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The connected-TV space is about to unleash whole new opportunities for video content owners to distribute and profit from their content.
Zurich-based AceTrax claims a library of over 2,000 titles from WB, Universal, Paramount and smaller studios and aggregators. Viewers can watch them on up to four different devices, including computers, using a PIN to identify each.
The service will be available on Panasonic TVs in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy.
AceTrax and Panasonic are making a point of pitching their offering against movies from Sky Movies and Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED), which require a set-top box, and from the movie rental service LoveFilm, which operates via subscription. AceTrax offers both rentals (£1.49-£3.49) and pay-to-own (£4.99-£11.99) on an a la carte basis, direct to the TVs. Titles are DVD- but not HD-quality.
AceTrax says it has similar deals with other home electronics makers which it will be announcing later in the year.
The likes of Sky Movies will likely need to talk with home electronics makers about carrying their own services on new gadgets, lest their historical advantage be crowded out. LoveFilm had been interested in getting carriage on the BBC-led Project Canvas connected-TV platform, which will offer transactional internet services over broadband.