Purchasing Digital content online (ie Movies, TV episodes, etc)

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by nrnoble, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    I have bought a few movies online from Amazon because they no longer are on DVD\Blu-ray. I got to wondering what the licensing agreement related to those purchases. Here is the Amazon EULA states:

    i. Availability of Purchased Digital Content. Purchased Digital Content will generally continue to be available to you for download or streaming from the Service, as applicable, but may become unavailable due to potential content provider licensing restrictions or for other reasons, and Amazon will not be liable to you if Purchased Digital Content becomes unavailable for further download or streaming.​

    That basically says "You might not be able to watch the movies you purchased at a future date"

    I have already had one amazon movie that I purchased to be listed as "Unavailable". I waited for several months thinking it would become "available" again, but it never did so I called Amazon and they quickly\easily refunded me the full purchase price.

    Anybody have insights as to the pros\cons to purchasing digital content (not renting) online, especially now that not all movies are being released on DVD\Blu-ray and older DVDs are out of print.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
  2. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    I've only had one instance where I was unable to watch a purchased show. It was a Christmas Movie during the holiday season, and it only happened on year. A lot of people complained about it, and the content owners seemed to get the idea that the bad press wasn't worth making people who had already "bought" that movie pay to watch it again during that season.
     
  3. gigaquad

    gigaquad Tivo Image Master

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    There's an old internet saying from the 90s (yeah, not that old I guess): If it's not on your computer, you don't own it.
    This was mainly talking about the switch to programs that were paid through subscription services instead of a program you bought, downloaded, and used to your heart's content, but it holds true for movies and TV shows too. If you can't spin up your movie locally, it could disappear at any time.

    For instance, Amazon has lost their licensing for some tv shows several times over the last few years. You'll be watching a series and *POOF*! All of a sudden it's gone. Today, you even see episodes cut from popular shows because they're deemed "insensitive" or "racial". You don't get a notification when an episode is missing, you just click "view next episode" and you're sent from episode 2 to episode 4.

    The only way to make sure your shows are actually yours are to keep them on a local hard drive. You can get a 10 gig drive for less than 200 bucks now. Converting them to mpg2 so they'll play on your Tivo is easy. Then you just fire up the tivo, transfer "Friends" or whatever show you're into at the moment, and off you go.

    If you're a cartoon buff this is the only way to fly. There are so many episodes of Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, Warner brothers shorts, and Hanna Barbera shows that aren't available anywhere because they're considered too *something* for kids today. Thankfully I have them stored and can share them with my kids at any time. Online content is fake content. If you can't touch it, it's not yours and can be taken away from you with no notice.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
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  4. powrcow

    powrcow Active Member

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    I haven't seen any recent (last 10 years) movies that I want to re-watch, so I'll just look for the cheapest way to view the content and pick that. But I have children and the children love to re-watch movies. Disney has a DVD+BluRay+Digital code offer for most of their movies when you buy the proper physical copy. The digital code activates the license to view on Movies Anywhere. You can also link your Movies Anywhere account with iTunes, Amazon, Google, Vudu, Microsoft, etc, so the movies show up as "purchased" in those services and devices.

    I like this approach because it isn't much more expensive than buying a normal DVD+BluRay. It doesn't exactly solve your problem, but I feel like having the DVD and BluRay future-proofs things somewhat.
     
    nrnoble likes this.
  5. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    having lost many digital purchases over the years due to shut downs, sales, mergers, etc., i no long buy digital content alone, it must be part of a combo with physical media, or at minimum allow me to burn a copy, no matter how reputable or established the provider.
    this.
     
    johnbrown44, gigaquad and ncted like this.
  6. nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    The few that I have purchased online have been out of print movies that no longer can be found on DVD\etc, or that those rare DVD copies sell large sums of money as collectors items. My purchases have mostly been with Amazon or Apple because they are likely to stick around or refund money for revoked licenses. And in part, I purchase them to be legitimate because I am fully aware and capable, to get nearly everything I want using BT, and it would not cost me anything. An argument could be made why bother to subscribe to any streaming service or buy\rent any movie online, but I am not that type of person.
     
  7. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    i've never downloaded any media i haven't paid for, either, and would never install software that would allow it.

    i have recorded from youtube streaming, but only a few songs that, like you said, are not available commercially, and only for personal use.
     
  8. Edmund

    Edmund Remote Czar TCF Club

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    This must have been 10 years ago I lost access two movies on my roku amazon app, for over 6 months each, the titles were "Any which way you can" and "Tombstone". But it wasn't that amazon lost the rights to the movies, it was the amazon app on ROKU!! The titles were available on-line to watch, just not on roku. Never happen again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
  9. Aaron Malloy

    Aaron Malloy Active Member

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    I've purchased a few TV shows on Amazon. And when they were having sales on digital content, I bought a few 4K movies (Gladiator, Interstellar) that were going for 8 bucks or so. So it's nice to know that if those items disappear, there's a chance to get my money back.
     
