Film And TV Stuff

I have been watching a few films lately, and that got me thinking. Most of those I watched were being shown on TV. Mainstream channels, not Netflix or Amazon. (Both of which I have access to) I have Netflix through a relative, but I cannot remember the last time I watched anything on it. I am also a member of Amazon Prime, though I mainly use it for the next day delivery service, and don’t take any of the ‘free’ books or make much use of any other membership options. I have only ever watched three films on it, and none of their own popular series.

There is also the NOW TV box, which I have had for some years. Offering access to Sky Atlantic, and many ‘free’ films too. (Most of which I have seen)

I use the marks around ‘free’ as nothing is free of course.

My stepson pays for Netflix, and we are on his account. I pay for Amazon Prime, and also for the NOW TV box. Those monthly subscriptions start to add up, but we get used to paying them, and don’t even think about what we could do with that £18-40 a month people like me pay for streaming services.

Many people pay much more. I have a close friend who has the whole SKY Q package. That includes everything, and live sports too. But SKY currently charges around £70 a month for all that. As with mobile phone and broadband contracts, it becomes ‘normal’ to pay out for them every month, and we mostly forget about those costs.

New kids on the streaming block here include Disney+. They are getting wise though. Many streaming providers are outbidding regular TV networks for popular series. So if you are a long-term fan of things like ‘The Walking Dead’, or anticipating a new series of ‘Loki’, you have to pay up, subscribe, or not get to see your favourite shows.

I predict this will be the way of things, sooner rather than later. Streaming companies will outbid established providers like the BBC, and make many of our favourite TV shows only available to their subscribers. Anyone who cannot afford to pay out for all the various players in the streaming ring will be stuck with whatever everyday programming is left to the free channels.

And what about DVD films? Do you still buy them? I do. I mostly buy used copies from Marketplace sellers at much less than £5. But sometimes I have to pay full price for something unusual. I just checked the shelves behind me, and I have 52 DVD films yet to be watched. Most are still in their cellophane wrapping, and some I have had for as long as five years without watching them. The majority are foreign language films, and most of those could be described as ‘obscure’. They are never going to turn up on mainstream TV, or on a streaming service.

So what of those films in the future, when companies just stop making DVDs in the same way they did with VHS tapes?

I have no idea, but I suspect it will be a case of having to see them at a cinema that shows rare films (of which there is only one on Norfolk) or never be able to see them at all.

You know that I am old now, and resistant to change. But I will rue the day when streaming becomes the only option to watch anything, and anyone without the money to subscribe is sidelined.

Just my thoughts.

50 thoughts on “Film And TV Stuff

    1. I currently have only the free option for the BFI player, but I have considered paying for access to the whole catalogue. Maybe when I get a rise in my pensions. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  1. Well I won’t tell you how I get my films, but I do subscribe to Netflix, mainly for the kids as it provides a better environment than Youtube.
    The BBC are missing a trick as I would happily pay to have access. Instead I have to have to pay for a VPN service to get access (which is handy for other things as well), but it would be better in my eyes if the BBC got that money.
    I remember seeing a vox pop asking about peoples subscriptions and many where spending many hundreds every month if you included magazines, health clubs, mobiles and the like, and people where surprised once they sopped to add it all up!
    Luckily we are running at £13 for our extravagant lifestyle, and we still don’t have enough time to watch everything we want to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. £13 quid is a nice number to have everything sorted. You made me think about what I pay.
      Mobile Phone contract £19 (Not much Internet access for that, but I’m not bothered.)
      Now TV Box. £10 (Mostly used for catch up services)
      Amazon Prime £8
      Broadband and house phone £32
      Total £69
      (On top of that, Julie pays £35 a month for her mobile contract)
      Between us, that is over £100 a month. Okay, if you say it quickly!
      Cheers mate, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete,
    Renting everything on never ending contracts will be the future. Pay up or be left out.
    Mobile phones, tv channels, music, cars, exercise bike packages like peloton are all rented now and while Spotify might offer a trillion songs for a tenner a month, youngsters not in the habit of buying dvds or cds will have nothing if they stop paying. On the bright side, at least there are a wealth of audio books available free on YouTube so there’s no need to pay twice.

    I guess soon the option to fully buy a car will go, swallowed by ‘new for old’ rental schemes yet even these deals will be replaced with autonomous taxi’s so eventually journey is rented and private owned cars will become a relic of the past.

    It’s no coincidence that banks are now starting to buy and rent more houses instead of selling mortgages, and once you rent, how long before the next rental contract makes you lose control of that space? You could come home and find a bunch of accountants having a meeting in your living room!

