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Old 09-30-09, 10:13 PM   #1
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Location: Tampa, FL
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Default iTunes vs. Amazon Streaming vs. DVD for TV Show Seasons


So, I mostly play games and read, but I do sometimes watch TV shows on DVD. I like to get a whole season at once and shoot through it over a weekend when I feel like taking a gaming break. One thing important to know up front is that I am not a big visual quality guy for video content, Blu-Ray looks better but it's not a real big deal to me at all.

I have always bought DVDs because that is the standard, but I have been looking into download alternatives recently. iTunes and Amazon are the only ones I really know of for consistent, whole season purchases. I bought one episode on each of Law and Order Criminal Intent, a show I love that has been very slow to come to DVD, and am interested in opinions on the differences.

iTunes has a slick interface, which is why I and most others use it for music on our PCs. It is very mouse centered and simple to look at and use. You have to download the episodes, but hey look a little better than streaming on Amazon I think, though this could be a placebo effect. I assume iTunes video is the same as iTunes music, which means I will have to back everything up or risk losing all my purchases forever, which with video is a much bigger issue, considering the sizes of content.

Amazon is nice in that it attaches video to your account and it can always be accessed, so no need to back up files. That said, the streaming video, even in HD, looks a little worse than iTunes to me, and more of their shows are not even available in HD, making the experience look less polished. It is nice to instantly click the video though and have it play, plus prices seem a little lower on average. The interface is not nearly as slick as iTunes though, no surprise, and the download option, besides being useless, uses a really crappy player called Amazon Unbox that doesn't even seem to work on Win7 properly.

The main reason I find either of these services tempting is because they get the shows much sooner. As I mentioned at the start, they have Law and Order Criminal Intent all through the newest episode, and DVD only has seasons 1-3, which are 5+ years old. Waiting for DVD versions means waiting YEARS longer.

What I am almost tempted to do is learn how to torrent and "pirate" these shows until the DVD releases, but I assume they will be TV rips and have the ads and logos and pop-ups like TIVO would, and I can't stand that crap, it's why I don't have cable.

So... long story short: which do you reccommend for my needs?
I gots one of them high powered gaming computers with an EVGA GTX 480 video thingy and a Q9550 processing device and also one of them Windows 7 64 operating programs with 4GB of some Corsair 1033 DDR2 ram.

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