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BDFL
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  Reply # 978125 31-Jan-2014 14:43 Send private message

I try to keep the list of legal video, movie and TV downloads and streaming options in New Zealand up to date.

The list doesn't include options such as using a VPN to access Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video. This is in itself is not illegal but I am only listing the services available to New Zealanders without any system change.

Also worth noting just because you pay for a movie doesn't mean it's legal. This is mainly true to those Russian-based services that offer the latest movies (not even released to legal services) at cheap prices. Some people believe that just because they paid for that it's legal. In most cases it's a pirated copy. Just because someone accepts money for it doesn't mean it's a legal distributor.




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  Reply # 978126 31-Jan-2014 14:45 Send private message

afe66: Where are you downloading the content from...
I'm keen on an commercial/legal source of movies that are in a format that plays on XBMC.


A.


I can't actually think of a *legal* method of getting most movies for use with an XBMC (or similar) setup in NZ...   Personally I don't see anything ethically wrong with buying DVDs\Blurays, ripping them, then sticking them in a cupboard; though it is of course technically illegal. 

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  Reply # 978128 31-Jan-2014 14:47 Send private message

Forgot to add. As above, hard to find a legal NON-DRM download in New Zealand. Almost all legal video are DRM-protected if not available in streaming-only format.




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  Reply # 978131 31-Jan-2014 14:51 Send private message

I was just making a dig at what was probably good old fashioned piracy,

but thought I'd offer an option to prove me wrong by listing such as service that offered such movies in an XBMC option.

;-)


A.

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  Reply # 978132 31-Jan-2014 14:51 Send private message

Yea I find stuffing around with 'ripping' and getting the proper compression a bit of a mission.  So even if I own a copy of a movie, I will still download a copy to store on my drive, as someone else usually has done a better job than me.  This is also quicker to download one already made than creating my digital copy.  Also most of the time with new DVD/BluRay releases you get a digital format available. 




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  Reply # 978136 31-Jan-2014 14:58 Send private message

Insert DVD, open program XXXXXXXXX, click source, click normal, click go.
Have dinner. Open dvd drive and put your disc you bought in a box in garage.
No downloading required.

A.

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  Reply # 978137 31-Jan-2014 14:59 Send private message

i store on a NAS so its easier to play around the house (tvs, computers, tablets etc). but also use netflix for a lot.

have been getting in ultraviolet recently. i have been reluctant to buy series on vudu since its tied to vudu (which can be a PITA to watch sometimes) but with UV, i can watch it on flixster or vudu or several other servies. so thats appealing. will probably buy some tv series that way.

even if i have the shows locally on my nas and im in the netflix app and its on netflix, ill often just stream it via that, easier than switching apps.

plus with streaming you dont have to worry about if your client can handle the codecs as long as it supports the streaming service (google tv, androids etc)




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  Reply # 978165 31-Jan-2014 15:10 Send private message

afe66: Insert DVD, open program XXXXXXXXX, click source, click normal, click go.
Have dinner. Open dvd drive and put your disc you bought in a box in garage.
No downloading required.

A.


Urgh, requires getting off the couch to change the DVD (yep I'm that lazy lol)




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  Reply # 978176 31-Jan-2014 15:27 Send private message

PoHq: My viewing / storage habits have changed. I used to store everything on a hard drive. Fill it then get another and so on. Nowadays I store next to nothing, it's pointless IMO. I always used to keep stuff and think I'll watch them again someday but I just don't have the time. There is so many TV shows these days that are of such a high standard that I can hardly keep up with them alone so there is no way I'd be going back through an old hard drive to re watch the wire :-) 
NZ Data caps have also come a long way so if I did decide I wanted to re watch something I'd just re download it. There was a time when you felt like you HAD to keep anything you downloaded as you damn well used half your monthly data allowance to get it!

80% of what i watch is streamed on Netflix and HULU. Anything else is downloaded to the NAS watched then deleted. Part of the appeal of streaming services for me is not have gigabytes of media to manage.


I'm with you, I delete any downloaded movies/TV after I watch it. I never watch things again so don't see the point in keeping it. The only thing I have taking up space and growing is my music collection which is all lossless and increasingly moving to hi-res which gets rather large. I also have Netflix\Hulu which has cut down my need to download and I also use iTunes for movies here and there via Apple TV.




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  Reply # 978238 31-Jan-2014 16:46 Send private message

afe66: Insert DVD, open program XXXXXXXXX, click source, click normal, click go.
Have dinner. Open dvd drive and put your disc you bought in a box in garage.
No downloading required.

A.


Exactly what I do with Handbrake and its so easy and then I use MetaX to insert the meta data, which for movies is dead simple as you simply run a search within MetaX for the movie and it spews out tons of results which have all the meta data you need.  I convert my Blurays to MP4 and use iTunes running on my server to play through my Apple TV's. 

If it's a big blockbuster then I still pull out the Bluray disc and watch it via my Oppo 103 Multi-region Bluray player (which is awesome if anyone is looking at buying one) as I do enjoy the full home theatre experience for tehse type of movies - for the romcom's and drama's the iTunes version works just fine for us and any degredation of quality is minimal and really its the audio more than anything that suffers (as the aTV only handles 5.1DD).

