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MovieBeam Launching DVD-like Extras

25 Oct, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

MovieBeam, Disney's TiVo-like video-on-demand subscription service launched last year in Salt Lake City; Spokane, Wash.; and Jacksonville, Fla.; is introducing a series of enhancements similar to bonus material found on most entertainment DVDs.

MovieBeam allows consumers to download up to 100 films (at $4 per new release; $2.50 per catalog release) into a set-top box via over-the-air TV broadcast spectrums. Each film can be viewed repeatedly over a 24-hour period.

Beginning this month, MovieBeam subscribers in all three cities will receive theatrical trailers of current and pending films, behind-the-scenes footage, making-of featurettes, interviews and short films.

In addition to information about upcoming MovieBeam fare, subscribers can — much like TiVo users — view prompts of films in certain genres assembled for select viewing times, such as Halloween and the holidays.

A Disney spokesperson — perhaps cognizant of the studio's significant home video presence via Buena Vista Home Entertainment — downplayed MovieBeam's increasing resemblance to DVD, saying few, if any, home videos include pending theatrical trailers.

“There are things that are unique just to MovieBeam,” said Michelle Bergman, adding the service has no immediate expansion plans, but long-term goals include a “national footprint.”

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