Most major studies offer films on the service

Downloading movies to own may well be the future of movie sales and rentals. Before we get to that point, there are several things that will have to be fixed, namely the slow and often lacking broadband infrastructure in America.

DivX and a download to own (DTO) movie company Film Fresh announced today that Film Fresh will be the first online store to sell major Hollywood movie titles in the secure and easy to playback DivX format. The DivX format allows the films to be downloaded to millions of DivX certified devices already on the market from the PS3 to numerous PMPs and Blu-ray players.

The films will be transferable on DVD, USB drives, and SD memory cards as well as being streamable over a home network. Film Fresh offers a wide variety of films from major studios like Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Warner Bros.

"Our partnership with DivX goes back to the founding of Film Fresh. We have always believed that DivX offers the best download choice for consumers, since it gives people the freedom to own and watch films on a wide variety of electronic devices from many different manufacturers,” said Rick Bolton, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Film Fresh. “It's a good fit with Film Fresh's central mission--expanding the audience for film. Download-to-own is going to play a critical role in the future of film distribution, and Film Fresh will provide the films people want to see, in whatever form they want to see them."

Currently available titles for purchase include films like Pineapple Express, 17 Again, 3:10 to Yuma, Hancock and Watchmen and many more. The company also offers titles from independent studios.

"Through our agreements with Film Fresh and the studios, we are able to bring Hollywood movies in the high-quality DivX format to U.S. consumers for the first time," said Kevin Hell, Chief Executive Officer of DivX, Inc.

According to Engadget, DRM for the DivX files is tied to a specific user's ID, so playing back video files on more than one device should not be an issue. Also, the movies will only initially be made available with stereo sound which is quite a letdown for many audiophiles out there.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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