I’m all for finding loopholes and sticking it to the man. There is a little known Movie streaming site called Zediva who bypasses the 28 day lag set by Hollywood to movie streaming sites.
Basically they operate more like a brick and mortar video rental store. When you rent a movie from Zediva, you are actually renting a physical DVD and physical DVD play in their California data center and then you can control that DVD player with your computer–PCs, Macs, and Androids are supported.
It has some nice advantages over Netflix. Because you’re actually watching the actually DVD and not just a streaming file you have access to all of the DVDs special features and commentary, and subtitles in multiple languages. Which according to them is a surprisingly popular feature. There are some drawbacks however. Since you are renting physical copies, they can be out. Just like a traditional rental store. Also they are only focusing on new releases so don’t expect to find copies of older movies in their library.
Unlike Netflix it is not a subscription based service, it’s more like a Redbox for online streaming. Movies are around $1.99 and you have 14 days to watch or re-watch your movie. While watching your movie you’d have all the controls you’d expect from your DVD player. Play, Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind, but if you pause your movie for more than an hour it will go back in to general circulation so someone else could rent it, but if you get disconnected or have to stop your movie. You can rent it again for free during that 14 day period.
It remains to be seen if they will be able to keep up with their demand. It’s expensive to purchase that many physical copies of a DVDs and DVD players. Who knows how Hollywood will respond to this service who forces services like Netflix, Redbox, or any legal online streaming services to wait 28 days in an effort to boost DVD sales. Maybe they won’t grow enough to pose a threat. Regardless Zendiva has potential. It is a novel business concept to bring people new release movies first. Only time will tell.