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MOVIEBEAM unit is GREAT!

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
I have been amazed at how few people are aware of the new MovieBeam service.
If you own a HDTV or home theater projector, you will be addicted to this unit!

The box is the size of a 17" wide DVD player, has a small very easy to use remote, and comes from MovieBeam with 100 movies ready to go on a 250gb hd for just $99.
I found them at MovieBeam.com but they can be found at BestBuy also.

It ouputs SD, HD, 5.1 surround sound, component, composite, and HDMI (HDCP).
Disney, Intel, and Cisco invested 40+million in the kick off back in Feb and I got mine in March. It's easier to use than a TIVO!
You even get Movie Trailers that are running at your local theaters!
The 100 movies are also organized in categories under Drama, Comedy, Annimation, Documentary, etc.

The feature that we wear out most is the instant push button available 2 minute movie trailers that allow you to cruise through 5 or 6 films, and decide which one you like the most.

The thing I love is there is NO CHARGE for the service montly if you don't use it.
It only charges for movies when you watch them at only 1.99, or up to 3.99 on the newest releases.

We watched four GREAT movies last month, which were exactly what we wanted to see (thanks to the instant movie trailers and the total charge to my credit card was only $8! (1.99 x 4 movies) The rental time lasts for 24 hours.

This has eliminated trips to the video store, to pick up AND return, late fees, guess work as to what to rent, postage on shipping rentals by mail, etc., plus given us the choice of 100 films that cover anybodys tastes.

They also take off the movies you haven't watched after two or three months and add new ones. I get 1-2 new movies every day. Quality of the SD on a 138" screen is excellent and of course the HD looks superb!

You MUST be in a city that can receive a OTA local PBS channel in order for it to download the movies. They are using a digital side frequency of your local PBS tower.

We hung the antenna up on a bookshelf and started receiving new movies immediately!

Check it out if you don't have one, and I think you will be amazed at how convenient this new movie delivery system is.

I've had mine for 5 months now, and can't live without it.

Flashcube
post #2 of 57
This device has been covered here several times. I don't believe the moderators felt it belonged in HD reception hardware since there's only 6 HD movies available.

I don't see this service being better than Netflix.

FYI to the marketing person who did the writeup:

- Tivos aren't "fun to use," they're easy to use. The fun is watching the program.
- "newest boxoffice arrivals" It doesn't sound natural enough for a forum post. It sounds like a hollywood marketing term. Have them change it to "newest releases"
post #3 of 57
Thread Starter 
JMMHouston:

I'm new to the AVS Forum and don't know why you are not impressed with MovieBeam, but I have three other friends that have it too, and they are just as excited as I am about it.

Thanks for the compliment(?), but I am NOT a marketing person! I am a user having a blast with HD and home theater. I give MovieBeam a big FIVE STARS!

Flashcube
post #4 of 57
And if you don't want to go to the store or mail movies back cable companies has offered VOD rentals for some time already. And they have trailers as well. And you don't have to spend $99 to buy your own set-top box.
post #5 of 57
You can get the unit for $49 by using "PR49B" when you order. My unit cost me a grand total of $53 after tax! Getting this unit is a no brainer!

CD
post #6 of 57
Flashcube -

You post reads like a corporate plant....

Tell me what you don't like about the product....
post #7 of 57
Boy Flashcube, I think you need to cut back on the exclamation points and emphasizing words by writing them in uppercase. I've seen some of your other posts, and it just feels like I'm watching an infomercial every time I read them.

I know you don't work for Moviebeam, but the way you write sure makes it sound like you do.
post #8 of 57
Thread Starter 
Trancethereal:

I can't think of much to criticize about MovieBeam....
It is definitely filling in the gap on programming until more HD-DVD and BluRay discs show up.

OK, here goes.....

It's limitations are that:
It does not work if you live out of range of a PBS OTA antenna.
If you are in the middle of a movie and pause, continuing with FF or rewind is not as accurate on the remote, as say, the Dish 942 DVR playback is.
I find the hdmi to be working fine with any HDCP device, BUT, I do not like the switch on the back that you have to throw when using component to the projector and previewing on a second monitor. For folks using only component, it would be easier to mount a push button on the front panel, OR, place that function on the remote control.

