Tablets And Movies On The Go: The Future?

Having done all the regular stuff I typically spend far too much time doing when I get a new piece of technology - such as staring blankly at a myriad of settings that mean nothing to me and browsing aimlessly through app marketplaces like a semi-asleep Neanderthal blankly looking at the contents of his fridge - it occurred to me that putting a film on to the Asus Transformer might be the first thing that I should be doing.

It seemed I had all of the requisite ingredients.

My Inception Blu-ray had come with this flashy thing from Warner Brothers called 'Digital Copy'. My Transformer claims its good at doing this sort of thing. What could go wrong?

As it turns out, quite a lot.

The problem with transferring media (especially video content) to various devices is that you very quickly hit upon one of the key reasons why devices like the Transformer have to fight to be adopted by the mainstream. These reasons are mainly those of both messy legal compliance and the even more befuddled confusion of file types, bit rates and other phrases Bill Gates made up on a drunken night out and now gets huge enjoyment from as he watches vaguely non-technical people like me try to explain them.

I'm sure there are ways and means to put films on the Transformer but to an average movie consumer such as myself these ways and means remain frustratingly complex, time consuming and downright difficult. Giving me something I can drag and drop to somewhere else is, like cold beer on a Friday night, all that I ask for. And I don't think that's too much to ask.

Anyway, rather than bore the bejesus out of all and sundry by explaining exactly what went wrong, lets just say that this was the end result of my adventures into Digital Copy land...

What this then hit upon, as I continued to explore ways to watch films, is one of the Transformer's key limitations for movie fans: there is currently, as far as I can see, no viable option for renting on an Android platform. Google once upon a time seemed to have tapped YouTube as its preferred method of delivery but now seems to have abandoned that in favour of producing original content specifically for the service. Asus have their own media application called @vibe (good from what I've seen) but the movie portion currently hangs in a 'Coming Soon' limbo.

So what other options are there for the movie-hungry Asus owner who doesn't want to trawl through conversions, settings and rips? Well, as usual, thank your lucky stars for the Beeb. The BBC iPlayer Android app might not yet be quite ready to run on the Transformer but, thanks to the welcome inclusion of Flash on the tablet, the main site works just fine and a day after my Inception miss-adventures I was using a WiFi hotspot to admire Al Pacino's stupendous and all-too-ocassionaly-used beard...

Not too far away from said spot of Pacino beard-admiring, I tested out the Transformer's ability to create its own media. Not too shabby I must say.

This post is Part 2 of a small series of five articles covering what movie fans might or might not get out of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Part 1 can be found here.

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