Will home movies divide into two?

Via Geoff Forgie, it turns out that Blockbuster, the video rental chain in the United States, has gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy (this apparently lets them off their debts, but continue trading) owing tens of millions to movie studios.

Which makes me wonder, is video rental a dying industry? Will the rental market move to almost entirely on-line via downloads or streaming (eg. Bigpond Movies), while DVD and Blu-ray become ownership-only deals.

Or if Blu-ray becomes sufficiently popular, will this keep video rental stores going? Bigpond Movies has a bitrate of 1.8Mbps in Windows Media format, which is stretching things a little for high quality SD. It’s going to be quite a while before full HD movie downloads become viable.

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4 Responses to Will home movies divide into two?

  1. Shane A says:

    I use/used Bigpond Movies/Quickflix for renting physical discs but I have no desire to download movies at the moment. I suppose if there comes a time when I’m able to download a full 50gig blu ray to my player in a matter of minutes (that doesn’t count to my quota) I’ll change my mind, but until that day physical discs for me.

    But as for bricks and mortar video stores…well…the outlook has been bleak for years. In the 90s, I used to go to my local vid shop once or twice a week…now it’s (literally) once or twice a year. With so many kids these days having no qualms about downloading pirated movie’s, I’m sure things will only get worse.

  2. James says:

    I think there will always be a market for disc rental but not in the traditional sense.

    I have a friend who works for red room DVD and they seem to be on the right track. Automated mobile kiosks that people can just swipe a credit card and hire discs. They keep overheads down and can be put in more convenient locations like malls and shopfronts. I passed one this afternoon in burwood westfield and there were a few people waiting to use the kiosk.

    I haven’t rented a disc in at least five years.

  3. James says:

    I think there will always be a market for disc rental but not in the traditional sense.

    I have a friend who works for red room DVD and they seem to be on the right track. Automated mobile kiosks that people can just swipe a credit card and hire discs. They keep overheads down and can be put in more convenient locations like malls and shopfronts. I passed one this afternoon in burwood westfield and there were a few people waiting to use the kiosk.

    I haven’t rented a disc in at least five years.

  4. Michael Cuddihy says:

    I used the Bigpond movie service for blu ray discs. Convenient, cheap but annoying when discs are marked and when you don’t get the discs that you want. However, I am looking at the Apple TV to rent SD movies, so that I have more control over what I watch. With the mail order disc rentals, you put a list of 20-30 discs and you get them at random.

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