Online Movie Rentals

What is CinemaNow Movies Online Service?

CinemaNowCinemaNow movies online service is an Internet-based digital video distribution company founded in 1999. In November 2008, CinemaNow was acquired by SonicSolutions. In January 2009, Sonic and Blockbuster announced an alliance to provide digital content delivery under the Blockbuster brand, essentially merging CinemaNow movies online service and its former competitor (Movielink), which was acquired by Blockbuster in 2007. The CinemaNow library contains approximately 14,000 feature-length films. The service basically allows users to download these films online to their computers or TiVo DVR to buy or rent. This service is similar to the one provided by Amazon Video On Demand. The main draw for a service like CinemaNow is that consumers can simply click a button and watch streaming videos online at home, without having to drive to the local video rental store or using the United States Postal Service to procure rentals.

The prices for services like CinemaNow vary. To buy newer movies, you might pay as high as you would off the shelves, but you can get older movies for less. To rent a movie for a 24 hour period can cost you between $3 and $5. This price is more than that at a place like Blockbuster, where you can keep a movie for up to three or four days for the same price. For some consumers, the convenience of not leaving their house will more than make up for the short rental time. Another negative to streaming movies online with services like CinemaNow are that you cannot burn these movies to DVD and expect them to play in a traditional DVD player. Thus, you are limited to watching the movies that you buy on the television you stream them onto. This is very inconvenient for travelers who like to watch movies in the car or in hotels- they might prefer the traditional way of renting or buying hard copies of films.

One complaint from CinemaNow movies online service users that now seems to be getting rectified is that you cannot purchase High Definition or BluRay quality movies through the service. CinemaNow is working on getting more of these high-quality films to be available for purchase. However, the look of the movie will appear different on a variety of televisions or computers, so this is still an issue. It is a little different from traditional systems, where a BluRay movie on a BluRay player on a high quality television will look great despite where you are viewing it. Some High Definition movies available for streaming from CinemaNow might not look so crisp. It seems that there are both pros and cons to using a service like CinemaNow. The pros are convenience- you just press a button to choose your movie and off you go. The cons include the often high prices, inability to burn the movies to DVD, lack of selection (though this seems to be improving daily), and lack of high definition choices (though this is also showing improvement). There will always be those folks who prefer to go down to the local video store, or use a service like Netflix, but for those people who are into the latest high-tech way of viewing movies, CinemaNow is a good alternative.

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