Apparently we're in a home entertainment transition period in which we're gradually being shoved from DVD to downloading movies, with Blu-ray and streaming video only temporary stops along the way. At least, that's my impression, but it still seems like a good time to survey three recently-introduced models that may benefit indie film lovers.

Netflix generated a fair amount of comment when it announced a new set-top box made by Roku that will allow their subscribers to watch about 10,000 movies and TV shows (10% of their total available) "instantly" on a television over their broadband connection (wireless too). Engadget has more information and a round-up of reviews. (We wrote about Netflix's plans in January.) Though some have complained about the paucity of titles available, I was impressed by the number of documentaries and foreign-language films that are available. The box retails for $99 and, as of now, no additional monthly charge by Netflix. If you're already a subscriber, that could be a boon. I don't like to watch anything longer than a trailer on my laptop, so I am sorely tempted to pick one up so I can watch on my TV.

On the other hand, if you are comfortable watching movies on your PC, two other companies are trying out new models for online viewing. Last November I wrote about the difficulties that distributor Halo-8 Entertainment had in getting online retailers such as Amazon to stock the excellent doc Your Mommy Kills Animals.
categories Features, Cinematical