- DIRECTV Authorized Dealer
Authorized Dealer

Movie Watching Options – From Theaters to Streaming

TV screens showing different movies Watching a movie can be a relaxing home experience or part of an exciting night on the town, and the various methods of watching movies put cinematic experiences within reach at all times. Choosing the best option for watching a movie depends on time constraints, features of a specific movies and personal preferences.

Movie Theaters

Seeing a new release in the movie theater can be an exciting experience. Theater options including 3D, IMAX and digital surround sound make watching action movies, thrillers and visually stunning movies even more worthwhile. Re-releases of older, popular films give fans of these films the opportunity to see them on a large format screen that cannot be used in a personal residence.

Going to the movies is not without its downsides. Crowded theaters can make getting the right seat a challenge, and anyone who arrives late to a popular movie can face straining their neck in the front row or straining to see one side of the screen by being stuck on the extreme right or left of the seating area. Many people associate going to the movies with having popcorn, nachos or another traditional theater snacks, and concessions tend to cost four to five times as much as the same food would cost at a grocery store or fast food restaurant.

On Demand

On Demand is convenient because it is available on a home television at any time of the day or night. New releases that have not even been released on DVD or Blu-ray are often available through the On Demand service, and high definition rental options are available.

The downside to renting a movie through On Demand is the expense. There is a price to be paid for the convenience of renting new movies at any time from home, and one rental that is available for 24 hours can cost between $5 and $10 depending on the release date and popularity of the movie. People who watch many new movies from home can easily see their cable bill rise significantly.


Channels that are included in most cable packages often offer movies that have been out on DVD for at least a year, but these offerings will include commercials. However, cable customers have the option to pay for premium channels that have newer movies and no commercials to interrupt the flow of the movie watching experience.

People who like to watch movies on a regular basis, enjoy the high definition offered through premium cable channels and are open to watching the limited offerings of premium channels can get their movie fix through television. A DVR service offers the ability to record movies for viewing at a later time, so the set schedule of television networks is not necessarily a negative factor.

DVD and Blu-ray Rentals

Video rental stores are becoming harder to find, but video rental kiosks seem to be available at every grocery store and gas station. The convenience of picking up a new release while running errands is appealing, but selection can be limited for popular titles.

A benefit of renting a physical movie is that there is no need to wait for a download and no possibility of waiting for a movie to buffer if Internet connection is interrupted. However, physical damage to a disc can make viewing impossible, and getting a replacement disc is difficult when a kiosk is used.

Internet Streaming

Internet streaming from free services like Hulu or paid services including Amazon Prime and Netflix is a convenient option that is often cost effective. New releases are typically not available through these options, but some movies that are only a few months old can be rented and streamed on any device that uses a wifi connection.

Unfortunately, some people do not have the Internet speed necessary to make Internet streaming worth it. The movie watching experience can be negatively affected by stops and starts caused by a poor connection, and the quality of the picture may fluctuate when connection speeds slow down. People who feel that picture quality is important when watching a movie may not want to watch a movie through streaming unless they have a consistently reliable Internet connection.