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CinemaNow Expands Beyond the PC

18 Aug, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Movie download pioneer CinemaNow Aug. 18 said it signed a deal with Widevine Technologies that for the first time will allow downloads and streams to consumer electronics devices running Windows, Mac or Linux operating platforms.

Other systems now compatible with CinemaNow include Firefox, Safari and Opera browsers, in addition to Internet Explorer.

The deal could allow the Marina Del Ray, Calif.-based serviceÆs movie and TV show downloads ù heretofore limited by DRM restrictions to PC-based devices ù to encroach upon AppleÆs dominating iTunes content platform and iPod media player. The iPod, which controls about 70% of the portable media market, still excludes all non-iTunes licensed content.

WidevineÆs open DRM and digital copy protection would allow CinemaNow users to purchase, stream and download movies, TV shows and music videos, regardless of their computing platform or browser ù greatly expanding the serviceÆs commercial reach while also placating security concerns of the studios.

Seattle-based Widevine says its multiformat (DCAS and DRM) digital copy protection and forensic watermarking solutions are used by more than 130 service providers and 160 Web properties.

ôCinemaNowÆs strategy is closely aligned with WidevineÆs strategy to seamlessly expand consumersÆ ability to watch premium content on the device of their choice, wherever and whenever they want,ö said Brian Baker, Widevine CEO.

Rob Enderle, independent analyst with Enderle Group in San Jose, Calif., said Mac users are traditionally very loyal to Apple. He said it would be hard to believe that a third-party vendor can move against an Apple product or service on an Apple platform product.

ôRecall that even Microsoft pulled their dominant browser off Apple because they couldnÆt compete with them,ö Enderle said. ôSomehow I doubt CinemaNow has anywhere near as much clout as Microsoft did. Competing with Apple on an Apple platform is a foolÆs game.ö

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