Streaming movies and TV

Deer Tick

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It seems to me that streaming has changed and will continue to change how we find and consume this media. A couple thoughts:

1. VHS tapes and then DVDs were collectible and exchangeable. With a netflix account I no longer need the box set of Star Trek TOS, it's all on netflix.

2. Once you subscribe to something like netflix, you are kind of stuck in their little world of what is available. You can find some choice episodes of classic doctor who for example, but nothing of Blakes 7. In order to find that, maybe you can get lucky with YouTube, or maybe you have to subscribe to some other service.


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Whenever I am at the library I wonder if a DVD I am looking at could be found on Netflix. It really annoys me when one moment movies like "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension" are available for streaming and the next moment it is not. That is probably why it is often checked out at the library.

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One of the big things that sparked my concern over a move to streaming from DVDs is my current trip to China, where suddenly from my last trip two years ago there are almost no DVDs to be found. No roadside vendors, none of the non fancy shops that used to be found on every block with just tons of DVDs. Wonders like box sets of film noir collections, Humphrey bogart collections, random foreign film documentaries from decades past that you've never heard of.... All just gone. The Chinese are streaming stuff online and from what I see you can pretty much only find very current stuff.... No old Hitchcock films, etc.

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It will always be hard to find what you want online in the US because of the streaming rights. Netflix will sign a deal to stream a movie for a certain period of time, and if it's a popular movie the company might want more money to sign another deal, or will sign an exclusive deal with another company instead. They might decide it's not worth it for older movies and they can make more money releasing a dvd or blu-ray version instead.

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