The Vudu service is also interesting - it is a provider of not only internet movies, but also music and live events. Vudu is similar to Netflix in that it offers a monthly fee and a DVD-by-mail rental model, but unlike Netflix it also offers music and live events, and unlike Netflix it does not have an instant queue. You have to wait to get a title when you order it from the web. But Vudu is also free (for the first 2,500 titles).
Like Netflix, Hulu has a subscription model, but there are no rentals - you pay a monthly fee to access a huge library of movies and TV shows. The catch is that you can only access them when you are connected to the internet via a cable or wi-fi connection. If you are away from home, you can stream content by using your Verizon FiOS phone as a modem. I tested this recently and it worked fine - and streamed content smoothly.
All of these services have a monthly fee, and you pay a monthly fee for the service (but not for the hardware to use the service), for a physical rental, or for a subscription (but not for the hardware to use the service). While no one is challenging the value of video rental, it is still an expensive option. However, I think there is a new way to think about video content, i.e. renting vs. subscribing. Renting is a temporary solution when you cannot or should not be away from home. Subscribing is for long-term use at home, and may last for weeks at a time. Renting is short-term, and subscriptions may last for a month or more. Personally, I rent movies and TV shows mostly for short-term use, and I subscribe for long-term use. For me, the monthly subscription charge is worth the low cost and the hassle of scheduling deliveries.
A year ago, a large percentage of movie fans were still only buying Blu-ray Discs to play back their movies. But that may not be the case in 2012 as Blu-ray Disc are up to 7 times more efficient, 2.5 times quieter than HD DVD, have double the storage capacity and are now backward compatible with existing HD DVD players. Or you can upgrade your HD DVD player to Blu-ray Disc. And depending on the video source, Blu-ray Disc may even be better than HD DVD. With the addition of HD video, the new Blu-ray Disc players can now play Blu-ray Discs up to 7 times more efficiently than HD DVD.
The new Blu-ray Disc Home Theater systems feature 24-bit/192kHz high definition audio on the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats as well as DTS-HD MA 7.1 surround sound. The new Blu-ray Disc systems also have up to two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output.
The other part of the announcement is the Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system itself. We've been hearing about the new 2012 lineup for quite some time. The new units get the jump on the competition with 500Hz refresh rates and HDMI 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround sound and can stream 4K content via HDMI. But it's the all new disc drives that really give the new HT systems the power to satisfy customers. 827ec27edc