More On MovieBeam Relaunch

NYT: “Will people pay $230 and hook a new gizmo up to their television sets so they do not have to drive to the video rental store? … Tres Izzard, a former Disney executive who is now the chief executive of MovieBeam, said the service was meant to appeal to the 30 million people who rent at least four movies a month. Four-fifths of those rentals, he said, are releases of the sort that will be in the MovieBeam service.”

— Izzard says it can break even at 500,000 customers. As expensive as the box seems, it’s actually being sold at a slight loss.

CNET: Mark Goodman, Yankee Group: “I think it is challenging, because it is in an increasingly crowded space for distribution of movies. … “I’m not a big fan of having to have a separate set-top box just to watch movies.”

— The settops will be co-branded with investor Cisco’s Linksys; the two companies are working on a new product.

— Delivery piggbacks on spare PBS badnwidth.

— Talks with Sony are ongoing.

— Buyers sign up online through a retailer and a box preloaded with 100 movies is FedExed. The movies will be replaced 10 at a time.

CNET Review: “In terms of hardware and content, MovieBeam looks to be on the right track. … While 100 movies may seem like a lot, when you consider how many studios are backing the product, there probably won’t be much of a range of choice from each company. And while 10 new movies are promised per week, they’re added at the expense of ones removed from the service without your input. … For HDTV owners who are dreading the dead-end choice between HD DVD and Blu-ray, buying a MovieBeam box could be a great way to get access to several high-def movies a week. … But our gut reaction is that the limited selection of movies may keep interest limited to those who frequent the New Releases shelf at Blockbuster. MovieBeam sounds like a great concept, but we’d like to see lower pricing–for the hardware and the movies–not to mention a wider selection.”

Izzard says the ultimate goal is to deliver movies for burning to DVD. “”Those rights don’t exist today, but they will be coming and we want to be a part of that.”

Related: Disney Changes On-Demand Movie Windows Via New MovieBeam Service; The New MovieBeam Launches In 29 Cities Today