logo
logo
logo
logo
Johnny Huff 2017-08-29
img

A few years ago, one eagle-eyed YouTube user uploaded a true internet find: a 1998 DVD-Rom ad for a new service called NetFlix.com.

Over a swell of stringed instruments and a parade of movie posters from Raging Bull to Twins, the new DVD rental company explained itself ("You won't have to search for a video store that carries more than a few titles").

In fact, today marks the 20th anniversary of the birth of the company—August 29, 1997, is when Reed Hastings, flush off the sale of his company Pure Atria (nee Pure Software), cofounded it with his colleague Marc Randolph.

September 1999: Subscription model begins

Compared to today’s setup—which allows you to watch as many Lilyhammer episodes as you can stand, for just under $10 a month—the company’s first foray into the subscription world came with a steep price: For $15.95 a month, users could keep four movies for as long as they’d like (a $19.95 unlimited option would be introduced the following year).

It was an abrupt change for the 2-year-old company, but one that helped establish what home entertainment would look like in the 21st century, when the once-dodgy subscription plan became Hollywood’s next top model.

collect
0
Garland Marsella 2017-08-10
img

Now, you can get your hands on them for a fraction of the cost, but you'll have to send them back.

The largest camera and video rental company in the U.S. is going airborne.

On Thursday, Lensrentals announced the addition of drone and virtual reality cameras to its equipment list.

Photographers and filmmakers can now rent drones as well as VR cameras and accessories.

Lensrentals is testing the service nationwide after a successful local test.

As users request the new drones and virtual reality equipment, Lensrentals will continue to improve the packaging, maintenance, and supply, the company says.

collect
0
Rosalie Bishop 2017-10-31
img

For some, this Halloween will be a darker day than those past because LoveFilm by Post, the DVD rental service, bites the dust.

For Tara Judah, a co-director of a movie rental shop in Bristol, it is a day of triumph.

"We just outlived LoveFilm, so that's pretty good in my book," she says.

One of the last remaining film rental stores in the UK, 20th Century Flicks has been trading since 1982 - the era of VHS video tapes.

However, Ms Judah is under no illusions about the future of a business that is an increasingly diminished player in an arena dominated by film and TV streaming giants such as Netflix.

Ms Judah tells BBC Radio 5 Live that she and her two co-directors in 20th Century Flicks, a DVD rental shop in Bristol, "do it for the love of it, not the money.

collect
0
Randall Vincent 2017-08-14
img

The Lovefilm By Post DVD rental service will cease to operate on 31 October this year, its owner Amazon has said.

Amazon cited a "decreasing demand" for the discs and a growing number of customers who were streaming movies and TV series instead.

The move has irritated some fans, who argue that a wider range of films is available to rent on DVD and Blu-ray.

Lovefilm was founded in 2002 and acquired by Amazon in 2011, when it had more than 1.4 million subscribers.

For a monthly subscription fee, Lovefilm customers could receive a DVD or Blu-ray disc of their choice via post that they would send back once watched.

From 2010, some content could also be accessed via online streaming instead.

collect
0
Michelle Briggs 2016-05-25
img

A recent hack day event has seen the creation of a virtual reality Netflix store which allows you to pick virtual videos off of a virtual shelf and play them on a virtual screen.

The demo, called Netflix Zone, appears to be more of an experiment than a proposed feature, and is unlikely to make it to consumers.

The experience is an ironic one for Netflix, which was born out of a desire to save people from having to go to the video rental store by delivering DVDs to their home.

Vintage Blockbuster

The demo utilises the HTC Vive's room scaling technology, to allow the user to walk up to shelves of Netflix titles, and examining the boxes appears to cause movie-themed walls to rise around the virtual room and a projector screen to descend from the ceiling.

The user can then throw the video at the screen to start playing the title from within the virtual reality room.

