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November 1, 2011 • Gear Bits

Looking for a Digital Movie Tonight? Check Out ‘CanIStream.It’!

Have you ever wanted to watch a movie or TV show only to be thwarted by the seemingly random method used to decide whether or not you can watch certain things on the various services? I know my family has – and both Doug and I have ranted about it in the past. In fact, this past weekend while I was out of town overnight and my younger son was at a school dance, my wife and older son wanted to watch Paranormal Activity 2, only to be disappointed when it was unavailable on our Roku (it is now available) through Amazon.

If we had CanIStream.It at the time we could have found out in advance whether or not it was available on the way-too-many services we have available. Here is their description of the service:

Let’s say you are a regular techie with a Netflix account, a Hulu account, and since you only shop online, you also have an Amazon Prime account. Now let’s say you want to know if a movie you’re dying to watch is available to be streamed instantly, using any of these accounts.

With CanIStream.It, you can search across all of these services and pick the one you want to use. And if the movie you’re looking for is not available, just sign-up, set a reminder and viola we will shoot you an email when your chosen service makes the movie available. It’s simple and fast. also searches iTunes and Amazon OnDemand stores; so if a movie isn’t available you might still be able to digitally rent or purchase it.

Just type in the movie title you want to search for and then select “Streaming”, “Rental”, “Purchase”, or “DVD/Blu-ray” from the menu to check for availability. If the movie is available, simply click on the icon and it will take you to the movie page, for the service you selected. If not, then sign-in and set a reminder and we’ll let you know when it becomes available.

CanIStream.It is a free service created by the UrbanPixels crew for the community. We were missing a service like this, so we built it and now hope that other people find it useful too.

So that is how it works … how WELL does it work is another question. Since last night was Halloween and we caught the last half of the classic film of the same name on AMC, I decided to test it out.

Naturally I wanted the original movie, so I searched Halloween and the search results gave listings with full names and release dates. Then I searched Halloween (1978) by copy & pasting directly from the results. The new search gave the listing at top – in other words, the EXACT match wasn’t one of the first few listings! In fact, it was fourth – which makes me wonder exactly how the lists are populated … but something tells me I just learned something about how the site gets paid.

So you can see the listing of interest above, and off to the right are options to check for Streaming, Rental, Buying Digital and Buying Retail. In that screen I had selected Rental, which surprised me by telling me Amazon was renting the movie!

Heading to Amazon I found … this. The craptacular 2007 useless remake.

Oh well, so a mixed bag on the first run! After that I discovered that Paranormal Activity 2 was available on Netflix now, Straw Dogs (the wonderful Dustin Hoffman version by Sam Peckinpah) was on Hulu, and a bunch of other fun stuff.

It is a great way to just search around from a single spot to see what is available, and is much more convenient than going to each individual site to check availability!

Head on over to CanIStream.It and check it out!

One Response to " Looking for a Digital Movie Tonight? Check Out ‘CanIStream.It’! "

  1. […] And one that I would have learned back in November had I paid attention to this post on my favorite website. Yes, the service searches across services to check if the program or movie you […]

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