According to The New York Times, the Internet movie download era is more distant than pundits think, for six colossal reasons:
First, downloadable movies require high-speed Internet connections - and only about half of American households have them. That number won't change much for years.
Second, downloaded movies don't include the director's commentaries, deleted scenes, alternate endings, alternate language soundtracks or other DVD goodies. It's just not as rich an experience.
Third, movie downloads don't deliver the audio and video quality of DVD discs - even standard-def ones. Internet movies are compressed to download faster, which affects picture quality, and offer older, more compressed audio soundtracks than modern DVDs.
Forth, today's movie-download services bear the greasy policy fingerprints of the movie studio executives - and when it comes to the new age of digital movies, these people are not, ahem, known for their vision.
Fifth, no matter which movie-download service you choose, you'll find yourself facing the same confusing, ridiculous time limits for viewing. You have to start watching the movie you've rented within 30 days, and once you start, you have to finish it within 24 hours. For example, the 24-hour limit. Suppose you typically don't start a movie until 7:30 p.m., after dinner and homework are put away. If you don't have time to finish the movie in one sitting, you can't resume at 7:30 tomorrow night; at that point, the download will have self-destructed.
Sixth, there's the fact that to protect their cash cows, most studios don't release their movies on the Internet until (at least) a month after they've been available on DVD.
The rest of The New York Times article reviews and rates four currently available movie-download services - Apple TV, TiVo/Amazon Unbox, Xbox 360, and Vudu. Xbox 360 receives an overall rating of "D", the lowest rating of the four services.