“Hollywood studios will start selling digital versions of films such as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘King Kong’ on the Internet this week, the first time major movies have been available online to own. The films can’t be burned onto a disc for viewing on a DVD player. Still, the move is seen as a step toward full digital distribution of movies over the Internet. Six studios said they would announce Monday that sales will begin through the download Web site Movielink. The site is jointly owned by five of the seven major studios,” Gary Gentile reports for The Associated Press. “Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and MGM will offer some first-run and older titles on Movielink. New films will be priced similar to DVDs — between US$20 and $30 — while older titles will sell for $10 to $20… Studios will sell some new films online the same day they become available on DVD. Most films will be made available within 45 days.”
“The films available on Movielink can be stored indefinitely on a computer hard drive or transferred to as many as two other computers. The movies can be played on a TV if the computer is part of a home network. A copy can be burned to a DVD as a backup. Discs can be played on up three PCs authorized by Movielink but cannot be viewed on a standard DVD player because of special security coding,” Gentile reports. “Consumers will not be able to transfer the films from a PC or laptop to a handheld portable viewing device, but that capability should be available sometime within the next year, Ramo said.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Movielink does not support Mac or Linux. “In order to enjoy the Movielink service, you must use Windows 2000 or XP, which support certain technologies we utilize for downloading movies,” Movielink’s web site explains. Movielink has divided its Web site (http://www.movielink.com) into two “stores,” with a common home page. The two storefronts function just as the Movielink original “Rental Store” operated, but the license to view a movie obtained from the “Purchase Store” allows for unlimited viewing. The movie may be permanently stored on the hard drive to create a permanent archive, or burned to a disc in Windows Media format for backup or playback on up to two additional tethered computers. The movies can also be downloaded to a notebook computer for traveling. Using a Media Center Edition PC, consumers can stream their copy of the movie to a TV set connected to a media center extender or Xbox.
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