That's all I can find to pick at.

Oh, and there's one more...

There are so many movies being loaded onto the machine, I don't have time to watch them all.

Flashcube
post #9 of 57
Sure sounded like an infomercial to me.

The give-aways are:

"can't live without it"

"but I have three other friends that have it too, and they are just as excited as I am about it"

It will probably any where but this Forum. It's like trying to hold-up a police station.
post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
Ein:

Could you retype that last sentence,... it doesn't make sense!

thanks,

Flashcube
post #11 of 57
As formatted now it may be headed down the road of Betamax. If they want to grab hold of our attention they need more HD offerings and more current releases (the latter being up to the movie industries greed).
They also need to activate the ethernet port asap for those that are not within range of a signal.
I do like that they have DD 5.1 as compared to 2 channel audio offered by online download services.
At least it cost less than the once mentioned samsung offering which may never become reality.

http://www.hometheaterblog.com/homet...g_univers.html
post #12 of 57
Thread Starter 
Very good point!

I only counted 5 HD movies out of 100 last weekend on the system.
The SD movies look fine,... I'm just not sure if they are 480i or scaled up any. On a 138" screen, they are decent.
I suppose the small amount of HD might be due to limitations of space on the 250gb hard drive in the machine. Maybe they ought to reduce the quantity of SD movies to increase the HD.
I've heard rumors they will increase the HD content in the future.
post #13 of 57
Have had the moviebeam box for about 2 months. Got it for the coupon special. There are some good and bad...For $50 or so shipped and no monthly charges ...a great bargain and an alternative. But it would NOT be my only way to watch movies.

Some Highlights:

*Decent selection of movies in SD, however minimal selection in HD. Usually 3-5 movies and they are charging $1.00 more per movie for them. (BTW - Have never found the $1.99 movies - mine have always been 3.99 - 4.99)

* Some movies come out 1-2 weeks after typical release - about 10% arrive a week earlier. (Typically Disney)

*Not only must you have line of sight to the PBS station (my prior house did not), but the antenna is finicky. Moviebeam will come out and put an antenna up for you if you are having problems...but that certainly complicates things.

*Setup is pretty easy - customer service is actually quite good and for those with HD TV's it will upscale SD to 720p. There is a test pattern etc for use in calibration. Outside of that no other picture settings etc to tweak the picture (unlike most DVD boxes)

* SD is pretty good, HD movies are on par with DISH/D*TV types of HD movies - they are NOT the quality of say OTA HD, Discovery HD or the HD A1. SD upscaled is on par withmost upscaled DVD players - not the top tier such as the HD A1 or better DVD players.

*Aspect ratio's are all over the board - some are displayed correctly and some are not. The preview function does not preview in the aspect ratio for the movie - you are "stuck" once you order a movie, 75% of the time correct aspect, other 25% full screen or some other aspect. Due to this I tend to NOT watch "anticipated" movies this way. I know picky - but for those that do not like their movies displayed incorrectly this could be an issue.

*Preview of movies is a great feature. You can watch the trailers and get a good feel for the type of movie and whether you are in the mood for it or not. Very simple to use and probably our most used feature Especially when you have different memebers of the family in the mood for something or trying to get a consensus!

*You only get the movie for 24 hours. This sucks! Once I have paid for the movie - I do not understand why it cannot be available until it "drops" off. Since there is no way to record it and the box knows what you have rented and keeps a history - this would seem to be a feature we could use. Our family certainly could. It is one of the more irritating issues of the system.

* If you do not recieve a signal (via the antenna) or do not have it hooked up to your phone line for a period of time - you "lose" any movies that are made available in that time slot. Given that the antenna can be finicky - you may never get the movies for that week as the next time it "connects" it picks up from the current time period. Not a problem if you always have a strong signal.

* The remote is right up there with the stupidest remotes on the face of the earth. It is only about 4-5 inches and about 2-3 inches wide. We use a Harmony - but the moviebeam remote needs to go. Functions such as rewind and pause are okay - not near the level of a DVR or good DVD player.

So why bother.... The best thing about moviebeam in our family is for the times when we don't feel like going out (blockbuster), have nothing in the house from netflix unwatched and want a recent movie to view. Or to watch something we might not have rented or discovered otherwise. Often times we'll sit down to watch a movie and spend 30 minutes just checking out the previews. Eventually watching something I would never have thought of to rent or buy.

