Which services and devices allow downloading of rentals? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-22-2014, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Services and Devices that Allow Downloading of Rentals

I scoured the forum for mentions of downloading rentals during the past couple years, but found very few. Note that I am talking about DOWNLOADING a rental to watch, not STREAMING a rental.

I prefer to do this because speeds can vary greatly in my neighborhood -- from barely SD quality speeds to perfect 15mbps, and everything in between, over any given hourly period. We are nearly a year into the local providers trying to fix that. So I am not holding my breath.

Right now, I use VUDU, and a PS3, because I can download a rented HDX movie overnight, and have a pristine viewing experience (okay, not blu ray quality, but good enough for most movies) the next day.

But VUDU is limited. For example, I wanted to watch the Satyajit Ray movies from the 60's last weekend (The Music Room, The Big City, Charulata) and Vudu had none. But Amazon had several in HD for rental.... So I suffered through speed and quality changes in order to watch them.

And it inspired me to seek out some ways to download rentals for the home theater, in addition to VUDU and a PS3.

Two posts below. One from the perspective of which service(s) support this. One from the perspective of which devices support this.

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Last edited by nathan_h; 09-22-2014 at 06:40 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-22-2014, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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USA Online Rental Services & Whether They Support Downloading

Here is what I found in terms of services in the USA.

  • Apple.
    Current gen has 8g internal memory, which is used as a buffer so effectively one can download before watching, and start watching even before the download is complete.
    In my test case: They had the Criterion restored movies I wanted, which Vudu did not.
  • Netflix.
    This is not an option (and no premium content comparable to Apple, Amazon and Vudu for purchase or rent).
    In my test case: They didn't have the movies I wanted to watch. Fun fact: They actually didn't have them on disc, either. The movies were available in cheap, region free sources from VHS DVD's. They have not purchased the Blu-rays, nor the USA releases on DVD.
  • Vudu.
    This works on limited hardware (eg, a PS3).
    In my test case: They didn't have the movies I wanted to watch. Caveat: this doesnt seem to be the direction they are going on other devices so future support may be limited.
  • Amazon.
    Rentals can be download to a TIVO.
    In my test case: They had the movies I wanted to watch.
    Significant caveat: Might require a TIVO subscription and not just a TV device, which makes it cost prohibitive unless you already have TIVO service.
  • Redbox Instant.
    No devices, and they didn't have the movies in the test case.
  • Kaleidescape.
    No rentals? And they didn't have the movies in the test case.


What other services and devices should I be looking at? I'll update this table.

Last edited by nathan_h; 09-22-2014 at 11:00 PM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-22-2014, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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USA Hardware Compatible with Downloading Rentals

Those that are "not applicable" for HD display in a home theater:
  • iOS Products
  • Android portables including Amazon Fire

Those that support downloading of rental content for home theater use:
  • TIVO -- supports Amazon purchases and rentals for download
  • PS3 -- supports VUDU download for rentals
  • PS4 -- ??
  • Apple TV -- sort of a hybrid, where the buffer can store a whole movie
  • Some "on demand" service/hardware combinations support this for a limited number of high profile, recent titles (eg, Dish network DVRs)

Major devices that don't support downloading:
  • All other game consoles (really?? didn't MSFT's service allow this at one time?)
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Kaleidescape

I don't claim this list is complete nor accurate yet, but it's the best I have been able to do so far. Corrections are very welcome and I'll update the post.

Last edited by nathan_h; 09-22-2014 at 11:01 PM.
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-22-2014, 06:28 PM
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You can buy downloads at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shop-Instant-V...ode=7589478011


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(Just as big an idea thief as)

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post #5 of 15 Old 09-22-2014, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post
Good point. For rentals, this works if you have a TIVO and a TIVO service. I'll note that.

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post #6 of 15 Old 09-22-2014, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
[*]Apple.
Rental downloads only possible with first gen AppleTV.
In my test case: They had the Criterion restored movies I wanted, which Vudu did not.
Actually the Apple TV 2nd and 3rd Generation download (bought and rented) iTunes titles into their internal 8GB flash.

It may feel like streaming with a fast connection - but it is downloading. The quality is always the same - it just may take some time on a slow connection for the title to be available.

On a 3rd generation Apple TV I can see it downloading at the full speed on my internet connection until the complete title is downloaded.

I think iTunes on the MAC and PC does the same.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-22-2014, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undecided View Post
Actually the Apple TV 2nd and 3rd Generation download (bought and rented) iTunes titles into their internal 8GB flash.

It may feel like streaming with a fast connection - but it is downloading. The quality is always the same - it just may take some time on a slow connection for the title to be available.

On a 3rd generation Apple TV I can see it downloading at the full speed on my internet connection until the complete title is downloaded.

I think iTunes on the MAC and PC does the same.
Thanks for pointing this out! Apple's own literature doesn't make this very clear.

This is actually a step better than Vudu, which forces you to choose streaming or download. The Apple solution combines the two.

Updating posts.....
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-24-2014, 12:31 PM
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Back in the day (around 2005) DivX had a solution for downloadable rentals. Since high speed broadband wasn't ubiquitous you downloaded the movie or most of it except for a small segment that contained what allowed the movie to play. There was a San Francisco video store that had some indie movies available that way. Most you could play on your PC only but there were a few titles that worked on the AVel Linkplayer 2 which could upscale those to HD even over component.
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-24-2014, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post
Back in the day (around 2005) DivX had a solution for downloadable rentals. Since high speed broadband wasn't ubiquitous you downloaded the movie or most of it except for a small segment that contained what allowed the movie to play. There was a San Francisco video store that had some indie movies available that way. Most you could play on your PC only but there were a few titles that worked on the AVel Linkplayer 2 which could upscale those to HD even over component.
Was that "Le Video" on 9th Ave?

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post #10 of 15 Old 09-25-2014, 11:33 AM
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I don't know what the store front was called but it was Green something online.
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post #11 of 15 Old 09-25-2014, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post
I don't know what the store front was called but it was Green something online.
Greencine! They made so much more of a effort to curate than Netflix, but they couldn't get competative postal rates from USPS, nor bulk wholesale purchase deals in place with the studios.

I didn't know they got into time limited copies. Most interesting.

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post #12 of 15 Old 09-26-2014, 11:28 AM
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Greencine's problem was that we couldn't tell which rentals we could watch watch on the Linkplayer and which ones would only play on the PC only.
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post #13 of 15 Old 09-26-2014, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah they were really great understanding movies and movie addicianados, and not so great when it came to the logistics of a business.

Though I guess I should not use past tense, since they are still around and still in business and still a great service for movie lovers from the aspect of knowing and caring about movies.

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post #14 of 15 Old 09-26-2014, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone got info about the current gen game consoles? What does Sony offer? What does MSFT offer? Any downloading of rentals?

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post #15 of 15 Old Today, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
Anyone got info about the current gen game consoles? What does Sony offer? What does MSFT offer? Any downloading of rentals?
I think for both it is possible to download rented movies. At least for Sonys Unlimited I know it. They wanted to stream everything and use a new CLOUD technology but know they came to their senses.
But still they want to focus more on streaming with their next gen devices...
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