Why Streaming Movies Is Bad for You

Philip Bates 23-11-2015

You’re currently reading a website filled with content written by people overly enthusiastic about technology. But sometimes, technology can attack. It can ruin things. It can get you in trouble Luddites Attacking? Being A Techie Could Be Dangerous Three shocking stories where people have attacked gadget loving techies . Are these anti-technology Luddites with anger issues, or justified privacy-rights activists? Read More .


And however much we love streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video 3 Useful Things You Can Do With Amazon Video On Demand When most people think of Amazon, they think of shopping. However, the company is starting to appreciate the value of providing free services and products to customers. One example is the ability to download music... Read More , they’re not always a force for good. No, really. Please don’t look at us like that.

Here are three reasons why streaming movies can be bad for you, me, and everyone who truly loves the medium of film Love Movies? 4 Awesome YouTube Channels You Need to Watch While there are a lot of YouTube channels that focus on reviewing movies, there are some YouTubers who go beyond simple reaction videos and dig deep into what makes films special. Read More .


We’re over saturated with films at this point, with so many at our fingertips because we demand accessibility. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an obscure title or a brand new blockbuster: cable and streaming, as well as a wealth of DVD and Blu-ray Blu-Ray Technology History and The DVD [Technology Explained] Read More  releases, mean we rarely need to search for a movie.

Don’t get me wrong: having all of this content easily available to us is incredible, but it does mean we have become over-familiar with the medium, so much so it becomes background noise. It’s not wholly the fault of an abundance of movies: we have so many distractions, many of us aren’t solely focused on a film.


Oh, it’s not like the old days 4 Ways Watching Movies Used To Be More Fun You might not have realized that your enthusiasm for movies is waning. It's no longer the good old days. and I'm sure watching movies used to be more fun... Read More  when you’d head down to the video store and pick up a film because you really wanted to see it. Now, we have a movie playing in the background while focusing most of our attention on Facebook or Twitter. Which means we’re hearing movies rather than watching them these days.

Thanks to streaming, the temptation to shove on an often-watched favorite is substantial, especially when you’re bored and biding time.

Do you have half an hour to kill before leaving for work? Just pop on a Harry Potter movie. You’ve seen them all lots of times before, so it won’t matter when you inevitably stop it mid-scene when real-life gets in the way. It’s still not an ideal way to watch a movie, as you can’t get carried away with a tale if you only see it part of the way through.

Where Have All the Films Gone?!

OK, so you have found a new favorite movie. You’ve had an odd fascination with Howard the Duck for far too long, but that passion has now subsided and you’re attached to Transformers: Age of Extinction instead. You’re clearly some sort of masochist.


Your kids are enjoying Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, and that gives you time to play with your Optimus Prime action figure.

But wait a minute. They have… vanished! Nooooooooooo, to quote Darth Vader.

Netflix has a lot of new content. That’s great. Thumbs-up to Netflix. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, however, every time something new appears, it pushes some old stuff out. Bye bye, Curious George; here comes The Expendables 3! Oh, joy.


Search the International Business Times for “Netflix Movies Disappearing 2015” and you’ll see so many results of films you no longer have access to you’ll want to organize a mass funeral to mark their passing.

Fortunately, you can hold a seance by scouring Amazon for DVDs and Blu-rays; yet it’s not just movies that suffer. TV shows, too, disappear faster than a magician at a kids’ birthday party. In October, Wolverine and the X-Men vanished, which is a huge annoyance.


If you’re hooked on the original Hawaii Five-O, the complete 12 seasons on DVD will set you back a shed-load of cash… That’s if you can find them all. Chances are, you’ll have to scour eBay. Which isn’t great if you’re halfway through watching this classic show when it’s suddenly, and unceremoniously, pulled from Netflix.


One day, there might be a movie called “The Great Catalog Cull,” a dystopian tale of streaming services deleting content and the Ballard-esque mayhem that ensues (copyright, Philip Bates).

Cinemas Are Dying

Everything is conspiring to kill cinema Are You Responsible for the Death of Cinema? Cinema is in its death throes. But why? Do we blame the directors of crappy films? The alternative viewing options now available? Or are you personally responsible? Let's figure this out. Read More . The expense; uncomfortable seating; pirating; the Government (probably) – and yes, streaming too.

Going to the cinema is a proper experience. For some, it’s a Night Out. For others, it’s a date. And for the rest, it’s social interaction without actual interaction.


Taken out of our usual environment, we can view a film in a more rounded fashion. There’s something distinctly pleasing about watching a movie in a place dedicated to playing movies, surrounded by people who actively want to watch that movie. It’s like group isolation – or, if you will, therapy.

This is where everyone’s laughing and crying with you.

Distractions are a world away. Use your phone in a screening and the screen lights your face up like the fourth of July. You can’t switch over during the boring conversion bits. And while you could curl up in a blanket, take off your shoes, nurse a bottle of wine, and slowly burrow into a seat/ significant other/ complete stranger (delete as applicable), you would get a reputation. And possibly a restraining order.

