Category Archives: Entertainment

“Blade Runner 2049” One of the Great Sci-Fi Films of All Time

Studio Pitch: Yes, the original film bombed, but we think people are ready for more Blade Runner.

With Blade Runner 2049 slipping onto the schedule in a time when audiences are numb to remakes, sequels and soft reboots, it was greeted with something of a shrugging “of course”. At least by me. The sequel machine has come around to Ridley Scott’s original 1982 film despite its cult audience not really clamoring for more. I was not prepared for what a straight, faithful Blade Runner sequel from the consistently excellent Denis Velleneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Enemy, Prisoners) would look like. I wasn’t prepared for how committed the movie would be to the cold aesthetic of the original film or to using the open questions left by the first film as springboards to explore new themes and ideas.

Scott’s Blade Runner is remembered for a lot of things: It’s production design, it’s melding of mystery noir with sci-fi (creating its own sub-genre that movies like Dark City and Minority Report would later explore), it’s sexbots, it’s numerous different director’s cuts and Scott’s own assertions outside the film that attempted to spark debate that Harrison Ford’s character is a replicant. What it’s not known for is its story, which is where 2049 picks up and builds on masterfully.  Ryan Gosling plays rogue-robot-hunting blade runner “K”, who we are told is a replicant in the very first scene, the first of many times this sequel will play on our experience with the first film to subvert expectations. Gosling is back in Drive mode here, perfecting the icy cold star of a robot whose mind ticks lively behind a façade that shows no expression. He dons a classic PI trench coat, sits in the dark, opens himself up only to a hologram of a female companion (Ana De Armas, becoming his unlikely side-kick and an ironic heart to the film) and silently follows the tiniest clues.

Instead of being constructed around a series of action scenes, as the modern template for reboots has low-bared for us, the movie is action-light and moves along with K’s detective work. The script is clever enough so that each new clue branches off into several possible directions. The mystery in 2049 is dense and complicated and Velleneuve uses some clever misdirection, but it’s also entirely solvable, engaging the keen-eyed cinemaphile to follow it. It unfolds slowly, at almost 3 hours, but thoughtfully and with purpose. Watching the pieces that looked like world-building details wind back and pay off in the story is incredibly satisfying. I was completely and totally drawn into the film.

The mystery works in congress with the visuals, which reflect a clear respect by Velleneuve to preserve Scott’s universe – right down to the Atari advertisements that would seem like an anachronism in our world but perfectly extend the future-verse of Blade Runner. As he exhibited with the cold hues of Arrival and Prisoners, the movie swims in a rich color palette that varies with each set piece; From the grey of the replicant’s farm to the red of the radioactive desert to the shimmering dome of Jared Leto’s God chamber. The movie is absolutely gorgeous – start to finish, top to bottom. Every shot looks like a damn painting, a precisely staged and beautifully rendered piece of sci-fi techno-art.

While I respect and recognize the influence of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, I was never a big fan of the movie itself. I never felt the movie’s lofty sci-fi themes of questioning-your-humanity broke out of traditional sci-fi themes and connected. It was a mood, a world, a style and a broad theme. 2049 deals in a lot of the same pseudo-scientific psychobabble about what makes us human and levels of power as we create, and our creations begin creating. This isn’t particularly new at this point and a continued theme rippling underneath a lot of Scott’s work (most recently Prometheus and Alien: Covenant). The film even hangs on the now well-worn Very Important Hybrid trope. While I wouldn’t call it quite a McGuffin, much of it comes from Jared Leto’s Wallace (the head of the Wallace Corporation, building the latest line of more obedient replicants) whose rambles about angels, slaves and gods are perfectly in keeping with the madman monologueing villain type. Its not particularly thought-provoking but it serves the narrative just right. By pushing the creation subtext to text instead of wallowing in it, Velleneuve makes it work here. He makes everything work. He makes the most mature, adult, layered and visually delicious neo-noir movie I’ve seen, even making the genre’s previous high, Steven Speilberg’s phenomenal Minority Report, look wacky by comparison.

