Thursday, October 23, 2008

HD Downloads Taking Over, Hurry Up Canada!

By: Lee Distad

What a difference a year makes. Last year, anytime I wrote a column talking about the imminence of HD downloads, I’d get hate mail and comments telling me “It’ll never happen, too much bandwidth, too expensive, blah blah blah!” Now, when I mention alternate methods of digital delivery like kiosk-based downloads to flash media I get hate mail and comments that say, “You mean I have to go to a store? How retro. I’ll wait for downloads, thanks!”

On demand HD downloads are a reality, and gaining ground on other media options, when you consider the negativity some analysts are forecasting for Blu-ray sales this Holiday season. Download company Vudu has not only launched their HDX 1080p download service, they also just announced that they’ve signed up over 1000 custom install dealers in the US to sell and install the VUDU XL set-top box, which features 1TB of hard drive capacity, control system compatibility and extended networking functionality. If that doesn’t make movie lovers and technophiles alike slobber in anticipation, I don’t know what will!

In the meantime, we in Canada have to sit on our hands and wait. There are a lot of great things I love about being Canadian, but being late to the party for technological innovations is one thing that chafes. Still, good things come to those who wait, and once Vudu and other competitors jump through the regulatory hoops that our friends at the CRTC throw in front of them, we’ll be all set.

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