CinemaNow, Intel burn deal

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Online video download hub CinemaNow announced Thursday an updated alliance with Intel Corp. that give consumers using media PCs equipped with Intel Viiv technology the ability to legally burn movies to DVD discs for playback on standard DVD players.

Founded in 1999, CinemaNow in April began offering burn-to-DVD downloads of feature-length films, shorts, music concerts and TV programs from more than 250 licensers, including the major studios.

Viiv-enabled media center PCs allow users to watch a movie on the desktop, transfer it to a portable device and remotely control content on a home network, including flat-panel TV.

The deal helps expand CinemaNow's presence in digital home distribution by using Intel's 40% stronger Core 2 Duo processor for faster burning of rich media content, including high definition.

"This technology will dramatically improve our burn-to-DVD consumer experience," CinemaNow CEO Curt Marvis said.

Kevin Corbett, vp and general manager of Intel's digital home group and content services group, said the collaboration helps create greater consumer awareness and ease of movie downloads in the home and on media devices beyond the PC.

"Most people are realizing that IP-based content is one of the safest ways to deliver (entertainment)," Corbett said. "Now it is more about the business models and usage models and creating consumer awareness for that."

An Intel Viiv-branded media center allows users to remotely transfer content from the PC to the TV and other media devices, including set-top boxes and DVRs.

At next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel and satellite provider DirecTV will showcase a Viiv-enabled hi-def DVR set-top box that remotely transfers entertainment content from numerous sources.

Corbett said Intel and DirecTV this year will unveil a consumer marketing campaign that underscores how PC, TV and high-def content can be melded into a singular home entertainment experience.

"It's all about making it easier and easier for the consumer in the home," Corbett said.

Separately, DVD copying-product manufacturer Sonic Solutions unveiled a licensing and certification program Wednesday called Qflix that enables content owners, on-demand providers, media distributors, retailers and consumers to legally expand the market for copy-protected DVD burning.

Sonic's CSS-enabled encryption software is embedded in most Hollywood DVDs.

Erik Gruenwedel is senior editor at Home Media Magazine.
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