My Name is Heather, and I am a Streamer

7/24/2012 3:31:00 PM
How do you watch a movie? I actually want to know.
Do you wait for a disc to be mailed to you? Are you one of the rare ones left with a rental place in your town or village? Do you use Red Box? Do you watch what you already own? Or do you stream?

Hi, my name is Heather and I am a streamer. 

I don’t watch movies more than once. (Okay, if Pretty Woman or Breakfast Club is on, and I’m on the couch with the stomach flu, AND there is nothing left on my DVR, then, yes, I will re-watch a movie–albeit reluctantly.) Oh, but if a movie is not in HD, then I’m not watching it. 

I’m too cheap and disorganized to actually purchase movies, which means that there is no way I own more than 10 DVD discs. And while patience may be a virtue, I unfortunately do not possess it, so there is no way I am waiting for a disc that I added to a queue six weeks ago to come in the mail. 

Enter video streaming. My dream date. 
Although I’ve strayed once or twice from AppleTV, I always come back to it. It is just so easy to use. 

At the end of the day and after fulfilling a litany of bedtime requests from my kids, I’m finally able to collapse down onto the couch. I’ve conquered the day (or it has conquered me), and I am beat. I don’t want to think anymore…about work, the kids, or anything else for that matter. It is my brain-drain time. If I’m really lucky, all of this happens at or before 8 p.m. And on these rare occasions where I don’t have to get up too early the next morning, I want to watch a movie.

Now a movie for me these days is a big commitment. Let’s be honest; most movies are not great. In fact, some are downright bad. Movies are no longer a mere hour and a half either. Oh no. The movie studios have decided that a movie must now be at least 2 hours or (gasp!) longer. So, if you start a movie at 8:30, you won’t be in bed before 11. (Yes, this is past my bedtime; I like my beauty sleep.)

If all my ducks line up in a row and the stars align, it’s movie time! I grab my professionally programmed URC remote and press my AppleTV button (macros baby!). Although I’ve strayed once or twice from AppleTV, I always come back to it. It is just so easy to use. Sure it costs one dollar more per movie rental, but I am happy to pay a little more for EASY. I rarely, if ever, have buffering issues and because it now has 1080p video and 5.1 Dolby Digital surround in most cases, why wouldn’t you use AppleTV? (Go ahead and give me reasons in the comments section.)

But here’s the rub: If you “rent” the movie, then you have 30 days to watch it. But, once you start watching it, you only have 24 hours to finish it. This drives me NUTS! If I don’t get to my comfy couch until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, I surely will not get back there before 8 p.m. on Wednesday. If I start the movie and one of the kids wakes up sick, or I get a call from a long lost friend, or if someone stops over to say hi–OK, they’re really stopping over for a glass of wine–then I’m doomed. I’m out $4.99, because I’m not getting back to that movie in time. Whoever made this 24-hour rule did not have kids…or much of a life. At least give me 30 hours. Geesh!

Alas, even with the risks, in my world, streaming reigns supreme. The ability to watch a new release the day it’s available or to choose a movie from my childhood to share the memories with my kids (say, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Labyrinth, or The Never Ending Story) is clutch. It’s what I want, when I want it, and without investing thousands of dollars in equipment or late fees. 

So again, I ask you: How do you watch movies at home in 2012? Do you even watch movies at home? Inquiring minds (or at least mine) want to know.

Heather L. Sidorowicz is project manager/designer for Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY. 


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