Tue, Oct 14, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Music industry and Intel aim to bring movies to the home

By Bill Heaney  /  STAFF REPORTER

A new technology that protects big-name movies from being copied could be the key to bringing movie downloads to the living room on opening night, an Intel Corp executive said at a technology forum in Taipei yesterday.

During a demonstration at the Intel Developer Forum, Louis Burns, a vice president responsible for desktop computer systems at the company, downloaded a movie onto his computer and transferred it to a flat-screen TV using a wireless connection.

The movie could not be copied once downloaded due to Intel's latest digital technology content protection (DTCP) over Internet protocol (IP), Burns said, allowing users to view in their living room movies that were premiering in theaters the same night.

"The big news is DTCP over IP has enabled the [movie industry] to see the business opportunity and they're moving forward with that," Burns said.

Two studio bosses endorsed the new technology in video presentations at yesterday's event -- Barry Meyer, chairman of Hollywood studio Warner Brothers Inc, and Lori McCreary, chief operating officer of independent label Revelations Entertainment (producers of Along Came a Spider), which was founded by actor Morgan Freeman.

Concerns about Internet piracy that the music industry claims is killing it have prevented the movie industry from selling movies by download. DTCP over IP may provide enough security to encourage the studios to try selling over the Internet.

"Will there be people who try to break it?" Burns told the Taipei Times. "Yes, but the content providers are pretty confident of the technology or they wouldn't be endorsing it like they are."

The technology is working now, Burns said, and Sony is already offering a soap opera update service called SoapCity for traveling soap fans unable to keep up with their favorite shows. The service offers monthly access for US$9.99 or single-episode viewing for US$1.99.

More studios will offer services once they work out how to make money from downloads, Burns added.

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