Having originally signed a partnership agreement back in August, Samsung and Acetrax – the Zurich-based digital media retailer that provides video-on-demand (VoD) content – have this week launched the Acetrax Movies app on the Samsung Internet@TV portal, allowing viewers to rent or buy streamed/ downloaded movies on a pay-per-film basis to be watched directly on their internet-connected HDTV displays.
Acetrax is also the company that powers the on-demand movie service on Panasonic’s Viera Cast platform. Its library contains more than 2000 film titles, ranging from classics like The Matrix and Superman to newer blockbusters such as Iron Man 2 and The Karate Kid. Users can either choose to rent (the downloaded movie expires after 24 or 48 hours, and costs between £1.99 and £3.49) or buy (prices range from £4.99 to £10.99 for permanent ownership) the digital content to be immediately enjoyed on their internet-enabled TVs (IETVs). TV series – for example Gossip Girl – will cost £1.99 to rent for each episode, or £14.99 for the entire season. Currently the movie downloads only offer standard-def DVD picture quality with stereo sound, though this may improve in the future.
Data collected thus far from the Acetrax web store on internet-connected HDTVs revealed a rental-to-buy ratio of 80:20. Due to the pricing structure, users are more likely to rent newly-released movies that they did not manage to catch in cinemas, and buy the more established (and cheaper) catalogue titles.
The most popular genre of digital movie purchased are thrillers like Sherlock Holmes and Shutter Island. Comedies such as Yes Man and The Hangover comes next, followed by fantasy films, e.g. Clash Of The Titans and the Harry Potter series. The movies are most likely to be downloaded and watched on Saturday and Sunday nights, while the most unpopular night is Friday.
To celebrate the launch of the Acetrax Movies app and to give consumers a taste of the VoD service, those who sign up for the Acetrax service on Samsung internet-connected TVs by the end of this year will be treated to a free blockbuster movie rental from its catalogue of Hollywood releases, of which the most enticing would probably be Inception which will become available to buy or rent simultaneously with the DVD release.
Samsung HDTV sets which will feature the Acetrax Movies app in their Internet@TV interface include the LE40C650, LE40C652, LE40C654 and LE40C750 LCD TVs; the UE40C6500, UE40C6540, UE40C6600, UE40C6620, UE40C7000, UE46C8000, UE55C9000 LED TVs; the PS50C6500 and PS50C7000 plasma televisions; and all other screen sizes within these Samsung model range.