Like the zombie flicks the service will surely carry, wireless VOD system MovieBeam may be back from the dead. The company, which was shut down last year, was just bought by Mumbai-based Valuable Group for an undisclosed sum, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Valuable plans to deliver “ethnic and Hollywood content to homes and the hospitality industry worldwide,” and the company has earmarked $100 million over the next two years to relaunch the system in North America and abroad. Content will be in HD and will feature library titles as well as new releases.
MovieBeam has quite the troubled past. The set-top box movie rental service was launched by Disney in 2005, was spun off in 2006, and when all was said and done, had raised $48.5 million in funds from the likes of Disney, Cisco and Intel Capital. The service floundered and was acquired by Movie Gallery in March of 2007 for an estimated $10 million, and was finally put down in December of 2007.
Though details of Valuable’s planned relaunch are unknown, the company’s timing couldn’t have been better — or worse, depending on how you look at it. While no set-top box VOD service has emerged as a clear leader yet (most haven’t launched), the field is packed with big-name brands like Apple, HP and Netflix. All of these will have time to get entrenched in the home, and won’t have the stink of previous failure hanging over them.
Interesting to note that newcomer Sezmi has adopted the same technological approach MovieBeam pioneered of using over-the-air signals to beam content in the home.
Any former MovieBeam users out there excited by this news?