Apple TV en Route

For the longest time I have been avoiding digital only content.  I thought to myself, it does not seem to make sense to pay the same amount of money for a digital download as a DVD from the local electronics store.

Why pay the same money for a digital movie as a DVD?

If the price were cheaper I could see possibly switching.  While I am good about recycling and do bike to work, I still do get my bank statements via mail and magazines.  There is just something about getting “less” for the same price that did not appeal to me.

Sharing Movies

I have let others borrow my movies for a while now.  Having the hard media has made that possible.  If I get a digital download, I won’t be able to let others borrow them.  This is something that apparently the Barnes and Noble “Nook” can do with books that the Amazon “Kindle” cannot.  I have yet to hear of any online movie sellers / renters offering this service and really doubt we will see it any time soon.  In fact, it is probably bad that I let friends borrow my movies now.

Move toward HD

As new movies come out, I have been picking them up on Blu-Ray.  Those that I don’t think are worth the premium price, I wait until they come to the local “Red Box” for $5 previewed on standard DVD.

I do own more than 400 standard DVDs and do watch them on occasion. There are some I enjoy so much that I needed to pick them up on Blu-Ray if the price was right to experience them in High Definition.  My goal now is to reduce the number of DVDs I own, and get that smaller collection onto my computer so I can put away the obsolete DVDs.

Digital Media Receiver

So….here we go.  I really have no idea how to setup a digital library other than iTunes.  I know some people have servers where they store all of their music and movies, but I am just getting started and wanted to keep the cost relatively low.  After looking at my options, it seemed like iTunes and the Apple TV were the answer.  I have some movies already loaded into iTunes and since I am a Mac user, seemed the easiest.

Apple TV not only allows you to stream movies purchased / rented from iTunes, but allows you to access your music and movies as well.  I was originally going to just get a HDMI adapter and cable to connect my iMac to my TV, but the idea of a wireless device that can work virtually anywhere the network, ultimately made up my mind.

10% Restocking Fee

I am skeptical about the quality of digital media, and since I don’t have HD Cable, have not even considered replacing my Blu-Ray collection.  I was once told that current, and likely future, delivery systems will NOT be able to provide end users with 1080p quality video and sound due to the extremely high bandwidth required.

Apple has a 10% restocking fee, and that likely means I will need to pay for the return shipping, but buying the unit from Apple online as “refurbished.” it was still cheaper than going to my local store and picking on up.  The only just left Sacramento, CA, when I could have one right now!!

More to follow…

I will let you know more after it arrives and I have a chance to test it out to see if it is a keeper or just not enough for the discerning audio/video phile.  Well, I don’t listen to LPs, so I am not that much of an audiophile 🙂

There are some that watch shows on Hulu and other free sites and no longer turn on their TV, but I don’t think the quality is there.  This is probably because I have the slowest DSL available because I am cheap.  LOL.  Perhaps If I enjoy digital media I will upgrade my DSL, but with my roommates in love with TV, will likely not be able to dump cable just yet.

My First Red Box Rental

Last night after getting groceries, I decided to see what new movies had come out recently that I would perhaps want to see.  Normally I buy them for $5 from the machine after they are no longer popular, but I am trying to resist that temptation since I own a Blu-Ray player.  I guess there will always be a few movies that are worth owning, but not paying the premium for Blu-Ray which I may still pickup on occasion.  Since it was close to 11 PM, I was dreading sitcoms, reality series, and cheesy game shows.

$1 for a day….well almost.

After looking through the available titles, I selected “The Box.”  This was a movie that I had wanted to see in the theatre, but never did get around to it.   While I am not about to review it, I was happy I decided to rent it for $1 as I was relatively confused.  Granted it was 1 AM when I finally turned it off as my roommates were sleeping and I undoubtedly was dozing off, but I did not really get it.  It had a “2010: A Space Odyssey” eeriness to it.

I left it for my roommates to watch / return before the 9 PM deadline (Almost 24 hours) since I am working from 9 AM – 10 PM today.  Hopefully they will remember to take it back and perhaps even take another stab at it, but in the worst case, my credit card will be charged another dollar for the extra day.

Why go to Blockbuster?

As I mentioned earlier, if you like someone to talk to and the feel of a real DVD case, or want to rent the Blu-Ray version, you do need to go to your local video rental store.  But, if you are planning on watching the movie right away, and you live on the same block at the “Red Box” then you might as well save $4 (If you return the next day).