Download Movies

Category: Video

I've been using Netflix to rent movies by mail, which is okay, but with high-speed connections so common now, why can't I just download movies I want to watch from the Internet?

download movies

Downloading Movies at Home

Who says you can't? Maybe Blockbuster and Netflix don't offer online movie downloads (yet), but there are several places online where you can keep up with the Hollywood hustle without ever leaving home. Due to the large file sizes (approximately 500-800MB for downloads) and bandwidth requirements for streaming video, you'll need plenty of hard drive space and a DSL or cable modem connection.

And in addition to space and speed limitations, there are also copyright and legal issues. But here are some sites where you can legally download movies without breaking the bank...

  • CinemaNow charges $9.95 monthly for access to thousands of titles, but this doesn't cover recently released movies. To download newer movies, a subscription isn't necessary -- you just pay a flat fee per title. You can choose to download movies or watch streaming video. Downloading takes longer yet is better viewing quality. But if you're in a rush to view the movie, you can start streaming video within 30 seconds of the download.
  • MovieFlix is the only service that is compatible with both Mac and Windows computing platforms, as the others are Windows-only services. You can register for the free basic service, which gives you access to older movies and television shows, yet streaming is the only option. A MovieFlix Plus membership costs $7.95 a month and gives you access to the full movie library of over 4,000 titles.
  • MovieLink is an online movie service that allows you to "rent" or purchase your videos. Rentals can be stored on your hard drive for up to 30 days and watched during any 24-hour period, which is a nice option of you're travelling with a laptop. New releases are about five dollars per movie. Older movies are two dollars and students with an id get a 25% discount.

  • STARZ! Ticket costs $12.95 per month for selection of several hundred movies combining recent and old titles. Subscription to STARZ! Ticket also includes a streaming feed of the STARZ! Cable channel.
  • Netflix, the popular mail order movie rental service, has begun to roll out a new service called Watch Now, which gives customers one hour of online video for every dollar spent on monthly service. If you spend $15 a month for the Netflix-by-mail service, you get 15 hours of free online video watching. The interesting part is that you can watch bits and pieces of different titles if you like. Watch only your favorite parts of a favorite movie, preview a title, or watch the last half of a show you missed on TV. The downside is that this is web-based, so you have to watch on your computer screen. Netflix will be making the new feature available to subscribers in a phased roll-out over the first half of 2007.

All you need to play movie downloads is a player such as the Windows Media Player, Real Player or iTunes. You may need to download some additional software, but your player should walk you through the process with a few clicks.

Other Movie Download Options

BitTorrent (see Downloading With Bittorrent) is a peer-to-peer file sharing program. Users browse the web to find a file of interest, then download it with a Bit Torrent client program. The benefit is that it provides a fast, efficient means of distributing large audio and video files on the web. The downside: downloading copyrighted materials is illegal, and the entertainment industry is taking aggresive steps to detect and punish online video piracy.

Limewire (see What is Limewire File Sharing?)is another free file sharing program. Limewire will run on Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms, and although the software itself is perfectly legal, the same legal caveats apply to any copyrighted materials you download.

YouTube (see What is YouTube?) and Google Video both use Flash video to play movies on their site. This makes it a little difficult to download the videos to your computer, but there are some tools like KeepVid and SaveTube that make it pretty simple.

Got comments on downloading movies? Post your thoughts below...

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Most recent comments on "Download Movies"

Posted by:

21 Mar 2007

See or or -- All provide links to flash videos of recent movies and popular TV series. Avoid any shown on YouTube as the quality is appalling.

Posted by:

21 Mar 2007

Not sure about the others but Movielink's downloads are only available in stereo. I've communicated with them and they say that sending files that have surround sound (Dolby, THX etc...) are too big. They said that they have no immediate plans to alter this policy.

Posted by:

Jim Gansle
21 Mar 2007

Just wondering why you didn't mention eztakes.

EDITOR'S NOTE: And a dozen others, I'm sure...

Posted by:

21 Mar 2007

Seems like leaving out the iTunes Music Store, which is available to both Mac and Windows users, leaves out one of the more important players in this market.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks for mentioning it.

Posted by:

11 Oct 2007 -- You will be amazed !!

EDITOR'S NOTE: I am amazed, but only because they have not been shut down and sued out of existence, yet.

Posted by:

08 Nov 2007

if you are trying to download youtube videos you can also use its decent one

Posted by:

07 Dec 2007

Many sites are available to watch movies online. Tube hunter from automatically detects any flv file and notifies you to download it. Also converts it to .AVI at the same time. Makes it very easy to download from youtube, veoh etc. etc. etc.

Posted by:

08 Feb 2008

There are many people who pirate movies, I'm just glad you found out how to stop them.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I did?? Wow. Someone at the MPAA owes me a lot of money.

Posted by:

09 Feb 2008 - a place where you can search and download YouTube, MetaCafe and Break videos.

Posted by:

26 Mar 2009

I guess this article needs to be updated now. I was searching for help on getting our netflix watch it now movies to stream better. We have a broadband connection but still get a lot of pauses. We are planning to update our router but wondering what else we can do.

Posted by:

John Burnitt
21 Oct 2009

I have used ROKU for some time now and it's great. It costs a $100 and you have to have a Netflix membership of at least two movies ($9.95 a month)

Posted by:

04 May 2010

oh, cool staff. it is very nice for sharing .
share you a
best video converter i have used. wish helps someone.

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