Death of The Video Rental Store

Death of Video Rental A few weeks ago, I was sitting at a traffic light by the Hollywood Video store near my home and glanced over at the empty parking lot. This was not an unusual sight because for years the parking lot at the Hollywood Video was always empty. But looking a bit closer, I realized the space was being gutted and prepped for an upcoming Advanced Auto Parts store. The Hollywood Video store was gone for good.

To be honest, I have not entered a video rental store in probably 10 years. But, I still felt a bit sad and nostalgic for all those Friday and Saturday nights back in the early 1990’s that I spent in the video store perusing the shelves for the newest flick with my boyfriend (who is now my wonderful husband). Rows and rows of videotapes, which eventually changed over to DVDs, were all lined up right at our fingertips. We really enjoyed going to the video store.

But then my husband and I stopped going to the video rental store. And it looks like everyone else stopped going too.

20% of US Peak Bandwidth used by Netflix Instant

North America Network Downstream Traffic Profile Fixed Access According to a study by Sandvine, 20% of non-mobile internet traffic during prime time can be attributed to Netflix instant accounts during prime time usage periods in the US while streaming media accounts for 43% of peak period traffic. While Netflix accounts for almost half of the streaming bandwidth between 8p and 10p utilized by only 1.8% of Netflix subscribers.

While only 1.8% of Netflix subscribers are using the streaming capabilities, CEO Reed Hastings envisions Netflix as a streaming service. β€œIn fact, by every measure, we are now primarily a streaming company that also offers DVD-by-mail.”

I happen to agree with Hastings as my video content viewing has dramatically changed from TV to Netflix Instant since I dropped premium channels such as HBO and Starz. In addition to the 1 disc in mail I tend to watch a movie or TV episode on the iPad at night and I’m watching less and less TV except for the few shows which I follow.

Content in the cloud (both audio and video) is the future.

Source: Wired

Netflix no longer requires disc for PS3 and Wii

Wii and PS3 offer disc-less Netflix streamingComing on the heels of Netflix announcing that PS3 consumers no longer need a disc to stream Netflix content, Netflix customers with a Wii console can begin streaming movies from the service without the Netflix disc starting this week.

Last week, Sony launched the disc-less service for PS3 console customers. PS3 customers, unlike Wii customers, will be able to view Netflix content in high-definition viewing with surround sound.

Netgear EVA2000 Digital Entertainer Live – MultiMedia Streaming Box

netgear eva2000Media Center/streaming multimedia boxes are always interesting, as there isn’t a gadget out there yet that does it all. Networking maker Netgear has stuck to their guns over the past few years and continued rolling out what they like to call Digital Entertainer boxes, the latest being the EVA2000 Digital Entertainer Live.

We reviewed one of their earlier products (the EVA700) and found a box with lots of potential, although it fell short at the time. The EVA2000 builds on that experience.

What you can expect with the EVA2000: play multimedia stored on your computers, USB or NAS devices on your TV, play multimedia from the Web/Internet including sources like YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and even pay-per-view.

You can connect wirelessly but you need to get their wireless adapter (EVAW111); they really need to bundle that into the product. For the under $100 price tag, this could be a decent starter media streamer box.

Buy now!
Price: $84.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Apple to buy music streaming service, LaLa

LaLa is a music streaming service that I’ve been toying with lately. I quite like the interface; they’ve done a great job with it. They also have an interesting business model in that they charge 10 cents for every song that you want to add to your ‘collection’, which you can then put into playlists. There are also free ways to listen to music as well and you can buy MP3 versions for  $0.89-0.99 in most cases.

Turns out that Apple likes what LaLa is doing and have decided to snap them up. I wonder whether this will be an autonomous subsidiary or integrated into iTunes in some manner. My guess would be for the latter.

Netgear Stora – store, backup, share and stream your music, photos, video and data

As consumers generate or collect an ever-increasing amount of digital content in the form of photos, music and especially videos, home storage solutions are growing in popularity. But what’s also becoming more important is that this content is accessible from anywhere and not just in the home. Netgear is one of the companies trying to solve this problem, and one of such product that fits the bill is the Stora MS2110.

The Stora has a very consumer-dedicated website that shows off all of its sharing and streaming capabilities, such as:

  • share your photos and videos with your friends
  • access your files from the Internet
  • stream music to your phone
  • push photos to your Facebook or Flickr accounts
  • Back-up your PCs and/or Macs

The Stora can hold 2 SATA hard drives, so you can mirror the data if you’d like for more protection. It ships with one 1TB drive for lots of initial storage.

Just one word of warning. Some of these features, particularly the sharing/access-over-the-Internet is only possible with a premium $20/yr service via Netgear’s Stora service. See the differences in features here.

Buy now!

More info from the manufacturer
Price: $199.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

HAVA Titanium HD WiFi

HAVA Titanium HD

Okay, Okay, I know we seem to love HAVA here, but we thought we’d let you know about the HAVA Titanium we mentioned in a pervious post. The HAVA Titanium HD WiFi (to use its proper name) allows you to stream HD video to your TV via a super-fast 802.11n connection.

The device basically works by streaming HD video through over your WiFi system to the dongles plugged into all your receivers (TVs and what have you). If you so wish, you can back away the box and take it with you on your travels (potential SlingBox killer?) – wherever there’s an internet connection you can watch your TV shows from home via a wide range of media, including mobile phones, and can stream simultaneously to multiple receivers, as with most of these cool HAVA items.

More info and buy now!

Price: $249.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Amazon Video on Demand

Amazon has updated their Amazon Unbox program. It’s now called Amazon Video on Demand and offers for a fee on-demand streaming of 40,000 TV shows and movies over the Net. You don’t need to purchase a subscription, but can view what you’d like ad-free, whenever you’d like for a small fee. Also, if you have a Sony Bravia TV with Internet Link, you can also use Amazon VoD.

The Amzn VoD service works on Macs and Windows boxes in your usual Web browser suspects. No HD yet, but it’s in the cards. The coolest part of this service – start watching on one machine and pick it up later on a different machine!

Rentals typically last 24 hours, and cost around $4 for a movie, $2 for a tv show. Purchases are somewhere between $10 and $15 each.


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