Do you ever purchase streaming versions of your favorite TV shows? If so, which service is best for owning TV content? iTunes? Amazon? VUDU? Something else?
I have more than come to terms with digital game ownership. On the PC, I have a huge Steam library, a choice set of gog.com games, and a smattering of titles on other digital download platforms. (I’ve avoided the Origin platform, but that will eventually change.) On the console side, Sony continues to get my business both within and without PlayStation Plus, while I wish that Microsoft would let me get a digital copy of ‘Forza 4′ to go with all of the DLC that I continue to buy. Even Nintendo is rumored to be moving closer to unified digital ownership. (Likely, this will apply to the Wii and Wii U, but not the handhelds that the company wants you to re-buy every year.)
At the same time, I’ve had a harder time with regard to owning some of my favorite TV series. Studios are hesitant and haphazard when it comes to putting old and new series on Blu-ray. With two specific series in mind, the studios have left me with some unfortunate choices. For both ‘The Wire’ and ‘The Shield’, the prospect of ever being offered Blu-rays seems highly unlikely. While the desire to keep the shows in a gritty, standard-def format may be a fine stylistic choice, I’m disinterested in buying DVDs. Setting aside audio and video quality issues, the 1990s format has some annoying drawbacks. DVDs scratch easily when compared to Blu-rays, and having to workaround PAL/NTSC and region-coding issues is more than an annoyance, especially if you take your discs overseas. I have also never liked the cumbersome paper DVD cases.
With studios slighting Blu-ray, and DVDs seeming like a poor long-term investment, I’m forced to consider digital video ownership. In the case of ‘The Shield’, I might actually be able to find the HD versions that were available on Netflix in the past. I have some movies in iTunes that I managed to register before they expired, and I even bought a few shows on the Xbox 360 years ago that now are part of Microsoft’s Zune service. I own a few things on Amazon’s service, but I don’t know where to turn for building a digital TV library. I do know that I want surround sound, ubiquitous device support, and that I don’t want the company to shut down anytime soon.
I’ve listed the services (that I’m aware of) that I have access to in the U.S. Please mention any other viable options in the Comments.