Little Boxes

Lots of little boxes, all lined up on your television set. All the little boxes you need to download movies from the Internet, satellites and cable systems, and none of them talk to each other. What is it going to take to get one source and one format for all the movies you want to watch?

Our friends over at Gizmodo have written a fascinating roundup of many of the popular systems. As they point out, "Right now, Vudu is good for latest and greatest plus some older favorites; Netflix Roku has better TV options and some interesting deep cuts (plus a $99 box price and unlimited streaming for 10,000 so-so titles for any plan over $9 with discs by mail as a backup); Xbox 360 has a surprisingly large amount of HD movies, and a nice catalog geared towards the gaming demographic; Apple TV has its own legion of fans for its ability to move movies to iPods and computers, though it still has a lot to prove in the catalog section. That's not even counting the TiVo with Amazon Unbox or the cable box you likely already have, each with their own assorted VOD options. Even if you owned all of 'em, you still might not find what you want, even if it's something that should be slapping you in the face."

Tivobox What's even more interesting is how it's not as simple as the HD DVD/Blu-ray war, when movie studios were strictly on one side or the other. Gizmodo did their homework. "Warner Bros. put out Ocean's Thirteen. You can watch it on Vudu and Roku
Last week, we told you that Sony's CEO, Howard Stringer, predicted that movie downloads will never make it. If things stay as complicated and disjointed as they are now, his prediction could come true. -Leslie Shapiro

Read the entire Gizmodo article here.