There are many options in downloading and/or watching movies online. Initially, like music downloading, downloading movies online usually meant doing something illegal. These days, there are many places to download or watch movies online. The illegal options are still available, of course, but the legal movie sites are picking up steam. This article will focus on the legal online sites to watch and/or download movies.
There are a lot of options out there. Each site offers their own pricing model, selection, movie formats, and user experience.
There are 2 main pricing models that the online movie download sites use – monthly subscriptions and per download pricing.
Sites that offer monthly subscriptions give unlimited downloads, for a flat monthly cost. CinemaNow, Netflix, and Vongo operate under this model.
The other major pricing model, per download pricing, is exactly what it sounds like. There will be a fee for each movie download. Amazon Unbox and iTunes operate this way.
Unless you aren’t planning on watching very many movies in a month, the flat monthly fee is the way to go. There are also some movies that are available for free from each of the services and various free trials are available to try them out.
The selection varies from service to service. New releases are hit or miss. Movies seem to be available on DVD and for rental prior to being available for download. CinemaNow seems to get the movies more quickly than the others. iTunes selection is the most limited of the major services.
The predominant file format for the download services is Windows Media Video files (.WMV). iTunes is the obvious exception, which offers files as MPEG-4s.
Each service requires you to download their software in order to download and watch movies. Each interface is different, but its really a matter of personal preference. Vongo and CinemaNow each have good interfaces.
A comprehensive ranking of movie sites can be found at MovieSiteRanking.Com