Susan Strongman

Broadcasting reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Video rental chain takes films online

You no longer have to make a trip to the DVD rental store with Video Ezy joining the Internet TV trend.
You no longer have to make a trip to the DVD rental store with Video Ezy joining the Internet TV trend.

Yet another player has announced its entry into the internet film and television arena.

Video Ezy's on demand service allows users to "rent" videos by streaming them straight on to their TV, computer or tablet without setting foot inside a video shop.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the launch of Spark's online TV service Lightbox and internet providers like Orcon and Slingshot offering "global mode" that allows viewers to access services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer that are not normally available in New Zealand.

Video Ezy's joint managing director Russell Clark said the difference between what subscription services had to offer and Video Ezy On Demand was the new content.

He said thousands of popular movies, including new releases, were available through the service, while the strength of subscription providers was in television series and back catalogue movies.

The service, which is pay-per-view, costs the same as hiring a video from the store -- $6.99 for standard definition and $7.99 for high definition.

Similar "transactional" services that give viewers access to new release movies include Apple TV, and Australian companies Quickflix and EzyFlicks.

But a share of the profit from sales on Video Ezy On Demand went to Video Ezy franchise owners based on the postcode of the person downloading the movie.

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Desiree Prendergast, a regular at Civic Video Glenfield, says although she has a smart TV and many of the devices that would be compatible with internet film and television services like Video Ezy On Demand, she wasn't confident enough to use the internet services.

"I'm just not that savvy - I can never get something that high quality, and I don't mind paying for it so I guess that's why I go to the DVD shop."

She said she enjoyed her trips there anyway - sometimes spending a bit of time browsing.

Internet TV

Video Ezy On Demand allows users to rent new releases without leaving home, while still supporting their local franchise owner. Movies can be viewed on Samsung Smart TVs, with Chromecast, computers or other mobile devices.

Lightbox is Spark's recently launched "all you can eat" TV subscription service. $15 a month gives users access to about 5000 hours of content on multiple devices.

Apple TV works from a $149 device that plugs in to your TV. New release movies are available on a pay per view basis, using your iTunes account. Music, photos and movies can also be streamed from iOS devices like iPads and iPhones.

Quickflix available on PC, multiple brands of smart TV, PS3, Xbox, tablet or smartphone. Pay a monthly subscription of $12.99 or $6.99 per view.

EzyFlix Almost identical to Video Ezy On Demand and both services are operated by Access Digital Entertainment.

- NZ Herald

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