April 26, 2010

Virgin Media Online Movies announced

Virgin is taking the FilmFlex on demand movie service to a PC near you with the launch of Virgin Media Online Movies :

"Film fans will be able to stream their choice of film, ready to watch when they want, directly to laptops, PCs and onto TVs. All rentals will offer unlimited views for 48 hours so viewers can pause, rewind and watch again. Plus the film can be watched wherever the account holder logs on – at work, or at home...

"Virgin Media Online Movies will help visitors discover and enjoy a whole world of film and we’ll continue to develop the service by adding download functionality, even more titles and a great choice of HD films to the line-up.”

No HD at start up though and no word yet as to when HD movies will be launched. Apparently rentals can be accessed up to 30 days from purchase but once you've started watching you only have 48 hours from thereon. (More info on The Register)
Let's hope that when it does arrive that 'great choice of HD films' is extended as is doesn't currently cover many of the big releases from certain studios. Also the rental for the service on PCs is 48 hours - the TV service is currently a measly 24 hours from purchase. The new service incidentally is not limited to Virgin Media customers - online movies will be available to all. Before anyone asks, I'm not sure if it will be available to Mac users but it's Silverlight-based and should be okay.
Incidentally, the VM press release says that "the TV service saw over 11 million films watched on demand in 2009." I had no idea Filmflex was that widely used.

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