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It’s Popcorn Time on Chromecast!

17 July, 2014 | Article Source: Rob LaPointe  |   (No Comments) | 21,863 Views

It’s Popcorn Time on Chromecast!

It’s Popcorn Time on Chromecast!

Popcorn Time, for those who are unaware, is a media streaming application. It is similar in many ways to Netflix or Hulu, but with one significant difference: it’s free (and it isn’t always legal). Popcorn Time combines the advantages of BitTorrent peer-to-peer technology with online streaming to create a fast, user-created ecosystem of content that is easy to access. It’s a remarkable technology, and no doubt if it weren’t for the dubious legal situation Popcorn Time would be a billion dollar company. To make a good thing even better, this week Popcorn Time’s Android app gained Chromecast support, meaning you can now stream directly onto your TV, and that may have some significant repercussions for the world of online media.

This puts Popcorn Time right next to its closest competitors on your big screen. Netflix, for example, is undoubtedly the biggest competing business. In comparison, Popcorn Time boasts a significantly bigger selection of shows and movies and is free to use, but has fewer guarantees (sometimes the quality of the content suffers, not to mention the fact that law enforcement might actively try to shut down the service).
To some, Popcorn Time is simply the natural reaction of end-users against a bad system. Others see it as more predatory, leeching away potential sales from honest, paid media outlets. To others the matter is all economic; the market is obeying supply and demand, except now the supply is essentially infinite…

Among many non-paying viewers, the argument stood, and perhaps still stands, that content providers implemented so many hurdles and restrictions on their products that the convenience dropped below a tolerable level, and that’s why customers turned to pirating their media. For a long time it was a perfectly valid complaint—‘why is it that a free service offers a better experience than the paid alternatives?’

After all, under normal circumstances price and convenience would be positively correlated; if you’re buying a car, as price increases, the quality of the product increases. However, this paradigm falls apart with digital media distribution. Obeying the law means you have a paltry selection of guaranteed content at a cost, while pirating gives you access to just about everything out there for free—there’s not a lot of incentive to pay, in that situation (besides the moral incentive of not stealing).
In recent years services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, HBO Go and others have stepped up their game to offer a much more compelling user experience. Their content libraries have grown, and their interfaces have become sleek and efficient. For many, this tipped the balance of convenience so that it’s easier to pay for a service, rather than taking the time to pick through illegal downloads while trying to avoid various malware. Thus we’re seeing the rise devices like Chromecast which link TVs directly to streaming services.

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