Netflix is killing cable. How many times have you heard that? (Admittedly, you probably heard it a lot more before Netflix's price hike and the whole Quikster thing.) But after years of painting streaming services as the devil, a new report says that the cable companies may be considering a Faustian deal: signing a pact with Netflix and offering it as an optional service straight from your cable box.
Your on-demand movie selection may be about to get a lot more interesting. According to some industry rumors, Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner have agreed to consider releasing movies to video on-demand services provided by cable companies early. This may mean getting access to films a mere 30 days after wide release, but at a high cost. The figure being floated is $20-30. It could happen as early as Fall 2011.
Movie theaters are likely to feel threatened by this move. Much of the revenue from a film is generated after the initial release. Another potential victim is the plethora of digital video services like Netflix and iTunes. These services often find themselves dealing with long delays before they have access to movies as it is, this new VOD policy could hurt them further.
We also suspect this will be a time the studios will employ Selectable Output Control, as the FCC recently approved. Is this a service you'd be interested in? How much would you pay to see a film while it was still in theaters?
ArsTechnicareports that a July 15 visit by Intel representatives to the FCC wasn't a social call. Instead, Intel is encouraging the FCC to mandate the addition of Ethernet ports to the set-top boxes used by cable TV companies. Their rationale? IP based networking is just about everywhere, except in cable TV, and it's about time to enable cable TV to join the home networking revolution.
It is about time to get cable TV on the home network, but should Intel ask the government to force the industry to do it? To find out why Intel thinks it's the government's role, and for a different take on the argument, see us after the jump.