You might argue that going to the cinema is actually a bad experience, depending on the theater you attend, but if you do manage to find a good one Cinema Is Dying: How Movie Theaters Can Ensure Their Survival Movie theaters need to offer more than just a way of watching the latest films. They need to stop competing on "convenience" and start focusing on "experience." Here's how. Read More , it’s the ideal place to get completely enthralled by a strong narrative.

A massive screen is typically much more preferable than your iPad mini (no offence). Mind you, a monolith can expose terrible CGI (computer-generated imagery) worse than a mobile device with unlimited Neflix T-Mobile Allows Unlimited Netflix, And That's Bad News For All of Us Allowing Netflix to stream even when you're data is maxed sounds great, doesn't it? But this could spell doom for the future of the Internet as we know it. Read More .

Can You Save Yourself?

So, the question is, can you save yourself from letting streaming ruin your love of movies? Yes, you can. But it will take some conscious effort on your part.

Here are some tips:

What further tips can you offer those who are finding that streaming services are killing their passion for movies? Do you prefer streaming to going to the cinema? If so, why? Does it annoy you that we live our lives around tiny screens?

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credits: Bored man by Dave Clark Digital Photo via Shutterstock, Taro the Shiba Inu via Flickr, Overmundo via Flickr.

Related topics: Amazon Prime, Home Theater, Netflix.

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  1. Sc
    July 1, 2018 at 10:22 am

    I have hundreds of movies.. On disc.. & they cover all genres.. I could put in citizen kane or regoregitated sacrifice any moment i choose. & i laugh at streaming. Tried to watch a movie last night.. Block distortion & artifacts in every image. Sd, hd, sd, hd, wait.. Is that vhs quality? Anyway, streaming is an undeveloped joke. Have fun with it all you young people

  2. Suleiman
    December 2, 2015 at 1:53 am

    but wait, this time it got posted lol . This is my 3rd post but my first one didn't go on directly like my 2nd one. They said that it was waiting for approval. So how do this work really :)

  3. Suleiman
    December 2, 2015 at 1:50 am

    God, I spent 30 min to write my comment here but they didn't post it, was it that bad Mr. Admin :)

  4. Suleiman
    November 30, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    General(14-64) Child(3-13) Senior(65+)
    For two years I never been to a movie theater but I have watched, at the comfort on my house, all the cool movies that showed up within the last two years. You sayin' " Wuaaaa?!! "

    Well Netflix to me is the hub for yesteryears movies. I am not into it but the kids love it. Netflix is good for Netflix exclusive TV Shows like House of Cards. Crackle is crackle, it will crack you down with its nasty and boring ads, but it is free. If I want movies that do not exist on Netflix, I fire my Kodi and search Genesis. If not there, I would look for it on Kickass torrent, the mother of all movies hub. Here you don't stream but you download. No worried we got unlimited internet and 4T hard-drive. Now now , before you hit me with that pirated movie talk thing, let me explain this to you: This is the price to go to movie theater in my area now:

    Regular $12.99 $8.99 $9.50

    3D $15.99 $11.99 $12.50

    UltraAVX $15.99 $11.99 $12.50

    IMAX $19.99 $12.99 $13.50

    UltraAVX $23.99 $19.99 $20.50

    Ok , here is what it costs me to watch movies that the kids and I REALLY want to watch:

    Netflix $9.99

    unlimited internet : $80

    Now go and do the math. I would actually feel so stupid and I would shoot my foot if I go to theaters to watch movies that are not only too expensive but too shallow, with no contents and real art in them. For the past 14 years most of the movies were lousy and full off graphic effects and too noisy. If you are expecting to see movies like Cinema Paradiso and The Usual Suspects , dream on. Present day actors and actresses are too shallow and they are there for making insane money out of one yuke! movie.

    Am I guilty at downloading movies or streaming it for free, hell no!! Will I go to movie theater anytime soon, YES and that is because I want to see Star Wars on iMax......but.....but I sincerely pray that no one makes it available on kickass torrent before its release day. If that happens, then I will have to watch it on my projector with my meanest headset on my head and enjoying my sandwich.

    How I wish if they have a theater in town where they show old classic movies ( old refers here 90s movies) I will definitely go there and watch movies. No one gives a crap about old classic movies these days, even Netflix do not care about them. But somehow they reside on Youtube..eh but they are kind of ok quality.

