VidAngel (affiliate link) is a movie/ TV show streaming service that is primarily marketed towards religious nuts for its ability to edit nudity, swear words, and other ungodly things out of movies. But all you nudity loving, frugal, Satan worshippers (and those of you who fall somewhere in between the spectrum of religious nuts and nudity loving Satan worshippers) out there need to hold on just a second because Vidangel is an unholy good deal!
The economics of streaming video is broken
The entire video streaming industry has been broken since it was invented and VidAngel has finally fixed it. Let’s say you want to rent a movie at Redbox. All of the following things have to happen and expenses have to be incurred for you to rent a movie at Redbox:
1. The DVD needs to be manufactured
2. The DVD needs to be packaged
3. The DVD needs to be shipped somewhere
4. The DVD needs to be unpackaged
5. The DVD needs to be put into one of those clear plastic Redbox containers
6. The DVD needs to be taken to the Redbox
7. The Redbox machines has to be manufactured
8. The Redbox machine has to be taken to its retail location and installed.
9. Somebody needs to fill the Redbox with all those DVDs and take out the ones nobody watches anymore
10. Somebody has to fix the redbox machine when it isn’t working right
11. Redbox has to pay rent for the space it’s machines take up
So all of those things have to be done and paid for and still it only costs like what $1.25? That is incredible!
On the other hand look at streaming. All you need is a server to store the movie on and an internet connection to send the movie out over. The marginal cost of you renting one more movie over a streaming service may not be zero, but it is a number awfully close to zero.
So why the hell does it cost me $5 to rent a movie over streaming?!? Sure you can pay a little under $10 per month to Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu to get a relatively small selection of unlimited movies that are many years old. But, if you want to watch a recent movie you have to shell out $5 bucks to Google Play or Amazon video. Why? It doesn’t make sense! Streaming should cost a fraction of Redbox, not 5X more!
Vidangel fixes the economics of streaming video. Finally, somebody has come out with a streaming video service that makes sense. The cost is $1 for standard definition or $2 for high definition. That is a fair price. Sure there are a few minor but obnoxious catches, but the bottom line is Vidangel is the best deal out there for seeing new release movies.
Here is how Vidangel works.
First you buy the movie for $20, then you watch it, then you sell it back to VidAngel for $19. I know it sounds screwy, but that is the way it works. My family watched a couple of movies this weekend to test it out, and sure enough, a credit for $19 appeared on my account making the net price of the movie $1. Why mess around with buying the movie then selling it back instead of just renting them? That is how they can legally do their stupid editing tricks, but we will get to that later.
In addition to movies, you can also watch TV shows. A dollar per episode of a TV show really isn’t a very good deal in my book, but there are some exceptions. My wife loves watching the HBO show Game of Thrones which leads to an annual fight over whether or not we are going to be spending $15/month on HBO for several months until this year’s season of Game of Thrones is over. One dollar per episode is a whole lot cheaper than $15 a month for HBO, so those fights have now been resolved.
Vidangel is simple to use
VidAngel is as easy as it is cheap. You can watch it on the always easy to use Roku player (affiliate link), Amazon Fire stick (affiliate link) or the chromecast. I chose to watch it using my ipad and a chromecast.
First I installed the chromecast and Vidangel apps onto my Ipad. From the Vidangel app I found a movie and sent it to my chromecast so I could watch it on my living room TV. The Vidangel app was easy to navigate, and completely intuitive. I found the movie I wanted to watch, clicked just a couple of buttons to buy it, clicked a single button to watch it, then clicked a single button to sell it back to Vidangel for my $19 credit when I was done. It just couldn’t have been easier.
The stupid editing nonsense
Even though VidAngel is a hell of a good deal, that isn’t how it is marketed. It is marketed towards religious nuts as a service to edit out all the naughty bits of a movie or TV show. If you look at all the other reviews (besides this one) of Vidangel you find on the internet you will find an endless stream of praise about how great it is that (insert my brand of fundamentalism here) people like me can finally watch movies without having to hear swear words or how wonderful it is that children can finally be allowed to watch movies made for adults.
Is this really that big of a problem? I have a couple of kids myself, and it just never occurred to me that I should be angry about this. When my kids were little, we watched family movies together. That was fine, we had a great time. Never once did I say to myself “I wish I could watch movies full of drugs, sex, and violence with my kids.” Honestly, it just never occurred to me. My wife and I watched those movies later, when my kids were in bed.
Now that my kids are older we watch movies that have a little more adult themes, but this still isn’t a problem. The movie industry puts the ratings of PG or PG-13 on movies to tell me how appropriate a movie is for my children and that works just fine. My kids simply don’t need to watch rated R movies.
OK, enough of my ranting, back to the review. If you are the kind of person who wants to let your kid watch dirty movies with all the dirty parts cut out then VidAngel is for you. This is why you have to originally buy the movie for $20 before selling it back for $19. You have to actually own the movie to legally be allowed to edit it. If you were only renting the movie then it isn’t yours and editing it would be a copyright violation. There you go.
So after you buy a movie you are taken to a screen where you choose which parts of the movie you want edited out. If you are not a religious nut then at this point you are probably thinking “This is easy, I will just choose not to have any parts of the movie edited out.” That is what I was thinking also, but it doesn’t work that way. You have to edit out at least 1 part of the movie, and Vidangel won’t let you watch it until you do. Why can’t you just watch the movie without editing it? Because screw you! That’s why!
So you look at a list of all the parts that can potentially be cut out of the movie (You know, because a teenage girls shoulder can be seen or whatever) and look for the part that looks like it will matter the least if you cut it out.
To test things out, my wife and I watched Ted 2, a movie full of drug use and sexual innuendo just to see how things would work out. We looked at the list of things to edit out of the movie and decided to edit out the closing credits, because that seemed to be what would interfere with the movie the least.
It worked fine. We watched the whole movie except for the closing credits. We saw lots of sex jokes, drug jokes, bathroom jokes, and violence. It worked just fine. By the way, if the closing credits of Ted 2 are just great and I should go back and watch them will somebody let me know?
The editing part of Vidangel is obnoxious, but it really doesn’t hurt things all that bad. Just a minor inconvience you have to pay to in order to get brand new streaming movies for $1.
Vidangel lets you stream brand new movies or TV shows for $1. Yay! It is also super easy to use. It has this obnoxious forced editing deal where religious nuts can take dirty parts out of a movie. No, you can’t just ignore the obnoxious editing deal, you have to edit out one small part of your show. Despite the obnoxious editing deal Vidangel is still the best deal in streaming movies. You can sign up for VidAngel (affiliate link) here.
I’m pretty sure many of you religious nuts out there would love to send me some hate mail over this review. You can direct it to firstname.lastname@example.org.