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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > TV, Home Theater & Audio > Movie Download

Movie Download Cost

How Much Does a Movie Download Cost?

low costRentals: $2-$5average costTypically: $2-$20 per movie
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Many online services offer movies you can download or watch on your PC, saving a trip to the rental store. Downloadable movies can cost more than purchasing or renting at a store, but you pay for the convenience.

Typical costs:

  • Apple's iTunes[1] software offers more than 500 movies to download. New releases are $12.99 during the first week of release, and $14.99 thereafter; older titles start at $9.99; and short films are $1.99. The downloaded movies can be viewed on a Mac or PC or a video iPod. Recommended system requirements for the iTunes Store include: PC, Windows 2000 or above; Mac, OS X 10.3.9 or above.
  • Cinema Now[2] offers three different ways to download content: download-to-own[3] , which provides an unlimited viewing period on up to 3 devices for $9.95 to $19.99; rent; pay-per-view for $0.49 to $3.99; and Burn to DVD, for $8.99 to $19.99. Recommended system requirements for PC include Windows XP or above.
  • MovieLink[4] , offers downloadable movies for purchase for $1.99 to $19.99 or rental for $1.95 to $4.99. MovieLink's movies cannot be downloaded to an iPod or PSP, but can be downloaded to certain PMC devices[5] . On a PC, MovieLink requires Windows 2000 or above. MovieLink currently is not available for the Mac.
  • Amazon Unbox[6] offers downloadable movies for purchase for $9.88 to $14.99 or rental for $1.99 to $3.99. On a PC, Amazon Unbox requires Windows XP or above.
  • Walmart Video Downloads offer downloadable movies for $7.50 to $19.88. On a PC, Wal-Mart Video Downloads requires Windows XP or above.
  • Vongo[7] provides unlimited movie downloads for $9.99 a month. Nearly all of the newer, popular and quality titles are available pay-per-view at $3.99 per movie. Vongo subscribers also have access to the Starz television channel via the Vongo browser. Not all movies are available in a portable format; check movie details before downloading. Vongo requires Windows XP or above.
Related articles: TV Show Online, Online Video Rentals

What should be included:
  • Purchased downloadable movies are usually saved on your PC. You should also be able to burn your movie file to a DVD as backup, but you won't be able to watch the file on a DVD player.
  • Downloaded movie rentals allow you to watch the movie as many times as you'd like during a 24-hour period. Some give you up to 30 days to start your 24 hours of viewing.
Additional costs:
  • Internet access is required, and a high-speed connection is recommended.
  • Most services let you watch the downloaded movie on a TV, however you'll need to connect your computer to your TV manually. For iTunes users, the Apple TV[8] provides easy connectivity between your computer and TV and costs around $299 from[9] .
  • For non-iTunes users, check your TV's user guide to find the correct type of device or cable you need to connect your TV to your PC. MovieLink[10] and Best Buy[11] can help you decide which cables you may need. Most services let you download a movie onto a portable player. iTunes is compatible with the Apple iPod. Other PC-based movie download services (such as MovieLink or Vongo) work with Microsoft Portable Media Center (PMC) devices. CinemaNow, Amazon and Walmart's movies work with some Windows PlaysForSure[12] portable players.
  • Some PC-based movie download services such as MovieLink and Vongo let you watch your downloaded videos on your TV using your Xbox 360 game console. In addition to the Xbox 360, you will need an Xbox 360 Wireless Media Adapter (around $99.99), a PC running Windows XP or Vista, and a wired or wireless home network.
  • Amazon Unbox service lets you use your Series2 or Series 3 TiVo DVR to watch downloaded Unbox videos on your TV. An 80-hr Series2 TiVo is $99.99; a 180-hr Series3 TiVo is $199.99; and a 300-hr Series3 HD TiVo is $799.99. TiVo service is $16.95 a month.
  • MovieLink[13] has a sale for first-time customers, $1.99 or less on all rentals.
Shopping for a movie download:
  • Take advantage of any free trials available such as Vongo's 14-day free trial, or CinemaNow's 7-day free trial for a platinum membership.
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