apple TV, and Vudu," said Chris Andrarde, Consumer Reports.

Vudu offers 20,000 titles, costing between $3 and $6 each depending on whether you choose to watch a movie in standard definition, high definition, or a higher-quality format it called HDX.

Blockbuster has also gotten into the video-on-demand game. For $2 to $4 dollars, you can browse through about 10,000 titles - thousands more than what's available in a typical video store. The downside is all are standard definition.

For the best picture quality, consumer reports says look to Vudu, whose HDX format comes closest to Blu-ray. And it also provides Dolby Digital Audio output.

But no matter which service you choose, a few clicks can have you streaming movies in no time at all.


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