[Note: can you guys tell me which other European countries presently have movie disk rental service by post? And if it includes streaming yet?]
I've just found out that the UK DVD rental service LoveFilm, which I'm already using and have for over ten years (since 2000, when they were called DVDsOnTap), now lets you stream lots of films to your iPad, included free in your subscription, like NetFlix. I honestly didn't really believe this kind of thing would come to Europe. (Update: it works on my Mac too, I didn't really think it would since last I checked they could not deliver pay-per-view to Macs.)
The little bastiches are using it in promotion, but they had not informed us subscribers about it! :-)
The picture and sound quality is really good, better than DVDs I have ripped. And the selection seems good too, not just b-movies from before 1980. Almost 6,000 titles at the moment.
(I think this will make me forgive that they have animated ads on their site. If I didn't have ad-blocking on my browser, this would test my patience a lot.)
It's really remarkable value for money. Especially since you don't have to be so durn careful and read five reviews before ordering a movie for rental, 'cuz if you don't like it, it'll only take you 20-40 seconds to find and start watching a new one, as opposed to several days with the disk delivery. I'm honestly not sure how big the percentage of the movies are which I am really interested in, it might be pretty small. But this system also allows you to experiment more, for example The Interview is a (in)famous movie which I previously had not bothered with, but now I know what it's like (nasty, but not a bad movie).
This was at the last minute I found out about it too. Between rental as well as purchased DVDs and blu-rays, web videos, and cable subscription, I never have anything to watch!!
But honestly, my purchased-disk shelf is moving rather slowly, I'm beginning to think I'll never get down to the fourth season of the Cosby Show, which I bought... at least two years ago (gawd, it might be three). Today, entertainment is an embarrassment of riches. I remember the nineties, where one might go to Blockbusters (oops, dead too now, another victim of digital delivery) and stare at the shelves until blood spurted out of the eyes.
And before you had video... one evening the only half interesting movie within range in the cinema was Indiana Jones 4, and it was so bad that even a group of teen girls were making fun of it as we left the cinema after a late-nigh showing one fine summer's eve: "seriously, that was a ridiculous movie, wasn't it?" (Come on, it it had chases on any vehicle which can move, and at one point IJ was walking in a underground passage with gasoline to over his ankles, carrying a torch which was dripping little flaming bits down into the gasoline without effect! Until the plot demanded exploding gasoline, of course.)