Bell opens online video store
Last Updated: Thursday, May 22, 2008 | 4:38 PM ET
Bell Canada has launched an online video store that sells and rents TV shows and movies for download, a service that pits the telecommunications giant against Apple Inc.'s iTunes store here in Canada.
Bell said its video service, launched Wednesday, includes more than 1,500 downloadable movies and television shows, and is the first service to offer download-to-own movies the same day they become available in retail stores and download-to-rent shortly thereafter.
Movies cost between $4.99 to $19.99 to own, while rentals cost between $1.99 to $4.99. With download-to-rent, customer can access their movie for 30 days after they download it and have 24 hours to view the film once they press play.
Users, however, will be restricted by what player they can use to watch the videos. Customers must install the Bell Video Store media player on their computer, and the service is limited to PC users running Microsoft's Windows operating system or owners of some mobile media players from Archos.
The videos won't play on Apple's popular iPod media players or computers running the Linux operating system.
The site is a collaboration between Bell and its partners, which include digital content services provider ExtendMedia and a number of studios, including Paramount Pictures, Corus Entertainment, Maple Pictures, Eros Entertainment and Image Entertainment.
Canadians looking for access to a wider range of online video have been frustrated by the slow arrival of online video services in the country, in part because providers have had to negotiate separate internet rights with the content licence holders in Canada.
Apple's iTunes Canada store, for example, only began to sell video for download in December, two years after they began a similar service in the U.S., and so far those videos have been limited to television shows.
Microsoft also launched downloadable movie rentals in December over Xbox Live, the online component of its video game console.
Bell's online store is the final version of videoplay.ca, a movie service Bell began testing last year. The launch comes as Bell is embroiled in a dispute over its practice of traffic shaping, or slowing the speeds of internet file and video-sharing applications such as BitTorrent.
While Bell has argued its traffic shaping is needed to ensure a few heavy users, particularly those who use peer-to-peer technology, don't slow down speeds for the rest of its customers, critics have argued the practice could have a significant effect on the video marketplace, potentially discouraging consumers from choosing to get their video online.
Top News Headlines
- 3 more suspects arrested in slaying of U.K. soldier
- British police investigating the savage killing of an off-duty soldier in London have arrested three more suspects. more »
- Hockey Canada votes to ban bodychecking in peewee hockey
- Hockey Canada's board of directors voted to eliminate bodychecking from peewee-level hockey on Saturday in Charlottetown. more »
- Neil Macdonald: How serious is Obama about curbing the drone surge?
- In a key speech this week, the U.S. president set out a host of supposed new safeguards for America's controversial practice of remote-controlled rough justice. But as Neil Macdonald writes, the underlying rationale for drone use has not fundamentally changed. more »
- Ontario man lost in Australian mountains has survival skills
- The sister of an Ontario man who disappeared in Australia's Snowy Mountains nearly two weeks ago says she remains hopeful he will be found, partly because of his training as a Canadian Forces reservist. more »
Latest Technology & Science News Headlines
- 1976 Apple computer sells for $668,000
- An auctioneer says one of Apple's first computers — a functioning 1976 model — has been sold for a record $668,000 US. more »
- 3D printers give rise to 'desktop manufacturing'
- Customizable objects from plastic dollhouse furniture to medical prosthetics can now be designed and printed out by almost anyone at the press of a button, and is going to lead to an 'explosion of new stuff,' predicts author Chris Anderson. more »
- Google Street View captures Galapagos Islands
- Few have explored the remote volcanic islands of the Galapagos archipelago, an otherworldly landscape inhabited by the world's largest tortoises and other fantastical creatures that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. more »
- King Richard III buried in 'untidy' grave
- New information has surfaced in the odd tale of the British king buried in a car park. King Richard III's remains, which were discovered August under a parking lot in Leicester, England, were laid to rest in a grave researchers are now saying was "badly prepared" and "untidy." more »
Bob McDonald's Blog
- Chris Hadfield: The gravity of gravity May. 17, 2013 9:58 AM After five months of being Superman and a media superstar, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is now beginning the challenging task of adapting his mortal body and brain to life back on Earth.
- McDonald's CEO chastised by 9-year-old B.C. girl
- Will Rob Ford's supporters leave Ford Nation?
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denies using crack cocaine
- Dog snared on baited hooks near Vancouver's Grouse Grind trail
- Washington police blame bridge collapse on Alberta trucker
- 3 more suspects arrested in slaying of U.K. soldier
- Wallin may be forced to repay thousands in travel expenses
- Canada ranks 3rd last in paid vacations
- Toronto mayor's brother says he never dealt drugs