The studio behind the blockbuster Avatar is offering an unprecedented look into digital filmmaking, with downloadable extras that will allow a viewer to watch the motion capture actors or CGI in real time.
Beginning on Dec. 20, customers can now download a total of six hours of extras via Apple's iTunes from Twentieth Century Fox, which include the three different views of the movie, plus a number of other extras that offer a real-time look into how the movie was made.
The Avatar iTunes Extras Special Edition will cost $19.99 for a high-definition version, and $14.99 for the standard version; both include the movie as well as the extras. Apple will begin accepting preorders at 11 AM PT, a Fox spokeswoman said.
Fox's motivation is to encourage consumers to get into "digital collecting" of digital movies, explained Aubrey Freeborn, senior vice president of marketing and product management for PPV, VOD and EST for Twentieth-Century Fox. The extras will be released to the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia on Dec. 20. Avatar is the top-selling Blu-ray disc of all time.
In a somewhat surprising move, DISH Network said Wednesday that the company had been selected as the winning bidder in BlockBuster's bankruptcy auction, and will acquire BlockBuster's assets for about $228 million after various cost adjustments.
The total bid was $320 million, DISH said. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the second quarter, the companies said, if the bankruptcy court approves the deal.
DISH, a satellite provider, didn't say why it wanted to acquire BlockBuster, with 1,700 physical stores and a streaming service on top of it. But DISH has recently made moves to acquire licenses to content, enhancing its video-on-demand services with a deal with EPIX on Tuesday to bring its movies to DISH's online service, DISHOnline. DISH extended remote streaming to the iPad in December.
Adding a chain of stores and BlockBuster's existing relationships with content providers will help facilitate DISH's transformation into more of a provider of on-demand content than simply a "linear" provider of scheduled broadcasts.
Comcast and CBS have announced that eight of CBS’ primetime series will now be available at no cost through its VOD (video-on-demand) service. The shows included are CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: NY, CSI: Miami, NCIS, Big Brother, Survivor, Jerico and Numb3rs.
Previously, Comcast had allowed viewings for $.99 per episode on CBS owned and operated stations. These “free” episodes will now contain commercials sold by CBS. Available to all On Demand viewers beginning the day after network airing, they will be viewable for four weeks. Considering that you can already watch those full episodes without commercial interruption at no charge on the CBS Website (via innertube), us non-subscibers can go there to play catch-up or just survive until the reruns.
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