DirecTV's premium VOD service is the first to offer early-release movies under a new test plan by Hollywood. On Thursday, the satellite TV giant will launch its early release offering of films in partnership with the four big studios: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and 20th Century Fox. Here are the official details:
- Home Premiere movies are new movie releases available exclusively on DirecTV Cinema months before they're available on Netflix, and even before they're available on DVD or Blu-ray.
- A Home Premiere movie costs $29.99. With Home Premiere movies, you have the convenience of being able to enjoy the latest releases in the comfort of your living room. You also have the freedom to watch them as many times as you would like within a 48-hour rental period. Hence, they cost more than a typical DirecTV Cinema movie.
- All Home Premiere movies are in 1080p HD.
- To view Home Premiere movies, you must have an HD DVR receiver, and your HDTV must be connected to the receiver with an HDMI cable.
- To order a Home Premiere title, go to Channel 1100 on your TV and select the Home Premiere category to see a list of available titles. If the title you want to watch has a green check mark next to it, it's ready to watch instantly. Just select it to start watching. If it does not have a green check mark, you can add it to your queue and it will be ready to watch as soon as it is available. You will not be charged until you begin watching.
Studios decide which titles become available to DirecTV and when exactly. The first offering is the movie Just Go With It, which became available for pre-order this morning. Also debuting over the rest of April and May will be The Adjustment Bureau, Cedar Rapids, and Hall Pass. Once bought, customers can view a title for up to 48 hours, which is twice as long as regular pay-per-view movie. Within that time frame, titles can be viewed multiple times.
Hollywood believes the offering appeals to families most. Apparently, they will calculate the costs of paying for movie tickets for everyone in the household, possibly the need for hiring a babysitter, and the savings thanks to not purchasing concessions. I cannot see my family ever paying that much, but this may be targeted at those groups that don't include at least one geek member.