On “Screening Room”


First off guys, sorry for the lack of posts for the last two weeks, I was most definitely on vacation, but now I am back, and so is Islandmovieblogs. Now for those of you who might see “Screening Room” and wonder what the hell I’m talking about, it has recently come out that creator of Napster, Sean Parker, has a new idea and plan dealing with the way we potentially watch movies. The system is called Screening Room, and is an anti piracy set-top box, that would allow its owner to stream new movies to their homes, on the same day and date as they are released theatrically. The box is meant to cost $150.00 US to own, and then cost $50.00 to stream a new movie, for which you would have the movie for a 48 hour screening period. Now these prices are being proposed as what they are because the cinema chains are still meant to get a cut of the profits, and as such not totally be a huge middle finger to them and their lively hood. I can already hear all the people screaming and shouting about the prices here, but you have to consider a few things. Firstly, the initial $150 is a lot, but thats a charge meant to cover the cost of the hardware and is at least only a one time fee. The $50 rental fee per movie now, may also seem very steep, but when you consider that the main demographic for this service is likely to be families, then you can see that $50 for a movie for the entire family, isn’t as steep as it seemed before. Another proposed selling point of the service, is not to dissuade cinema goers, but rather to combat piracy, by offering those who would want to see these films, but find it difficult to get to a cinema, an option that ISN’T piracy, and isn’t waiting a few months for streaming or bluray releases. All of these are great points, but they do spark some issues and part of the issues are created by some of the very things this service would like to encourage. While yes it would be a decent deal for say a family of 4 to pay $50 for a brand new movie, that that entire family can see at home, and not pay for snacks either, but, where do we draw the line? Cinemas would be making an equivalent profit of 2 cinema tickets for each movie rental, but what happens when I go by my friend who has a giant flat screen and he has a big movie party? How can 2 tickets benefit the cinema if 10+ people are watching this movie now? Even more so, what if he charged everyone $5? How many of us would still go to the cinema then? All thoughts to consider, and there really isn’t a right and wrong answer right now, but I would love to hear your opinion too!




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