film

CinemaNow Opens Canadian Site

CinemaNow had opened a Canadian site, enabling Canadians who use Windows or internet connected devices to rent or purchase films online.

Film rentals are generally $4.99 and purchases vary in price.

Shaw Discusses Video Service

It appears that Shaw customer will not be able to rent films online from this company’s Movie Club service without it counting against their monthly allotment of data unless they rent this content via their set top box.

The video on demand service, which is currently available in Standard Definition, costs $12 per month and a high definition service will be made available shortly, for $5 more per month according to this press release.

Netflix users have been complaining that the cable companies are imposing limitations on this popular service, giving their own movie rental services a competitive advantage by removing or reducing their own service’s impact to their customer’s allocated monthly transfers.

Online Retailer Adapts To Usage Based Billing

Netflix Canada has decided to offer additional options to their customers in response to the usage based billing issues.

Canadian subcribers will now be able to access additional options when it comes to the quality of the videos they stream from Netflix in order to reduce their consumption of bandwidth.

According to Netflix, they will now offer three levels of video quality to their Canadian customers :

  1. Good – Max. 625 kbps Video/64 kbps Audio, which translates to about 9 gigabites of data for 30 hours of content.
  2. Better – Max. 1300 kbps Video/192 kpbs Audio, which translates to about 20 gigabites of data for 30 hours of content.
  3. Best – Max. 4800 kbps (1080p HD video) and 384 kbps (5.1 audio), which translates to about 67 gigabites of data for 30 hours of HD content.

On the Best setting transfers will fluctuate depending on if the content is in HD and/or whether there is congestion. This means 30 hours of non-HD content on the Best setting will translate to about 31 gigabites of data.

It should be noted that American and Canadian television episodes from before 2009 are not likely going to be available in HD, so people who enjoy watching this content can use the Best setting. And several films on Netflix are not available in HD as well, including many by Paramount, who have just signed onto the service in Canada.

Warner Film Rentals On Facebook

It appears that the Warner film rentals on Facebook are not yet available to Canadians.

I’ve checked the The Dark Knight rental and the site says that it is unavailable for my country or region, so i’m guessing they’re still experimenting.

I suspect that Canadian will not be able to rent from Facebook for some time, which is a shame really because the $3 fee is pretty decent, though I already own The Dark Knight on DVD.

Cloud Film/TV Distribution

Six major film and television studios have partnered to bring a new technology to the market, allowing users to view television episodes and film on multiple devices with the ability to share this programming with six friends or relatives.

Ultraviolet is the industry’s response to a reduction of sales of DVDs and Blu-rays in the United States in 2010, down 3% to 18.8 billion.

Starting this summer, they’re hoping to transition from DVDs to this more flexible online distribution to take advantage of the booming digital downloads and streaming sales and rentals. And they have 46 retailers and device manufacturers on board, including Best Buy, Comcast, Samsung, and Toshiba.

There are two major hold outs at the moment though : Apple and Disney.

Apple had its own service but they are expecting to sign on because they allow Netflix already on some onf their devices.

Disney, on the other hand, has their own plans, for a similar technology called KeyChest, which is partly owned by Steve Jobs.

According to Mitch Singer of Sony, Ultraviolet will be fully implemented by 2011, allowing people to view material on cell phones, tablets, video game consoles and computers. And by 2012 they expect to have Ultraviolet software built into portable devices.

Cineplex Now Offering Online Movie Rentals

Film rentals and purchases are now available to Canadians via the Cineplex store site, some of them discounted, or even free, with Scene point redemption.

But to view this content you will need to install the Cineplex Media Manager, which is not available yet for Mac and Linux machines, and have Windows Media Player 11 installed.

The content downloaded from this web site is therefore limited to Windows machines (Windows XP SP2/newer, Vista or 7), Plays for Sure devices that can sync a 1500K video and the Xbox 360.

The site states they will be expanding their compatibility shortly.