As I’ve gotten older and seen more classic cult movies, I’m drawn more to mood pieces and lived-in worlds than by cinematic tricks and scripted twists. Blade Runner’s world isn’t just a unique dystopian future, but a fully realized lived-in one where everything high tech looks run down and dusty. The grimy police station, the hologram girlfriend who freezes when a call comes in. Villeneuve’s visual eye fits right in here, but it’s also the mood he recreates that sets 2049 buzzing with life even when it’s moving at a glacier’s pace. It is awash in a rhythmic pace and long tracking over dystopian city ruins. The movie is positively in love with its neo-noir design. The thumping score works to turn synth 80s techno into an auditory assault on the nerves in the movie’s few, but effectively anxious, action sequences. 2049 is a wonderful marriage of filmmaker and material. I can’t imagine this sequel in the hands of anyone else, even at this point Ridley Scott.

All the performances here are just right, from the maniacal humans trying to hold the world together in Robin Wright to the maniacal humans trying to create a new one in Leto, to the reappearance of original Blade Runner Dekker for which Harrison Ford delivers the best and most subtle performance he has in probably a decade. Of course, he does. This is the first movie he’s been in in about a decade that actually gives him an emotion to play instead of some fan service homage role. Sylvia Hoakes also stands out as Leto’s replicant right hand woman whose dedication to doing his dirty work turns her into K’s most vicious adversary.

Blade Runner 2049 is a thrilling, wonderfully immersive journey and a prototype for sequel crafting that loves and pays tribute to the original while expanding its lore in fresh new directions. It’s a niche film, that challenges and trusts the audience, but it’s worth seeing even for those not a fan of Scott’s original. It’s for any post-Arrival fans of Villeneuve or anyone who likes Blade Runner ‘s dystopian sci-fi detective world but hasn’t yet seen it executed to its fullest potential. Nearly perfect, Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best movies of the year and the new neo-noir standard. For more information visit gomovies.

Software For Burning Movie DVDs

Movie DVDs can be burnt with a DVD burner. These DVD burners use a specialized software to write movies to the DVD. The capability of the software for burning movie DVDs, as well as the reader and the recorder determines the system’s ability to copy specific digital video files, with the desired quality. The higher the quality of the software, the better, the production quality of the DVD.

Several types of software for burning movie DVDs exist in the market today. While some are for free, others are bought at a price. Some Software like Gear DVD Standard Edition, Easy Media creator and Nero 6 Ultra Edition features thorough and qualitative writings. There also others with very good burning qualities, even though they may not be as good as the ones aforementioned. Undertaking a trial offer is advisable before buying this software.

Burning movie DVDs are cheaper using a computer. All you need is a DVD recorder and good DVD movie burning software, with that; one can easily burn a good movie DVD. So many of free DVD burning software are available. For example, Burn ON is comprehensive software with which you can do all burning tasks effectively. It uses wizards that offer an easy step-by-step guide to burning.

The first step is to copy the movie file to the hard drive with ripping software. Then Compress the movie using DVD video compression software. When you compress, you basically the reduce the size of DVD contents so that they may fit into a standard DVD recordable disk. The reason is that most DVD movies with all the extras are usually larger than 4.7GB, hence the need for compression, you can also back up the contents depending on the size of the original contents.The next step is to burn the movie to a blank DVD recordable disk using quality a good digital video burning software. With a DVD burning software, you can also allow transfer the ripped DVD contents from the hard drive to a blank DVD recordable, in a way that maintains to the standards that allow the CD to be read by a normal DVD player. This makes the disk compatible with a variety of DVD players.

It may sound complicated at the start, but it is easy once you’ve used the software to burn movies, taking the proper instructions. By the time you’ve used it once or twice more, it becomes quite easier.

The software for burning movie DVDs usually comes in the ‘plus’ and the ‘minus’ formats. Almost all digital videos comes in the same format, while there are some burners that use both formats. The DVD forum promotes the minus format, while the ‘plus’ the DVD+RW alliance promotes the plus format.

Would You Like a Movie

The popularity of fast-food dollar menus has extended to include DVD movie rentals. Combine the two and you have a match made for your thinning pocketbook. Redbox gives you access to the latest movie titles, in genres ranging from War to Comedy, from conveniently located, red-colored kiosks. Best of all, a one-night rental of any available title is only $1 (plus tax).

Where to Find Redbox

Perhaps you’ve noticed a Redbox as you drive through McDonalds or pick up prescriptions at Walgreens; in the grocery store or at WalMart. With more than 12,000 locations, you’re sure to find one near you–whether you’re at home, on vacation or traveling for business. Enter an address or zip code on the Redbox site to see what’s nearby.

