Pros Not Available
Cons Not Available
Summary I've used the movie beam service before and this latest installment is a worthy upgrade! They use to require a monthly service fee on top of the movies you watched, but now, with the purchase of the hardware, you only pay for the movies you watch. I have heard people critisize the 24hour viewing period, but in all reality, you only have to purchase the movie when you're ready to watch it, not before. So 24 hours is plenty of time to start watching the movie, pause it, stop it, and resume it. There have been times that I watched a movie multiple time is a 24 hour period!! The previews are top notch and better than the teasers you get before a movie release in the theaters. You get a good feel of whether or not you'll like a movie you rent. How many times have you rented a movie based on buzz from critiques or the synopsis on the back of the box, then when you get it home to watch it, it wasn't anything you expected and feel like it was a waste of time and money? Well, with the previews on movie beam, that situation is kept to a minimum. Like I said, it's not perfect, but it works pretty well for the renter that likes a variety and doesn't have to see movies the day they come out.
Pros Instant library. Free previews. No monthly fees.
Cons Not for everyone. Limited to 10 HD movies.
Summary Moviebeam fills the void between the piling up of unwatched and low priority Netflix DVDs and the out of stock popular movies at Blockbuster. The picture quality is very high on my Panasonic EDTV plasma through component, although I would like to see a 16x9 version of the menu screen. Moviebeam is that coming? New movies come in and on average I've been getting 1-2 movies a day.
Pros Great Menu and search features
Cons compatibility issues; product does so what is promised; Picture on SD is not as good as a decent DVD player
Summary I own a Mitsubishi WD052825 with a useless built in DVR. When the moviebeam is connected to the TV with an HDMI cable, it apparanlty sees a DVR instead of a TV, and will only display movies in 408P. The 480P picture quality is far below tha tof my pioneer elite DVD player. I purchased the unit for its HD content, which is unavailable to me. The digital out to my receiver does not function and so I am watching movies through my TV speakers, although I have a terrific Home theater set up. Half of the time, when booted up, no sound is available and I have to unplug and reset the unit. Tech support has promised solutions, but has yet to deliver (or call back when they promise). The box says "Add WOW to your home theater". The only wow so far has been on my credit card bill and in the amount of time I have weasted trying to fix this so far sub-par product. I will follow up if the engineers actually fix the problems. Additionally, the available movie titles are very weak - Mostly old titles that I rented on dish network years ago or that I own on DVD already.Updated
Tech support followed up with me last night. It appears that the problems are more widespread than initially thought- this product WILL CURRENTLY NOT DISPLAY MOVIES IN HD ON ANY MITSUBISHI HDTV (including those TV's that do not have DVR's). Please be sure to verify that your TV is compatible with this unit before purchasing. If I was able to adjust my rating (which I can't) I would adjust it to a "2" (and would also fix all the typos in my first post!). I will post an update if the problem is addressed.
Pros no scratched discs, pay for what you watch, HD fodder for hungry HT Buffs
Cons only HDMI HD, landline
Summary I used to be a product tester for MovieBeam and spent a lot of time with this baby... My thoughts are as follows: The user experience is awesome... simple, intuitive navigation, free previews (so no duds arriving in the mailbox), fun extras. The HD looks gorgeous. I've heard the landline requirement is being worked on as you read this, with broadband compatibility coming down the pipeline, so that's exciting. All in all, great for those with no time or patience to muck around with video stores, out of stock movies, or scratched discs.
"Missing The Boat"on by birdy02
Pros Great Technology & A Growth In Home Entertainment
Cons Over Pricing & Lack of Unique Opportunity
Summary Movie Beam will serve as a boost for Video-On-Demand (VOD) services and not much more. This technology was inevitable and I deeply appreciate Movie Beam’s substantial investment in our convenience and some other company’s success. You see, they hold within their grasp the potential to create a new world for home rentals, but if they stay their current course they will miss the boat.
Beaming movies to your home is great but not at the price they offer them for. Their prices are just a few cents cheaper than the in-store prices and when you factor in the unit they are more expensive by far. They are also more expensive than the mail-in programs with much more initial commitment. That's the deal; they will scare everybody off with the initial unit cost. Unless they can show the public that they will be getting their money back in value and savings. They have tried admirably to do so. However, their movies are not that much cheaper and their titles are way behind the new release curve, which if I might add is a big deal! Once you factor in the unit cost I just can't justify switching over to this service.
Here it is. They got too greedy. Charging for individual movie rentals is a thing of the past. They could charge $250 for the box or what ever they want because the way to get the subscribers on is to give them something more. Charging them a monthly fee of $19.99 and allowing them to rent as many movies as they want or allowing them to rent more movies per month than the normal in-store or online rental company. It's digital right, so what does it really cost them? Throwing away the individual rental pricing is a necessity to overcome large scale commitment issues and their new release deficiencies. The only other option that might help is to reduce their new release price ($3.99) to the regular movie price ($1.99). If it's digital then it should not cost more to beam a new release film over than a regular feature.
Why am I making such a big deal over pricing? Consider the following: Say I get an average of 7 movies per month from an online service costing me $19.99 per month, which I do. This means that on a yearly basis I am paying a flat fee of $239.88 for 84 flicks, oops did I mention the first month is free bringing it to $219.18. Ok, let's compare this to Movie Beam’s prices. Say I purchased the unit and I received a $50 Mail-in rebate to begin watching movies through this great technology. Before I rent one movie the unit itself plus sales tax is more than what I would spend in one year despite the fact that a mail-in rebate is a scam and a huge hassle. Annoyance aside let's crunch the numbers. I would say that 95% of the titles that I get on a monthly basis are new releases (which are much newer than what they have to offer). That means that at 79 new releases and 5 regular titles for the year I will be spending a whopping $325.16 at Movie Beam before sales tax. Oh wait; let's not forget the $29.99 fee for activation which is also a scam to squeeze extra money out of the masses. Without any surprises on just the basic stuff it takes for me to do the same thing I am doing now, it will cost a grand total of $599.55 with an assumed sales tax of 8%. Now sit back and ask your self how unhappy would you have to be with your current movie provider to spend $380.37 more for the first year and $105.98 for each additional year. Pretty unhappy is the answer.
I am no expert by any means, but with these numbers it does not take one. I am heavily involved with all aspects of retail sales and I understand the common consumer. I do not want this opinion to be taken as a complaint. I have nothing to complain about. Movie Beam has introduced a wonderful new technology that has the potential to make waves instead of ripples. I foresee one of three things happening. 1) Movie Beam staying the course and eventually be driven into the ground along with the technology by existing programs and costly marketing campaigns. 2) Movie Beam staying the course, and with a better chance of occurrence, a new company or an existing company will adopt the technology , become their biggest competition, and drive them into the ground with little effort. 3) The best possible solution for Movie Beam; To eventually pull together their marketing team again and seriously look at the potential money there is to make. Then, restructure their system to offer the general public something new, something they haven't experienced before. That's when they'll explode getting so big so quick that it will not leave much room for other companies to come in and trump their hard earned business. Then after they have sold half the nation a $200 unit that will beam them movies, they can sit back while the American consumer will be paying them on a monthly basis for years to come, guaranteeing an enormous growth for a company that has huge potential. If they choose to ignore the public and continue down this course they will be throwing away millions of dollars and missing the boat. Needless to say, I am very interested in the outcome and will be keeping an eye out to see what happens. As for signing up, not interested… for now.