July 02, 2009

Picturebox HD Movies

The Picturebox subscription service announced earlier this week is now live on Virgin Media and, as promised, the majority of movies are also available in HD.
To access the service, go to the Movies On Demand listing and select 3 Picturebox, then 3 High Definition. In the first week these are the HD movies:
  • 8 Mile
  • Air America
  • Along Came Polly
  • Dazed and Confused
  • Exiled
  • Ghost Story
  • Gotcha!
  • The Grudge 2
  • Heroes
  • Jaws
  • The Life of David Gale
  • Magicians
  • Mr. Bean's Holiday
  • Ned Kelly
  • Red Dragon
  • The Scorpion King
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Stay Alive
  • Thursday
  • Village of the Damned
That's not too bad a list - one of the greatest movies of all time in Jaws, one just a few years' old Magicians and a few blockbusters - Red Dragon, Shaun of the Dead and the excellent United 93. Can't grumble - if they keep this kind of quality up it may prove well worth £5 a month.
The Picturebox site is updated but doesn't detail what's available in HD yet. No first-run movies of course, but now we know that's because Sky secure the rights for subscription on demand movies...but doesn't make them available to its own customers, let alone Virgin's.


sammyjayuk said...

"but doesn't make them available to its own customers, let alone Virgin's"

They do as much as they are currently technically able to do so - hell, I can even watch Sky Player Movies on my Mac now!

Which nobody seems to know about, either!


Nialli said...

Sorry, but that doesn't make sense - it's nothing to do with any technical limitations Sky has with its on demand service. Sky could easily offer subscriptions for the Sky Box Office service ... but it doesn't.

mattbuk said...

Is picture box a 12 month contract or is it a 30 day notice?

Alexei said...

I just cancelled my Sky Movies and added Picturebox! I never have the time to Watch Sky movies, and theres never anything good on anyway! You know what i didnt even ask if it was a 12 month Contract or 30 days? Doh! if someone finds out let me know?

mattbuk said...

I've looked on the picture box website and it does not say.

I have to ring virgin today, to see if they can move my install day!!!! So I will ask them.

bradmcr said...

Got Picturebox and VM confirmed that it is a month rolling subscription can cancel anytime.

mattbuk said...

My virgin phone call when something like this.

[ME] Is there an earlier slot for installation.

[Virgin] Your installation has been stopped.


[Virgin] Because the installation department say's you can not have it

[ME]How come has somebody installed a junction box outside my house then yesterday and everyone else has virgin on my street and nobody informed me?

[Virgin] Installations will call you.

This means I will be without tv/internet for another week or so....if I can have it.

My new house it jinxed and virgin are really making me wonder why I stuck with them!

sammyjayuk said...

Nialli, Sky couldn't offer SBO subscriptions - they wouldn't license those movies like that. In fact, I'm not even sure they could license them like that due to the release windows imposed by the studios.

Sky *do* exercise their SVOD rights, with Sky Player and Sky Anytime. Indeed, Sky's use of those rights for their own platform subscribers is, in my opinion, a compelling argument for the forced wholesale of said rights to other platform providers.


Nialli said...

Here's what OFCOM said on the matter:
"VoD services sold on a subscription service (SVoD). At present the movie studios
bundle these rights with the rights to show movies on subscription linear
channels, and these bundled rights are acquired on an exclusive basis by Sky.
Sky does not however have the capability to exploit these SVoD rights on its own
TV platform, and it does not have the incentive to develop a product based on
these rights to be supplied to competing TV platforms. Sky therefore only exploits
the rights via its PC-based Sky Player application, which has thus far had limited
impact on the market.
We believe that Sky has an incentive to restrict exploitation of these subscription VoD
rights, in order to protect its own linear movie channels, which are the only means by
which it can deliver movie content on its satellite platform. Furthermore, it appears to
be acting on this incentive."
So they feel that Sky is technically constrained (which I don't see myself) but is also exploiting the situation by denying other platforms that are better placed to exploit VoD. So I guess we're both right

lee said...

Rupert Murdoch.

Surely those are the only two words we need to remember when looking at Sky's actions?