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Review – Streaming: Movies, Media and Instant Access

Streaming: Movies, Media and Instant Access, Wheeler Winston Dixon, 2013, ISBN 9780813142197

Like it or not, the streaming of movies and music is becoming an increasingly large portion of all internet traffic. This book gives the details.

Why shouldn’t a person be able to pay a few dollars to stream a movie at home, when going to the theater or buying the DVD costs a lot more? At the theater, does the projectionist load a film canister on a 35mm projector and turn it on? Increasingly, the answer is no. The majority of theaters have gone to all-digital systems. The movie is downloaded from the distributor, along with an electronic code. That code can be good for just one showing, on one specific day. If the right code is not available, or if it does not work properly, then there is no showing.

Fewer and fewer movies are being shot on actual film, because fewer and fewer theaters have film projectors. Unless there is an art house cinema nearby, any watching of older, or less well known, films, on actual film, is pretty much impossible. When is the last time that an older or obscure film was available at the local multi-theater megaplex? If whoever has a film copy of that older, obscure film, does not think it is lucrative enough to put it on DVD, there is little that can be done about it. Soon, the only way to watch films of any kind, will be through on-line streaming. Depending on your point of view, this is either that natural progression of technology, or it’s the end of the world.

What Netflix is doing to the movie business, Apple is doing to the music business, and Amazon is doing to book publishing. Amazon is now selling more Kindle copies of books than paper copies. Facebook is little more than a way to suck up people’s personal information, and sell it to advertisers (Google Glass, plus new facial recognition technology, will make that much easier). Facebook has created over 80 million fake accounts. The hope is that the author, for instance, will see their account already set up, and decide to use it. For that reason, the author says that he will never post on Facebook.

This is a very interesting book. For some, it may be common knowledge, but I learned a lot from it. It’s non-technical, and very easy to read. It’s also very much worth checking out.

Action Movies Are On The Menu This Weekend

I have been a subscriber of the streaming service of Netflix for quite some time now. During this time I have enjoyed the wide selection of movies though sometimes cursing at Netflix for buying C rated action movies. You know these Steven Segal movies where the director fast forward the fight scenes to make it look like Steven Segal is fast as lightning. It is almost embarrassing to watch. Why can he not just age gracefully? I am well aware that action movies generally is made up things that rarely happens in real life but that does not mean I want to see bad special effects or poor CGI. However this week has been great as Netflix has bought many well known and good action movies with great actors. Yes they might be 10-15 years old but they are still good. So for this weekend action is on the menu with titles such as We Were Soldiers, Mission Impossible 1 and 3, Payback and Shooter.

We Were Soldiers is a moving starring many talented actors like Mel Gibson, Greg Kinnear and Sam Elliott. This is just to name a few. It is a rather violent and bloody movie but you are guaranteed to sit on the edge of your seat during the entire movie, or at least from when the battle begins. Despite being a war movie you are also being told a underlining story of how the wife’s and families are coping with the loss of their husband/dad. A well directed movie that I will enjoy watching despite having seen it before.

Mission Impossible 1 and 3 really does not need an introduction. The popular franchise has been well received by the film critics. One more than the others but all are fun to watch. Netflix bought them just shortly after Mission Impossible 4 was playing in the cinemas. One of the best action movies of the year. The interest of number 4 in the series will no doubt rub of on Mission Impossible 1 and 3 which is probably why Netflix bought them in the first place. Use the popularity to increase revenue. You cannot blame them for doing so. It is only natural and besides that I am sure we Netflix customers are happy with the opportunity to re-watch the old Tom Cruise flicks.

Payback is another Mel Gibson movie and because he is starring in it it is almost safe to say that that alone is enough to make it good. Mel Gibson rarely stars in boring movies and I enjoy his acting tremendously which is probably more difficult these days as the bad stories hit the news paper. I just remind myself that I watch his films for entertainment and nothing else. Payback is not your ordinary action movie as it not only about fight scenes but also double crossing with some humor thrown into the mix.

The last action movie recently added to Netflix is Shooter starring Danny Glover and Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg plays a sniper who has to clear his name with the help of a FBI Agent. An exciting movie with some twists that keeps you interested all the way through till the end. That is a rather rare thing to find in action movies these days.

Free Streaming Videos

The Internet is filled with websites that offer free streaming videos. The contents of these videos range from a wide variety of shows. From a real-time view of a certain road in Germany to a short clip from a cooking show that aired today, the contents of free streaming videos are so diverse that it is almost like having a television with a thousand channels to choose from.

Many of the free videos being streamed are clips from newscasts – the weather report or an interview with a politician or celebrity. Movie and music companies also offer free streaming videos in the form of movie trailers and music videos. Sports websites offer free streaming videos of the day’s sports highlights – the dunk from a basketball game or the grand slam homerun from a baseball game.

News and sports websites also have a portion of their webpage space dedicated for streaming advertisement videos. Internet users are treated to a whole array of commercials that they also see on the television.

A lot of educational organizations provide free streaming videos of lectures, presentations, and demonstrations. Other organizations even provide videos of documentaries.

Although most of the free videos flooding the Internet are considered mainstream, there are also a lot of free videos posted online by your average Internet user. There are a lot of websites that offer free video streaming services, allowing users to upload their “homemade” videos and share them with the entire Internet-surfing population.

Another type of content that currently takes up a large share of the free streaming video market is made by adult video companies. Internet pornography accounts for a large portion of Internet users’ consumption.

So while there are advantages to having free access to streaming videos online, there is also a risk involved, especially with children who use the Internet.