Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How do people watch Downloaded Movies?

Time Warner just started a P2P - bittorrent like - subscription download service in Germany. So how do people watch movies once they're downloaded? On the computer?
Doesn't it seem like there's a big cork in this media distribution bottle?
I mean, until there's a brainless way for people to get this content onto their TVs, that doesn't require going back & forth between the TV & computer, hows it going to work? Media Center PCs
1. aren't brainless enough
2. are too expensive
3. aren't really on the consumer radar
4. require you to have a computer in your TV room
5. aren't brainless enough
That's one reason I'm big on the cable companies (hey -- Time Warner is a cable company....)
They could easily integrate downloads into a nice simple transparent "on demand" kind of thing in their cable boxes.
Actually - on demand isn't much different from downloading files like this. It's just not p2p
P2P would make on-demand far more practical for them bandwidth-wise. It might help them with the problem of not enough content.
(I think it's interesting that Comcast says 90+% of on demand programming is free. The thing is, the free content is either
1. repeats of HBO (which you only get if you're already paying for HBO - or other pay channels)
2. CRAP
So what it tells you is that people don't like the On-Demand business model. They want to pay once. Not every time.
The thing is, people will watch a sort of lame movie if there's a fixed cost (monthtly) but no marginal cost.
They don't want to pay $5 on top of their cable bill to watch an Adam Sandler movie. Though they would watch it if it was included.
The fact that people watch all that free crap content more than the paid content (which is actual relatively current releases) proves that.
I'm not saying they will exploit it - but the cable companies have the opportunity.
QUESTION: How are people watching downloaded movies Now??
My best guess is that they're burning them to DVDs. I base that on all the blank DVDs being sold.
(are there any numbers on that? There are so many ads. What else are people burning. I know they're not making backups!)

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