Since the introduction of VCRs some 20 years ago, we have enjoyed watching movies in the comfort of our homes. Blockbusters and similar video rental stores seemed to be available everywhere. We no longer had to go to the theaters to see full-length movies. We could go into the store, rent the movie, watch it at home as many times as we wanted, and return it by the due date.

Now with the availability of DVDs, movies can be rented and returned through the mail. Netflix is one company that does this. You choose a monthly fee, which could be as low as $4.99 per MLSBD month which entitles you to have one movie at a time. The most popular plan is $16.99 per month for 3 DVDs at a time and watch movies instantly on your PC. There are no late fees or due dates. You go online and create a list and when you return the current movie you have they send you the next movie on your list. My daughter and her family love it. They are on a limited budget and find Netflix is less expensive than the local movie rental store. They get excited with each new rental they receive. What a ingenious idea, no more late fees or rushing to video store to beat the weekend crowds.

Now we have gone one step further. I went to the iTunes Store where movies, television shows, music videos, podcasts, applications, and video games have been added to the extensive iTunes Store’s catalog. This cataloge includes content from 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Users can rent and download movies, then watch them for a short time rather than having to buy them. These movies are transferable to all sixth generation iPods. With Apple TV software you can rent and watch movies right from you wide-screen TV with no computer required. With iTunes there is no more driving to the video store or waiting for DVDs to arrive in the mail. I rented a movie for my 3 year old grandson and he loved watching it with me on my computer.

If you enjoyed the movie you just rented, and want to make it a permanent fixture in your digital collection you can purchase it. The iTunes Store has thousands of movies available for purchase. If you purchase a select DVDs you can get a free digital copy that can be watched on iPod or iPhone and when and where you want. I will be purchasing my DVDs from iTunes, it is so convenient and the prices were right.

I am a mother of two daughters and one son, with eleven grandchildren. As a baby boomer I find myself behind the times. My children, and in some instances my grandchildren, know more than I do about computer and internet technology. I have decided to explore the world that is available to us through use of the internet and our computers. At Sarah’s Technology Center, it is my hope to share with others like me what I find and how to incorporate it into our daily lives.