Long gone are the days when one would arrive at Blockbuster only to find every title in the New Release section checked out for the weekend. Lacking fresh titles to choose from, many customers would end up going home empty-handed and disappointed. Fortunately, with today’s glut of digital movie rental services, streaming platforms, and recommendation engines, those days are history. Here’s a look at three of the newest:
: Though one of Netflix’s main draws is its continuously multiplying
selection of films, it’s still beholden to the release “windows” enforced by film studios when it comes to new DVD releases. Now, with new startup Zediva, hounds of the Hollywood machine can stream studio pictures online
as soon as they are released on DVD. Registered patrons select titles from an online library—current selections include The Fighter
, Love and Other Drugs
, and 127 Hours
. A $1.99 fee allows them to rent the DVD and a DVD player remotely, the latter of which streams the movie to a TV, computer or even a smartphone. Registration is currently full, but there is a waitlist
for those who want to join.
: If Zediva is the digital incarnation of the mall cineplex, then Fandor is the art house version. As reported in The New York Times
, the subscription-based streaming film service, which opened its virtual doors last month, is “hoping to become Netflix for the Sundance Film Festival crowd.” For $10 month, subscribers have access to 2,500 independent films, many of which have yet to hit theaters, or even festivals for that matter, due to lack of funding and distribution channels. The service
isn’t looking to compete with Netflix, though. While Netflix’s collection of movies may feel vast to the average member, its independent titles are relatively scattered. According to Fandor, only about 20 percent of their films are also available through Netflix.
: Audiences may not pine for the era when deciding what movie to watch at home was dictated by perusing TV Guide
, but the staggering number of titles available online can make it challenging to prioritize. Launched in March
, Moki.TV is a directory listing content available from iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and the like, through which users can build unique queues. Acting as more than a new media version of the aforementioned magazine
, it also delivers cross-platform recommendations by importing users’ preferences and ratings from other sources. Email alerts prompt users when the availability of a given flick is about to expire. Good thing, since we wouldn’t want to miss the last chance to catch Super High Me
, would we?