By Harry McCracken | Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 8:22 am
Watching movies over the Internet offers instant gratification. DVDs and Blu-Ray feel more permanent, and look consistently good even if you have the world’s most sluggish network. So Amazon is offering a pretty clever combo deal: Disc+ on Demand, which gives you a free video-on-demand version of a movie when you buy the DVD or Blu-Ray edition. You can watch the on-demand version on a PC, a Mac, or an Amazon-compatible device (such as a TiVo, a Roku, or certain Panasonic and Sony TVs).
It’s only available for certain titles, and there’s no new technological magic involved–Amazon’s just throwing in access to the streaming version. But it’s an attractive package, and Amazon, as a purveyor of both shiny discs and on-demand video, is one of the few companies in a position to offer it.
Amazon is pitching the offer as a bonus for disc buyers that gives them immediate access to the movie they just purchased. But in some cases the DVD or Blu-Ray costs the same as purchasing the stand-alone streaming version–the Terminator is $9.99 on Blu-Ray or as an on-demand purchase. So you can also think of Disc+ on Demand as providing a nice, permanent copy of the movie you bought in on-demand form.
Of course, it would be even cooler if you could go for the trifecta and buy a movie as a disc, a stream and a download you could put on a phone or other mobile device. There are DVDs that come with iPod/iPhone versions, but I don’t know of any that are part of Disc+ on Demand.