Movielink by proxy

Rob Pegoraro has written a spirited review of the new Movielink Internet-delivered film service that’s backed by the media powerhouses Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Warner Bros.

After hitting problems straight off and forced to use a recent MS browser, he not hugely impressed. As it’s not truly Video On Demand (VOD), it took 3 hours 25 to download the movie on his home DSL and, as he points out, it’s quicker to pop down to the local video store.

I think he’s slightly unfair about the delay in getting the films. I imagine, if it is going to be used, it’s going to be more like a Tivo-like DVR – you make your selection and watch it later that night or any time in the next 30 days. It’s more likely to be competition for NetFlix but they clearly easily win on breadth of content, currently. That could vanish if the studios feel more secure about releasing material on the Internet.

I was concerned about his reports of video breaking up in the fast sections, but it’s reported that this will be improved in the next six months.

With these draw backs, I can’t see it being used in its current form by anyone other than computer enthusiasts and journalists writing reviews.

I’m sure the people running the Movielink have all read Tom Peters and believe in the marketing power of being first – and as nothing outside the movie world exists for them, they probably think they are the first.

But Tom, as all his close personal friends call him, also talks about quality and that seems to be missing in pretty vital areas – the breadth of selection and video quality.

Does it really matter at the moment? After all, not many households have their computer connected to their TV’s and without that, huddling around a monitor in a strange part of the house, frankly isn’t an enjoyable family viewing experience.

They’ve got to get into the lounge. The real opportunity is for companies with Internet connected DVR’s, like the SonicBlue ReplyTV, to make it a slick, easy to use, couch viewable experience. Given the large amount of bad blood between SonicBlue and the media, I would imagine the more forward-looking DVR companies are speaking to Movielink.

In case you wondered why I’m piggy backing on someone’s review – I would have written my own review but thanks to Movielink’s “GeoFilter” and by an accident of geography, I wasn’t able to. Anyone accessing the site coming from an IP address outside the US, of which I’m one, will be met with a fantastic piece of upbeat American corporate lingo that just shouts NO (our licensing doesn’t permit)

Thank you for your interest in Movielink. We want you to take part in the powerful Internet movie rental experience that Movielink delivers, but …