DivX gets boost from Hollywood and Film Fresh

For folks that have been around the web for some some time will recognize the DivX brand name. It is a video format that lets you maintain high video quality but with a much smaller file size and has been popular on the web for a long time. That popularity though has only in the last few years reached beyond the web and been adopted by hardware manufactures.

Where once DVD players and other devices ignored the format they are now all climbing on the bandwagon. It isn’t only the hardware manufacturers that are getting in line with the format but Hollywood studios are also giving it a serious look. As well media player software developers are including support for DivX which makes playing the movies back a lot easier. While DivX, the company behind the format, had already signed agreements with the major Hollywood movie companies it is the deals like the one that Film Fresh has cut that might see a broader availability of new movies being made available using the DivX format.

In an announcement today Rick Bolton of Film Fresh says the company has signed agreements with four Hollywood studios to provide movies utilizing the DivX video format. Film Fresh which previously was known more for its indie and foreign film releases will as of today have 600 Hollywood titles available for download.

There’s also a much greater emphasis on downloads than on packaged products — the amount of downloadable titles is rising from about 20% of the inventory to 50% or 60%, Bolton said, mainly because almost all of the new Hollywood offerings are available digitally. In fact, he said, a number of the older Hollywood movies aren’t available on disc — either they haven’t been released on DVD or they’re out of print. These include “Play It Again, Sam” and “The Parallax View.”


One other factor favoring downloads, at least from Film Fresh’s point of view: There’s no inventory risk for the studio or the retailer. That liberates companies such as Film Fresh to offer as many titles as possible without having to buy copies in advance or guess how many will sell. The only caveat today is that Hollywood still enforces its release windows, meaning that a new release will get yanked out of an online retailer’s inventory when it’s time for the movie to appear on HBO or Showtime. Bolton said he has far more flexibility over pricing downloadable films than DVDs, so he plans to experiment with discounted movie bundles and dynamic pricing that responds to demand. “No one’s really begun to explore this yet,” he added.

Source: LA Times Blogs – Technology :: Film Fresh to offer Hollywood movies in DivX

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