updated 02:15 pm EST, Thu December 11, 2008
HD video downloads burning
Tsutaya will soon offer downloadable HD videos in its home market of Japan that can then be recorded onto blank Blu-ray discs and other media from the hard drives of their home electronics. Users with compatible devices will have a choice of over 400 titles that include movies and TV shows from four US film companies before the year is out, with half of the offerings dubbed into Japanese. The service is offered via the Tsutaya TV service hosted by the acTVila portal site and will release content at the same time as they are officially released on DVD or Blu-ray discs to the public.
The HD content will not need to be down-converted before being put onto Blu-ray, DVD-R DL or iVDR-S media, with the AACS copyrights management standard applied to both Blu-ray and DVD discs while SAFIA attached to less common iVDR-S media. DLNA-compatible devices will also be able to receive DTCP-IP-protected content. Eventually, Tsutaya will give users the option to down-convert the HD content to standard definition quality for recording onto SD, Memory Stick PRO and EMPR cards for viewing on portable devices. Video in 1080i resolution will be encoded in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format and distributed using VBR technology, which has an average speed of 10Mbps.
The service will go live on December 19th. Movies will cost the equivalent of $40, on average, while TV shows will cost just under $10. This will include a copy of the media for storage on the drive and unlimited viewing, with up to two copies allowed on portable media.
A further rental service will let users download content to hard disks only before expiring 48 or 72 hours later, with prices set at $8 and $4 for movies and shows, respectively. Initially, Tsutaya plans on bringing TV shows and movies that include Desperate Housewives, Heroes, Lost, Cloverfield, Dreamgirls, No Country for Old Men and The Bucket List. [via Tech-On]