RealTime IT News

CinemaNow: Download, Burn, Watch

Online movie service provider CinemaNow became the first company to allow movies piped over the Internet to be securely burned onto a DVD.

The company's "Burn to DVD" beta service, which beats rival Movielink to the punch in circumventing the major copyright issues at hand, lets consumers download movies from their PCs and burn them once onto a blank DVD for viewing on a DVD player.

When the file is finished burning, the DVD can be played in almost any DVD player with full remote control navigation and access to all of the special features.

Consumers will now be able to purchase, download and burn over 100 movies and videos from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Lionsgate, MGM Worldwide Digital Media, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, EagleVision and Sundance Channel.

DVDs can be downloaded and burned starting at $8.99. Titles currently available on a download-and-burn basis include "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," "Scent of a Woman" and "Barbershop."

CinemaNow expects to add more DVDs from content licensors in the coming months.

The one-time download aspect of CinemaNow's service is made possible by secure online DVD distribution software fluxDVD, made by Germany's ACE GmbH.

Preventing customers from making more than one copy of a movie is a major hurdle service providers and content licensors had to get over.

Solving that challenge could open the floodgates to a lucrative opportunity, offering consumers greater control over the content they purchase.

The beta service comes two days after rival Movielink said it planned to get into the download-and-burn DVD game, although that movie-studio-steered company is about six months away from offering its first such service.

Movielink, co-owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Studios, cleared its own security issue by licensing a special software module from Sonic Solutions that restricts the number of copies of movies consumers can make.

Such an offering will help service providers offer portable movies to consumers without jeopardizing copyright laws, which has been a jittery issue for movie studios' digital film strategies.