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I Want My Downloadable Movies!

Hollywood execs yesterday gave their collective thumbs up to a new encryption system that they say is strong enough to allow movies to be downloaded off the Web and then burned onto a DVD.

The technology will require modified DVD burners and new blank media and by itself is not going to change my life, but it is a step toward bringing to life my personal panacea of home entertainment. That is being able to download first-run movies. If the encryption system is good enough to burn the movie, it should be good enough to keep the video pirates at bay and allow first-run downloads.

As a parent with young children I only get to see one good movie a year in a movie theater. All the others involve animated lions and similar characters. While these are entertaining, there are times when I would like to see a film with actual people and not a talking car, and while the theater environment is nice, I can live with watching it at home.

And I don’t think I’m alone. In my opinion Hollywood is missing out on a huge revenue opportunity by forcing families, such as mine, to wait months for the DVD version of a film to go on sale. By that time I’ve either forgotten about the movie or have heard enough negative things to turn me off wanting to see it. All of which could have been avoided if I had access to it when it was first released.

This, in turn, could lead to a boon in CE sales as people upgrade their run-of-the-mill TVs and home theater systems. Heck, it could even convince me to push aside my relatively new 34-inch CRT TV and buy something better. It would also require computer and home network upgrades so consumers could digitally store the films and move it about their homes.