01.Downloading movies from paid services
Many services and provider recognized the high demand for movies on the internet and are offering movies through a subscription-based service or as single purchases. There are many similar and even more differing providers, so what do we have to look for when choosing the right on? The major differences of movie downloading services are in most cases prices, supported devices, quality of content and last but not least their library, meaning the number of movies and TV series they are offering. Let us take a look at some of the major players of the movie downloading and streaming sector.
||Amazon Prime Video
||Movie and TV series streaming
||Movie and TV series streaming
||Movie and TV series purchasing and renting
||Movie and TV series streaming
||30 days for free
||30 days for free
||7 days for free
||$ 8.99 per month or
$ 99 per year
|Basic: $ 7.99
Standard: $ 9.99
Premium: $ 11.99
|Single purchase or renting of movies and TV series
||$ 7.99 per month or
$ 95.88 per year
Netflix – best Streaming Service
One of the biggest and most popular providers of movies and television series is the American global provider called NETFLIX. It was founded in the year 1997 and started as a DVD-by-mail service. However, they did not begin streaming before 2007, but gained more than 81 million subscribers worldwide, including 46 million in the U.S., since then. Basically NETFLIX is a subscription-based film and television program rental service that distributes the media to their subscribers via the internet or US mail. Subscribers pay a monthly fee according to their subscription plan and gain access to their desired movies or television series in accordance to their subscription plans. There are several subscription plans and every plan gives access to every media on the NETFLIX-platform.
A big advantage of NETFLIX is the vast range of films and series that are offered on the platform, included the benchmark series such as House of cards, which are exclusively available on NETFLIX. As already mentioned, some of the can be even watched in Super HD (1080p) with 5.1 surround sound or even in 4K, whereby these are limited to compatible UHD televisions from Samsung, Sony or LG.
NETFLIX supports almost any device that can connect to the internet. There is an app for MacOs, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows, Windows Phone and Nook. But that is not restricted to mobile devices or computers. You can even watch from your gaming consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, Wii U and Wii). Alternatively you can watch from any device via web browser. But you should keep in mind that the number of devices that can be used simultaneously is restricted and depends on the plan that you have chosen.
Due to its standardized interface NETFLIX offers the similar feeling and familiarity on almost all devices. Each account has the option to create multiple profiles that can store favorite movies and TV series. Thus multiple people can use one account without interfering in any way or getting the recommendations from someone else. There is also a section specifically for children with movies and TV program suitable for your child.
As already mentioned, NETFLIX is subscription-based, therefore you have to choose from one of the streaming plans and pay a monthly fee to benefit from the services and advantages. You can choose one of three streaming plans. The basic (streaming) plan costs around $ 7.99 per month. With this plan movies can’t be watched on multiple devices at the same time and only on Standard Definition (SD). The standard (streaming) plan costs around $ 9.99 and contains an additional devices and High Definition (HD). With the premium (streaming) plan you can watch movies in HD or even Ultra HD and on 4 different devices, but it will cost you around $ 11.99 per month.
The streaming plans are not the only thing that this company offers. NETFLIX still offers DVD and Blu-ray rental, too. The subscription plans for DVDs are only available in the United States and can be found on the homepage. In the end, NETFLIX is a great service that has something to offer for almost every type of movie or TV series fan. The reasonable prices, the simple yet appealing interface and the more than sufficient support of devices are very appealing. Moreover, it offers a vast selection of great shows and movies, including some Emmy awarded and NETFLIX-exclusive shows in fact. The only downside is that they do not contain the most recent movies or TV series. There are some current movies and TV series, but in general they are from one up to two years old. Another thing you should keep in mind is that NETFLIX will remove films and television series if the content deals expire, without any warning.
Amazon Prime Video
Shortly after NETFLIX many other providers showed up in the business. Most of them were established by well-known global players and others by unknown companies, all of them gaining different levels of publicity and success. Amazon was also one of the first replying to the positive feedback of the internet users to online movie streaming and downloading. With implementing the video-on-demand provider LovingFilms to their collection and offering them as part of their Amazon Prime subscription (and raising the annual fee), Amazon Prime Video established itself as a well-known and acknowledged online movie and television program streaming services. Similar to others it offers instant and unlimited streaming of series and movies.
To get access to the movie and television series library of Amazon Prime Video, one can choose the Amazon Prime Video plan or even subscribe for Amazon Prime directly and benefit from many advantages, like free two-day shipping, unlimited music streaming, over a million e-books, free unlimited photo storage and free same-day shipping for eligible areas. Amazon Prime Video claims to have over 150,000 videos and offers the option to download them to your device, so you can watch it offline later. The quality of the films and the amount of recent releases give Amazon Prime Video an advantage. Many films and TV series are available in HD (1080p) and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (keep in mind that this is dependent on your device). Moreover Amazon works with Warner Bros, Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, Discovery and many other major film producers to offer 4k HD content.
