C|Net News reports that Movielink, a service that will rent movies to computer users with broadband Internet access and plenty of extra disk space, is ready to open its virtual doors for business. The service has some heavy duty backers but there are many questions about the possibility of success for the venture. From the article Movielink ready to roll:
The Web site, a joint project of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Warner Bros., will debut Monday with a limited selection of first-run and classic films from the five major motion pictures studios, in a test of the technology to select U.S. residents. Though the film studios have licensed content to other video-on-demand sites, it is the first time theyive introduced a service of their own.
"With more than 25 million broadband residences, we believe the market is now ready for the launch of a new Internet movie rental service," Movielink CEO Jim Ramo said. "This is the rollout of the service, but itis a real launch in the sense that consumers can rent a movie."
The new venture faces many obstacles. Consumersi demand for viewing films on the PC has paled in comparison to their passion for digital music, largely because of technical limitations in the speed, performance and aesthetics needed to download and watch digital movies. Though adoption of broadband is growing, many peopleis Internet connections do not provide enough juice to make film-viewing online palatable.
If you are a Mac user, however, you may as well rent your movies from NetFlix because Movielink only does Windows. When Mac users connects to the site they are immediately dumped onto an error page which offers these words:
Thank you for your interest in Movielink. We want you to take part in the powerful Internet movie rental experience that Movielink delivers; however, you currently do not meet our minimum system requirements. You will need to adjust the following:
- You need Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP
Movielink has also partnered with RealNetworks and Windowis Media and snubs Appleis QuickTime movie viewer. Movielink is testing its service for 90 days before a full promotion begins.