Pros Sadly, nothing to say pro about Moviebeam as of yet
Cons Lack of current movies makes Moviebeam a miss
Summary I've had Moviebeam for several months now. I have yet to "rent" a movie from them because I've yet to find any current DVD tyoe of releases! After searching through the newly added area and other areas, I've come to the conclusion that my DirectTV's PPV is much more up-to-date than Moviebeam is. Too bad for Moviebeam as they are positioned to really make a dent in both satellite and the hated cable markets.
I'd truely love to see, every Tuesday DVD release day those same movies showing up on my Moviebeam.
Pros On-demand movies, good picture quality, HDMI capable
Cons Some-what limited movies
Summary I've read all of the "so-so" comments about this product and I disagree with them. I think this product is a great device for providing on-demand movies. I currenty have DirecTV, and the biggest draw-back is the unavailability of on-demand movies. With DirecTV, you are stuck with the old "pay-per-view" system (DirecTV needs to catch-up with the times). Moviebeam provides the service I wish I could get from DirecTV.
Set-up is very easy. The cost of the Moviebeam movies are exactly the same as for pay-per view - $3.99. Older movies are $1.99. If you watch an HD movie, they are $1 more. I've heard people complain about this, but come on. If you are the type of person that has a multitude of electronic gadgets (like me), then I don't think $1 is going to kill you. I like the convenience that Moviebeam gives me to select a movie from a large number choices and watch it whenever I wish.
I think the picture and sound quality of the Moviebeam service is near excellent. I've read the reviews criticing this, and I respectfully disagree. I have a 60" LCD rear-projection HDTV, and I think the picture is very good. Can I see some artifacts? Sometimes yes -- but you have to look very closely. Unless you are a very picky videophile, I don't think it will bother you.
The biggest draw-back for me was the investment price of $200 to buy the Moviebeam device. But, I found a promotional code that allows you to buy the equipment for $49(use PR49B). This gadget is definitely worth $49. I also purchsed the HD cable kit ($39). Some of the reviews say this only comes with an HDMI cable. That is not true. This kit includes an HDMI cable, digital coax cable, and an optical cable. Maybe you can get all 3 of these cables for less than $40 - but is very convenient to just order it all at once.
Regarding movie availability, every movie that is available on my DirecTV pay-per-view schedule is also available on Moviebeam. But now, I can watch them WHEN I WANT TO.
Overall, I think this is an excellent product, and at $49, it is a "no-brainer" to me. I would highly recommendUpdated
The HDMI output on my Moviebeam box quit working -- it was outputing garbage. I called Moviebeam customer support. They were extremely helpful. First, they answered the call immediately -- no long waits on hold. Second, the service person was very knowledgeable. They had me perform several tests and ultimately concluded I needed a new box. Within 2 days I had a new box and they even credited by account $10 for the trouble of having to return the defective unit. I did not have to pay to return the defective unit, they provided a return shipping label.
I continue to be very happy with the Moviebeam service. Most technology companies have horrible customer service -- that is NOt the case with Moviebeam. I hope they keep up the good work.
Pros Not Available
Cons Not Available
Summary On the surface, this seems like a great idea. Who doesn’t want instant access to their favorite movies…but, something stinks about this machine. I have never been a fan of the “unlimited viewing in 24 hours.” Ever since BLOCKBUSTER did away with late fees (in theory) I can keep a movie for at least 7 days and watch it as many times as I want. This new MOVIEBEAM device is just like watching a downloaded film on a MEDIA CENTER PC, without the choice or flexibility. For $3.99 I want to be able to enjoy this film for a week...or it's not a good value.
And what about these 100 titles? The idea that the “Movie Studios” are backing this idea makes me suspicious to begin with. My guess is that movie companies will pay high prices to get their film into that 100 title list. I won’t have the flexibility of NETFLIX (to get the titles I want), I’ll be forced to choose from the titles “they” want me to watch.
The cost of the machine is high…too high. Everyone seems to forget that you can already download full resolution video through Windows Media Player and have the same 24 hour window to watch them…and you can choose what you watch. With the MovieBeam set up fees, device charges, movie viewing fees? This one stinks from the start.
When it all boils down, this looks like a great way to throw money down the toilet. SO WHAT if they are offering new titles the day they are released? There is no value comparison when I can still walk down to Blockbuster, get the DVD and have access to watch it many times during the week. I guess, in theory, this type of device is a nice idea…but it is not a nice value. It’s a pretty face with nothing new to offer.
"Huge Disappointment"on by eepmatt
Pros You don't have to drive to the video store
Cons Bad selection, no Dolby Digital, Poor HD selection
Summary I bought this box because I was excited about having HD content on demand. I've been extremely disappointed, and find myself not renting movies from the service very often at all. Here are the dealkillers for me:
1) The selection of HD movies available is abysmal. Very few blockbuster movies... the ones that could most benefit from HD, are presented in HD. Instead, they have B-level horror flicks and fake documentaries that weren't even shot on HD. I just don't get it. And there are only 4-5 HD movies available at any given time.
2) Very few movies, maybe 5% of the titles, have Dolby Digital soundtracks. Again there seems to be no rhyme or reason: big action movies won't have 5.1 sound, and tiny romcoms will. I don't get it.
3) 24 hour rental period is WAY too short. Often times I find myself falling asleep and wanting to continue the movie the next day. Can't do it unless you start early.
4) Customer Support has stopped answering the phone. You now have to leave a message. This doesn't bode well.
5) If for some reason you lose antenna strength, it won't reconnect to the service unless you redo the guided setup. If you don't happen to notice the problem for a couple of days, you don't EVER get the movies that were broadcast during those days.
Bottom line: If you value convenience WAY over quality, Moviebeam may be ok for you. Otherwise, you'll just be frustrated.
Pros HDMI Output and HD Movies
Cons Very Limited HD Movies. Horrible Antenna Idea.
Summary I have spent a year playing with this thing. There are just too many issues to make it viable.
1. The box is made by Linksys but uses a phone cord to make calls even though it has an Ethernet port? Are you kidding me, Linksys?
2. Very few HD movies.
3. The antenna is way too touchey and can't rely on signal staying strong.
4. Box will just lock up during playback.
My suggestion - cool idea - but implement download via Ethernet (even at slow rate like antenna) or wifi and make it mostly HD.
Just too many other places to get movies now that are less hassle for this to work. The phone line thing is a complete show stopper for me.