Look to see if the location you choose is inside or outside a store or restaurant. If it’s an indoor kiosk, you’ll need to pick up and return your movie during store hours. Some stores may be open 24 hours a day, and outdoor kiosks are always accessible.

How it Works
The easy-to-find, easy-to-access Redboxes also are easy to use. If you’re planning ahead, visit the web site where you can create an account, pick a movie, pick a kiosk and reserve your preferred title. You’ll be charged $1 plus applicable tax at the time of your reservation, and your reservation only lasts until 9 p.m. After that, your reserved title becomes available to anyone, and you could be out a buck.

Unlike mail-based rental services or membership driven stores, you can also easily rent movies at the spur of the moment with Redbox. All you need is a credit card. Also provide your email address during the transaction if you want a receipt or confirmation as to when the DVD was returned.

You can return Redbox rentals to any Redbox kiosk anywhere. With the exception of the upfront $1 (plus tax) you pay to reserve and rent a title using the web site, all Redbox fees are charged when DVDs get returned. To keep your costs to about a $1, return your movie by 9 p.m. on the day following the rental. Redbox doesn’t believe in “late” fees, so if you don’t return the movie you’ll simply pay an additional $1 for each additional day you keep it. Keep it for 25 days, and Redbox will charge you $25 plus tax, giving you ownership of the DVD.

Deals and Discounts

Noobies should know that Redbox offers first-time users a free movie rental. Go to thesignup page and enter your email address for the free code. As a result, you’ll also start receiving weekly email messages from Redbox. You may enjoy the movie reviews, new release announcements and other e-mail content in the Redbox newsletters, or you can simply choose the unsubscribe option available at the bottom of each newsletter.

Still Watch All of Their Favorite Movies


BLOCKBUSTER Total Access gives the convenience of renting movies online and the choice of how you return them. You can return by mail or bring them to a participating BLOCKBUSTER store, where you can exchange them for new movies on the spot (up to monthly plan limits on exchanges*).

For only $19.99 a month (plus taxes) you can receive up to 3 DVDs at a time with up to 5 in-store exchanges for free movie rentals. When you are finished watching a DVD, just send it back in the provided postage paid envelope or return it to a participating store. That would come to around $240.00 a year, not counting additional taxes.

Note: * – Separate, complimentary in-store membership required for in-store rentals. In-store movie rentals are subject to store rentals terms and conditions, including due dates and charges which may apply to rentals not returned by the due date.


With Netflix you can rent as many DVDs as you want and watch movies instantly on your PC for one low price. There are no late fees and no due dates, and DVD shipping is free both ways. Plans start from only $4.99 plus applicable tax. With their most popular plan, you can rent as many DVDs as you want (3 DVDs at-a-time) and watch Unlimited hours of movies instantly on your PC all for just $16.99 a month plus applicable tax.

You select your DVDs after sign-up and they should arrive in your mailbox in about 1 business day via U.S. mail. When you finish watching a movie, simply put it in its prepaid envelope and mail it back. After receiving your returned DVD, they will send the next available DVD from your list. For $16.99 a month (plus taxes) your total amount for the year would be around $204.00, not counting additional taxes.

Downloading Movies for Free via the Internet

Taking the chance of downloading movies for free over the internet, and possibly facing hefty fines is not an option that you want to consider. It would be cheaper to pay the movie theater prices!

Affordable Movie Alternatives

There are a number of downloadable movie sites available, which are legal and are offered at a reasonable price. Just like BLOCKBUSTER and Netflix, you would have a membership fee, but at a price that is more affordable, and without the restrictions. They provide Unlimited DVD Quality downloadable movies 24/7. No time limits, no bandwidth limits, no content limits. Download anything you want, any time you want.

They provide you with free movie download software, DVD copy software, movie players, and technical support. These are #1 rated movie sites that have been seen on CNN, NBC, C/Net and AOL. You can also transfer movies to your iPod. Movies that are available in HD, with DVD quality video and audio.

Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video

When TV content first went to a subscription model, consumers basically had one major decision to make: cable or satellite TV? Honestly, the decision didn’t carry that much weight. Yes, you may have had a slight variation in channels if you decided on one over the other, but in general, your content options would be the same either way. As TV has begun to give way to its competitors in the Internet world, however, you’re faced with a lot more options.

