Intertainer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. launched the former's
subscription-video-on-demand service in the top 35 broadband markets Wednesday,
including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and
Intertainer has spent much of its time during the past two years working out
content deals with major studios, and Wednesday's announcement signals the next
step in the company's business.
According to Intertainer, it has more than 70,000 hours of content, and it
has partnered with studios including Universal Studios, Warner Bros., DreamWorks
SKG and New Line Cinema, as well as networks including NBC, PBS, ESPN and
Microsoft is involved with encoding of the content, which will be done with
'Windows Media Video 8' at 500 kilobits per second, allowing for a full-screen
viewing experience at what Intertainer said is better than VHS quality. 'Windows
Media DRM' is being used for content protection.
Among the programs and movies available are The Mexican, Fifteen
Minutes, Sweet November and episodes of NBC's Saturday Night
Live and A&E Network's Biography.
Intertainer's SVOD service is 'FirstPass' at $7.99 per month, offering access
to TV content. Once users sign up for FirstPass, full-length feature films can
be purchased on a pay-per-view basis. New-release titles are $3.99, library
titles are $2.99 and music videos are free.
The full list of markets is Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.;
Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Detroit;
Hartford, Conn.; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami;
Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Nashville, Tenn.; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia;
Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh, N.C.; Sacramento, Calif.; Salt
Lake City; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; St. Louis; Tampa, Fla.; and