NBC will launch a web site next month for downloads of its lineup. NBC Direct, which currently offers full-episode streams of "30 Rock" and "Heroes" among others, will feature downloads of those shows plus a heretofore glaring omission, "The Office."
The downloads will have a DRM (digital rights management) license that expires in a week. A subscription service will eventually allow for automated downloads of favorite shows.
The beta launch will be for Windows PCs only, in what appears to be a continued snit with Apple over the network's exit from iTunes. NBC's dissatisfaction with the iTune pricing model coincided with the launch of its own online distribution initiatives. Given the buffering freeze-ups inherent in streaming high-bandwidth video, downloads are the obvious alternative.
- TelecomTV offers a summary of NBCdirect here
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