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Author: Subject: BitTorrent to offer movies, tv shows for download

Zen Peach





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  posted on 2/26/2007 at 03:51 PM
Wow, i didnt know it wasn't legit.....

but this works out well for someone like me who refuses to give Comcast any more $$ for cable......



BitTorrent goes legit with movie and TV downloads

2/26/2007 10:59:30 AM, by Jacqui Cheng

BitTorrent has officially jumped into the growing pool of video download services with the announcement that it will start selling legitimate TV and movie rentals via the company's web site. The downloads will come via BitTorrent's already popular P2P client and function in the same way that torrents currently function—a torrent file will be downloaded to the client computer and then downloaded from a number of other peers who are seeding the file. BitTorrent is offering movie rentals from Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Lionsgate as well as a number of television shows from Comedy Central, Fox, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, and VH1, among others.

BitTorrent cofounder Ashwin Navin told the Associated Press that he believes up to a third of current BitTorrent users would be willing to pay for legit content if it were available and affordable. "Now we have to program for that audience and create a better experience for that content so the audience converts to the service that makes the studios money," he said.

Pricing will be roughly equivalent to similar services, with TV episodes coming in at $1.99 apiece and movie rentals ranging from $2.99 to $3.99. Rented movies must be watched within 24 hours after the user has first clicked the play button. "We're really hammering the studios to say, 'Go easy on this audience.' We need to give them a price that feels like a good value relative to what they were getting for free," said Navin to the AP. The service will not, however, offer download-to-own movies—just TV shows. The reason behind this decision was apparently due to high pricing demands from the movie studios that the BitTorrent team didn't think would appeal to its audience.

The files will, of course, come with DRM restrictions. The movie and TV files are protected with Windows Media DRM, which (like most other services) will block Mac and Linux users from watching legitimately torrented content. The site still allows Mac users to purchase and download the files, however, but warns that they can only watch the videos under Windows. The files are also currently limited to play on a single PC.

How likely is BitTorrent's legit service to succeed? One immediate problem that comes to mind is ISPs that are struggling with whether or not to throttle torrent traffic. My own ISP doesn't throttle, but recently blocked BitTorrent's default port—an easy workaround, but still an indication that they'd prefer that their users didn't torrent files. Another limitation is the inability to download direct-to-TV—something that savvier users with HTPC boxes can do, but average users probably won't.

That leaves BitTorrent to compete with the handful of not-quite-so-successful movie services, such as CinemaNow and MovieLink, which are also limited to play on PCs only. Even some members of BitTorrent's target demographic (males between 15 and 35) have pointed out that they use BitTorrent in order to get TV episodes before they're released to legit services, and that they'd only be interested in buying if they could download at the same time that a show is airing—there are already plenty of other legit services available if they were looking to buy after an airing. BitTorrent's new service has a lot of challenges to overcome in the coming months if it wants to succeed in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/26/2007 at 06:30 PM
Wow! Nice post...modern technology once again!

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 2/26/2007 at 06:37 PM
man linnie... I thought you were a geek...

they've been talking about this for quite some time...

the one I'd like to see is Joost... http://www.joost.com/
I signed up for beta testing, hope I get in...

I sometimes use the democracy player, but there isn't enough content to really be useful yet imo... but lots of funny short stuff...

 

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