AtomFilms become the first to offer High Defintion films online

AtomFilms has launched the first online demonstrations of distributing
short films encoded with high-definition video.  The service requires the user to install
a small application for receiving movies and this tool downloads three films
each week at near-DVD quality and two films per month in Windows Media
high-definition format.  The HD
resolution is likely 1280×720 pixels which is roughly three times the quality of


Both their standard quality and HD quality films are encoded in Windows
Media format.  Their service is
funded through advertising mainly from the game company Nintendo and
Microsoft.  The technology is
supplied by Maven which forces the playback of ads prior to each film as well as
track visitor’s usage.


service requires a minimum of a 500MHz processor with a 1024 x 768 capable
graphics for playback.  The aim of
this service is to serve the needs of broadband users looking for broadband
content that are reluctant to pay for it. 
Currently most online pay-per-video content providers apart from Real
Networks are struggling to attract customers.  This service instead offers free films,
but forces the consumer to watch ads prior to film playback to cover the service
and content cost.

AtomShockwave’s AtomFilms began reeling short films in
high-definition format on Tuesday, in one of the industry’s first
demonstrations of the technology online.

AtomFilms, a hub for independent films
and animations, has launched AtomFilms Hi-Def, an advertising-supported
service that lets people watch full-screen Internet video in
high-definition Windows Media 720p format.

To deliver the service, AtomFilms teamed
with technology provider Maven Networks, which provides the software
infrastructure to help manage content, produce and deliver the video. It
also embeds a system to sell related products and deliver advertising and
marketing programs.

“We are at a crossroads in the evolution
of digital entertainment,” AtomFilms founder Mika Salmi said. This
“represents a giant leap forward, for audiences and advertisers

The new service comes at a time when
Internet users are hungrier than ever for broadband content — but are
still put off by having to pay for it. According to research, more than 20
million US Internet users have high-speed Internet connections that give
them the ability to enjoy music and video online with relative ease.
Subscription and downloadable music services have proliferated in recent
years, but few paid video services, with the exception of RealNetworks’
RealOne, have caught on with more than am people. As a result, Internet
operators are struggling to meet consumer demand for content while
developing a business model that works.

“People now want to look at video on
their PC, but one of the complaints is that they want to look at it in
full-screen [mode], and you can’t get it,” said Gerry Kaufhold, principal
analyst at In-Stat/MDR, a research firm.

Maven is helping AtomFilms and others do
that and is “wrapping a business model around it that gets them paid,”
Kaufhold said.

Read the full story here.


This appears to be an interesting service for those interested in high
definition films and prefer to download them rather than rent them out.  Unfortunately with the number of users
objecting to adware and spyware, this service may only prove popular with those
who do not know much or care about Ad-ware and usage tracking.  Currently there are already many movies
coming in dual-DVD
where one disc contains the movie in DVD-Video and the other using
Microsoft’s HDTV format. 


Currently only live broadcasters such as Euro1080 satellite TV channel
are taking advantage of the full HDTV resolution of 1920 x 1080.   Those offering content on disc or
online like AtomFilms are using the lower resolution of 1280 x 720.  Then again, most PC monitors cannot
handle resolutions beyond this and only a small handful of projectors even
natively support this resolution. 

Source: ZD Net UK – Internet News