updated 03:40 pm EDT, Mon April 3, 2006
MovieLink VOD deal
Movielink today announced a major expansion of its broadband video-on-demand (VOD) service, enabling most users -- except Mac owners -- to buy movie downloads online in addition to renting them for 24 hours. Leaving Mac users out in the cold, Movielink said it has signed deals with major Hollywood studios to deliver movies from MGM, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros., allowing owners of Windows PCs to create their own permanent digital library of films, which can be viewed on up to three computers, transferred to a DVD (in Windows Media format) for backup, and streamed around the home via home networking. Universal Studios' Academy Award-winning 'Brokeback Mountain' is the first major title to be released on Movielink day-and-date with its DVD launch on April 4, 2006, with Sony Pictures' Fun with Dick and Jane, starring Jim Carrey, to follow a week later as the next day-and-date release. Pricing for purchased movies starts at $8.99.
Mac users as well as users of older versions of Windows are greeted with an error message when visiting the website: "Sorry, but as of May 2, 2005, Movielink no longer supports Windows 98 and ME operating systems. Movielink also 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."
Touting its catalog, Movielink said it also offers other major 2006 DVD releases, including King Kong, Good Night, and Good Luck, Pride & Prejudice, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Get Rich or Die Tryin', and Walk the Line. Classic titles are also available to buy, including East of Eden, The Sting, To Kill a Mockingbird, Die Another Day, Office Space and Breakfast at Tiffany's.
"As a pioneer in this space, Movielink has consistently delivered an affordable, high quality and easy to use VOD service, so it is only fitting that Movielink is the first to offer this revolutionary expansion of consumer options, including the ability to buy major studio releases online day-and-date with DVDs," said Jim Ramo, CEO, Movielink. "We're committed to developing the Movielink service so our customers get the highest viewing value, more technological options, greater convenience, deeper selection of content, and availability of titles in earlier windows."
Rent or Buy options
Movielink has divided its Web site 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. In addition, consumers can stream their copy of the movie to a TV set connected to a media center extender or Xbox when using a Media Center Edition PC.
"The studios are embracing the Internet as a viable distribution platform for their movies, and providing this service will also help to convert Internet pirates into legitimate customers," said Ramo. "Movielink has carved out a position in the broadband market as the place to come for high quality long form entertainment, and we intend to continue to expand consumer options as the Internet delivery of movies becomes a significant channel of distribution."