The idea of watching movies in virtual reality has been explored before, most recently in YouTube's Snoopavision, where users could watch YouTube videos in a virtual cinema alongside Snoop Dog.

collect
0
Ruth Johnson 2016-05-25
img

When I was a kid and through most of my teenage years , renting a movie meant getting in the car and driving to the nearest video rental store.

Now, thanks to a clever bit of work from a trio of Netflix employees during the company's spring Hack Day, we can relive the experience or get to try it for the first time, depending on your age .

As you ll see in the clip above, you can select from a number of videos from the virtual video shop.

In fact, in 2000, Netflix chief Reed Hastings approached video store rental giant Blockbuster and offered to sell his business for a mere $50 million.

A decade later, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and eventually sold its assets to Dish in 2011 for $228 million.

Just imagine what today s media landscape would look like had Antioco agreed to buy Netflix.

collect
0
David Cox 2016-06-22
img

In March 2010, declining sales forced Belfer to let go of his last employee.

He decided he would try to run the store himself for six months and see what happened.

In an era when customer service often consists of automated phone systems that drive callers to the brink of insanity, Belfer takes pride in an old-fashioned concept: actually being helpful.

If they have a problem, I'll try to solve it for them.

People have asked Belfer how he manages to work 70 hours a week without a break, a vacation, a day at the beach, or countless other pleasures most people take for granted.

He walked over to a spot behind the counter where a yellow piece of children's art was taped to the wall.

collect
0
Warren Edwards 2016-11-26

They allow a browsing experience impossible online and serve as libraries for movies and TV shows that will likely never transfer to an online format.

Services like Netflix and Hulu are putting more of their resources into creating their own original programming, and movies may be available on only one service or only for limited times, says Aaron Hillis, a film journalist who bought Video Free Brooklyn in 2012.

Now you have to have a subscription for nine different services to catch up with what I have in one 375-square-foot shop.

The Video Station in Boulder, Colo., with 42,000 titles, including a 19th-century work by Thomas Edison, saw an uptick in customers at the end of last year looking for Star Wars films in anticipation of the opening of the series most recent installment, The Force Awakens.

We were the only game in town, owner Bruce Shamma says.

Mr. Shamma and fellow video-store owners admit earning new business and maintaining the old is a constant struggle in light of online options and grocery store DVD kiosks like Redbox.

collect
0
Dwayne Alcorn 2018-01-27
img

Ah, yes, the good old days.

Where forgetting a movie on your coffee table could cost you, and a Blockbuster card was essential cultural currency.

The days of the local video store may be long gone (well, mostly), but one prop creator has built the perfect memorial.

Andrew Glasebrook, FX designer under the name Morbid Decay, has built a miniature replica of a local video store, complete with cult classics lining the shelves, awkward interior design, and a nice layer of grime.

The excellent replica is a reminder of a time when media consumption was distinctly tied to a place, instead of just to data.

Video stores were curatorial and cultural spaces, essential for film buffs and casual moviegoers alike.

collect
0
William Cutright 2017-08-14
img

Amazon is getting out of the DVD rental business with the closure of Lovefilm, the so-called “Netflix of Europe” that Amazon bought in 2011 for a reported $312 million valuation.

The company, which operates in the U.K. and Germany, is a subscription service that lets consumers rent DVDs that are sent out by mail – similar to Netflix’s original business model before it became the streaming powerhouse it is today.

According to Amazon, however, DVD rentals by mail are no longer in demand.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen a decreasing demand for Blu-ray and DVD rental as customers increasingly move to streaming,” Amazon explained in an announcement posted to its website, detailing Lovefilm’s closure.

The company says it will shut down the “Lovefilm By Post” service on October 31, 2017, as a result.

Customers won’t be billed for the last month, either, Amazon says.

collect
0
Eric Calvillo 2016-10-19
img

Walmart-owned video rental streaming service Vudu has a plan to entice new users: the freemium model.

Vudu quietly rolled out a new service called Movies On Us that, as its name suggests, provides free movies to Vudu users.

