Italy's Fastweb Offering Video on Demand Through USB Key

The $129 service will give movie lovers access to as many as 2,000 films via video on demand by the end of the year.

ROME – Italian movie lovers will soon have a new way to watch films from home, with a server from Internet provider Fastweb that will allow customers to buy a simple USB key that will allow them to view hundreds of films on demand.

The service, called Chili TV, will cost €99 ($129) and will be distributed from Fastweb storefronts and sold at Esselunga, a supermarket chain. With the key, users will have near instant access to available films even without Internet access at home.

At the start, a total of around 1,300 films will be available, with that number rising to 2,000 by the end of the year with more added regularly.

The plan will add yet another option for Italian film fans, who already have access to films from cinemas, traditional television broadcasters, satellite broadcasters, and Internet-based video-on-demand services. But this is the first that offers access to films with minimal equipment.