As an augmentaion to other sources and for the $50 or so investment. A decent if not pretty good buy. The movie trailers and the ongoing preview is pretty good background too.

PQ is quite good - and acceptable for most instances...however for those very picky (I am) you will not want to watch or use this source for critical viewing. For kids this is a great box...allows them to watch a movie and have a source for stuff you might not feel like renting or buying. It's a real big hit for when their friends come over.

Therese
post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 
Therese:

At first, I also had a weak signal upon first installing and wound up running a cable outside the building. I'm in a metal building so any antenna source has a problem unless near the windows. After running the antenna outside the signal was great. I'm about 25 miles from the PBS antenna here.

I agree with you on the trailers.... there are movies I would have never know about, without the fast previews available on this system. In fact, that probably is the strongest point of this delivery system.
post #15 of 57
Just got Moviebeam installed at home. Very disappointed that I can't get HDMI working with the Moviebeam. I'm trying to run the HDMI through my A/V Receiver (HDMI Router) and the stupid HDCP looks like it has denied me HDTV.

Has anyone gotten Moviebeam HDMI to work through a A/V Receiver? The fact that you can't get 720p through the components is a huge limitation.
post #16 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssumner View Post

Just got Moviebeam installed at home. Very disappointed that I can't get HDMI working with the Moviebeam. I'm trying to run the HDMI through my A/V Receiver (HDMI Router) and the stupid HDCP looks like it has denied me HDTV.
Has anyone gotten Moviebeam HDMI to work through a A/V Receiver? The fact that you can't get 720p through the components is a huge limitation.

I have it running through my Denon 3805 and it works fine.
It did NOT work with my older projector (Sanyo PLV-70) except through component.
When I upgraded to the PLV-75 with HDCP it worked great using an HDMI cable to a DVI cable at the projector.
Keep in mind, that your HDCP has to be certified all the way down the line.
From the source (Moviebeam HDMI out) through your switcher and projector/TV.

We have found the component gives a very good signal on our 140" screen. Not as good as the HD they send out, but very decent. I've heard it's more like 480P scaled up, but not sure how MovieBeam does the compression.

Test your TV with another HDCP device,.. if the TV is more than a year or so old, it may have to be upgraded to get the copy protection unlocked. I complained a lot when I upgraded my projector, but now that I see the quality, I have to admit it was worth it! Although there are not more than 5-6 HD movies on the set coming in at this time, the 1080i over the HDMI output is absolutely gorgeous.

Flashcube
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashcube View Post

I have it running through my Denon 3805 and it works fine.
It did NOT work with my older projector (Sanyo PLV-70) except through component.
When I upgraded to the PLV-75 with HDCP it worked great using an HDMI cable to a DVI cable at the projector.
Keep in mind, that your HDCP has to be certified all the way down the line.
From the source (Moviebeam HDMI out) through your switcher and projector/TV.

We have found the component gives a very good signal on our 140" screen. Not as good as the HD they send out, but very decent. I've heard it's more like 480P scaled up, but not sure how MovieBeam does the compression.

Test your TV with another HDCP device,.. if the TV is more than a year or so old, it may have to be upgraded to get the copy protection unlocked. I complained a lot when I upgraded my projector, but now that I see the quality, I have to admit it was worth it! Although there are not more than 5-6 HD movies on the set coming in at this time, the 1080i over the HDMI output is absolutely gorgeous.

Flashcube

I'm using Marantz SR8500 which states it supports HDCP. I have a brand spanking new NEC Plasma which support HDCP also. If I connect the Moviebeam directly into the NEC Plasma it works. So obviously its an issues with my Marantz SR8500.
post #18 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssumner View Post

I'm using Marantz SR8500 which states it supports HDCP. I have a brand spanking new NEC Plasma which support HDCP also. If I connect the Moviebeam directly into the NEC Plasma it works. So obviously its an issues with my Marantz SR8500.

