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Starz Cautions New Netflix Deal is Good, but not HD

As content providers delve into new, emerging media to distribute their goods, they have to be careful not to insult or diminish one set of consumers for the sake of capturing a new set. Case-in-point: Starz, the premium cable movie channel that just inked an online distribution deal with Netflix and the content rental firm's 9.4 million subscribers.

While Starz acknowledged its tie-in with Netflix with a new broadband service dubbed "Starz Play," it was also reassuring its current TV customers via the media that the content it will make available to Netflix will not be HD quality—as it is on its HD cable services.

Starz's initial contribution to Netflix's growing menu of instantly viewable titles (about 12,000 and counting) will amount to about 1,000 movies—but again, they said, none of them reaching the HD quality online that their existing cable TV subs are used to.

At least not yet, anyway. Stayed tuned to a PC near you.