    The World Economic Forum are already planning to rent us toasters and rice cookers on a daily basis, delivered and collected by yet more autonomous vehicles.
    Combined, all these measures will become the perfect mix of communism run by capitalists.

    You can rent anything you like but, as the WEF say on their website:

    “You will own nothing and be happy.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to keep something back for ‘unexpected expenditures’ like car problems, or domestic appliance failures. I won’t pay out any more for TV and films than I already do.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As you know Pete, I am a collector, so I still purchase DVD’s and Blu-rays that have bonus material, directors cuts, etc. I also subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBOMax, Disney+ and AppleTV+…since I work in entertainment it’s necessary for my wife and I to see what’s going on in the marketplace…it’s a flood of stuff of variable quality of course, but it also reminds me of the time someone saw by huge DVD collection and asked if all I did was watch movies. “No, but when I do, it’s MY choice!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am aware that you are in the industry, so understand why you have all that. I hope (and presume) it is all tax-deductible for business reasons? Your DVD collection is a gem indeed. I trust you have some new DVD players stored away, for the time when they stop making them?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pete, yes our cable bill and the add ons are deducted, especially since I record a copy of my wife’s show at home…and I am on the lookout for blu-ray players for that day…a few cheap ones stashed away so Im not sitting on the most expensive shelf fillers ever!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Here at this very moment in Arizona, this is a key ‘Make-a-decision for God’s sake’ topic as well: Cable or Satellite? Or, drop both and cludge together a system of Digital antenna-delivered local stations + Amazon/Netflix/ESPN (sports content) and maybe a few others, but still without the ability to record upcoming shows, etc. . . All as we try to conclude a seemingly ‘out of control’ remodel project after a kitchen fire, now headed into its 7th month on a three-month completion commitment. . . . 😦

    “But Wait. . . There’s More!” Just found out Youtube has a service called “Youtube-TV” that delivers a Cable provider ‘like’ service with recording, etc. as a cloud service. Pray for me to guess well about the future while in the present. 😉 FYI – The current out-of-pocket here in Phoenix for cable+HBO+Netflix+ Amazon is ~180 Pounds. Rediculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. £180 a month for TV is not remotely possible for me, living on pensions. I do not have satellite or cable, just mainstream TV supplemented by Internet-powered boxes to provide some extras. I actually find myself watching less than I did 20 years ago.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d guess ‘my’ monthly viewership of anything on the ‘TV’ screen is =/< 20hrs. Mostly Golf on the odd Sunday. . . and the occasional series with Terrie 9Just finished the 'Defeated'. (well worth a minute. . . imho and) Maybe, Maybe 2 films a month.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I know what you mean. I run into the same thing. I want to watch The Gloaming, but it’s not in my package and I refuse to pay more than I already do, which is too much. Also, I find myself being overwhelmed with choices, but very few of them are anything I’m really excited to see. So much of the same old same old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If anything, I am becoming more attracted to revisiting great films of the past. So much of what is on offer through Netflix is of no interest to me. Despite all the supposedly good actors and film-makers, I have yet to find a modern David Lean, or Orson Welles. I tend to seek out foreign language films, as they often seem harder and grittier than most of those made in English.
      Thanks, Pam.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree, Pete. Since I moved, I don’t have a TV. What i watch I mostly get through Amazon Prime, sometimes I subscribe for a limited time to something else but There is so little now that I feel like watching. I remember when Lawrence of Arabia came out, being so impressed by the size of Peter O’Toole’s eyes on the screen! But that aside, the film would never have been the same on a small screen. Same with Dances with Wolves and so many others. I think it must be very hard keeping up with technology and being in the entertainment business. These days I’d rather read a book or a blog from some bloke in Norfolk who writes interesting stories with lots of side turns…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carolyn. I look back nostalgically at the days of great TV drama, but agree that the best films should be watched on a huge cinema screen. Preferably in total darkness, not ‘ambient safety lighting’, and without fellow cinemagoers eating what sounds like a 3-course meal as they send selfies on their phones. Both cinemas and television seem to have changed for the worse, from where this old bloke sits, anyway.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I unplugged the TV set many years ago, and don’t subscribe to anything online. Here in the U.S., we have Tubi (tubitv.com). It’s a challenge to find quality films hidden among the thousands of offerings, but the films are free to watch. Several minutes of ads are sprinkled throughout. Having grown up in the heyday of broadcast television, it doesn’t bother me to sit through a few commercials. Of course, I also have a good selection of DVD’s, though nothing issued in the past several years.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We’ve watched tv through streaming platforms more regularly through covid. We already had Netflix and Stan, but can switch then on and off. Also use Prime and Disney now. You’re right it’s easy to let small monthly subscriptions build up.
    And we’re never going to have all the shows/movies we like on one platform.
    The new way of the world. Even new release movies are going straight to streaming.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My parents started to buy VHS movies in the 80s. Then, if you wanted to get a new release, it would cost you upwards of $100, unless you wanted to wait a few months. Then came the video clubs. Long story short, they still have boxes and shelves of movies, like a video rental store (remember those?).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do indeed, Leon, though I almost never rented tapes from them. At one time, I had almost 400 VHS films, most costing £10 or under. I usually waited until they dropped in price before buying them. After the demise of VHS, I couldn’t even give them away to charity shops. Nobody wanted them, and they all had to be dumped. No doubt DVD will go the same way in the near future.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. We stopped paying for traditional cable about two years ago. We subscribe to Netflix and Acorn (for British shows) although there are a few we cannot get through them (The Great Pottery Throwdown being one). Melissa shares her Hulu and Disney+ with us. I recently saw there was a new British competition show about jewelry makers which I would love to see but it is only shown here on HBO Max which is another subscription service. We have three very large bins packed with DVDs but never purchase them anymore as we have run out of space. We still watch our favorites although there are many we could definitely pass along. No one here seems to buy DVDs much (even used) any longer.

