misery of VoD

I like watching movies. The best ones I watch in the cinema, but these don't happen often. Also watching 6-8 movies per month in a cinema is a bit inconvenient: far from home, lots of commercials before the movie, and it ain't cheap. Watching them at home is an obvious alternative, and there are several legal ways to do that: buying discs, renting discs and video-on-demand via internet. Unfortunately all these ways suffer from a common downside: movies come there at least six months after they appear in the cinemas. This is obviously done to lure people to the cinemas, but I can wait half a year.

Video-on-demand wasn't available to me for quite some time, and the choice between renting a disc and buying it for the price of a cinema ticket was obvious. I did enjoy German internet-services where you can get same 8 movies per month for a monthly fee. But something had to change recently when three events have coincided: I got a SmartTV (supports VoD), Netflix came to Germany (supports VoD in Linux), and Amazon has effectively closed the disc rentals service. So I took a closer look at my alternatives.

Of course I wanted to switch to VoD, after all the future is now, and discs are not perfectly convenient. Unfortunately VoD is still not for me for several reasons. First of all the video quality is far from Blu-ray. Second, despite the 50 Mbps connection I still sometimes see the quality drops or even buffering pauses. Third, only some VoD providers offer original audio and subtitles. Fourth, the best movies you'd only see for a price, while the choice of movies in the subscription plans is saddening. (By the way, Netflix's choice is particularly small, why do people like it?)

As a result I stuck to the Blu-rays, switched from Amazon to VideoBuster.de, and receive my movies by post. This is not perfect: I have to wait, I can't order a specific film for the next delivery, there are legendary FBI warnings that you can't skip. But the picture quality is perfect, there are no pauses in the playback, I can hear the original audio and check the subtitles, and the choice of movies is very good for the price.

Artemy Tregubenko,
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