The quality of streaming
Not that long ago, there was no place quite like the movie theatre. Seeing brand new films on the big screen was really the only way to watch. But with the prices of cinema tickets increasing, despite the deals that come with cinema memberships, it’s really not that surprising that film-lovers have sought out alternative means of viewing.
The quality of TV has also improved and the made-for-TV movie has become something quite different. With networks investing in their output and producing feature-length films, original dramas and serials, the current online audience is truly spoilt for choice. For some, nothing beats the comfort of staying in and their on-demand service can be activated in just a few clicks – not to mention that there’s plenty more opportunity for some Gogglebox-esque commentary among your friends, which may not be appreciated in the cinema.
Of course, from time to time a movie does come along that must be watched on the big screen with the best surround sound possible. But, at home, when all that’s required is high-speed internet, viewing films is possible on most devices, including game consoles. There are free movie sites – some of which have their own mobile apps – offering films of varying quality, platforms that enable people to stream by digitally renting or buying films that are not-long out of the cinema, as well as the paid-for websites like Netflix and Amazon Prime that require users to sign up before they can view what’s on offer.
Streaming content goes further than the movies, with people also streaming music rather than downloading or buying physical albums, and using programmes like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube to create and adapt their own playlists. It’s often also a more direct way to interact with artists, with these online platforms enabling listeners to comment and react to the tracks they like. It could be argued that the decline in the number of actual CDs being manufactured and sold is good for the environment as well as suiting our on-demand, digital-friendly lifestyle, though, on the other hand, there is the risk of varying degrees of sound quality in digital files – as well as the loss of high-street chains.
It’s no surprise that we’re spending more time online – doing anything from shopping to checking Facebook and even looking for new slots – and that we are looking for visual and audio entertainment there. No one can say that the excitement of watching a movie in the cinema or the experience of rifling through your vinyl collection is something that we would be willing to give up, but the overwhelming popularity of streaming shows that we are continuing to make changes to the way we live our everyday lives.
The editorial unit