Contrary to NETFLIX Amazon does not offer individual profiles for an account and lacks some award-winning series. Additionally Amazon Prime Video has some exclusive content to offer such as Viacom (MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central etc.), which is neither available on NETFLIX nor on other major services.
If you want the Amazon Prime Video service only, it will cost you $ 8.99 per month, which contains unlimited access to the movies and television series and if available even with HD or UHD. For just two dollars more, you are able to subscribe to Amazon Prime itself and benefit from all the additions. Alternatively you can choose to pay annually $ 99 for the Amazon Prime subscription to get the 25% prepayment discount ($ 99 annually equals $ 8.25 monthly).
So Amazon Prime Video is ideal for you if you want access to the more recently released movies and TV series or if you own an Amazon Fire TV. Another reason would be, if you want to benefit from all the advantages that the Amazon Prime subscription has to offer. If you already own an Amazon Prime account, there is no reason to subscribe to another provider, either.
Some may be surprised to see iTunes in our listing, but we felt the responsibility to show as many and as different as possible services, to assure a better understanding. iTunes offers a vast collection of films, TV series and other medias to buy or rent, which you can play trough Apple Devices (Apple TV included) or a PC. The business model of Apple differs from all the other media offering services that we introduced until now, probably because of the fact that iTunes is more a digital media store than a streaming service. However, this does not mean that you do not have unlimited and instant access to your films and TV series with iTunes. If anything, iTunes has a lot of experience with selling films and TV series (in SD and as well as HD).
Getting access to a film or TV series is rather simple with iTunes. You buy or rent the content that you want to watch. Prices for films and television series vary. They depend on whether you want to buy or rent the content, how recently it was released and how popular it is. Apparently, a new movie can be rented starting at $ 4.99 in SD and $ 5.99 in HD. If you buy them the prices start from $ 14.99 (SD) and $ 19.99 (HD). Older films cost reasonably less. Rented films are available for 30 days starting from the day of purchase. The same principle is used for episodes of TV series. Alternatively they can be bought in bundle, with whom you can save some money if you already know that you are going to watch the whole series anyways. Once you start a movie you have 48 hours to finish it. Every purchased movie or TV series stays on iTunes and can be streamed or downloaded, for later use, depending on your device.
Due to the partnership of Apple with almost any major and minor studio and broadcaster, iTunes has a huge collection to offer. Its system is robust, easy to use and already integrated in all Apple devices. If you already own an Apple device, you are most likely using iTunes, too. And if you want to watch a movie or TV series once in a while, you will have to advantage that you can purchase or rent it with your iTunes account and have it available on your device and download it, to watch it offline. This is a great way to download a movie if you do not want a subscription and monthly fees.
On the other hand it can be a disadvantage, because if you watch movies or TV series regularly the costs will quickly rise. There is no subscription option that restricts the expenses, meaning you will pay more money over time. Spending 5 bucks here and there will quickly add up to more than the $ 10 you have to pay for a subscription plan of NETFLIX or Amazon Prime Video. Also, all your content is “locked” inside the Apple’s iCloud ecosystem.
For Apple devices, iTunes is one of the best ways to gain access to films and TV series. However, it is not optimal and unfavorable if you download movies on a regular basis. Both the quality of the content and the range of offered media are one of the best, even if it is limited to the iCloud (which is not a problem for an Apple user by the way).
Hulu Plus is streaming service, similar to NETFLIX that offers a wide range of films and television series on several devices. Hulu Plus contains ads, like its free version, but has way more content to offer and provides earlier access to recently released films and episodes.
Hulu Plus is available on following devices: Xbox One, PS4, Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, Nook, smart television and much more. As you can see, it supports many devices that the other services never considered and therefore covers many smaller target groups. The supported devices are not the only advantage of Hulu Plus. Another great advantage is the fact that Hulu Plus provides access to episodes and films the day after they are aired, which means that you will be able to watch the movies and TV episodes before anyone else who has a subscription with many other streaming service.
It is no secret that the content contains almost only television series. There are not many films to choose from, but it has some special collections, such as the James Bond movies. And although you are paying a monthly fee, Hulu Plus still uses advertisements, but the worse thing is that it restricts content based on your internet connection and provider! Thus it can become very annoying for some of the users.
So if you are more the TV series type of guy, Hulu Plus might be the thing for you, although the ads may annoy you a little (even if you are used to them from cable TV). In the end it is not too expensive and offers a ton of popular series with their most recent episodes.