The possibilities may seem endless when you decide what providers of streaming content you want to subscribe to. This fight is also much different than the simple question of cable vs. satellite TV because each provider of streaming video offers its own catalog of content. While there is some overlap, if you make the wrong decision, you might have to go without access to some of your favorite shows or movies.

The three companies that have established themselves as having the best selections of content available via subscription are Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. So how do you decide which of these services to turn to for your streaming needs?

Netflix Instant

Current price: $7.99 per month

The pioneer of subscription streaming, Netflix revolutionized the market when it introduced Netflix Instant. Seemingly out of nowhere, the company began moving a sizable number of its DVD titles online where customers could stream them whenever and (eventually) wherever they wanted. Netflix still maintains the largest catalog of movies from among its competitors as well as a huge library of TV series.

Netflix delivers the best video quality and is available on a wide array of devices. In addition to having native apps on set-top boxes like the Apple TV and Roku players, Netflix also has apps for iOS, Android, Windows 8, and Kindle users to enjoy content on their phones and tablets. Recently, Netflix has taken the jump into producing original programming featuring big names and big budgets. Some examples include the drama series House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey, and the re-launch of the cult comedy Arrested Development. All Netflix streaming movies and TV shows are ad-free.

Hulu Plus

Current price: $7.99 per month

While it didn’t really start as a competitor for Netflix, Hulu began to enter the race when it introduced its subscription-based Hulu Plus service. Hulu still differs enough from Netflix, however, that it’s hard to pit them against each other.

While Netflix mostly focuses on movies and TV shows of the past, Hulu puts its prime focus on today’s hot television programs. The shows on Hulu Plus (which include hit shows from all of the major TV networks) are available to watch the day after they air on TV. Not only are you able to catch up on your favorite series on your television via a set-top box, but you can also watch your favorite shows on the go with the Hulu Plus app that is available for most major platforms. The catch with Hulu Plus is that all the movies and series are ad-supported, so be prepared to endure several commercials.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Current price: $79 per year

While it can be considered a bit of a sleeper among the streaming competition, the Instant Video service for Amazon Prime subscribers is quickly growing in popularity as Amazon adds titles and increases functionality.

Amazon Prime was around for years before the company introduced Amazon Instant Video. The service originally only provided members with access to free two-day shipping from the mega retailer. Amazon has consistently rolled out new features for Prime members over the last few years, however, first coming out with Instant Video and later introducing the Kindle Lending Library, which gives Kindle owners access to free books.

The Amazon Instant Video catalog isn’t as big as either Netflix or Hulu Plus, but it has picked up several exclusive movies and TV shows that set it apart from the other services. It is also cheaper on a yearly basis and offers similar accessibility with apps for Roku players and many phones and tablets. Plus, since Instant Video isn’t the only feature you will get from Amazon Prime, there are other cost-effective benefits as well.

The Bottom Line

In the end, if you need to make a choice which streaming service to go with, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of each company.

When looking for the most comprehensive streaming package, Netflix is still your best bet, especially if you value movies over TV shows. Hulu Plus can be a great addition to a Netflix subscription, especially if you’re thinking of cutting the cord with your current TV provider. Between the two services, you can have access to a good selection of what would be available on cable. While Amazon Prime probably won’t win out as your only streaming provider because their catalog is still in the process of growing, it’s a service you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Movies Every Plus Size Woman Should See

Plus size women have long been neglected and outright mistreated by Hollywood. Yet, times are changing. Full-figured women are showing up everywhere in movies now and in more three-dimensional roles. While some of the movies on this list are clearly better than others, none of them were chosen for any sort of cinematic genius. They made the list because they handle the issues facing plus size women in a humane way. The characters are real people. They are so much more than just a fat girl punch line. So, grab some popcorn and make it a movie night.

1. Real Women Have Curves (2002)- America Ferrera stars as Ana, a Mexican-American teenager trying to find her way. The story explores family dynamics, ambition, body image issues, and more. Follow Ana as she enters womanhood, searches for identity, and struggles to mesh other people’s belief systems with her own.

2. Shag The Movie (1989)- This lighthearted film set in the Summer of 1963 follows a group of four friends who intend to have one last girls’ adventure before one member’s upcoming wedding. Caroline, nicknamed “Pudge,” is a chubby girl who loves to dance. While her friends run amuck all weekend, Pudge makes peace with herself, finds a guy, and shags ’til her heart is content.

