Now at Your Library: Streaming Movies, Music
If youre hoping for some sort of cheap, Apple Apple TV-sized box to stream movies from the Internet, youre out of luck. Its more like the Kaleidescape movie server , in that its a hard drive with a lot of copy protection. How It Works On built-in, encrypted hard drives, up to 50 2D or 3D movies can be stored. The player itself is made in the US and is rack-mountable. The separate fingerprint scanner (you read that right), has a die-cast aluminum chassis. The player connects to your display via HDMI. Movies are automatically downloaded, but you only pay for the movies you watch. Prima claims better than Blu-ray quality and twice the sharpness of Blu-ray which is a bit of a stretch, seeing as the resolution is 1080p/24 (same as Blu-ray). The encoded bit rate is twice that of Blu-ray (less compression ) and there are more bits per color . So presuming your equipment can handle the latter, it should be a little better than BD. That said,even if it looks the same as Blu-ray, thats still excellent.
But as technically brilliant as Gravity is, it never forgets the human element that other filmmakers dont pay as much attention to. We come to care deeply about the characters Clooney and Bullock play because they are not just a couple of stereotypical astronauts spouting cliched dialogue. They are flesh and blood human beings with needs and desires, and they need each other to get to safety. Seeing them tumble through space will make you appreciate the brakes you have on your car. Clooney rarely (if ever) lets us down as an actor, and he is perfectly cast as the veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski. He is very believable in this role and you immediately get the sense that Matt has been to outer space countless times without having to point it out. From start to finish, Clooney is the calm center in the middle of the storm and gives the movie the positive energy it needs. Even as things get worse, he gives Dr. Stone a reason to keep on going. But when all is said and done, Gravity really belongs to Bullock. She may still wonder if she deserved her Oscar for The Blind Side, but after watching her here, its clear that she did and she may be getting another one come next March. Bullock gives the performance of her life as she reveals her characters inner struggles that illustrate how theres more going on with her than just trying to stay alive. The more we learn about Dr. Stone, the more we see that this is not so much a movie about a woman lost in space as much as it is a woman trying to escape the darkness that has engulfed her soul.
‘Gravity’ Thrills You Like Few Movies Can (Photos)
A 2012 Pew Research Center survey found that among patrons 16 years old and older, 40 percent visited libraries to borrow movies. Another 16 percent borrowed music. In the Seattle area, DVDs and CDs of popular titles can have queues of hundreds of people waiting to check them out. E-books have been offered for years now. “Public libraries do not have the budgets to compete with Amazon, Comcast, and Netflix and will not be able to pay a premium for online content,” Blankenship said, adding that DVDs will continue to be the best way to offer popular movies. Updating and maintaining that physical collection takes time and money. It also means libraries have to pay for the media upfront, while Hoopla allows them to pay per time a title is borrowed. Those costs depend on the type of media and its release date, and range from 99 cents to $2.99. Seattle libraries have allocated $10,000 a month limit so far for Hoopla items and patrons are limited to 20 checkouts a month, Blankenship said. That limit may change, depending on demand and how usage grows. Hoopla’s launch won’t affect the stocking of physical DVDs at library branches for the time being, Blankenship said. For Seattle resident and library patron Jamie Koepnick-Herrera, Hoopla has joined her other streaming services such as Netflix, which she uses for movies, and Hulu, which she uses to watch current seasons of television shows. On Hoopla, she found the yoga videos she was looking for. “I think it provides a great free source of entertainment for families who can’t afford to get a movie for family night or for teenagers to have access to that album they can’t afford,” Koepnick-Herrera said. Hoopla’s movie and television collection is impressive in its numbers: About 3,000 titles.