The latest trends in the United States of America seem to be to create TV Channel portals offering streams of tv shows for authorized users. The other trend seems to be to push pay per bandwidth Internet which does not really match that well if you ask me. So, this time it's HBO with the announcement that a service called HBO on Broadband will go live tomorrow for subscribers living in the Wisconsin area with plans to expand the services later this year.
Users will be able to access HBO on Broadband without charges if they have HBO On Demand and Time Warner's Road Runner high speed online service in their homes. Shoes can be downloaded and watched on up to five computers running Windows Vista or Windows XP Service Pack 2 32-bit and Macs running Windows. Each movie minute roughly translates to 10 Megabytes of download which means that movies will have a size of 1.2 Gigabytes while tv shows one between 300 and 600 Megabytes.
A movie player developed in house has to be used to watch the movies and tv shows which seems to point at some sort of DRM in action. Shows will eventually expire and automatically be deleted from your computer when that happens.
Available for downloading this month will be select episodes from many of HBO's original series, including the current (and final) season of "The Wire" and the debut season of "In Treatment," plus "Rusell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam" and "Real Time with Bill Maher," as well as past seasons of "The Sopranos," "Sex and the City," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Entourage," "Six Feet Under," "Big Love," "Deadwood," "Flight of the Conchords" and more. One HBO original series each month will have all episodes from all its seasons available on the service.
Click for larger image: HBO on Broadband Films offered for download each month will include most of the titles currently airing on HBO, plus many from their extensive library. Among the films available in January are "We Are Marshall," "Norbit," "Breach," "Smokin' Aces," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Superman Returns," "The Last King of Scotland" and the documentary "Baghdad Hospital: Inside The Red Zone."
Individual titles will be available on the service for 4 - 12 weeks, with episodes of HBO original series generally available for longer periods than theatrical films. When a title reaches its "expiration date," it will automatically be deleted from your computer.
No link to the website is circulating yet. Users who would like to access the service and are not subscribed to HBO / Road Runner will be out of luck though because computers and users have to be registered to be able to access the service. via DVD Dossier.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.