Direct Movies Turns On the Video Spigot

Last week, Direct Movies announced the debut of its website, which the company claims provides "near-DVD-quality" streaming video on a pay-per-view (PPV) basis. The company says that DMOL was created to address the demand for an increase in the quantity and quality of streaming video content available to consumers via broadband Internet access.

According to DMOL, visitors to the website will be able to view free movie clips after giving their e-mail address and ZIP code (or, if the user is from outside the US, their country). Within the next month, the company says, more content will be added, such as feature films, classic television shows, and sports reels. Consumers will be able to purchase that content on a pay-per-view basis, "thus eliminating the 'Napster Effect,' as all the intellectual property (IP) owners will be compensated for viewing their content."

DMOL anticipates the content initially to be from IP owners who want to maximize revenue from such content as independent short and feature-length films, classic television shows, and sports reels, which, up to this point, may have been what the company terms "dormant assets."

"By making this content available on its site for a share of revenues and at virtually no cost to the IP owner, they can only benefit. In addition, in the next year, DMOL will add translation capability." DMOL says that this "Virtual Translation" will convert the audio content into subtitles in any of 30 foreign languages at the viewer's option. "This technology will bring a library of movies and television shows to a global audience increasingly hungry for content. DMOL will provide the content owner with a paying global audience."

The company claims that downloading a movie will take approximately 15 minutes, depending on the movie's length and the type of broadband access used. Then, DMOL says, the movie can be watched on a laptop or desktop computer, or on a television that has computer access. DMOL's Paul Montle states that "the future appears to be in set-top boxes with Internet access, and DMOL is the first to be able to provide PPV video on demand (VOD) to this fast-growing sector." DMOL anticipates that it will form marketing alliances with selected set-top-box manufacturers. A "Movies" button would be placed on the set-top box that would immediately connect the user to "This association will be beneficial to both parties, as the set-top-box manufacturers will receive a recurring portion of the PPV revenues."

DMOL says that its technology allows the viewer to watch at a speed of up to 37 frames per second (depending on access speed), vs. 33fps for HDTV and 27.7fps for NTSC video. "Thus DMOL provides exceptional-quality video over the Internet. DMOL has patents pending to protect the unique features of their proprietary technology."