Sony launches Qriocity Video-on-Demand (VOD) in in UK and Europe

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Sony is launching their VOD product Qriocity in the UK, as well as France, Germany, Italy and Spain on Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players and Blu-ray Disc Home Theatre (Qriocity isn’t available for the PS3 yet) which will now give the product owners the opportunity to stream HD movies directly from Sony. This will certainly provide some competition for other VOD companies in the UK and Europe such as Lovefilm who are also streaming movies via connected TV's and the Sony PS3. And other VOD players such as Virgin, BT Vision, TalkTalk TV, Sky Digital, Blinkbox and Seesaw. The race is on!

The content direct to hardware model is heating up - with Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Philips, Visio, Loewe and other CE manufacturers offering direct-to-consumer channels via the Internet connected TV platforms, disrupting the traditional supply chain. Big players are calling it disruption... while many smaller distributors and content creators see it as a leveling of the playing field and more democratic as the CE manufacturers are, by and large, offering TV application development platforms and are trying to create an iPhone type of business model for TV's with revenue sharing. It seems they want to augment those tight margins they work on with hardware and enter the content distribution business.

Qriocity will allow the users to choose from hundreds of new releases and classic films, from film studios including Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, many of which are available in both HD and standard definition (SD).

Sony seems to be focussing in eventually creating a one-stop-shop for music, movies, and eBooks and more...  

And it's as simple clicking the 'Video on demand' option under the Qriocity icon on the cross media bar on the main menu for users to access the enormous inventory.

Sony representitives noted that the "elegant and fast virtual movie store" lets users rent films for 14 days. They have 48 hours in which to finish watching the movies once playback has been started. Prices start from £2.49 for back-catalogue SD releases, while older HD releases cost £3.49. Meanwhile, new releases are priced at £3.49 and £4.49 for SD and HD respectively.

Sony also said new content will be added regularly. To register for the service or find about the latest additions to the movie catalogue, visit Qriocity's website.

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