3. Last Holiday (2006)- Queen Latifah stars as Georgia Byrd, a plus size woman who lives life on the sidelines until she discovers that she is terminally ill. Georgia promptly sets out to make at least some of her dreams come true before she dies. She takes the trip of a lifetime, eats with abandon, and gets herself a to-die-for makeover amongst other things.

4. Phat Girlz (2006)- Ah…what to say about this movie? Well, it’s certainly the worst of the bunch in my opinion. The cinematography isn’t great, the jokes are crude, and many of the attitudes expressed in it are contrary to all that I believe in. However, there are definitely some worthwhile aspects. Jazmin, the lead character, is a smart, talented business woman. Her struggles with weight and self-acceptance are very poignant. It shows different cultural beliefs about weight. And all the men are fit dispelling the myth that only fat guys are attracted to fat women. That’s enough good stuff to watch this one at least once on cable.

5. Camp (2003)- Teenagers attend a performing arts camp. While most of the ensemble of characters struggle with figuring out who they are, the stand out for me is Jenna. Jenna’s jaws are wired shut throughout most of the movie, a compromise made to avoid fat camp, but when she finally stands up to her overbearing parents…it’s all worthwhile.

6. Circle of Friends (1995)- This film chronicles the dynamics of a single peer group in 1950’s Ireland. Benny, our curvy heroine, experiences the ups and downs of love and betrayal. She shows strength and poise throughout where others fall incredibly short.

7. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)- In this sequel, we see chubby overly analytical Bridget up to her usual antics in dating and living. Funny and heartwarming, this film is worth watching if for no other reason than one scene: Bridget attempts to get dressed under a sheet, fumbling around until her boyfriend tells her that he has “a very high regard for your wobbly bits.”

8. Hairspray (2008)-While the earlier version captivated me, the latest one stole my heart. It’s great to see women who are more than just a little chubby find self-acceptance and happiness. You have to love all the singing, dancing, and plus size pride abound. And you just can’t beat John Travolta in drag!

Plus Size Halloween Costumes

If you’re on the hunt for some plus size Halloween costumes for your trick or treating then you’ll be pleased to know that a handful of popular costumes are readily available. I know that it can be difficult sometimes to find that perfect costume that fits properly, but I hope to share some of the latest and greatest ones you might be interested in.

There have been a few extremely popular costumes for both men and women that are great for Halloween, but also for costumes parties and other events that require you to dress up. I used to work for a large department store and we more than often had requests for plus size costumes and I usually had to refer them online to find what they were looking for.

First up I want to take a look at a few popular costumes for men that came out in the last year or so. Most of them that you find online will be a complete kit and require little more work to complete other than some shoes perhaps, or minor props like face makeup.

Plus Size Joker Costume: The latest Batman movie is without a doubt one of the most popular movies the past few years, and The Joker costume has been revamped and transformed. There are a handful of top notch Joker costumes on the market complete with makeup that will transform you into one scary bad guy.

Plus Size Dog The Bounty Hunter: Love him or hate him, Dog The Bounty Hunter has finally got his own costume on the market and it has shown to be quite popular in America. You can get the full costume including the hideous mullet that the ladies will love!

Plus Size Watchmen Costumes: The cult hit The Watchmen dropped onto the scene again this year with a new movie that has entertained old fans, and inspired new ones from all age groups. I’m happy to announce that a whole line of updated and new Watchmen Costumes has come out and they’re in plus sizes.

Ladies, you have quite a bit more options than the fellows when it comes to plus size costumes. There are a handful of the classic costumes such as Witches, Nurses and Vampires. As well with the various popular movies that have been out we’re seeing a whole bunch of new and popular costumes coming into the market. Let’s take a look at what’s hot for this year so you can prepare for your next costume party!

Plus Size Miss Oktoberfest: This is a new costume that has become very popular among the college crowd over the past few Halloween’s. This costume also works great for any Oktoberfest party and comes complete with everything you’d need except for the beer!

Plus Size Playboy Bunny:Plus size women are sexy too and there’s a whole whack of options to pull off an amazing Playboy Bunny outfit. The Playboy Mansion is featured in another big movie coming out this year and should have a lot of girls out buying the Bunny outfits a little more than usual.

