Canada’s Bell launches Windows-only, non-iPod, PlaysForSure-only video download store

“With more than 1,500 movies and TV titles available, the Bell Video Store is [Canada’s] first online service to offer download-to-own movies the same day they become available in retail stores. People in less of a hurry can download them to rent shortly after, when they are released for rent,” Jack Kapica reports or The Globe and Mail Update.

“In announcing the opening, Bell cited recent movies such as Cloverfield, Into the Wild, and There Will Be Blood as available. The store also offers access to classic TV shows, Bollywood movies and children’s entertainment including Franklin, Rolie Polie Olie and Little Bear,” Kapica reports.

“To watch the shows, customers must install the Bell Video Store media player on a PC or laptop, and can start watching a few moments after purchasing a video without having to wait for the entire file to download. Owners of a Media Centre PC will be able to use their remote to control their viewing,” Kapica reports.

“The content is protected by desktop applications that support Windows Media digital rights management, which does not exist for computers running Macintosh OS or Linux operating systems. Only those devices that support the Microsoft PlaysForSure format can be used for portable players. The system cannot be transferred to popular devices such as the Apple iPod,” Kapica reports.

“Customers can purchase shows for prices starting at $4.99, and rent them for prices starting at $1.99. A rental allows a user to access a movie for 30 days after downloading it; once started, the movie will continue to be available for 24 hours,” Kapica reports.

Full article here.

Sometimes the sheer amount of stupidity on display requires no further comment.



  1. Aggggghhh. Excuse me but did I not hear that playsforsure rights will die in August. That Microsoft will not support who can play what after that date????

    So if you buy a movie, and change computers after Aug 1 2008, you lose the movie. Even if you burn it to disk, the drm would be required to allow the movie to play.

    Am I close?? I am not sure I would even give it 90 days. 🙁


  2. Oh my God. The stupidity of these companies is nothing short of astounding. I mean really. Incompatible technology, soon to be even more incompatible come the end of July.

    I know we’re a very small market for Apple, but I had really hoped they would be launching the move service for Apple TV before someone like these asshats did something similar and meaningless.


  3. As far as being in touch with their potential customers, Bell Canada is about as much out of it as it is possible to get. Surprisingly, Rogers is only the second worst. Bell Canada actually makes a real effort to support Mac owners using their internet access. Rogers makes no effort in that area at all and is totally in bed with M$. Stragne bedfellows, the whole bunch of them!

  4. This is actually “download-to-own-until-we-decide-to-stop-running-our-drm-servers-because-nobody-is-buying-anything”. If Microsoft, which makes a jillion times what Bell makes, in a market 10 times the size of Canada, decided to turn off it’s PlaysForSure servers, I don’t see this as being very successful for Bell or for their customers.

  5. @hello hello

    They may *technically* have iTunes TV shows in Canada but not really. They have currently no movies for rent, no movies for sale, and for TV shows they have two or three of the worst Canadian TV shows and about 25 to 30 American TV shows.

    Sadly the American TV shows are just the very bottom of that particular barrel also.

    All that teenage junk from MTV, blech! 🙁

  6. What do expect Bell to do, Apple wouldn’t make a version of the iphone to work on Bell’s CDMA network, but thats ok for you fanboys. If you crap on Bell, crap on Apple first!

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