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Some companies take hold of Internet opportunities

It's not fair to complain about problems, but then never acknowledge or admit when decent solutions are offered.

So here I am, after months of writing about the stubborn inertia of industries who fear the mysteries of the future, to say, "good job, movie industry."

Zach White

There have been numerous steps taken by several movie studios that have caused me to take a step back from the front and say that's pretty cool.

One of the biggest changes recently has been the release of several big movies online, through places like the iTunes store or Netflix, before they get released in physical stores on DVDs.

In fact, between the holidays, I watched a strange comedy horror film called "John Dies At The End" on iTunes. The thing is, aside from a few festivals, the movie isn't playing in any movie theaters anywhere in the country, until later this year.

Most of the movies that studios have tried this with have been science-fiction or horror movies that largely share a common audience with movie blogs, movies they can market.

Disney announced just last week that their latest 3D animated movie "Wreck It Ralph," will be released digitally before it comes out on DVD.

Disney also, earlier this year, signed a new deal with Netflix, replacing the deal Disney had held with cable-movie channel Starz. That means that, starting in 2016, all movies made by Disney and their subsidiaries — Marvel comics and the recently purchased Star Wars franchise — will only be broadcast on Netflix.

Many large computer companies are launching campaigns for your television in the next few years. Apple TV, Google's Nexus Q, Microsoft is developing an Xbox that doesn't play games, just TV shows and movies through services like Netflix and Hulu.

They are trying to replace your cable box, by offering an easier option for a fraction of the cost.

The main obstacle left is live sports. Individual leagues occasionally release apps to let you watch games, but nothing has stuck out like the movie services.

So I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the positive steps taken to demonstrate greater faith in digital distribution.

They ain't all bad.

(Zach White is a reporter with the Havre Daily News. He can be reached at zwhite@havredailynews.)

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