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According to an article on Wired Magazine, a new service by the MusicGiants people called, appropriately, VideoGiants, is set to deliver sets of high definition movies on hard drives by mail and single downloads online:
MusicGiants, which sells music in lossless CD-quality formats and beyond, just announced a high-definition video download store with 250 movies from Paramount Studios, with more major studios expected to sign on later this year. The store also offers videos from HDNet.
Supposedly, you can purchase 10 movies in a DRM-laden WMV format on a hard drive for $159, and they are planning an a la carte download service to be ready in the next few months.
Details are thin at this time, but given that MusicGiants isn't a new company with a dream, but rather an existing company that has been delivering music online at a quality level much higher than any other service, they just may have something here.
As with any movie-related service (including the rumored iTunes Movie Rental Store that is due to be announced at MacWorld next week), the real value is in studio participation. Right now, VideoGiants has Paramount and HDNet on board, so they're going to have to do some more work to get the other majors marching to their drum beat. Hopefully, they will write some good contracts to keep themselves from being surprised and dismayed when a major studio wants to take its toys and go home unexpectedly.
Is the future of high definition movies in downloads and hard drive delivery? Maybe. I think it's a ways off, but the very slow start that HD DVD and Blu-ray have had definitely give such services a chance where they may not have had one before. As prices of non-spinning-disc storage keep dropping, who is to say that the next great format won't be a 64GB flash card the size of a postage stamp?
News like this is all the more reason that Blu-ray has to get its collective act together and get people on board if they want to capture the HD media market and convert people from DVDs to their format. This week has brought us announcements of better players, but at prices that are still above the $300 mark. If the studios don't start opening their vaults a little more, Blu-ray manufacturers have good reason to be concerned that the studios may not be as committed as their press releases and trade show announcements would imply.
Click the Read link below to visit the VideoGiants web site. The press release from VideoGiants is included below.
MusicGiants Launches VideoGiants™ Service with Films from Paramount Pictures
MusicGiants Launches A First-Of-Its-Kind Service That Sells Films Directly Into High-End Home Theater Systems, Starting With Many Of Paramount Pictures’ Titles
LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MusicGiants today announced that they have entered into a distribution deal with Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment to distribute motion picture films from the Paramount library through their new VideoGiants™ home theater digital content delivery platform. The MusicGiants Download Media store is already being built into most of the media servers for the high-end home theater industry, including Crestron, Imerge, Niveus, Russound, ReQuest, Xperinet, Cutting Edge, and Inteset among others. Over the next several months, MusicGiants’ VideoGiants™ solution will become available inside numerous other consumer electronic devices and will function as the primary means of content acquisition for upscale households.
"Over the past several years, high-end home audio consumers have come to rely on MusicGiants as the source for all of their favorite music. We are now pleased to announce that we are going to do the same thing for films and television shows through our VideoGiants™ service," said Scott Bahneman, CEO of MusicGiants. "Our company is uniquely positioned to sell the highest quality content into premium connected homes because our MG MediaStore software is being built into so many home theater devices."
Select titles from Paramount Pictures’ library will be offered through the VideoGiants™ service in specially designed movie collections for hard drive delivery, or on an a-la-carte basis via direct download, onto any media server using the MG MediaStore software. The VideoGiants™ service will offer motion pictures from Paramount’s download-to-own catalog, which includes films such as "Shooter", "Mission: Impossible", "Braveheart" and hundreds of other popular titles.
For Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment, the launch of its films through VideoGiants™ is one of the most recent initiatives that furthers efforts to seek out alternative ways to distribute content digitally. "This is the first time we have licensed our films for sale and delivery on a hard drive," said Derek Broes, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Business Development at Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment. "What appeals to us about MusicGiants, and their VideoGiants™ movie delivery service, is that their target demographic is focused on high-end consumers with home theaters and this audience consists typically of early adopters of new technology. Therefore, we want to ensure that our films are easy to legally purchase, store, and enjoy."
MusicGiants already has over 600 commissioned dealers across the United States who focus entirely on selling and installing great home entertainment systems. The VideoGiants™ service saves dealers and end-users a lot of time and money and eliminates the headache of how to legally load movies onto a media server. Additionally, the VideoGiants™ service should speed the adoption of media servers because the devices can now be legally loaded with the best movies and music at or before installation.
"What’s revolutionary about our new service is that our hardware partners’ customers can get content from us in two ways," added Bahneman. "First, they can get large collections delivered on a hard drive – a recent collection came to $22,000 for a single customer. Second, they can purchase content directly from their media server. There is no need to buy an additional, single purpose box, because our store is built right in a wide range of existing consumer electronics devices."
Seagate Technology, the worldwide leader in design, manufacturing and marketing of hard disc drives, has teamed with MusicGiants. Seagate’s drives are used to deliver MusicGiants and VideoGiants™ content collections to installers and their clients.
"We are very happy to be working with MusicGiants in bringing this revolutionary approach to content acquisition and storage to the 32 million HDTV households in the United States," said Pat King, SVP of Seagate Technology. "We think the trends that MusicGiants is experiencing at the high-end will quickly migrate to the mass market once people see how easy it is to acquire premium content delivered on hard drives or downloaded directly into a media server attached to their home entertainment system. We are very excited to be working with MusicGiants and their consumer electronics (CE) partners to bring the solution to the market."
For more information, visit www.MusicGiants.com.
MusicGiants delivers high definition and premium entertainment from all of the giants of the industry right into customers’ home theaters. Our MG media store is integrated into many of the top media servers for convenient delivery of premium content. MusicGiants is the perfect companion for home entertainment systems and anywhere else that high quality content matters. For more information on MusicGiants visit www.MusicGiants.com.
About Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment
Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies and DreamWorks Studios. PPC operations also include Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studios, and Worldwide Television Distribution.
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