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Korea's Hanaro Telecom to Launch Web Theater

Hanaro Telecom, Korea's new local phone service carrier, is to launch the Internet movie theater of first-run films through high-speed Internet access.

Hanaro Telecom officials said that it will show the American movie Austin Powers through its Internet HanaNet homepage from July 24, simultaneously with first-run movie theaters in Korea.

So far, some local service providers featured previews or second-run films through the Internet. But, it will be the first time in Korea that a newly released film is to be screened on the Internet.

The new movie service will be offered to subscribers of Hanaro Telecom's high-speed Internet access service at a speed of 24 frames per second, in full-screen to owners of a 15-inch monitor, according to the officials.

"Our online movie theater will provide far more natural view of the screen than the existing VOD services, which are provided by a few other companies at 5-6 frames per second, because we will transmit the data at a speed of 24 frames per second by using Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) networks," explained a Hanaro executive.

Hanaro plans to offer the online first-run movie service at 2,500 won (US$2.10), nearly half the admission fee of local movie theaters for such newly released films. The company will charge the fee on customers' phone bills.

The officials said that Hanaro is scheduled to show Austin Powers on the Internet every Saturday and Sunday from July 24 through August 15.

Only Hanaro Telecom's 15,000 ADSL subscribers will be able to enjoy this Internet movie service. Thus, it will take some time until the Internet theater gain greater popularity in Korea, according to the officials.



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