Plus Size Beth The Bounty Hunter: If you and your husband or boyfriend are looking to find a funny couples costume you could pair up with the Bounty Hunter costumes. I already mentioned The Dog costume for men, and you can find the Beth costume already online.

Hulu Plus Review

What is Hulu Plus? It’s one of the many monthly subscription services out there offering streaming movies and TV. Its popularity is off the charts with over 143 million of February of this year. Let’s get to the meat of it. You didn’t come to read this Hulu Plus review to read statistics. You want to know if it’s worth paying for when you get Hulu for free. So let’s get to it then, here’s my Hulu Plus review.

The Good

Hulu Plus on TV

If you have a new HDTV, Blu-Ray player, or Roku box you can watch Hulu Plus right on your TV in your living room. Just pick the app on the screen and let it go. If you already paid a lot of money for that nice HDTV you definitely want to get the most out of it. This is possible with Hulu Plus since it shows in Hi Def. This is s not an option with Just Hulu.

Hulu Plus on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and your Smartphone

If you don’t have a HDTV, Blu-Ray player or Roku box with Hulu Plus you can always still use Hulu Plus on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Both systems have had recent updates to make this possible. Give you the same quality as the HDTV and Blu-Ray player.

Lots of TV Shows on Hulu

There are over 200 hundred different TV Networks on Hulu. I counted so trust me on this. I’ll let you do the math on the amount of different shows.

The Bad

Hulu advertising

There are a lot of commercials while you watch even though they promise less commercials with Hulu Plus. Personally I didn’t notice a difference at all with the TV shows. I saw no less than 4 commercials with each episode. There where commercials with the movies too and why are there commercials with movies?


The navigation compared to other subscriptions of streaming TV like Netflix it can be hard to find what you want at times. You’ll search for your favorite show or movie. Hulu Plus will find it, but it’s not the whole movie. It’s only a clip or trailer.

Amazon Instant Video or Hulu Plus

Watching all of your favorite movies and television shows is easier than ever before these days. You can watch current and old shows and movies online, on your mobile devices, or on any media streaming device that you own. This makes it easier for you to enjoy your favorite content at all times. Of course, to enjoy all of this content, you need to choose a service. You will want to choose the one that is the right fit for you. With so many options on the market, though, this feels harder than it should be. Two options to consider are Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, especially when taking into consideration Amazon Prime. To figure out which one will give you the most for your investment, and which one you will enjoy the most, you have to compare the facts. Understand how they differ.

Content is your first concern, obviously. You want to have the best content available to you at all times. With Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus, there are quite a few differences. They both have a large selection of movies and television shows, but not all the same ones. You might find a larger selection of complete seasons of shows and recently released movies with Amazon Instant Video, while you will find a larger selection of new shows with Hulu Plus. Hulu typically has all of the shows right after they air, giving you access to some of your favorite shows in their current seasons. That is not the case with Amazon Instant Video, however. It offers full season shows and movies, including new titles, but there is not a large selection of shows in their current season. The difference in content is a rather big one, and something that you have to keep in mind. If you prefer a good movie or show at any time, you may prefer Amazon Instant Video. On the other hand, if you want to keep up with new shows, Hulu Plus is more your style.

It is important to keep in mind that Hulu Plus does have commercials with their content. Even if you pay for their membership, you will have to sit through commercial breaks. This means an extra 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on commercial break length, of commercials. It is not a big deal to everyone, but it may annoy some, especially if you pay for their service.

Watching your videos from anywhere is important, as well. Whether you ride public transit to work and want to watch a show on the way or you like sitting in bed and watching a show before you sleep, you may want to make use of the service. Both services are available on numerous media streaming devices so this is not that difficult. You can find both on most major devices. If you have a Roku streaming device, as an example, you can watch either one on your television. With Amazon’s own devices, it is even easier to switch between the two. Both are available on a variety of devices, allowing you to enjoy your movies and television shows at any time.

Amazon is not readily available for most Android devices, though. If you have an Android phone or tablet, it may not be easy to watch Amazon Instant Video on the go. This is because the application is not on the Google Play store and is not compatible with tablets. You can download it through the Amazon web store, but it does require you to download a second application. Even then, it does not work properly for everyone. Hulu, however, does work just fine on Android devices.

