The digital distribution of movies is far behind that of music at the moment. While music sales on online stores like iTunes or Amazon rival those of CDs and the numbers are growing steadily, for movies the picture is much bleaker. While there are several services that offer online streaming or the rental of digital copies, downloading a movie in a digital format isn't much of an option at the moment. However, that is about to change now that online movie retailer Film Fresh has announced it will begin offering movie downloads in DivX format.
"Through our agreements with Film Fresh and the studios, we are able to bring Hollywood movies in the high-quality DivX format to U.S. consumers for the first time," Kevin Hell, DivX CEO, said. "This brings the DivX vision to reality by giving consumers the freedom to download high-quality DivX videos and enjoy them on any DivX Certified device from top manufacturers."
"Film Fresh is now a one-stop shop for film enthusiasts of all kinds, and we are quite excited about our expansion into premium Hollywood content," Rick Bolton, founder and CEO of Film Fresh, said.
The site will offer movies from four Hollywood studios, thanks to a previous agreement between DivX and Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount and Lionsgate. Film Fresh already offered DivX downloads but only of independent or foreign movies. The titles will be priced between $9.99 and $15.99 and the site already boats an impressive catalogue at launch, with 600 movies available from the Hollywood studios. The number is expected to grow to around 1,000 movies in the near future.
The movies will be standard definition and the audio is only stereo but the main draw of the format is the portability. Because of the way DivX files work users can watch the movies on any number of DivX Certified devices like DVD players, TVs, game consoles, even mobile phones and of course PCs. The files are linked to the user who downloaded them not to a particular device so users can copy them to a USB drive or memory card or burn them on a DVD. The only drawback is that the device has to be able to play the DivX file but this has become less of a problem as more and more devices sport the “DivX Certified” logo.