Warner Brothers to sell downloads seems like a good idea at first glance. They’re embracing BitTorrent, one of the major sources of pirated distributions and using it to sell legal, good quality versions of film and TV releases on the same day as the DVDs are released.
Or is it?
Pricing is apparently about the same for a film as the equivalent DVD. This will not include all the extras present on the DVD. Also, it will only be playable on the machine to which it is downloaded. Also, how they decide their pricing could be crucial. Recommended retail on some DVDs is £30 while such places as Play and Amazon ship them for half that. What price will Warners choose?
So, essentially, they’re asking people to choose one of three options:
1 – buy the DVD somehow. Get a good copy, all the extras and the freedom to watch it wherever you want. On the PC, in the car, on a portable player, on telly, at a mate’s house…
2 – download it for nowt, taking your chances on the quality. But once you’ve got it, you can pop it on a disc and watch it anywhere as above.
3 – pay possibly more than you would for the DVD while only getting the feature, and being restricted to watching it on your PC and it’s paltry 17″ screen.
They haven’t really thought it through, have they?