Movie studios are getting ready to stomp on Hulu like it was yesterday's news. Epix is going to be a new TV network from a joint venture from MGM, Paramount and Lionsgate. Epix will air movies before they're available on DVD, similar to the release window for pay-per-view. The network won't be a premium channel, but bundled into packages to compete with individual pay channels. But, that's only half the story.
The neatest thing is that Epix will also be available online at Epixhd.com, with 720p streaming. Video will be Flash-based with multi-bitrate support, dependent on bandwidth availability. Epix will offer six different encoding rates from a mobile-suitable 500kbs up to full HD. There is a catch — you knew there had to be. Epix would prefer to use servers based at IPS data centers instead of being available to everyone, so you sign up with TV distributors instead of having free access for everyone. To get Epixhd.com, you'll have to subscribe to a TV cable provider and also that same provider's Internet service. Pooh.
The good news is that if you already have that type of arrangement, Epix and Epixhd.com will appear to be free to you. The beta has started — check your ISP and cable provider to see if they're going to offer it too. What happens to satellite customers? Or God-forbid, folks who watch over-the-air TV?
Via Ars Technica