Finally, someone is getting the idea… I’m getting sick of companies offering sub-DVD quality movies for download at standard DVD rental rates… what’s the point? At least give me a reason to want to to mess with a computer… and HD content will be that reason. Maybe the announcement from CinemaNow about the premiere of its High-Definition Channel will make other companies see the picture a bit clearer. CinemaNow will make High-Definition Movies available for download in Windows Media High-Definition format for playback on Windows XP-based PCs, including the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 PC. This announcement marks the first broad adoption of mainstream High-definition movies being been made available on-demand via the Internet. The first titles released on CinemaNow in Windows Media Video HD are MacGillivray Freeman Films’ giant screen IMAX films through a deal with Image Entertainment.
Windows Media Video HD delivers to movie fans a visually stunning high-definition experience, offering video resolution of 720p. All CinemaNow HD movies are encoded at up to 10Mbps and feature high-quality 5.1 surround sound for the ultimate in-home theater viewing experience. Among the first titles to be made available is “Coral Reef Adventure.” Originally created for exhibition in IMAX theaters, it was voted the Best IMAX Theater Film of 2003 by members of the Giant Screen Theater Association, and was one of the most successful films in the large format medium ever. All Windows Media Video HD titles will be available on a download-to-own basis so users may keep a permanent digital copy of the file for unlimited playback on their Windows XP-based PCs. Consumers with Media Center 2005 PCs will get the full capabilities of a Windows XP-based PC with exciting new experiences for music, digital photography, movies, and television.