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Internet Video

Epix Aiming For HD

5/16/2009 2:00 AM Eastern

Epix, the fledgling movie service formed by Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate, is planning to deliver full-length HD movies over the Internet using a dynamic-streaming feature offered with Akamai Technologies’ content-distribution network.

Epix previously said it was expecting to launch initially as a broadband-video service in May, followed by the linear cable channel in October. No cable or satellite distributors have been named yet as signing up to carry Epix.

The service’s Web site is EpixHD.com. The company declined to say when it will officially launch or provide pricing for the service.

Akamai is offering the dynamic-streaming feature through Adobe Flash Media Server 3.5. With the feature, video playback adapts to the capabilities of users’ computers, adjusting the bit rate of the video stream for lower-speed processors or slower Internet connections.

Epix is aiming to provide new releases, catalog titles and original content over a variety of platforms, including TV, computers and mobile devices. Epix has not announced carriage agreements with pay-TV providers.

“The Epix model of commercial-free, uninterrupted current Hollywood movies will set a new online content bar,” Epix chief digital officer Emil Rensing said in a statement. “Akamai’s dynamic streaming solution enables us to be one of the first to provide the accessibility, quality and convenience which today’s digital consumers desire. We’re excited to build our online ecosystem with a partner who is also intent on delivering tomorrow’s technology today.”

Epix’s titles are expected to include J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Cloverfield, Defiance, Drillbit Taylor, The Duchess, How She Move, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Iron Man. In addition, the service will have the rights to all 17 remastered James Bond movies, as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Akamai and Adobe set up a Web site to demonstrate the dynamic-streaming technology at www.streamflashhd.com.

The companies expect the solution to be commercially available before the end of June.

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