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Almost Free HD Movie Streamer Epix Reported in Beta

LOS ANGELES: Lionsgate, Paramount and MGM are joining forces to stream their movies online in a new service dubbed “Epix.” Epix will show pre-DVD-release films in 720p, somewhat like a cable movie channel, for which it’s also being pitched. The service beta-launched privately today.

Epix online will use a network supplied by Akamai Technologies for distribution through Adobe Flash Media Server 3.5. It will adapt video playback to a user’s computer capacity by adjusting the bit-rate for various connection speeds.

The service is said to be free of advertising, though not entirely free. It is expected to be tied to subscription to the cable channel, e.g., it will only be available to people who have it in their cable package and who also use that provider’s broadband service. -- Deborah D. McAdams