Starz and RealNetworks jump into broadband delivery

Following news that TiVo is planning Internet delivery of television programming, Starz and RealNetworks have both launched a subscription premium movie service for broadband.

Called Starz! Ticket on Real Movies, the new service gives subscribers unlimited access to a rotating library of at least 100 premium motion pictures for $12.95 per month. Unlike pay-per-view services, the new offering does not charge a separate fee each time a movie is downloaded.

Each movie, delivered in RealVideo 10 and through RealPlayer, takes about 20 minutes to download, depending on the speed of the subscriber’s broadband service. The service includes DVD functionality with fast-forward, rewind and pause and the ability to view in a full screen or theater mode. The content is secured using Real’s Helix digital rights management technology.

The new service is available to consumers in the United States with a broadband connection speed of at least 600 Kb/s. Subscribers can watch movies on their PC or on a television linked to a PC with an S-video cable. Downloads can be scheduled overnight to maximize bandwidth usage.

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