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  11. Like you I seem to have a lot of unwatched DVD’s still in wrappers. I rarely seem to turn to films as I get fidgetty before they’re over. Having said that, just recently (no doubt because of the holidays) I’ve watched 3 or 4 that have had my attentionn all the way through. I even started watching a series on Prime though I have that for the next day delivery mainly.
    My blog, or those of people I follow take up most of my time and provide me with most of my company.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am also generally happy with my blogging and writing, David. I watch a lot of News on TV, but rarely watch anything else until 9pm. Then my choice is normally a drama, and BBC s still providing quite a few good ones.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It can become a difficult sea to navigate with all of the options. As a big fan of foreign, docs, and Indy films, I’ll also have kept a small amount of them in dvd form and our local libraries have just about any film imaginable to check out for free, and this makes me happy. In thinking of my patterns it’s mostly Netflix and Hulu for mr as far as streaming

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I hear about films on review programmes and want to watch, but forget what they are called or where to get hold of them. I end up watching only films I have recorded or let visitors scroll up and down left and right and set up our viewing for the evening!

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    1. Between me and my wife, we usually find enough to watch on Freeview. If she is watching something that doesn’t interest me (usually medical programmes) I go into the office room and do my blog. When I am watching foreign language dramas on BBC4, she scrolls through Facebook on her phone. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  14. We only have access to free TV and Amazon Prime, which is also free at the moment because it was a freebie with my phone contract which ends next month. I think I will renew it though as we do watch films on there and several of the series, Bosch is good. And we binged Madam Secretary when we first got it! Plus they have the ATP tour so I got to watch a lot of tennis I wouldn’t normally have access to. At £8 a month I think it’s reasonable.

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    1. I think £8 is a fair price, if only for the next day delivery and free books and magazines. Prime Video is a nice bonus, even if I rarely watch it.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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  15. I rarely watch free channels now and find most of the movies and series we watch on Prime or Netflix. But we do buy a blueray now and then still. I hope they don’t stop making them, I like the added extras of how the movie was made and stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With DVD sales at an all time low, I fear they will soon be a thing of the past. No doubt the same will happen to music on CD soon after. Once the 20-somethings who have never owned a DVD or CD are the ‘grown-ups’, nobody will be buying anything on disc at all. (Except the trendy ‘Vinyl’.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t mind that much to be honest, streaming is better for the planet cd’s and dvd’s etc are made of plastic as are vinyl records, also they take up a lot of space in cabinets around the house! But don’t tell Phil I said that 🤣.

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            1. Loved that series. My player stopped working years ago, and I couldn’t source a new one. I replaced a lot of the VHS films on DVD, then threw them out when we moved here. I couldn’t even give them away, nobody wanted them.

              Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m very curious to know what will happen to the BBC; I have the feeling that the situation will have to change before too long, and I don’t think the licence fee can be sustained for much longer: notwithstanding the government’s support with the weight of its steamroller parliamentary majority. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are already rumours that it will become a fee-paying streaming service, and the TV licence will be scrapped. If that happens, so many older and poorer people will be affected. ITV is already making subscriber-only programmes for its pay-to-view services, and I fear the BBC will follow in due course.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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