Re-encoding delays video-over-ADSL2 launch

The need to re-encode around 16 Terabytes of content into a streamlined format has delayed Movies Online's (MO) bid to stream movies over next-generation ADSL2 services.MO announced the service -- dubbed 'Reeltime' -- in late May, saying it had secured an agreement on movie content with Sony Pictures.

The need to re-encode around 16 Terabytes of content into a streamlined format has delayed Movies Online's (MO) bid to stream movies over next-generation ADSL2 services.

MO announced the service -- dubbed 'Reeltime' -- in late May, saying it had secured an agreement on movie content with Sony Pictures. It said customers of Adelaide's Adam Internet -- one of the first Australian Internet service providers to offer next-generation ADSL2+ services at speeds of up to 24Mbit/s -- would gain access to services from late July.

However, MO company director John Karantzis told ZDNet Australia  today the launch was another two to three weeks away, due to the need to re-encode the company's approximately 16 Terabytes of digitised movie content from the MPEG2 format commonly used on DVDs to a next-generation MPEG4 format.

The advantage, Karantzis said, was that the new format needed significantly lower bandwidth, around the one Megabyte mark compared to the original's three.

"We're ready to go once the content's re-encoded," said Karantzis, admitting the process was a little tedious.

"Watching grass grow is probably more exciting," he said. "But once the library's done, we just update it every month as we receive updates from the studios."

MO is building a data warehouse in Sydney -- to be finished in February 2006 -- to store the content, but ISPs will also keep a subset at their own headquarters.

Karantzis confirmed his company had inked agreements with movie studios other than Sony Pictures, but wouldn't confirm which ones. Likewise he said MO had been in discussions with other Internet providers both big and small.

"We're probably about two to three weeks away from announcing additional studios as well as ISP partners," he said.

The ability to provide video content over broadband is, however, limited in practice to a few contenders with their own infrastructure that are able to provide higher speed broadband. Both Internode and iiNet have expressed interest in delivering video content online and BigPond is known to be prepping its own online video delivery service.

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