Movies on Demand via PC is OK but watching HDTV isn't? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-05-2001, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I've seen a few news spots and some stories about how movies on demand via your PC are going to be the next best thing, but I'm wondering how the movie companies are going along with it?

I mean, it seems their biggest fear (they claim) is that everyone will be copying movies and downloading them over the internet, and it will be Napster all over, but doesn't that contradict a service being set up explicitly for people to do just that?

All I want to do is WATCH hdtv and that is a threat, but letting someone download a movie isn't?

I realize the movies that are to be downloaded probably won't be HD, but still, there seems to be a paradox there.

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post #2 of 4 Old 10-06-2001, 03:10 AM
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Another paradox to me is the question of cable bandwidth needed for video on demand (VOD). The introduction of HDTV has been hampered, IMO, while cable companies claim they don't have enough space to carry HDTV (must-carry). Now it's the larger companies that have upgraded to fiber/coax systems that are rolling out VOD. Since the bottleneck in fiber/coax systems still seems be a 750-1000-MHz bandwidth from a fiber node to home receivers, you'd think a very popular VOD film with lots of nearly simultaneous download requests would overload the coax/amp portion of any system. -- John
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-06-2001, 12:02 PM
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I have often thought that the movie theaters are really missing out on an opportunity. This is not VOD but probably would be the next best thing and would not take as much bandwith as VOD. Here's my idea-

Movie theaters appeal to basically one market. They show first run movie releases and some older ones on the big screen to a group of people who for the most part would go to the theaters regardless of what is showing. The primary objective is to go out for a social activity, that includes going to the movies. My daughter is a member of this large market as she goes to the movies at least once a week. Sometimes she goes to the same movie twice because she is with friends that elects to see that movie but not because she wants to see the same movie twice. It is a social activity, not what is showing.
The theaters should recognize this and make an effort to gain access to the local cable PPV channels and run first run movies on these PPV channels in HDTV (preferably) or at least letterbox and DD at minimum. Charge a premium for this but not out of line, I'd suggest similar to what you pay in the hotels for a movie. If they offered this service they would actually access a new market, not lose their existing market. No, they would not have the consession stand revenue but we're not talking any real overhead either. The cable would get their cut and the theaters would get theirs. It would simply be an additional revenue stream they are not currently getting that would have very little overhead. I think the major chains would be interested in this.

This is not really new as we have already seen BlockBuster, a predominate tape, game, and DVD rental business branch into the PPV dbs business. The theaters have the opportunity now to contract with local cable companies to improve the current offerings and increase revenues but unless they seize this opportunity they will be left out to continue only getting a single market, the social movie goers.

In the past, it has been the theater industry who has fought PPV and boxed media of movies while they still have the exclusive on the first run. If they ran the first run releases in PPV HDTV on local cable, it would eliminate this stumbling block for us potential customers and open new revenue stream for them.

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post #4 of 4 Old 10-06-2001, 04:04 PM
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My whole take on the downloading subject:
If I had broadband, I would be downloading movies left and right. The MPAA (and RIAA) have no clue, this will never stop. I only have downloaded 150 MP3s (and yes some were Metallica songs) from Napster but once I find another good source I will get more. I also see no reason why downloading HD content would be illeagal.

Just My $0.02,

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