Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Your Thoughts on Downloading Movies or TV Shows

Over at The Frugal Girl, Kristen recently wrote about honesty and frugality. This article made me think because I agree with the sentiment that if God provides for all our needs, we can be super duper honest without worrying about provision.

I personally don't download illegally, because I have an awesome husband. I'm keen [to learn] to be honest, but downloading movies or shows online is where I haven't felt much conviction up to now.  Hulu means we have plenty to watch legally without having a TV, and Redbox has made renting movies really easy and cheap ($1). But as we move to South Africa, I'm afraid that our options will dwindle: no Hulu, no DVD player (aaah, the skinny MacAir), no TV (and we don't want a TV because I lack self-control). But the occasional movie or TV show is something I really look forward to.

How have you dealt with illegal downloading? Am I destined to become inadvertently more hippy crunchy and not watch anything ever? South Africans, is there a service where you can pay to download movies or TV shows legally? Should we have stayed in Boston one more month so that we'd get to watch more episodes of Modern Family? A Netflix subscriptions wouldn't work in South Africa, right?

As you can tell, I'm thinking about all the important things with our move.

7 comments:

Luke said...

I like how you distance yourself from the actions of your husband by complementing him while calling those actions into question. ;-) I say this as someone who downloads tv shows from mysterious sources from the internet, but who also feels like its illegal, just like when I run red lights on my bicycle.

Jessica Purser said...

YOu can access Hulu and Netflix still if you have a US VPN. For instance, I can log on to my grad school's library still through their VPN system (even though I've graduated), and that gives me a US IP address instead of whatever country I'm actually in.

As for acquiring things, well, I suspect a lot of laws will no longer be in effect once you're outside the US

Jo said...

Hi Jessica! Have you tried this while overseas? Eug considered this a while ago but I think South African internet is still way too slow to allow it.

Caitlin said...

Internet is getting much faster....the problem is, bandwidth still costs a fortune! So renting is far cheaper than downloading. I guess I'm a step further down the hippy crunchy scale, and don't ever watch anything (except TED talks online). I don't miss it at all, but maybe you would....Music is a bigger moral quandry for me! I don't like downloading things illegally, but it's also tough to find good music stores....

Jo said...

It sounds like an external DVD player might be good for us, maybe after we arrive we'll see if we need it. Or maybe I will get more hippy crunchy because I don't have a full time job. There's something about having a job and a little blob that makes me feel like I need to watch movies or shows a couple of times a week.

Caitlin, Pandora doesn't work in SA, does it??? Pandora is my source of free, legal streaming music. Do you ever use iTunes for legal downloading?

Debbie said...

You can try TuneIn Radio for streaming music. Maybe check with Andrew which network is best for data speed vs cost. We got tired of paying lots of money for dstv, so we moved down to a lower dstv package and then bought the box set of a tv series, with 10 seasons of it. That lasted us a long time, but can also be tricky with the self discipline part of things. Movies remain a tricky part. There are some video shops that allow u to rent 5 movies for a week or two at a reasonable price, some let u get a latest release and a free older movie, but yes, no easy or cheap way, which is why I guess so many people pay the huge amount fof dstv

Jessica said...

Ack! Sorry, I forgot to check back to see if you had replied.

Whilst in Kenya and Bangladesh, I've had no problem acquiring things that could be termed illegal in certain countries. It takes longer, like a normal hour-long TV show can take six or seven hours to download rather than the ten minutes it takes here, but it works.

And I've never used the VPN, but people did in Switzerland with crappy Internet.

Also, depending on the amount of piracy in SA, it could be pretty easy to pick up movies for cheap on the sides of roads, but I've never been to SA, so I can't speak to that.