EPIX platform - Can it survive? Buzz this

Posted by Prasada Martala Nov 14, 2009

Three Hollywood studios - Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM - have joined hands to offer their movie and programming content through cable TV channel, Video On Demand (VOD) and online. The platform is called EPIX. Launched with Verizon FiOS as the only distribution provider in October 2009, this service is going to compete with premium channels like HBO, Starz as well as online services like Netflix, Amazon.

The next question is system requirements for watching the content online. According to their website, video is streamed at 500Kbps to 3Mbps and can be  played on Windows and Mac. Video resolution for online streaming is going to be 720p which is not high-definition but is comparable to similar service offered by Netflix etc. Also, you need to be a Verizon FiOS subscriber to access their online content. By limiting online content access to existing Verizon subscribers, they are losing a chance to attract potential new cable customers. So far, no other cable provider has announced any deal to carry the channel which means, all those regions without Verizon service don't have a chance to get the channel anytime soon.

One cool thing about EPIX channel is that you can watch new movies which are not yet available on DVD and Blu-ray. But, all those movies are in 720p, while many other channels offer their HD content in 1080i resolution. So, you are not going to get the best movie watching experience here.

With services like Hulu and Netflix streaming becoming increasingly popular, this move by Hollywood studios to offer their own service rather than partnering with existing providers means they want to be in control of the distribution and make more money. If more cable providers agree to carry the channel, we can expect the service to survive and be competing with services like Netflix, iTunes.

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