Disney Launches MovieBeam

MovieBeam, Disney's long-awaited on-demand movie service, debuted late last month with launches in Jacksonville Fla., Salt Lake City and Spokane, Wash.

Subscribers to the service sign up for a Samsung Electronics decoder, remote and small antenna at electronics retailers and for a one-time activation fee of $30, can wirelessly download a variety of theatrical movies from studios such as Disney, Fox, Sony, Warner Brothers and Universal. The service launched with a slate of 100 titles and will add about 10 new selections every week. Subscribers pay a monthly fee of $7 to rent the box and the programs cost $2.49-$3.00 and allow viewers unlimited viewing of the selection over 24 hours. Customers can also run a quick coverage check and sign up for the service directly at www.MovieBeam.com.

Programming is downloaded via the Dotcast datacasting platform, which allows viewers to download audio and video over the analog signal of PBS's National Datacast network. Disney is an investor in Dotcast.

"The innovative MovieBeam business model relies on existing broadcast spectrum to achieve significant bandwith to the home with limited initial investment," said peter E. Murphy, senior executive vice president and chief strategic officer of Walt Disney Co.