Warner Bros. to Sell Movies and TV Shows on Internet – New York Times

Warner Bros. to Sell Movies and TV Shows on Internet – New York Times Well and add another log on the fire. Warner Brothers seems to be coming around to the idea that they’d rather have a small piece of pie than no pie at all.

“Warner Brothers plans to announce today that it will make hundreds of movies and television shows available for purchase over the Internet using BitTorrent software, which is widely used to download movies and other copyrighted material illegally.”

It looks like the shows are going to cost a buck each on the low end and moving up to what it would cost to rent the movies on DVD for more expensive full length movies.

Personally I’m still not terribly excited about this news for a few significant reasons.

1. I can already watch a wide variety of shows from my Media Center PC via Orb (it was kind of nice watching programming for free on my laptop this weekend down at Costanoa resort where they don’t have TVs in the rooms).

2. The quality is bound to be horrible.

3. There does not appear an easy enough way to make the missing link jump from my PC to my living room. I did not read anywhere in the news about any partnerships with TiVo or Microsoft’s Media Center or Yahoo’s GOTV or Apple’s Front Row.

4. Why pay for low res crappy TV on the internet when I can already get it for free? (Note to reader, if the aforementioned link is dead, don’t worry. They’ve just been shut down already. There are thousands of other places to find the exact same stuff online for free).

One thing that is for sure though is that this kind of news has got to make broadcasters increasingly nervous. They of course are the unnecessary link between a studio and a consumer and they may soon face the unfortunate aspect of being somebody’s lunch. Kind of like being Kodak in a changing world that doesn’t need film anymore.

Want to really get me excited? Instead of this crap, start talking about high definition downloads served up on my Media Center or TiVo.

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2 Comments

  1. Dave Zatz says:

    Akimbo has HD downloads available for MCE: http://akimbo.com/press_rel_032706-hdnet.html

    Not sure how large or compelling their selection is though… and at what cost.

    I do agree with most of your points above, except #2 – the AOL, ABC, Vongo, Movielink, etc content I’ve sampled thus far has been generally very nice (with the exception of shows received through iTunes). Definitely higher quality than anything coming through Orb or Slingbox.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Orb is pretty watchable for HDTV rendered down to DiVx. Not full screen or anything of course though.

    Here is something to consider. The back end pipes, what they are building and testing now, need to support any front end. If you say make your deal with MCE or Tivo, then you are just setting new gate keepers in exchange for the old. Content that you pay for needs to be ubiquitously available with or without a gate keeper.