Unless you want to dedicate shelf space to dozens of discs, buying digital copies of movies is the best way of building a collection of your favorite films.
But before you buy you need to understand the differences between the various online stores. Each of them is slightly different, and this can translate into letting you watch your movies on different devices, or even the amount of money you’ll end up paying.
Here’s a quick comparison of the biggest film stores on the internet.
When most people think of iTunes they probably think of it first and foremost as a music service, but it also plays host to one of the largest film libraries around.
On iTunes the animated musical Sing is available in both HD, or in standard definition at a reduced cost. Once purchased you’re free to download the film to watch when you don’t have an internet connection.
The service currently does not support Ultra HD films, and you’re also more limited when it comes to the devices you’re able to watch your purchased films on. Obviously all of Apple’s own devices are supported (including iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and Macs), but you can also use the Windows version of iTunes to watch them.
Google Play Movies
Google Play is Google’s answer to iTunes, but it has the benefit of being available on almost every device under the sun.
Google Play music also has the advantage of supporting Ultra HD resolutions on applicable titles, which is four times the resolution of standard high definition.
The Sky Store is most commonly associated with Sky’s own set-top boxes but iOS, Android, Roku and desktop viewing is now supported so you have a number of options when you want to decide where to watch your films.
The big benefit of the Sky Store is the inclusion of a DVD copy of a film, which means that you have a physical copy of a movie like Sing just in case you want to take it to watch at a friend’s in addition to having a digital copy that you can access from anywhere.
The store even has a number of Ultra HD movies available if you want the absolute best quality.
Amazon Instant Video
Much like Google Play Movies, Amazon Instant Video benefits from having an app available on almost every device under the sun, which should help you get access to your purchases wherever you are. The one exception here is Apple TV, which does not currently have an Amazon Prime Video app, although there are rumours that this might change in the future.
The one downside is that although the service contains some Ultra HD content, this is only available to stream rather than to buy.