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Movie Download Frequently Asked Questions

Aug 17, 2007
As movie downloads quickly replace purchased DVDs or even rentals, a lot of questions are arising about the format. Their use is still very new and it's in a constant state of flux, but the fact is movie downloads are rapidly taking over the market for a number of reasons.

This article should help answer some of the biggest questions that surround movie downloads and their use.

What kind of movie downloads are available?
The answer to that is almost you name it! As movie downloads become a popular format, just about every major movie studio in the country (and world for that matter) is offering their pictures through movie download companies and sites. From the American studios of Hollywood to lesser known independent studios, movies of every genre can be found for download.

Do I own a movie download once I pay for it?
The answer to that is yes and no. Movie downloads are available for rental and for purchase, depending on the movie and the site from which it is downloaded. Some movie downloads are outright purchases, which means you can watch them as many times as you want, when you want. Some movie downloads are rentals that have a sunset on when they can be watched. This means the programming will now allow viewing after a set date, time or number of viewings. Most movie downloads, however, do contain programming that discourages piracy.

Can movie downloads be backed up?
The answer to that is also yes and no. Some movie studios allow the backing up of movie purchases onto DVD, but include programming that won't enable the playing on regular DVD players. Others don't allow backing up at all, but movie download sites will "hold the purchase" so it can be redownloaded if a hard drive crash occurs.

Can movie downloads only be watched on computers?
No. Depending on the company and/or studios involved, DVDs can be burned of the movies to allow playing in regular DVD players on television sets. Also, a simple wire connection from a television set to a computer or laptop will enable the viewing of a movie download on a regular screen. There are, however, some occasions where movie downloads must be watched on the machine they are downloaded to. It all depends on the movie download site and the movie in question.

Are movie downloads more expensive than DVDs?
No. Generally movie downloads are cheaper than buying a regular DVD. There's no packaging to pay for, so the cost is less for the studios and the movie download sites. That savings, in part, is passed on to the consumer. In most cases, consumers will find movie downloads are several dollars less than actual packaged DVDs, which is one of the reasons this format is really taking off. Plus, there aren't storage issues involves, such as the need for DVD towers to hold hundreds and hundreds of purchases.

How long does it take to download a movie?
A lot of that will depend on the file size, the movie download site and your Internet connection. Some movies will download within a matter of minutes by using streaming technology and buffering and others will take a bit of time. A full-length movie, after all, is a very large file!

The movie download format is still in its infancy with regulations and rules constantly changing, but consumers are more and more turning to this format for its ease and cost savings. With just about every major studio in the world taking part, the writing is on the wall that movie downloads are here and they're here to stay.
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