Good Source for Classic Movies: Netflix, Roku, Online?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ed Hardy, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    II'm hoping some of you can help me with a small problem. The wife and I are giving up cable -- it has become an expensive luxury that we can no longer afford. However, we're keeping an Internet connection and a Roku box with Netflix. This and the regular TV networks will give us most of what we need in the way of entertainment.

    I said "most" because there's one area not covered: my wife is a huge fan of classic movies... basically, anything made before 1960. TCM is her favorite station, for example. Can any of you suggest a good source of these movies, given the set up I described above?

    My first thought was subscribing to Netflix's DVD-by-mail service. In what strikes me as one of the worst marketing moves in history, Netflix won't tell me what it has in its DVD collection unless I'm already paying for the service. Do any of you know of a good source for this info?

    I know Amazon's video service has ssome classic movies, but the supply is limited and each one costs $3 to watch. That's going to add up quickly, and the idea here is to save money.

    I'm open to suggestions. Anyone know of a solution that won't break our bank?

    Thanks in advance,
    Ed
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    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2015
  2. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    I've got Netflix DVD service. Drop a list of names, and I'll look them up for you.
     
  3. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    One of the best sources for classic movies is the public library. I log into our local county library system, search for the movie I want, then request it. When it becomes available, the library emails me to pick it up. Don't tell anyone, but I often rip these movies simply because I prefer watching them on my schedule. Oh, and best of all, the library doesn't charge me a rental fee! :)
     
  4. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    TCM does have a limited (very limited, unfortunately, but I assume they change out) movies available for viewing on their website.
     
  5. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    I've done that too. Watch, and then delete. Just lets the next person see it faster. :)
     
  6. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    I ordered DVDs of the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies from WWII era. They were pretty expensive for such old material but once we got them, I ripped them with Handbrake so we can watch them from our Synology NAS drive. I'm pretty sure Roku doesn't support DLNA (yet?) but AppleTV sort of indirectly supports it if you leave iTunes running on one of your computers. For now we use an LG TV that has a DLNA player built in. Basically we never switch on our blu ray player and have only one remote to keep up with. For stuff we like a lot, buying the DVD, ripping it and leaving it on a NAS server is great because it is streaming from one spot in the house to another spot in the house. No internet required. All the transcoding was done up front by makemkv (if necessary) and handbrake.

    We have both Netflix and Amazon Prime. We watch a lot more Netflix than Prime. We are "working toward setting the date" to snip the cable (which on Comcast means dropping to the lowest tier since broadband without cable costs the same as broadband with lowest tier cable).

    We haven't given much thought to Hulu because Hulu doesn't support devices and Hulu plus doesn't have anything we want to watch that we don't already have on Prime or Netflix. When you consider that cable is costing us over $50 a month (on top of the $50+ per month we pay for internet) year in and year out, it's well worth it to spring for a few dozen DVDs of stuff we like so we can lower our bill.
     
  7. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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  8. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    Personally, I couldn't live without TCM. It provides a lot of my viewing. Some options:

    1. Have you looked into a bare-bones cable package? Some places are requiring carriers to offer a very basic cable package, and TCM is usually included (less than $40 per month).

    2. As Jig mentioned, you have the library resource, and many states network their libraries, so you can access all of their DVDs.

    3. Some studios offer 'burn on demand' DVDs of classic movies.
     
  9. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    HC, I appreciate the offer, but what my wife is looking for is access to a huge collection of movies. If this gives you some idea, we're looking for every movie ever starring:

    Spencer Tracy
    Fredric March
    Gary Cooper
    Marlon Brando
    Humphrey Bogart
    Gregory Peck
    Peter O'Toole
    Marlene Dietrich
    Katharine Hepburn
    Bette Davis
    Greta Garbo
    Barbara Stanwyck
    Joan Fontaine
    Audrey Hepburn

    And that's just the tip of the iceburg.

    Is there a datebase of all the classic (by that I mean old) movies available from Netlix?
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    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2015
  10. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    Jig, this might be our best option. Thanks for pointing it out. Turns out our county library system has an amazing collection of old movies. Getting to them is going to be kind of a hassle, but you can't beat the price: free.

    Considering how cheap it is to get access to more recent movies, it would be nice if these great old films were available online by some kind of inexpensive subscription service, but if we have to drive to the library every couple of weeks that won't be a terrible burden.
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    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2015
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