CinemaNow Premieres High-Definition Movie Downloads

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CinemaNow Inc., the leader in broadband video-on-demand distribution and technology, announced the premiere of its High-Definition Channel that will make High-Definition Movies available for download in Windows Media High-Definition format for playback on Windows XP-based PCs, including the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 PC just announced by Bill Gates today in Los Angeles.

This announcement marks the first broad adoption of mainstream High-definition movies being been made available on-demand via the Internet.

The first titles released on CinemaNow in Windows Media Video HD are MacGillivray Freeman Films’ giant screen IMAX films through a deal with Image Entertainment.”As consumer demand for High-definition content continues to grow, DVD manufacturers and distributors are struggling to set standards and agree how they will handle the introduction of an entirely new platform to bring movies into the home in high definition,” said Curt Marvis, chief executive officer of CinemaNow.

“In light of all that, CinemaNow is now delivering movies into consumer homes with video on-demand today in Windows Media High Definition Video for playback on Windows XP-based PCs, and along the way is reshaping the public perception of how consumers get their movies.”

Windows Media Video HD delivers to movie fans a visually stunning high-definition experience, offering video resolution of 720p. All CinemaNow HD movies are encoded at up to 10Mbps and feature high-quality 5.1 surround sound for the ultimate in-home theater viewing experience. Among the first titles to be made available is “Coral Reef Adventure.”

Originally created for exhibition in IMAX theaters, it was voted the Best IMAX Theater Film of 2003 by members of the Giant Screen Theater Association, and was one of the most successful films in the large format medium ever.

All Windows Media Video HD titles will be available on a download-to-own basis so users may keep a permanent digital copy of the file for unlimited playback on their Windows XP-based PCs. Consumers with Media Center 2005 PCs will get the full capabilities of a Windows XP-based PC with exciting new experiences for music, digital photography, movies, and television.

“Microsoft’s Windows Media Video HD format is designed to deliver high-definition entertainment experiences complete with 5.1 surround sound,” said Jonathan Usher, director in the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft Corp. “We are pleased to work with CinemaNow as it continues to create rich online content services and provide consumers with theater-like experiences in the home.”