6 tips and tricks for quarantined movie-streaming newbies


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Our colleague Brian Truitt from the USA TODAY Life workforce is right here to share some tricks to begin streaming video-on-demand. 

It’s a distressing time for film lovers who adore going to the theater, since cinemas have shuttered everywhere in the nation because of the coronavirus.

The silver lining: It’s an ideal time to dive headfirst into the world of streaming video-on-demand digitally. For one factor, it’s the one place you’ll discover new movies within the close to future. “Trolls World Tour” might be out there April 10 – when it was imagined to be on the massive display screen, however can as an alternative be seen in your most well-liked system. Different theatrical titles getting early releases for streaming between now and subsequent week embody “Onward,” “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” “Birds of Prey” and “The Manner Again.”

Previous-school viewers preferring the theater or bodily media may be hesitant to wade into VOD waters. Listed below are some starter suggestions and methods for those who’re a streaming beginner.

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Margot Robbie reprises her “Suicide Squad” character, who adores egg sandwiches and chaos, in “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).” (Picture: CLAUDETTE BARIUS)

A Films Anyplace account is your new finest buddy.

When you don’t have one, join. A lot of the main studios (together with Disney, Warner Bros. and Common) use it as the primary digital conduit for his or her on-line catalogs. When you’ve bought a film that’s appropriate from one of many major platforms – Walmart’s Vudu, Fandango Now, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video and Apple iTunes – you’ll be capable of watch it throughout all their respective apps in addition to on Films Anyplace and YouTube. (Movies from different studios might be bought individually by your most well-liked platform.)

You would possibly have already got a digital assortment (and never understand it).

Collectors of Blu-rays and DVDs would possibly wish to verify their circumstances: Lots of motion pictures offered in the previous couple of years include codes for digital copies, so unused slips will be the digital equal of buried treasure. Older codes would possibly have expiration dates which have handed, however earlier than you begin sulking, Vudu has a menu to redeem digital codes. Seek for your film, enter the code and there’s an excellent probability it would nonetheless be legitimate.

Ian (voiced by Tom Holland, left) and Barley (Chris Pratt) go on an epic quest within the Pixar animated fantasy “Onward.” (Picture: PIXAR)

Offers are all the time on the desk – although it doesn’t damage to attend.

So that you’ve made the plunge and are prepared to begin constructing your library however wish to watch your cash. Excessive-profile new releases reminiscent of “Onward” and “Birds of Prey” are often priced at $19.99, whereas some smaller motion pictures and unbiased flicks value $9.99 to $14.99. (Additionally, if the HD and extremely HD/4K variations value the identical, all the time select the latter.) When you’re dying to have one thing on the primary day, cool beans.

However for those who’re prepared to attend just a few weeks, newer choices usually come down 5 to 10 bucks relying on reputation. (Leases for brand new movies are regularly round six bucks, although there’s the occasional 99-cent particular.) iTunes reductions movies often, Vudu gives month-to-month and weekly gross sales, and Films Anyplace has a bit that rounds up day by day offers throughout all digital platforms. Fandango Now’s at the moment providing a code for 20% off purchases for a month if you join and purchase or hire a film.


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Whereas downloads are all the time attainable, default to wi-fi streaming.

It’s pure, particularly for those who’re used to studying e-books that don’t take up an excessive amount of system house, to wish to park a film in your pill, smartphone or laptop computer after which watch it each time. That’s wonderful for those who’re on the transfer, however throwing a bunch of movies in your system can shortly eat up invaluable storage: A obtain of the two-hour “Joker” alone takes up 5.6 GB, which is sort of a bit for those who solely have, say, 32 or 64 GB in your machine. Each time you’ll be able to, stream by way of wi-fi or cell service you probably have a limiteless knowledge plan.

Extra: Netflix, Disney+, and extra: The perfect exhibits and films to maintain you entertained at dwelling

An Apple TV streaming system is a should for individuals who’d moderately watch a digital film on a tv than a cellphone. (Picture: MARK LENNIHAN/AP)

If you would like a quasi-theatrical expertise, suppose sensible – as in a wise TV.

Simply the considered watching a film in your cellphone at house is an enormous turnoff for some. Many new HD TVs can connect with the Web and run varied streaming apps like Vudu and Amazon. One other chance is to make use of Google Chromecast or different solution to mirror your laptop computer or system display screen in your TV. Or put money into a media participant, reminiscent of Roku or Apple TV, to stream movies – these are finest if you wish to take advantage of your 4K ultra-HD TV. 

However be sure to’re prepared earlier than throwing out all of your discs.

Whereas Blu-rays and the like would possibly get in the best way you probably have them stacked up throughout your own home, it may be onerous for some devotees to surrender bodily media. Having a DVD round of your favourite film is useful when, for instance, your Web’s on the fritz. When you begin getting in a extra 2020 mindset, nonetheless, Vudu’s disc-to-digital program permits you to convert your DVDs (for $5 a pop) and Blu-rays ($2) to HD digital flicks.


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