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Jon Healey on Hollywood's love-hate relationship with technology.

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Film Fresh does Divx

April 11, 2007 |  6:03 pm

Film_fresh_logo Film Fresh, an online DVD store that specializes in titles from around the world, alerted users today that it has begun making films available for downloading. Join the club, eh? Amazon, Netflix, Movielink, CinemaNow, MovieFlix -- the list goes on and on. But unlike many of its competitors, Film Fresh offers an easy way to watch a downloaded movie on your TV, even if the movie is just a rental. No expensive set-top box or networked game console required, just a DVD player capable of handling discs burned in the DivX format. There are tens of millions of these devices in homes today, DivX says. What a great solution! Too bad the major Hollywood studios continue to insist on far more convoluted methods that only hinder the market for legitimate downloads. DivX continues to pitch its format and rights-management technology  to the major studios, but like its competitor Nero (which mixes proprietary and standards-based approaches), it has focused its energy in recent years on putting its technology into a universe of devices and recording tools. In other words, it is building the ballpark. Now if only the studios would come out of the cornfields to play.... Yes, DivX is a top format of choice for online movie pirates, too, but that has only helped popularize DVD players and other devices that can handle DivX's format and DRM. Isn't that a good thing for Hollywood?

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