    Yes I missed going to movie theater to watch real movies where there used to be art in them. I miss that annoying person who would chew on his/her popcorn when everyone was in suspense during an intense movie. Bring back the real movies where they had real artistes on them and I will pay the money and I will divorce kickass torrent. In the mean time, it is time for Netflix, Kodi and kickass torrent. Thank you for readying, really :)

  5. jasray
    November 30, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Take a look at lists and read the reviews. The Russian movie "The Leviathan" was a bit disappointing, but an Austrian Western, "The Dark Valley" was classic foreign film. For TV, "Nakita" is good, but the entire series of "Covert Affairs" is a total classic by the end when we feel, see, and sense the real relationship of Auggie and Annie. Some really great stuff out there: even "Blue is the Warmest Color" was fascinating, not so much for the movie, but for the acting and the director's remarks and the work it took to shoot one six minute scene. The article makes a point: When we just go from film to film without any "active" involvement, it's truly a waste. But to "engage," on a deeper level with the characters, director, events, etc. makes watching movies rewarding, educational, engaging and worthy of our limited time on the planet.

    • Philip Bates
      November 30, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      What a lovely comment; thanks jasray. I agree with you 100%. If you engage fully with a film, you get more out of it. And the people working so hard to make the film get proper appreciation for their hard work.

  6. Alli
    November 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    HBO Now has quality movies and series. Definitely worth the monthly fee.

  7. Anonymous
    November 24, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    "You’ve had an odd fascination with Howard the Duck for far too long..." And what's wrong with that?

    Overlong, overwrought rant about too much binge watching. *sigh*

    • Philip Bates
      November 30, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      I didn't mention binge-watching at all.

  8. velinn
    November 24, 2015 at 10:34 am

    None of this post makes any sense. So what if someone streams Harry Potter for the 4546th time? And then, heaven forbid, stop halfway through - how is this any different that if they did the same thing with a blu-ray they owned?

    See, the sort of "media revolution" the internet - and piracy the be quite frank - created was the ability to do exactly this; enjoy media we like in the way that we like without a middle man telling us how we must do it, where, and on which device. Netflix and the like are absolute wins for consumers who can now consume media in any fashion they desire. Is watching a film on a mobile in the Dr's waiting room the same as a cinema experience? Absolutely not. But who cares? Why shouldn't someone be able to watch content in the waiting room, or on the beach, or wherever they desire? If they want a cinematic experience they can *choose* to have that experience. If they don't, then they won't.

    The problem isn't Netflix, it's the loss of value that cinemas represent. Here in my town there are absolutely zero programs to get people into the theater such as rewards cards or a monthly subscription where you can see 4 films a month or what have you. Theaters need to work a bit harder to get more business now that we're not forced to give them business by default.

  9. Anonymous
    November 24, 2015 at 3:59 am

    I've been on netflix for years and i actually think there's not enough stuff on it. So i started Amazon, hulu and more, but still not enough. I even switched my vpn so i could be able to see other country's movies and everything they had to offer, but i cant find what i want, they are mostly really bad. Every time there's a movie i really want to see, i will go to the cinema with a friend (much more fun). Also, the movie industry has never been more healthy, actors get over 30 millions for 1 role. Blockbuster's movies goes above a billion even with shitty cgi and 3d that cost way to much for nothing. The only thing that pirating or streaming will do is remove some garbage movie from people like Uwe Boll. Good movies stay and make money, even some bad ones like twilight. They want more money? Dont put any cgi if you cant do it properly, dont do any 3d movies, the technologie is still not good enough, you endup with bad quality and headaches. Stop overpaying the actors. Start selling product about your movie like t-shirts, toys, etc. Don't blame your customers for not wanting to pay for your bad movie.

    • Philip Bates
      November 30, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      I think streaming gives smaller companies a better chance, but the other side of it is that there will always be an abundance of bad movies. Still, they come from small- and big-budget production companies, as you say. I agree with you about 3D and dodgy CGI... but I'm a sucker for film and TV related merchandise - comes as part of being a nerd, I think!

  10. Joseph
    November 24, 2015 at 3:34 am

    While I agree that the movie industry is not getting money in the same way it used to, that does not mean that they are suffering. Netflix gives independent movie companies the ability to get their movie to a wider audience. Also, I believe that consumers have had a wake up call and realized that we should not have to pay to see the same movie twice, and that we should not have to pay to be able to watch it on any screen we want. The movie industry has stolen from consumers for so long that now people are pushing back. I do not pirate movies, I do find it wrong. However, I will not pay tons of money to watch one movie. The movie production companies are trying to hold on to an old mindset, just like the music industry has. This is the way of the future, so I recommend that they either get on board and find new ways to make money, or they will be lost to the wayside.

  11. Aditya
    November 24, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Moderation is the key. Not everyone has the time or even money to enjoy a night out at the theatre, so for them streaming is definitely an option. A good, wide tablet and a good earphone should be all their need to enjoy their favorite flicks

    • Philip Bates
      November 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      I do agree with you there actually. It is all about moderation. Part of my argument (which I didn't say in the article, so that's my fault) is that I don't like the idea of people watching a film for the first time on a tiny tablet. Or phablet - whatever. I think if it's one of your favourites, go for it. But if you're seeing something for the first time, at least give it the chance it deserves. A lot of people worked on that movie, so try to appreciate it on a bigger screen.