Digital Downloading Versus Renting A DVD

The world is a different place to the one it was 10 years ago, when you’d happily walk down to your local rental chain to pick up your favourite Warner Bros movie on VHS. The internet is bigger, faster and capable to delivering your favourite movies and television shows direct to your desktop. But is this a good thing?

This article intends to examine how the landscape of watching and enjoying content has changed, comparing the act of digital downloading with physically renting a DVD to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of both methods. This way you can figure out what suits your needs, so the only thing you’ll have to worry about when you’re organising your next family movie night is the popcorn.


In terms of absolute convenience you just can’t go past digital downloading. The world of digital downloading means there’s really no reason to consider contending with a dicey drive through torrential rain to your local DVD store on movie night. All you need to do is press a button on your keyboard and wait for your movie to appear. Improved bandwidths have cut down on the waiting time considerably.

Avoiding Piracy

Gone are the days where people would return from a trip to Thailand with a folder full of bootlegged new releases but if anything, movie piracy has become an even bigger concern. Traditional methods of renting a DVD only increases this problem, when you consider the lag between the time new releases become available overseas and available on our shores. The good news is that digital downloading allows this time to be deceased considerably, leaving would-be internet pirates with really no reasonable motive to commit the crime.


This is one area where traditional methods of renting a DVD still come out in front, slightly. That said, digitally downloaded movies can now be purchased in high quality formats for a little bit extra. By comparison, digital downloads may look a little blown out with dark areas and bright spots, while top of the line Blu-Ray DVDs offers crystal clear quality for your home entertainment. In the end of the day though, you have to ask yourself whether this minor improvement in quality is worth the considerable extra inconvenience of going to the movie store.


As long as your home internet bandwidth is strong enough, digitally downloading your favourite movie provides a viable way to save a couple of dollars here and there. The price difference is not huge granted, but over a length of time you’re saving some money and you’re also saving on fuel so it does add up.

So there are the pros and cons of digital downloading versus renting a DVD with the traditional methods. Do you agree with the points made in this article? Are you going to start digitally downloading films or will you continue to rent them from a physical store? Do you have any advice for people struggling to decide? Please leave any comments, questions and suggestions below and thanks for reading.

Corey is an all round tech guru who has worked at some major blue chip companies. He started Poweronemedia to share his views and knowledge with the rest of the blogging world.