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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Digiboo brings digital movie rental kiosks to Toronto

DigibooPumpkins aren't the only things turning Toronto orange this week. A sea of orange kiosks are popping up all over the city. The kiosks are from a company called Digiboo and if you are a movie lover you might want to keep your eye out for them.

Digiboo offers digital rentals and purchases of the latest movies and television shows. Think of them like 2.0 versions of the DVD or Blu-ray kiosks still kicking around in Metro locations from But instead of giving you a hard copy of a movie you need to return, Digiboo works by downloading your digital rental or purchase to either a USB stick to watch on your Windows-enabled PC or directly to a supported iOS or Android mobile or tablet via the Digiboo app.

The kiosks currently offer more than 500 movies and 200 TV shows including new releases like "After Earth", "Hangover Part III" and "The Conjuring" (the latter will scare your pants off, take it from me). The kiosks download new offerings weekly and since digital movie releases are available much quicker than physical rentals you are able to get your hands on titles as soon as they are done the theatre run (or sometimes sooner).

Of course downloading movie rentals is not something new. iTunes, Google Play and Cineplex all offer the same service online but you can use these in the comfort of your own home. So why would you want to head out in this cold(er) weather to do the same?

Well there are actually a couple of valid reasons, the least of which is cost and speed. Internet packages for Canadians are quite costly and not everyone has a hefty plan which promises lightning fast speeds and higher download limits. Getting a movie at a Digiboo kiosk lets you use the terminal's Wi-Fi instead of your own. This connection is faster, more stable and most importantly doesn't put a dent in your download cap for the month.

Also, as you're downloading the movie directly to your device to watch, you don't need to worry about a choppy streaming experience from these entertainment alternatives, which makes for a better viewing experience.

In doing a quick comparison of the new releases offerings on iTunes and Cineplex to that on Digiboo the catalogues were quite comparable. The rental pricing was also pretty much the same. All three offered "Pacific Rim" for rent for $4.99. But Digiboo actually beat iTunes and Cineplex when it came to buying the movie. Digiboo's pricing for movie rentals is $15.99 compared to $19.99 on iTunes and Cineplex.

Of course the one down side of downloading from a kiosk is the time you have to wait for the movie to finish getting to your selected device. Digiboo says that TV shows can download to a USB stick in 30 seconds or less or directly to a device over Wi-Fi in minutes. When I tested it out in the Gateway Newstand in First Canadian Place my movie rental took about 8 minutes to get to my Android device.

In today's age, waiting for seconds feels like an eternity so I suggest you first initiate the download and then slowly do any shopping you may want to do so that you aren't watching the clock. I was able to walk about 50 feet from the Gateway Newstand I visited over to the Starbucks which was kitty-corner to the location and wait there for the download to end with little impact to the Wi-Fi strength, so that can always be an option too.

This is the first Canadian city for Digiboo which launched in the United States last year. It is also the largest rollout in any city so far. There are thirty-two Digiboo kiosks in Toronto, all found in supporting Gateway Newstands and Hasty Markets. This is nearly double the amount in Chicago which previously held the largest amount of kiosks in one city with seventeen. GTA locations include First Canadian Place, Toronto Dominion Centre, Commerce Court, MaRS Discovery District, through out the PATH and select North York, Etobicoke, Mississauga and Brampton Stores.

In the States, Digiboo have kiosks in airports, something that makes total sense as needing something to do on a plane for a couple of hours lends itself well to a digital rental. Although Pearson and the Island airport are not part of the initial launch this week for Digiboo, the company did confirm that they are very interested in transit locations like airports and train stations for their kiosks in the near future.

The team at Digiboo have created a coupon code for blogTO readers to get one free movie or TV rental to check these kiosks out. Use the coupon code BLOGTO4FREE. The code is valid until November 15. You can find the nearest Digiboo here.

by Tom Emrich via blogTO

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