I would think that the Marantz would be ok too... most of the 1.0 and up HDCP works and is supposed to be backwards compatible. Have you tried playing with running the HDMI from the movie beam, and a separate audio line?
I once tried that with a HDCP nightmare and for some reason the Denon A/V saw it and let it pass. Might also try swapping a few HDMI cables and trying a shorter run. I have one brand that works with my HD-DVD and another same length of another brand that fails to pass the copy protection.

Ah,... the fun and challenges of HDCP.

I can't wait for HDCP 1.3!
post #19 of 57
Quote:
Has anyone gotten Moviebeam HDMI to work through a A/V Receiver?

It passes through my Yamaha RX-V2600 just fine. I would sometimes lose the HD options. I am guessing the Moviebeam didn't "see" a HD TV with the receiver off and turned off the HD options. If I cycled power to the Moviebeam my HD options came back. I haven't noticed that problem for awhile (maybe a month or two) so maybe a MB software update fixed the problem.

Matt
post #20 of 57
Wow...the firt post in 36 days in a forum full of early adopters! This unit must be great!!!! lol.
post #21 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVFanAtic View Post

Wow...the firt post in 36 days in a forum full of early adopters! This unit must be great!!!! lol.

HA! I'm afraid that with 100 movies constantly being updated on the MovieBeam HD, you won't find too many of us on the internet as often,...
We're WATCHING MOVIES on our BIG SCREENS!
post #22 of 57
Went to Moviebeam website. Underwhelmed.
Movie selection poor.
Few in HD.
I don't get the point of the service.
Stick a fork in it.
J
post #23 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelgee View Post

Went to Moviebeam website. Underwhelmed.
Movie selection poor.
Few in HD.
I don't get the point of the service.
J

If you haven't tried the machine, it's hard to explain how its so useful.
I've had mine now about nine months, get about 4-9 movies in a week, and I consider the selection good. Out of about 100 movies on the box, about 5-7 at any time will be in HD. If you run the HDMI out to your projector or set, you will see a good quality signal even on the movies not in HD. It's similar to 720 and so much better than a standard DVD upconverted that I'm fine with it on a 140" screen watching from 16 feet back.
I like the fact that MovieBeam costs me nothing, if I don't use it for weeks.
I like the prices, $1.99 is CHEAP and some are $3.99 but that's the highest you pay.
It's a nice alternative to all the other services when you have seen them all, or just can't find a movie to watch.... The MovieBeam saves the day.
We run a lot of the trailers they send down between our HD-DVD movies and they are always fresh and something new. They download trailers from movies that are on at the current movie houses too, which helps us decide when going out.
Try it, you might just like it!

Flashcube
post #24 of 57
can anyone else confirm that MovieBeam is dead/dying in the LA area? I'd give it a whirl with their 30-day risk free trial, also does anyone have the service in the San Fernando Valley? According to their website the service is unavailable in my area, but i get good reception of KCET analog OTA, so i'd think of ordering it to a different address to try it out
post #25 of 57
Thread Starter 
MovieBeam is only available in about 30 US cities on the PBS stations.
To find out if it's in your area, go to the MovieBeam.com website and type in your zip code and it will do a search to let you know if its available there.

Flashcube
post #26 of 57
They're now up tp 8 HD movies. Apparently they cycle though them as they show a new one every week (at least the next couple).
post #27 of 57
Thread Starter 
I have noticed a few more HD movies added since they sold.
There is surely a limit on that hard drive, but as long as you are using HDMI output, the others scale up well to a large screen.

I received some new updates on my MovieBeam menus and found out that Disney/Intel/Cisco has sold the service to Movie Gallery. This apparently occured sometime in March of 2007.
From what I could find out, they seem excited about the acquisition and they have long term plans to improve the service, plus adding more digital content with their Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery stores.

I noticed the new owners have removed the menu that had the movie previews at the theaters and added more of their own movie rental previews.

Their HD output sure looks great on a 9' screen!

Flashcube
post #28 of 57
How much are they paying you to come here and astroturf?
post #29 of 57
Quote:


How much are they paying you to come here and astroturf?

Wow! .... a conspiracy theory.

How much are they paying you and where do I sign up to get on the payroll..........because I still use my Moviebeam.

Matt
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

How much are they paying you to come here and astroturf?

Yeah, the nerve. He found something to do with his HT that he likes and responds to posts about it.

At least it's not HD-Lite (or is it?).
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