Why this matters: Just like Spotify s free tier, Vudu s new ad-supported service is a way to encourage more people to create accounts on the streaming service, with the hope being that further down the road those same users will turn to the rental section and pay up for a premium experience over what the free tier has to offer.

The free tier also gives Vudu an edge over most video streaming services, which lack a comparable feature—excluding Crackle.

Vudu s free Movies On Us.

As this is a free tier, don t expect to see too many gems pop-up the way they might on a service like Netflix.

collect
0
Damion Gutierrez 2016-06-23
img

After dropping a bomb on the traditional video rental industry in the first half of the 2000s, Netflix has spent the last decade forging a streaming business model that is loved by its customers but has also served as a blueprint for the competition .

This means that A Netflix will have to pay more to license content, B it s not going to win every contract and C some customers will inevitably jump ship to a competitor, resulting in less revenue coming in.

Incredibly enough, 90 percent of respondents said they would rather pay more per month than have to sit though ads.

As AllFlicks notes, the results likely gel with Netflix s own internal findings which is why we haven t yet seen ads make their debut.

It s highly unlikely that three out of four users would actually leave if ads were introduced but if even just a fraction of them did follow through with their threat, the impact would be tremendous.

If you re a current Netflix subscriber, would you consider canceling your subscription if ads were introduced?

collect
0
Frances Buoy 2017-05-27
img

p To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

This live video has ended.

It looks like we're experiencing playback issues.

Ars visits one of the last US video stores

Despite fond memories running to Blockbuster as a kid, these days you probably have fewer video-store options while away at a cabin or vacation home this Memorial Day.

Another one of the formative shops for our staff—Dallas-based Premiere Video—shutter its doors just this month, in fact.

collect
0
Dennis Masters 2016-05-25
img

As part of Netflix's latest hack day, its designers have created a VR showroom that users can stroll around thanks to HTC Vive's room-scale VR.

Pick one up for a closer look and the 'shop' environment changes, now themed to the title in question.

Netflix's demo shows Daredevil season two, with the walls reflecting the show's New York City setting - using the same effect for every title in the voluminous catalogue would likely be a tremendous endeavour, but would certainly be impressive.

Last September, a virtual living room for Oculus Rift was revealed.

Other creations that resulted from Netflix's latest hack day included 'QuietCast', which syncs video playback on a big screen with audio played through headphones from a tablet - an ideal solution for parents not wanting to wake children while watching at night - and 'Family Catch-up Viewing', which allows multiple users on a shared account to see where family members have gotten to in a series, preventing watching ahead.

Although Netflix says "while we think these hacks are very cool and fun, they may never become part of the Netflix product, internal infrastructure, or otherwise be used beyond Hack Day", there's definite potential in some of them.

collect
0
Jeff Lusk 2016-08-04
img

The venerable VCR met its demise last month as the last manufacturer of the legacy media player finally shut down shop.

But for video rental stores like Blockbuster, the party ended many moons ago yes, I know, there are a handful of franchise stores still in operation .

In the latest video from The Fine Brothers, kids react to Blockbuster.

For a generation that has grown up knowing only Redbox, Netflix, Hulu and on-demand, the concept of driving to a store to get a movie, having a membership card and dealing with late fees is understandably a bit foreign.

As 11-year-old Kacey puts it, It s like the library, except with film.

Yeah, I guess that about sums it up.

collect
0
Cornell Lopez 2016-11-07
img

After my wife and I had our first kid, we realized part of our younger days were gone forever: we could no longer reliably watch even a 90-minute movie in a single evening.

We even subscribed to Netflix—and had the hole in those silver discs stare at us, wondering why they remained unplayed week after week.

Below, I run down each of the services available via a Web browser or an app in iOS—some even in tvOS—and how you can seemingly work around what seems like a universal 24-hour limit—starting by shopping for a better deal.

That means a laptop or iMac only, and AirPlay won t work from Macs in most cases, either.

You can sometimes pay a dollar less for a 24-hour rental if you shop around.

