David Pogue recently
published an article about MovieBeam in the New York Times: Renting Movies
with a Box and a Beam

MovieBeam is a
brilliant new way to rent and watch movies at home. Get movies delivered
directly to your TV — no cable, satellite, or computer is required! Movies are beamed wirelessly into your home
using MovieBeam’s patented digital signal and the sleek MovieBeam Player.” …as
stated on the MovieBeam website.

The player stores
100 movies (predetermined by MovieBeam) and costs $200. It must be hooked up to a phone line to
enable monthly usage billing. You only
pay for the movies you watch ($4 for a new release and $2 for an older
movie). Once selected, you have 24 hours
to watch your movie.  

Every week you
get up to 10 new movies “beamed” to your device and the same number are

David does a
great job of comparing
to some of the other movie viewing options available,
Blockbuster, Netflix, HBO, pay-per-view, video on demand pay-per-view, and internet
movie download sites.  

While I think
this is a great idea, and I LOVE that it represents an alternative to cable, I
won’t do this. Here’s why:

  1. You can’t limit people to a 24 hour period to watch a movie. If they pay for the movie they should be able to access it as often as they want until it’s cycled off of their machine.
  2. Having only 100 movies at a time to meet the needs of your entire market is too limiting. Movies downloaded should be customized to the individual household.
  3. This is limited to movies. I like one-stop shopping. For me to do this, I want all my selected programming coming in the same way (like the episodes of LOST I get from iTunes!).

If they were to take
elements of the Netflix and iTunes
user experiences more seriously (e.g. the user managed selection process on
Netflix, or the other programming options on iTunes), I might be more

Until then I’ll
keep using Netflix for movies and iTunes for other programming.

How about you?

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