updated 08:40 pm EDT, Thu May 22, 2008
Representing the latest effort to compete with iTunes in the burgeoning movie download space, CinemaNow is now offering a variety of paid content services through Windows Media Center. These include download-to-own movies, priced from $10 to $20; TV shows and music videos are priced at $2. The company claims that download-to-own movies are available day-and-date of retail DVD release, but doesn't mention the breadth of the upcoming library (right now there are about 3,400 feature-length movies in CinemaNow's collection). The service will also offer 24 hour movie rentals priced between $3 and $4. Select Pay-Per-View titles are available day-and-date of retail DVD release.
CinmeaNow also enables customers to legally download a DVD, play it back on their PC, and burn a copy to a blank DVD disc. The disc can then be played in virtually any DVD player with full remote control navigation and access to all of the special features. Burn-to-DVD movies are priced from $9 to $15.
The service will also take advantage of Microsoft's Internet TV Beta – a U.S. offering within Windows Media Center that "allows consumers to choose from more than 100 hours of TV entertainment, music concerts, movie trailers, news, and sports content" – and Online Media, which offers sports news and statistics from Fox Sports, XM Radio, HSN Vision, and Showtime TV.