Price is what may make the decision for some. Hulu Plus comes in at $7.99 per month, though you can access most content free of charge. Amazon Instant Video does not charge you anything to use it, but you will have to pay to purchase or rent the available videos. Prime members do have many titles available with their membership, which is $99 a year. Hulu is a little cheaper here, but not by much. If you plan to purchase or rent movies or television shows on Amazon, as well as pay for Prime membership, though, the price will start to go up.

They both have some major benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the right one for you means knowing what you want. While Amazon Instant Video will give you major titles as they are released and will offer a large selection of both movies and television shows, it will not give you access to new shows like Hulu Plus does. They both have a large selection and they both have their unique benefits, so it is best to approach this decision with your own interests in mind. If you prefer new shows, Hulu is best. If you prefer renting or purchasing new movies and full seasons of shows, Amazon Instant Video is best.

Choosing a Set Top Box Like The WD TV Live

A number of set top boxes are becoming popular for video watching on the television. Two of the more affordable boxes are something many should look into. These are the Western Digital WD TV Live Plus and the very popular Apple TV.

WD TV Live Plus

The WD TV Live Plus is a new type of Set Top Box that can play Netflix movies as well as your own videos contained on a hard drive. This is called more of a digital media streamer as well as a Netflix player. The WD TV can play such an extensive and varied media formats that it covers almost every format you have in your media arsenal. You can play in addition to Netflix, MediaFly, Flickr, Pandora Radio, Live365 Internet Radio and YouTube as well as other free channels. It can play up to 1080p too.

The WD TV Live Plus purpose is to be able to stream movies as well as photos, videos and music from USB drives directly to your HDTV. It does this extremely well and recently has become very popular because of the ease of streaming your own media as well as its price point which for what it does is pretty inexpensive.

The WD TV has a plethora of connection options to choose from. There are an assortment of plugs for connections as well as the most common USB and Ethernet as well as WiFi. There is no in-built WiFi connection. But the WD TV can accept many wireless USB adapters that will enable it to connect to the internet via WiFi. Since the USB connection is standard the WD TV Live can read from various hard drive or CD drives, thumb drives and card readers too.

On the left side is a single USB port, while round the back is an Ethernet port and two jack sockets that join the existing HDMI, optical digital audio, second USB port, and power socket. The two jack plugs are ‘AV OUT’ and ‘Y Pb Pr’ use proprietary cables to add stereo audio and composite video and component video, respectively.

The menu area is well thought out. You can view media by three different ways. You can browse your media either as a list, as thumbnails or as a list with a preview on the right.

When you are viewing the various media, you can zoom into and pan around images. Video files can be fast-forwarded, rewound and skipped through by chapter. These are very nice features.

The WD TV Live Plus makes is a great media streaming that comes in a very small footprint and makes playing your multimedia files on your TV easier than ever before.

Apple TV
The Apple TV is an extremely well thought out 720p movie player. It’s main purpose is to stream video from the likes of Netflix, iTunes movie rental and watch the MLB.TV and NBA internet channels as well as well as podcast shows from iTunes, YouTube, Flickr as well as internet radio.

Connections are very simple. The Apple TV unit plugs into a HDTV via a HDMI cable. Apple for some reason chose not to include the HDMI cable and it has to be purchased in addition to the unit. If you want to plug the Apple TV into a stereo there is an optional plug for an optical cable. Be aware that the Apple TV cannot be used with older television sets that just have an RGB connection since it only accepts an HDMI cable.

The menu screen is very simple and intuitive to navigate within. I like the fact that it has iTunes movie rental. iTunes movie rental is just like going down to your video store and renting a movie. You pay a fee for each movie you watch. I prefer this to the old fashioned way of going down to the video rental store. When in the iTunes section, you can choose a movie by seeing box art as well as a detailed description. There is even a preview button to see a preview of the movie before renting it from iTunes.

The Netflix section lets you watch movies from their vast archive of online movies for a small monthly fee. This is probably the area you will use most. And if you like to watch lots of movies, this area is a money saver. For the movie buff you will be in heaven with the choices of films that are available. There are also lots of foreign movies as well as lots of documentaries which are fun to watch too.

You won’t go wrong with either of these set top box units. If your main goal is to stream your own movies, pictures and music from your own hard drives then the WD TV Live Plus is the way to go. If you like to rent movies and don’t have a vast collection of your own to choose from then the Apple TV will probably be the choice for you. Whatever you decide, it will save you because you will be able to do away with a few of the premium movie channels offered from your cable company. This will pay for itself fast.