Netflix early today (Tuesday) took the wraps off its long-rumored online movie service, saying that it had struck deals with Universal, Sony, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., New Line and Lionsgate. (Conspicuously missing was Disney, which currently has a deal with Apple.) The service, called Watch Now, uses a delivery system that appears to be a kind of hybrid of online streaming and downloading. A movie of DVD-like quality is actually downloaded to a home PC over broadband connections, and it can be viewed beginning 10-15 seconds after the download starts if the PC owner has a fast Internet connection. The movie can be shown once and is free to Netflix's subscribers. Those who subscribe to the $18.00 monthly plan may download up to 18 hours of movies per month; those on the $6.00 plan, 6 hours. Netflix's online service is expected to launch nationwide in June, following a phased roll-out involving a small number of viewers that is set to begin at once. The service requires a computer running the Windows operating system


16/01/2007