And, finally, one tip: If you purchase a rental in error or have trouble streaming a film, contact the service and ask for a refund.

collect
0
Johnny Huff 2017-08-29
img

A few years ago, one eagle-eyed YouTube user uploaded a true internet find: a 1998 DVD-Rom ad for a new service called NetFlix.com.

Over a swell of stringed instruments and a parade of movie posters from Raging Bull to Twins, the new DVD rental company explained itself ("You won't have to search for a video store that carries more than a few titles").

In fact, today marks the 20th anniversary of the birth of the company—August 29, 1997, is when Reed Hastings, flush off the sale of his company Pure Atria (nee Pure Software), cofounded it with his colleague Marc Randolph.

September 1999: Subscription model begins

Compared to today’s setup—which allows you to watch as many Lilyhammer episodes as you can stand, for just under $10 a month—the company’s first foray into the subscription world came with a steep price: For $15.95 a month, users could keep four movies for as long as they’d like (a $19.95 unlimited option would be introduced the following year).

It was an abrupt change for the 2-year-old company, but one that helped establish what home entertainment would look like in the 21st century, when the once-dodgy subscription plan became Hollywood’s next top model.

Rosalie Bishop 2017-10-31
img

For some, this Halloween will be a darker day than those past because LoveFilm by Post, the DVD rental service, bites the dust.

For Tara Judah, a co-director of a movie rental shop in Bristol, it is a day of triumph.

"We just outlived LoveFilm, so that's pretty good in my book," she says.

One of the last remaining film rental stores in the UK, 20th Century Flicks has been trading since 1982 - the era of VHS video tapes.

However, Ms Judah is under no illusions about the future of a business that is an increasingly diminished player in an arena dominated by film and TV streaming giants such as Netflix.

Ms Judah tells BBC Radio 5 Live that she and her two co-directors in 20th Century Flicks, a DVD rental shop in Bristol, "do it for the love of it, not the money.

Michelle Briggs 2016-05-25
img

A recent hack day event has seen the creation of a virtual reality Netflix store which allows you to pick virtual videos off of a virtual shelf and play them on a virtual screen.

The demo, called Netflix Zone, appears to be more of an experiment than a proposed feature, and is unlikely to make it to consumers.

The experience is an ironic one for Netflix, which was born out of a desire to save people from having to go to the video rental store by delivering DVDs to their home.

Vintage Blockbuster

The demo utilises the HTC Vive's room scaling technology, to allow the user to walk up to shelves of Netflix titles, and examining the boxes appears to cause movie-themed walls to rise around the virtual room and a projector screen to descend from the ceiling.

The user can then throw the video at the screen to start playing the title from within the virtual reality room.

The idea of watching movies in virtual reality has been explored before, most recently in YouTube's Snoopavision, where users could watch YouTube videos in a virtual cinema alongside Snoop Dog.

David Cox 2016-06-22
img

In March 2010, declining sales forced Belfer to let go of his last employee.

He decided he would try to run the store himself for six months and see what happened.

In an era when customer service often consists of automated phone systems that drive callers to the brink of insanity, Belfer takes pride in an old-fashioned concept: actually being helpful.

If they have a problem, I'll try to solve it for them.

People have asked Belfer how he manages to work 70 hours a week without a break, a vacation, a day at the beach, or countless other pleasures most people take for granted.

He walked over to a spot behind the counter where a yellow piece of children's art was taped to the wall.

Dwayne Alcorn 2018-01-27
img

Ah, yes, the good old days.

Where forgetting a movie on your coffee table could cost you, and a Blockbuster card was essential cultural currency.

The days of the local video store may be long gone (well, mostly), but one prop creator has built the perfect memorial.

Andrew Glasebrook, FX designer under the name Morbid Decay, has built a miniature replica of a local video store, complete with cult classics lining the shelves, awkward interior design, and a nice layer of grime.

The excellent replica is a reminder of a time when media consumption was distinctly tied to a place, instead of just to data.

