Warner Archive Instant

There’s no shortage of streaming options for the web-savvy cinephile, but the recently launched Warner Archive Instant promises something a little different. Whereas Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and their ilk compete to bring the newest releases to subscribers’ homes, Warner Archive Instant boasts a catalog of films and shows from the 1920s through the 1990s.

The service isn’t for everyone, and its limited range makes it more of a complement to than a replacement for any of the other major streaming services. But for fans of classic film, it’s a great way to discover or rediscover older works that are otherwise tough to find online. Learn more after the jump.

After launching in beta a couple of months back, Warner Archive Instant is finally available for the general public as of this week. The service costs $9.99 per month, which gets you unlimited streaming of their catalog from Warner Bros., MGM, RKO, Allied Artists, and more. Currently, there are around 122 titles available, some in HD, with new selections expected to be added on a regular basis.

Subscribers can watch the films on their PCs or Macs by installing Microsoft Silverlight, but the only way to stream them to a television is via a Roku set-top box. Roku is also the only way to watch any of these movies in 720p or 1080p. Warner Archive Instant cannot be accessed via mobile devices at this time.

With its relatively high cost, small selection, and heavy Roku dependence, Warner Archive Instant has plenty of drawbacks and likely won’t appeal much to the typical movie watcher. With its rare collection of vintage titles, though, it’s a treasure trove for a certain type of film lover. If you’re not sure which category you fall into, you can sign up for a two-week free trial of the service on their site.

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