How to see Oscar-worthy movies before they’re out
The Academy Awards are fast approaching, and many of us movie buffs might have assumed that means two things: it’s too late to see most of the nominated films in a theater, and it’s going to be a while before Argo, Zero Dark Thirty or Les Miserables are out on DVD or Blu-ray.
The good news is that you’re not totally out of luck. In fact, the rise of digital distribution systems has made it easy to enjoy films a number of different ways. You just need to know what the right systems are and how to access them. The power of streaming can put some movies on your screen immediately, even ahead of Oscar night on February 24.
Get your stream on
Apart from a TV, the thing you’re likely to need most of all is the ability to stream to said TV. Oscar-nominated movies are available through a number of services, but they all have one thing in common – they need a way to get from the Internet to your screen.
Among the best ways to access streaming content from the Internet is through video game consoles. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 both can handle the job, but the former requires a yearly subscription. Both can be pricey, too, so it pays to shop around at Best Buy (which offers 3 percent cash back), Walmart ( currently offers 8 percent cash back), Target (with 2 percent cash back) and GameStop (with 2.5 percent cash back, plus used sales).
You can also invest in streaming boxes from Roku or Western Digital if game consoles aren’t your thing. They’re often cheaper and available in many of the same places.
Find your movies
Some subscription and free services currently carry Oscar-nominated movies. For example, Amazon’s video streaming service includes a number of rentable nominees that can be streamed to lots of devices, and the same is true of Vudu. It’s also possible to save money on your rentals by buying Amazon gift cards from other retailers.
It takes a little hardware, but once you’re set for streaming video to your TV, you’ll likely never go back. It’s a highly convenient way to get hold of video rentals, subscription services such as Netflix, and lots of other content. And it’ll let you see many of the films up for Academy Awards this year well ahead of the show, so you’ll be able to complete your ballot guilt-free.
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