December 19, 2006 Universal Pictures and ReelTime Media have launched the first major movie download-to-own (DTO) service to include secure burn technology. Movies will be released on the same day as retail DVD, enabling consumers with a high speed internet connection to download a wide selection of Universal movies and content for permanent ownership via a unique 3-copy secure burn DTO model. By logging onto the service, consumers can access two Windows Media files, downloadable to PC/laptop and a portable device (compatible with Windows Play4Sure technology) and a third digital file that allows the movie to be securely and legitimately burned to DVD, containing full DVD functionality. Pricing for the downloads will begin at AUD$14.98, with new release titles costing AUD$33.99 (US$26.50).
Initially, consumers can choose from a selection of 35 Universal titles, and ReelTime will progressively encode and make available new release titles on the same day and date as DVD release, as well as further catalogue titles, providing greater depth of titles each month.
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“This unique offer will be supported by Universal’s world-class content at a very attractive price point,” commented John Karantzis, Managing Director of ReelTime Media Ltd. “We feel this service also provides a robust anti-piracy alternative, as well as providing professionally encoded content for portable devices, for enjoyment anytime, any place."