Mid-Week Poll: Do You Watch Movies on a Portable Device?

It seems that some people enjoy watching movies on a phone or portable device, while others – especially home theater purists – refuse to watch movies on such a small screen. Where do you stand on this issue?

I have a subway commute every day, and I enjoy using that time to watch movies on my Android phone. I find this a very good way to make use of my DVD collection that I no longer find acceptable to watch on my projector. The low-res DVD image just looks terrible blown up to a large home theater screen, but it looks perfectly fine when ripped to my computer and then transferred to my phone.

I try not to make this my first viewing of any movie, and I probably wouldn’t watch movies that I consider important on the tiny screen. But disposable movies that I don’t care too much about make a great timewaster on the subway.

What about you? Do you have strong feelings one way or the other?

Do You Watch Movies on a Portable Device?

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  1. Alex

    I should note that I’m much more likely to watch TV shows on my iPod Touch than movies. The length is perfect for my morning commute, and the film quality tends to be of secondary importance. For films themselves, I tend to go for a big screen.

  2. BambooLounge

    I cannot justify watching a film on a portable device.

    But, as the above poster wrote, television shows are not that bad. I caught up on the first season of Burn Notice a few years back by watching the episodes on my iPod video during my morning commute.

    But now, I just rather play Brick Breaker or Poker on my blackberry while listening to music.

  3. I completely agree. Before I got my own dryer, I would spend a couple of hours a week at the laundry mat. Watched an entire season of The IT Crowd on it. While on vacation, I got board of the beach faster than my friends, so I streamed Dick Van Dyke on my iPhone with Netflix. However, I have tried several movies – Nightmare Before Christmas, Song of the South, Kitt Kitridge, Mama Mia, Star Trek, and The Dark Knight, and the only one that was halfway decent was Song of the South. Television shows are made for smaller screens and usually look fine on a portable device. As for movies, They are made for the big screen, and normally look fine on a television, but look like crap on a portable. Shoot, look at, say, a Harry Potter movie. On a portable device, the players in a Quidditch match would only be like a quarter of an inch tall! And a Batman movie, forget it!

  4. Josh Zyber

    Good point, guys. I’ve added a voting option for watching TV shows but not movies.

    If anyone who already voted would like to change your vote, please let me know what you voted for and what you’d like to change it to.

  5. I worked in a warehouse for a while and always had TV shows on my phone. I couldn’t always watch, but I could always listen, so I picked shows that were worth listening to.

    ‘Home Movies’ for example. That show was all about the dialog and rarely relied on visual gags, so it was fine to just listen to like a radio play.

    ‘The Venture Bros’ is all about action, so it didn’t work out quite as well.

  6. Michael Z Rork

    It’s all about the content for me. I’ll watch The Daily Show, Bullshit or Sicko on my iPhone; but I won’t watch Doctor Who, Torchwood or Iron Man 2 on it.

  7. Daniel O'Reilly

    My brother watches movies on his PSP, but that’s not way to really watch something. Particularly when blu ray offers so much fine detail that completely disappears on the small screen.

  8. Lone_gunmen

    I tend to watch ABC Australia programs on my iPhone 4 on public transport. Usually At The Movies and news programs.

  9. EM

    I have a PSP which I bought primarily as a media player, particularly for video of various sorts. I use it frequently during commutes and other waits to watch short videos that I’ve ripped from my DVD collection (“Looney Tunes”, “Schoolhouse Rock!”, “Weird Al” Yankovic songs…). But I also keep some Memory Stick cards of longer-form videos, including television shows and feature films. I do not watch those so much on the PSP, but they are there for longer trips and even for reference material (you never know when you might have to remind someone of what a particular Mos Eisley alien looks like).

    I do not care for the idea of making the mini screen my primary mode of viewing theatrical films or TV series; but I think that, as a means of personal viewing on the go, particularly of material I am already familiar with and in possession of in my home theater, a mini screen is a handy and convenient technology.

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