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CinemaNow Launches Burn to DVD

19 Jul, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

CinemaNow has beaten rival broadband video-on-demand service MovieLink to the punch.

A day after Movielink announced it will soon let customers burn downloaded movies onto recordable DVD media, playable on any DVD machine, CinemaNow has announced the launch of a beta service with precisely the same capability.

More than 100 titles are initially available for CinemaNow's new “Burn to DVD” service, including selected movies and other programming from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, EagleVision, Lionsgate, MGM Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Sundance Channel and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

The Burn to DVD option goes live today. Customers will be able to download the complete movie as well as full graphic menus, 5.1 surround sound, and language and commentary tracks. Also available are all the bonus materials and special features found on the store-bought DVD.

The entire process takes two to three hours.

“We're just really proud of the fact that we have four major studios and Lionsgate that have chosen to bring to consumers what they've been asking for for some time, which is the ability to burn discs with the movie and all the extras you find on the regular DVD and play them on their DVD players,” said Curt Marvis, CEO of CinemaNow.

“This is something we've been working on for a year. It's been a long process; we had to go to the studios one by one. They had to look at the encryption, the copy-protection and anti-ripping protection on the disc level, the quality of the image, and all the legal and other issues. So this hasn't been something that's happened overnight.”

Initial offerings are catalog product, “not day-and-date new releases we have in our EST site,” Marvis said. Titles range from Charlie's Angels and Barbershop to Midnight Run, Scent of a Woman and Backdraft.

“These are big movies everybody's heard of,” Marvis said. “It's just that they are not first-run product. It's just like with any new emerging product, from cable to VHS and even DVD. You always start with library titles. And then as you gain confidence, you start adding high-profile product into the mix. We expect the same thing to happen here.”

Customers can burn one copy of each movie file they download to a blank DVD+R or DVD-R writable disc using their computer's internal or external DVD writer. While the file is downloading and burning, customers can minimize the application and perform other operations online. Once burned, the DVD can be played in virtually any DVD player with full remote control navigation and access to all of the special features. Prices start at $8.99 and include a printable DVD label and cover art.

Burn to DVD is based on fluxDVD, a technology for secure online DVD distribution. “With this new service, virtually everyone can enjoy online DVDs on his PC or his existing DVD player wherever and whenever he wants it,” said Volkmar Breitfeld, managing director of ACE GmbH, the creator of fluxDVD.

CinemaNow, like Movielink, began selling major-studio movie downloads in April.

Movielink's DVD-burning capability, which has no firm launch date, comes through a licensing deal with Sonic Solutions for the digital media software company's DVD-on-Demand technology. Users will be able to download, format and burn movies to recordable DVD media, using Sonic software applications and the Movielink Manager they use to acquire content.

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