Video stores were curatorial and cultural spaces, essential for film buffs and casual moviegoers alike.

Eric Calvillo 2016-10-19
img

Walmart-owned video rental streaming service Vudu has a plan to entice new users: the freemium model.

Vudu quietly rolled out a new service called Movies On Us that, as its name suggests, provides free movies to Vudu users.

Why this matters: Just like Spotify s free tier, Vudu s new ad-supported service is a way to encourage more people to create accounts on the streaming service, with the hope being that further down the road those same users will turn to the rental section and pay up for a premium experience over what the free tier has to offer.

The free tier also gives Vudu an edge over most video streaming services, which lack a comparable feature—excluding Crackle.

Vudu s free Movies On Us.

As this is a free tier, don t expect to see too many gems pop-up the way they might on a service like Netflix.

Frances Buoy 2017-05-27
img

p To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

This live video has ended.

It looks like we're experiencing playback issues.

Ars visits one of the last US video stores

Despite fond memories running to Blockbuster as a kid, these days you probably have fewer video-store options while away at a cabin or vacation home this Memorial Day.

Another one of the formative shops for our staff—Dallas-based Premiere Video—shutter its doors just this month, in fact.

Jeff Lusk 2016-08-04
img

The venerable VCR met its demise last month as the last manufacturer of the legacy media player finally shut down shop.

But for video rental stores like Blockbuster, the party ended many moons ago yes, I know, there are a handful of franchise stores still in operation .

In the latest video from The Fine Brothers, kids react to Blockbuster.

For a generation that has grown up knowing only Redbox, Netflix, Hulu and on-demand, the concept of driving to a store to get a movie, having a membership card and dealing with late fees is understandably a bit foreign.

As 11-year-old Kacey puts it, It s like the library, except with film.

Yeah, I guess that about sums it up.

Garland Marsella 2017-08-10
img

Now, you can get your hands on them for a fraction of the cost, but you'll have to send them back.

The largest camera and video rental company in the U.S. is going airborne.

On Thursday, Lensrentals announced the addition of drone and virtual reality cameras to its equipment list.

Photographers and filmmakers can now rent drones as well as VR cameras and accessories.

Lensrentals is testing the service nationwide after a successful local test.

As users request the new drones and virtual reality equipment, Lensrentals will continue to improve the packaging, maintenance, and supply, the company says.

Randall Vincent 2017-08-14
img

The Lovefilm By Post DVD rental service will cease to operate on 31 October this year, its owner Amazon has said.

Amazon cited a "decreasing demand" for the discs and a growing number of customers who were streaming movies and TV series instead.

The move has irritated some fans, who argue that a wider range of films is available to rent on DVD and Blu-ray.

Lovefilm was founded in 2002 and acquired by Amazon in 2011, when it had more than 1.4 million subscribers.

For a monthly subscription fee, Lovefilm customers could receive a DVD or Blu-ray disc of their choice via post that they would send back once watched.

From 2010, some content could also be accessed via online streaming instead.

Ruth Johnson 2016-05-25
img

When I was a kid and through most of my teenage years , renting a movie meant getting in the car and driving to the nearest video rental store.

Now, thanks to a clever bit of work from a trio of Netflix employees during the company's spring Hack Day, we can relive the experience or get to try it for the first time, depending on your age .

As you ll see in the clip above, you can select from a number of videos from the virtual video shop.

In fact, in 2000, Netflix chief Reed Hastings approached video store rental giant Blockbuster and offered to sell his business for a mere $50 million.

A decade later, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and eventually sold its assets to Dish in 2011 for $228 million.

Just imagine what today s media landscape would look like had Antioco agreed to buy Netflix.

Warren Edwards 2016-11-26

They allow a browsing experience impossible online and serve as libraries for movies and TV shows that will likely never transfer to an online format.

Services like Netflix and Hulu are putting more of their resources into creating their own original programming, and movies may be available on only one service or only for limited times, says Aaron Hillis, a film journalist who bought Video Free Brooklyn in 2012.

