Having struck a deal with Panasonic to launch its video-on-demand service on the Viera Cast platform last month, Acetrax – the Swiss company specialising in VoD and digital media – has landed another major coup. This time it is Samsung’s turn to sign an agreement with Acetrax, which will allow its UK customers to stream and download selected movies via the Internet@TV platform.
Obviously delighted at securing the deal with Samsung, Acetrax’s chief marketing officer (CMO) Leslie Golding is convinced that the service offered by the firm – which gives consumers the ability to download and watch films through an internet-enabled HDTV on a pay-as-you-go basis – will transform the movie industry in the same way the music industry was forever changed by Apple’s iTune/ iPod combo.
Using Acetrax’s service, Samsung HDTV owners can choose from a catalogue of more than 2000 titles to either “rent” or “buy”. “Renting” costs between £1.49 and £3.49 depending on how fresh the movie is, and your downloaded content will expire after 24 hours. “Buying” can cost up to £10.99, and the downloaded titles will be stored in a digital locker (for example the integrated hard disk drive found on some Samsung HDTVs), which can then be accessed across 4 separate registered devices such as TVs, Blu-ray players, computers and Macs.
Unfortunately the streamed or downloaded movies are only of DVD quality with only stereo soundtracks, but Acetrax is hoping that users will be tempted by the sheer choice of movies (which include some of the newer blockbusters such as Clash Of The Titans and Sherlock Holmes), and the convenience of not having to nip down to the local movie rental ship or pay any monthly subscription fee.
Acetrax’s video-on-demand service is scheduled to be available on the Samsung Internet@TV web TV interface sometime in September, adding to an attractive range of functionalities like BBC iPlayer, Youtube, Lovefilm and Skype.