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What They Don't Advertise about Downloadable Movie Sites

Aug 18, 2007
The ability to legally download major studio films is an exciting new opportunity offered by both MovieLink and CinemaNow. However, there are some restrictions hidden in the fine print that you should know about before signing up for one of these services. In this article, we'll compare the top two movie downloading services; CinemaNow and MovieLink.

Cost

These two movie downloading services have completely different pricing structures. When using MovieLink, you will pay per flick at a cost of $1.99 for older flicks and $3.95 for new releases. On the other hand, CinemaNow offers an unlimited subscription at a rate of $29.95 per month or $99.95 per year. So although the prices are set, the cost of each of these downloadable movie services ultimately depends on your movie watching habits.

You don't get to watch movies over a several day period as you would if you were renting from Netflix or from the video store. Each rental is only available for a 24 hour viewing period. This doesn't mean that you have to start watching it within 24 hours. Rather, once you begin the movie, you must finish it within 24 hours. With either downloadable movie service you can store movies on your hard drive for up to thirty days

Burning DVD's

Here is the answer to the question everyone wants to know... can you burn the movies to DVDs? The answer is yes and no. This is where you must really dig into the fine print to get a clear explanation.

CinemaNow advertises that you can burn movies to DVD, but they don't make it clear just how many movies you can burn to DVD. In order to be able to burn a movie to DVD, the movie must have 'download and burn' rights.

The number of movies available for download and burn will constantly be in flux, but as of last count, only about 100 titles were available with download and burn rights. Another point to consider is that most of these are older titles. A studio is not likely to allow you to burn a movie that is in high demand in stores.

Buried deep within MovieLink's FAQ page is information about their buy and burn option. With MovieLink, you can burn movies that you have already purchased from them. You can't burn rentals. Also, you can only burn them to a CD, not a DVD.

Compatibility

In order to use MovieLink, you must be a Windows user. Furthermore, you must be using IE, not Firefox or any other browser. And while the CinemaNow site is cross-browser friendly, there are issues for Mac users when it comes to watching movies. At this time, CinemaNow is only available for Mac users running Windows OS on a dual core computer thought they do say they are working on a solution.
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