Warner Bros. to “rent” films on the net

May 9, 2006

Warner BrosIn a move that would apparently sidestep or even cut-out Movielink as a digital download partner, Warner Brothers has announced they’ll begin selling movies and TV shows through a BitTorrent type client. The same distribution method that supposedly threatens the bottom line of nearly every major film studio.

I guess Warner Bros. is of the opinion, if you can’t beat them join them. One particular quote from the article left me wondering if the solution isn’t part of the problem:

“Warner Bros., a division of Time Warner Inc., said it will use BitTorrent’s ability to speed the downloading of large computer files to rent and sell its films the same day the movies become available on DVD.”

Personally I’ve always felt that owning a movie was as much about the collection as it was viewing. Our dvd, cd, and book collection is a centerpiece in our media-room, the titles represent our tastes and preferences.

When we have guests over our collection almost always becomes conversation piece, something that’s a bit harder to pull of with digital files. Imagine trying to convey this and that, on a screen full of 380×240 jpegs. Those jackets and inserts would surely get lost somewhere in the equation.

I realize that eventually all media will digitized and the physical presence we’ve known for decades will disappear. However I’m left wondering if moving away from physical media will actually add to the impression that movies and music are ‘just bits of data’, further blurring the moral line between authorized and un-authorized downloads.

Regardless, I can’t say that I’m excited about the “convenience” of downloading standard-definition anything. I’m much more excited by the prospect of owning our favorite titles on HD-DVD. Given HD’s file-size, I think we’re a ways off from being able to skip the retail chain on that front.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under HTPC


Comments

  • westcott

    I am also concerned that the quality of the downloads may be that of MP3’s. Not a good thing.

    I guess time will tell.

  • westcott

    I am also concerned that the quality of the downloads may be that of MP3’s. Not a good thing.

    I guess time will tell.