I do have a few movies downloaded from iTunes (mostly as digital copies from the Blurays but some stand-alone) but I don't like the DRM aspect and more importantly there are issues with content being removed from the iTunes store so if you ever lost the digital copy (e.g. disk failure etc.) you aren't guaranteed to be able to re-download - don't have that issue with ripping my Blurays.




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  Reply # 978242 31-Jan-2014 16:49 Send private message

sidefx:
Buzz Bumble: 
The original theatrical version was released, but (from memory) only on DVD, not Blu-ray.


I'm not sure it was even released on DVD; I think maybe only VHS and laser disc?  I remember being quite pleased when I got the final VHS release because the first DVD release had all the changes to "Han shoots first" and all that. I still have them but no way to play them, lol.

EDIT: As for the re-release of the unedited versions... the story goes that they made the edits directly on the original film when they stuffed around with it so (supposedly) the originals don't even exist any more and there can never be a re-release.  There are various theories around how implausible this sounds, but I wouldn't hold your breath.


You're absolutely right that even the DVD's were altered and yes I've certainly read all the consipracy theories re no original of the films being available - I actually think we'll find out if that is true or not now that Disney own the rights as if they think releasing that version, and particularly in conjunction with Ep. 7, will make them money they most probably will.

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  Reply # 978318 31-Jan-2014 19:16 Send private message

sidefx:
I'm not sure it was even released on DVD; I think maybe only VHS and laser disc? I remember being quite pleased when I got the final VHS release because the first DVD release had all the changes to "Han shoots first" and all that. I still have them but no way to play them, lol.


Yep. I've got a huge Star Wars collection which includes the VHS tapes for all six movies, as well as various DVD releases and the Blu-ray release (and the original vinyl LP audio plays). I bought one of the last available VHS / DVD player combo boxes especially so I could still be able to watch the various old VHS tapes I've still got.



EDIT: As for the re-release of the unedited versions... the story goes that they made the edits directly on the original film when they stuffed around with it so (supposedly) the originals don't even exist any more and there can never be a re-release. There are various theories around how implausible this sounds, but I wouldn't hold your breath.


The original DVD release was an edited version, but I think one of the more recent releases included the original theatrical versions as "Bonus" material (as it says on this Wookieepedia page) ... although the quality is reportedly not that great.

"Each movie comes as a two-disc set—one disc is the 2004 remastered version of the film, while the second disc is a version that captures its original theatrical presentation."

I'll double-check through my DVDs over the weekend.

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  Reply # 978521 1-Feb-2014 14:35 Send private message

Yep, the 2006 2-disc DVD re-releases of the Star Wars movies do have both the Special Edition (tweaked) and the "theatrical" versions of all three of the original Trilogy. I haven't got time to actually load it up and check all the scenes to see if Han shoots first, etc., but the box cover definitely says:

"Limited Edition
Digitally remastered movie
Plus the original theatrical version"


and on the back it lists the date 1977 next to "theatrical version" for the very first movie "Star Wars" (now called "Episode IV: A New Hope"). But as above, some people did complain about the format and the quality.

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  Reply # 978596 1-Feb-2014 17:32 Send private message

geekiegeek:
PoHq: My viewing / storage habits have changed. I used to store everything on a hard drive. Fill it then get another and so on. Nowadays I store next to nothing, it's pointless IMO. I always used to keep stuff and think I'll watch them again someday but I just don't have the time. There is so many TV shows these days that are of such a high standard that I can hardly keep up with them alone so there is no way I'd be going back through an old hard drive to re watch the wire :-) 
NZ Data caps have also come a long way so if I did decide I wanted to re watch something I'd just re download it. There was a time when you felt like you HAD to keep anything you downloaded as you damn well used half your monthly data allowance to get it!

80% of what i watch is streamed on Netflix and HULU. Anything else is downloaded to the NAS watched then deleted. Part of the appeal of streaming services for me is not have gigabytes of media to manage.


I'm with you, I delete any downloaded movies/TV after I watch it. I never watch things again so don't see the point in keeping it. The only thing I have taking up space and growing is my music collection which is all lossless and increasingly moving to hi-res which gets rather large. I also have Netflix\Hulu which has cut down my need to download and I also use iTunes for movies here and there via Apple TV.


I don't. Sometimes I re-watch things. With 4TB external drives going for about $230 retail these days then (assuming SD material converted to reasonable quality MP4 by way of example) that's about 6cents to store a film and 2-3 cents for a TV episode.

Easier to move material you are done with off then network onto a disk en masse than dither about whether or not it may be re-watched at a future point.

My network storage is small (circa 5TB) and getting on the full side. I'm in the process of pricing up a better/beefier storage solution, as well as a new desktop for video work and a dedicated HTPC. I have pretty much decided what I want. I just need to finish some work that needs doing on the house, and make sure I line up another contract for when my current one finishes, before I part with the cash.

In terms of compressing/storing material, I recommend Vidcoder (it's free and uses the excellent handbrake engine). I rip my DVDs as ISOs to the computer, and then queue them up in Vidcoder for batch encoding which can run overnight. DVDs compress down to from 800MB to 1.4GB using Constant Quality Setting of 21, which I find gives good quality.



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