Studios launch movies-on-demand internet service
The five major Hollywood studios have launched an online movies-on-demand service in the US.
Movielink allows people to download films over a high-speed internet connection, for up to $5 a time.
It is the industry's alternative to unlicensed filesharing over Napster-styled peer-to-peer services.
The venture is owned equally by Sony, Universal, Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros.
The compressed files average about 500 megabytes in size and take about an hour to download via DSL or cable connection.
The films can be watched using media players from RealNetworks and Microsoft.
The full-screen quality is roughly equivalent to a VHS tape, but suffers as the image is enlarged. Viewers can also pause, fast forward and rewind the films.
The movies can be viewed an unlimited number of times during a 24-hour period, but delete themselves after that time.
Analysts are unconvinced the service will prove an instant hit, but have praised the industry for embracing the technology faster than their music counterparts.
Jupiter Research's Lee Black commented: "You have to start to be in this channel or you'll lose the channel altogether.
I think this is cool, but don't like when it deletes itself about 24 hrs