MovieBeam is the technology that I
want to love so bad, but they make it so hard. We already knew some of its shortcomings, but now we learn
another one. The MovieBeam distribution network runs over the analog PBS channels, which we all know will turn off in 3
years. MovieBeam says they will have a peripheral tuner, but no word on the cost. It seems a bit short-sighted to
not use the DTV spectrum for this new service; one engineer said they were 5 years too late. It seems the the Microsoft
Windows Media 9 CODEC compresses the movies enough that throughput is not a problem.
It only takes 8 hours to transmit a 5GB HD movie and they only send one or two a week.
Looks like I'm not the only one not impressed. Josh Bernoff, principal analyst with Forrester Research said he didn't think it has much potential as a stand-alone product. There is hope, as an Intel spokesman says they are working aggressively to develop a Viiv-based product. Lets hope it comes out before it is too late. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if the rumored Apple Media Center has MovieBeam support.