February 26, 2007
| by Arlen Schweiger
File-sharing giant BitTorrent Inc. is continuing to push its legitimacy by jumping into the increasingly crowded TV and movie download pool on Monday, Feb. 26. The BitTorrent Entertainment Network was set to launch, with films from Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, MGM and Lionsgate, as well as episodes of TV shows such as “24,” “Prison Break” and “Punk’d.”
It seems like almost every company with access to the entertainment industry is offering such services lately, including last week’s word from Sony about those capabilities coming to the PlayStation 3 this year. A technology built around file sharing through separate bits of data from multiple downloaders and uploaders, BitTorrent has been a beacon for illegal movie and music sharing.
Now, the company is hoping its enormous peer-to-peer usership—135 million people have reportedly downloaded the BitTorrent software—will fork over a few bucks for some TV episode purchases and movie rentals.
Television episodes cost $1.99 to download to own, a price on par with Apple’s iTunes, while BitTorrent will offer movie rentals for a 24-hour viewing period for $3.99 for new titles and $2.99 for older films. For now it’s rental-only for movies because the prices demanded by the studios were apparently too much. High-definition video will also reportedly be offered through the service.
A full-length movie download should take about a half-hour, with TV episodes about one-third that time. The content is protected by Windows Media DRM and can only be played back through Windows Media Player.
Visit www.bittorrent.com for more.
Via: Yahoo and AP
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.