Jaman is a service I stumbled upon a while back. Its a movie download and rental site. The main attraction is that Jaman focuses on the independent movies. They have a good collection of offbeat bollywood movies. Jaman totally omits Hollywood movies, a brave move to be frank. There is a reward for signing up. You get to rent three movies for free. Rentals are available for 7 days and normally cost $1.99. There is no restriction on the number of views though. Films can also be purchased for $4.99. More information on Jaman can be sourced from Crunchbase.
The catch is that the movies have DRM and is played only through the Jaman player.
Free is nice, but a couple of issues though. You need to install the Jaman player to view the movie and its available only on the Windows and Mac platform. Jaman has dependency on Quicktime. Ubuntu Linux has been my primary OS for quite sometime, and I do not want to spend my time in Windows while the movies are being downloaded. Its still the age of primitive kbps unlimited Internet connection in our part of the world. It will take a substantial amount of time to download the movies. I tried to install the player over Wine in Ubuntu. The installer doesn't seem to even budge. So, I had kept my Jaman account in the backburner, until today morning.
On May 14th, they launched a new service in which user can stream and view a selected number of movies which have advertisements before and after the movie. I tried out a few ad free short movies (more on that here) and it was a pleasant experience to say the last. Crisp and clear at more than decent quality.
I can stand a few ads to view a quality movie. Its afterall zero burden on the conscience (whatever of that is left!) and supporting the filmmakers.
Here is the short film Prarambha by Santosh Sivan for your viewing pleasure.
Prarambha (The Beginning)