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Streaming Movies May Threaten to Kill Blu-Ray Discs

If you’re like many other TV owners, you may already have your TV connected to your high speed Internet connection or maybe you’re considering a new HDTV with built-in networking so you can make the connection. Streaming movies from services like Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster and others are becoming popular ways to watch movies on your “connected” HDTV without having to deal with the trouble of returning discs to the rental service. Most streaming services don’t offer 1080p video, and many don’t have the very latest movies. But one wonders if the growing popularity of steaming services might be affecting consumers’ interest in purchasing Blu-ray players.

So Many Connected TVs

A high number of respondents say their TVs are already connected to the Internet. Over 22% said they had a connection. Another 25% said their TVs weren’t connected, but they would like them to be. With such a large number of potential movie “streamers”, it’s tempting to think many would prefer to stream over Blu-ray.

Strong Interest in Streaming

Over 50% or respondents said they either stream movies now or would like to stream movies. Does this signal the decline of Blu-ray?

Interest Also Strong for Blu-ray Players

Good news for the Blu-ray industry: it doesn’t look like Blu-ray has anything to worry about, just yet, as far as steaming movies are concerned. The study found a tiny percentage of respondents who said they were going to stream movies instead of buying a Blu-ray player while almost 50% of respondents said they were planning on buying a Blu-ray player or were considering buying one this year.

Is 3D Hurting Blu-ray Sales?

It doesn’t look like 3D will hurt Blu-ray sales. In fact, it looks like 3D could be a good thing for Blu-ray, with 10% of respondents saying they were planning on buying a 3D Blu-ray player, while only 12% said they were waiting for 3D before buying a Blu-ray player.

Movie on Demand Distribution For Indie Filmmaking Cats

Like many independent filmmakers out there I was disappointed with how the traditional distribution deals for my movies turned out. This is kind of like my Jerry Maguire moment. It’s 6 AM on a Saturday and I’m on my laptop. Making smaller budget movies outside of Hollywood without name stars severely limits your distribution options. 9 out of 10 times it leads to a filmmaker signing a deal with a independent distribution company that doesn’t pay off. You basically sell the rights to your movie for pennies on the dollar. Not to mention your sweat equity and creative energy that goes unrewarded. Bottom-line is most independent filmmakers don’t come close to breaking even with these type of distribution deals. It’s down right frustrating.

After going through this myself I started to rethink if making independent movies was worth it. Then my friend, editor Tim Beachum, who follows tech trends in entertainment told me, “You love to make movies. Don’t stop. Just rethink how to get your movies distributed to viewers.” I watch videos on YouTube, MetaCafe, Dailymotion and other sites. Free content is cool, but independent filmmakers need to earn money from their work like the rest of the world. Free doesn’t pay the bills. Then I started to look into sites that offered movies on demand for a modest fee. I saw that this might be the best platform to get my movies seen by viewers and hopefully earn a living.

I started to research how different movie on demand sites worked. Netflix “Watch Now” Downloads is revolutionizing the way viewers get their movies. Hollywood dominates the movie on demand market, but independent movies are carving out a their own place. Independent filmmakers no longer have to shoulder the cost of DVD replication and packaging. Some independent distributors charge filmmakers as much as $4 for these costs on top of their distribution fees.

Offering your movie on demand eliminates that. Not knowing exactly how to jump into the movie on demand market I enlisted the help of respected independent film representative Mark Steven Bosko of The Bosko Group. Great guy. He secured a movie on demand deal for 3 reality videos I produced while I took a break from making movies. The videos are available to viewers on most major cable and satellite outlets. There are no high DVD replication, packaging, and distribution fees. Movies on demand is a digital process. Once your movie is encoded it can be streamed to viewers.

I have to give credit where credit is due. Editor Tim Beachum said, “Why don’t we make a wide range of videos for mobile devices?”

I was an independent filmmaker used to the traditional way of getting movies distributed. Now I can see that the movie on demand process gives filmmakers a wide audience and a real opportunity to earn money for their hard work. Movies on demand has leveled that playing field. Digital distribution has made it an exciting time to be a filmmaker. It has renewed my creative spirit.

Is Legally Downloading, Streaming, and Burning Full Length Movies Possible?

The answer to this question posed in the title of the article is yes, it can be legally performed. It is possible but you have to be very careful as there are sites offering free downloads and implying that it’s legal to do so at their website when in fact they are violating copyright laws.

To perform legally downloading, streaming, and burning of movies you have to have a site that has a license for each movie offered that you want to obtain. If that site does not have a license to distribute that movie you will be held liable for copyright infringement that can result in a minimum fine of $750 and imprisonment for up to 5 years for each violation.

There is software that will enable you to capture and burn to DVD any movie you can download. The temptation is there for the taking. However it just is not worth the risks involved.

There are P2P websites that offer downloads of movies, software programs, & music. You are downloading those files from others who are members of the site, users just like you, who have files they are willing to share. Do you think they have a license from the developer of the software or the producers of the movie or music to distribute to members of the website?

There are sites who allow you to perform legally downloading, streaming, and burning of full length movies free of charge but those movies are usually older and are public domain titles that are in low demand and quite often poor quality.

To legally obtain good quality full length movies you will need to pay for a service. Many of the sites you will find charge a fee for each and every title you want. A few will offer you a monthly or yearly membership which is usually much more affordable especially if you want unlimited access to their library of films. Some offer streaming only, some will allow you to download and save to your hard drive the movie for future use, and a few may offer you a chance to burn the movie to DVD. It is very difficult to find a website that will allow you to do all 3 legally at a reasonable and affordable price.