Microsoft to Launch its Own TV Download Service?

Microsoft to launch its own TV download service? – PVR Wire I saw this hit Digg yesterday and now PVRWire is reporting on a rumor that Microsoft is going to get into the TV download business kind of like iTunes.

Let me start by saying this is a RUMOR. The original source quoted on Digg yesterday, Mac Rumors, had no type of evidence that I saw suggesting that this is anything more than a rumor. They later even updated their post and changed it from a TV download service to a movie download service.

From their post: “Meanwhile, there are reports that Microsoft is not taking Apple’s success lightly and plans on launching a subscription-based [Movie]* download service. The service would presumably offer either unlimited downloads or one with a high limit for a flat monthly fee similar to Napster’s present music subscription service.

* Update: Movie service, not TV.”

Personally I would have liked to have seen them document the “there are reports” portion of their post with an actual link to a single report because I could not find one. And a couple of Appleheaded fanboys sitting around saying, hey I bet Microsoft copies Apple and does it too doesn’t really count as a “report” in my book.

So take this one with a grain of salt. And if, as Mac Rumors reports, Microsoft is actually putting together a MOVIE download service I’ll wait for the details before ohhhing and ahhhing. Right now in fact you can already have movies downloaded from your Media Center PC and you have been able to have them for a while. CinemaNow, MovieLink and now Akimbo all have movie downloads for purchase. The problem of course with these movies is that the picture quality is very poor. CinemaNow has a few HDTV titles but they are mostly boring old IMAX stuff. If I wanted that I’d watch HD Discovery for free.

If Microsoft IS planning on offering a movie download service at some point (and when MovieLink and CinemaNow haven’t actually been the blockbuster runaway successes it would surprise me) I think that unless the downloads are at least DVD quality that it will be hard for the service to succeed. And then I can’t really see Hollywood wanting Microsoft to sell HDTV or DVD quality movies at $15 a month when it would bite into their more lucrative DVD franchise. There’s a reason why the Apple iTunes low res picture is so crappy.