Now you have to have a subscription for nine different services to catch up with what I have in one 375-square-foot shop.

The Video Station in Boulder, Colo., with 42,000 titles, including a 19th-century work by Thomas Edison, saw an uptick in customers at the end of last year looking for Star Wars films in anticipation of the opening of the series most recent installment, The Force Awakens.

We were the only game in town, owner Bruce Shamma says.

Mr. Shamma and fellow video-store owners admit earning new business and maintaining the old is a constant struggle in light of online options and grocery store DVD kiosks like Redbox.

William Cutright 2017-08-14
img

Amazon is getting out of the DVD rental business with the closure of Lovefilm, the so-called “Netflix of Europe” that Amazon bought in 2011 for a reported $312 million valuation.

The company, which operates in the U.K. and Germany, is a subscription service that lets consumers rent DVDs that are sent out by mail – similar to Netflix’s original business model before it became the streaming powerhouse it is today.

According to Amazon, however, DVD rentals by mail are no longer in demand.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen a decreasing demand for Blu-ray and DVD rental as customers increasingly move to streaming,” Amazon explained in an announcement posted to its website, detailing Lovefilm’s closure.

The company says it will shut down the “Lovefilm By Post” service on October 31, 2017, as a result.

Customers won’t be billed for the last month, either, Amazon says.

Damion Gutierrez 2016-06-23
img

After dropping a bomb on the traditional video rental industry in the first half of the 2000s, Netflix has spent the last decade forging a streaming business model that is loved by its customers but has also served as a blueprint for the competition .

This means that A Netflix will have to pay more to license content, B it s not going to win every contract and C some customers will inevitably jump ship to a competitor, resulting in less revenue coming in.

Incredibly enough, 90 percent of respondents said they would rather pay more per month than have to sit though ads.

As AllFlicks notes, the results likely gel with Netflix s own internal findings which is why we haven t yet seen ads make their debut.

It s highly unlikely that three out of four users would actually leave if ads were introduced but if even just a fraction of them did follow through with their threat, the impact would be tremendous.

If you re a current Netflix subscriber, would you consider canceling your subscription if ads were introduced?

Dennis Masters 2016-05-25
img

As part of Netflix's latest hack day, its designers have created a VR showroom that users can stroll around thanks to HTC Vive's room-scale VR.

Pick one up for a closer look and the 'shop' environment changes, now themed to the title in question.

Netflix's demo shows Daredevil season two, with the walls reflecting the show's New York City setting - using the same effect for every title in the voluminous catalogue would likely be a tremendous endeavour, but would certainly be impressive.

Last September, a virtual living room for Oculus Rift was revealed.

Other creations that resulted from Netflix's latest hack day included 'QuietCast', which syncs video playback on a big screen with audio played through headphones from a tablet - an ideal solution for parents not wanting to wake children while watching at night - and 'Family Catch-up Viewing', which allows multiple users on a shared account to see where family members have gotten to in a series, preventing watching ahead.

Although Netflix says "while we think these hacks are very cool and fun, they may never become part of the Netflix product, internal infrastructure, or otherwise be used beyond Hack Day", there's definite potential in some of them.

Cornell Lopez 2016-11-07
img

After my wife and I had our first kid, we realized part of our younger days were gone forever: we could no longer reliably watch even a 90-minute movie in a single evening.

We even subscribed to Netflix—and had the hole in those silver discs stare at us, wondering why they remained unplayed week after week.

Below, I run down each of the services available via a Web browser or an app in iOS—some even in tvOS—and how you can seemingly work around what seems like a universal 24-hour limit—starting by shopping for a better deal.

That means a laptop or iMac only, and AirPlay won t work from Macs in most cases, either.

You can sometimes pay a dollar less for a 24-hour rental if you shop around.

And, finally, one tip: If you purchase a rental in error or have trouble streaming a film, contact the service and ask for a refund.