  10. gigaquad

    gigaquad Tivo Image Master

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    Is it really about the money though? Or the content you purchased thinking you'd be able to enjoy it again and again or share with family/friends for movie night?

    Here's a simple setup that takes about an hour and 30 minutes to put together if you take it slow and have a beer halfway through.

    1. Cheap computer with Windows 7 installed (no automatic updates to break things like Win10, no internet access, only home network) ($50 bucks)
    2. A network switch if you don't own one (8.00)
    3. The expensive part - an 8-10 tb hard drive (250-300)
    4. Tivo Desktop v2.8
    5. Winavi All-In-One Converter to make things Tivo Friendly

    Install the computer and switch (plug them in and make sure they work).
    Turn the computer off and install the 8tb drive.
    Install Tivo Desktop and point it to the 8tb drive for "My Tivo Recordings"
    Turn on sharing for the 8tb hard drive
    Map the 8gb hard drive share to your main computer so it acts like another hard drive in your main computer.
    Download your legally purchased movies or rip them from DVD, not stuff you downloaded from the internet because movies are too expensive or hollywood is too liberal and you don't want to support their latest agendas.
    Convert them to mpeg2 or mpeg2 HD with Winavi
    Move them to your 8tb drive
    Enjoy forever

    For extra fun, buy an extra 8tb drive and backup the collection to it on a schedule. Syncback se works great for this and runs automatically.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. Aaron Malloy

    Aaron Malloy Active Member

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    That was simple? ;)

    I appreciate the trouble of laying all of that out, however it's just not something I would probably do. But it works for you and that's fine.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
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  12. gigaquad

    gigaquad Tivo Image Master

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    Pretty dadgum simple. If you can turn on a computer you can probably do it. But I understand if it doesn't work for you. If that's the case, you're likely relegated to digital content and the whims of whichever company and studio that you purchase it from.

    If you think you might ever want to try it I can make a more detailed step-by-step with pictures and so-on. Just PM me.
     
    Aaron Malloy likes this.
  13. Aaron Malloy

    Aaron Malloy Active Member

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    Will do.
     
  14. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Haven't read the whole thread, but these kinds of issues are why I lean towards getting stuff on physical media.. Though have bought many games on Playstation Network -- but often at HUGE discounts (e.g. if a game is less than lunch, I don't worry if I don't even play it for too long).

    But I have also bought a few movies digitally (though several were free due to various promos over the years), and 'er' and Mad Men are TV shows I have bought digitally -- but not watched either yet. (and Mad Men is now IIRC on Hulu, but a year or so ago it was $20 for the whole series on iTunes, and it seemed like it would have at least slightly more permanence than a streaming service, IF I downloaded all of the eps.. which I haven't admittedly).

    So basically -- if I could get it physically at the same price, I would get physically.. but when things get cheap enough, I'll get it digitally, knowing it is likely to not last as long as if it were physical media.
     
  15. johnbrown44

    johnbrown44 Member

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    New to Tivo, not new to video, recording, converting, PCs, etc.

    These converted files won't play on Edge units will they? They don't on mine. In fact, nothing from the PC will play on my Edges, except things recorded via Tivo.
    It seems a Roamio or Series3 will play files downloaded via Tivo Desktop,
    but my Edge units will not play them. But they may have crippled that ability with a
    software update, as mine are now a,i,a,a.

    Converting is an option for some things, but my Roamio will play video but not audio from shows recorded off air via PC tuner. Format is .ts, mpeg2 video, AC3 audio. Roamio doesn't like this audio, but my older Series 3 WILL play these with audio. I know I can convert them, but don't have time nor the inclination to convert the many many shows. Even batch converting is a lot of fooling around as far as I'm concerned.

    I just use Plex, which allows even the Edge units to play recorded content that is on my NAS

    I used Playon to record a show to the PC from IMDB, but I don't know
    if all content can be recorded. It worked well, the show was in the original 720p, but it only records in real time, and no CC was available on the recorded file, even though it was on the original. I suspect there are limits to what PlayOn will record. I no longer have subscriptions to any paid services at this time to test.

    I'm in total agreement about owning vs. this (relatively) recent trend
    of renting software/content. Seems more like leasing to me, if they can
    revoke the ability to use said software/content.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
  16. nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    What bothers me a bit is how many times I have purchased a specific movie starting with VHS->Laser Disc->DVD->BluRay, and now releasing some of them in 4K.

    What I find even more bother some is that some of transfers use the same master copy from one format to another, the VHS master used for the BluRay release. Generally, newer and newer movies have better master copies, so it is just the rare and old movies that suffer from never getting a better version. Starting with new releases on DVD (ie 2000), those movies tend to be decent, but many movies released on VHS, and then re-released on new formats have the same master going back 20+ years, thus the visual\audio quality does not improve. Of course, there are classic movies that get remastered for every new format, but those movies are just a small percentage, and most movies never even get re-released on a new format.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
    krkaufman likes this.
  17. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    I love my SD (DVD) digital copy of Animal Farm (1955) on VUDU. Plays like someone bootlegged a VHS tape playback.
     
    nrnoble likes this.

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