CinemaNow and Intel Team Up on HD Movie Service

CinemaNow is adding 1080p HD movies to its service thanks to a new deal with Intel. Previously, CinemaNow had only offered standard definition movies through its service. CinemaNow has added hundreds of high definition movies from 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros, and is promising that more are on the way. 1080p movies will be available to buy or rent for playback on computers running a Sandy Bridge-based processor and connected to an HDCP protected display.

It is this last detail that should draw the most attention. CinemaNow requires a Sandy Bridge processor because the service relies on Intel Insider technology to protect the content stream. Prior to this announcement the only place to buy movies using Intel Insider for protection was directly from Warner Bros.

The hardware-based Intel Insider protection relies on some vaguely disclosed authentication technology and a protected pathway from the SNB CPU to the SNB GPU to secure the content. This also means no video card unless you are running on a Z68 chipset and using LucidLogix Virtu to enable graphics switching between the on-board GPU and the video card. Finally, the need for an HDCP connection to the monitor means no VGA and only relatively recent monitors will play along. Given the restrictions, it is hard to imagine many average consumers navigating the restrictions on anything but a new laptop.

According to the company, “several hundred” new releases and other popular films from 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. have already been added to its library, in addition to the 15,000 movies and TV shows already on file.



  • It will be interesting to see

    It will be interesting to see if folks like Netflix, Vudu and Amazon take advantage of this as well.   If so, it could be a compelling reason to upgrade to a Sandy Bridge platform.     The lack of HD streaming on my HTPC was one of the primary drivers behind purchasing a standalone BD player.