updated 10:40 am EST, Tue December 23, 2008
FilmOn HD Movies
A new service promises to offer HD video streaming without the typical long buffering times for typical internet connections. Online movie provider FilmOn says it has implemented a new video compression technique known as HDi that reduces the normally very large footprint of HD videos to as little as 2Mbps. While not explaining how this is accomplished, the provider claims that "HD-quality" movies can play on typical broadband connections in real time rather than caching some of that data in advance.
The service itself is notable also for its emphasis on free content; about 70 percent of videos are available to watch without costs, FilmOn notes. Most of these would otherwise be budget titles but are helped by the use of Amazon Web Services, which offloads the need to host content directly, and by private financing that offsets the price.
Most content should also be viewable from more than one country, according to the company's founder, Alki David. Unlike services such as Hulu that often restrict content only to those living within the country of origin, FilmOn is expected to offer content both to the US and the UK. Paid, "premium" content is also available and includes major movies such as No Country for Old Men; pricing in the UK is set at £4 ($5.92) to gain 24-hour streaming access to a movie and £5 ($7.40) to download the same title.
The service is set to be demonstrated to UK provider British Telecom in January and will potentially reach dedicated media hubs in the future, although no specific plans have been revealed. [via The Times]