Movies’ most universal remote

Consumers clearly still have mixed feelings about watching full-length features films on their mobile handsets, but the market for using the mobile handset as a universal remote to search for and buy that movie has yet to really be explored. A partnership between CinemaNow and uVuMobile, announced today, aims to change that. The combination of the digital entertainment company and a mobility software and services company will bring about a WAP service allowing consumers to view movie trailers and remotely download the full-length movie to the PC or TV back home. 

Through the WAP site, mobile.cinemanow.com, Web-enabled handset owners can preview any of 10,000 trailers in high or low resolution and purchase it. Rather than play on the handset, the movie is ported to a CinemaNow Media Manager-enabled device, which could be the PC, TV, a set-top box, portable media player or network attached storage device.

The simplified interface for the mobile service is easy to navigate. With a few clicks from a touch screen or keypad, you’ll be able to view or purchase your movie. Since it takes the foresight to know you want a particular movie and seek it out, I imagine the service might be used more just to view the trailers than make the actual purchasing decisions. Still, if you’re sitting on the bus mid-commute and see a movie poster that sparks your interest, it does narrow down the search process for you.

The streaming model of movie delivery is continuing to gain a lot of credence as consumers are presented with more alternatives for movie watching. The nature of the services potentially means you can start watching immediately, without waiting for the entire movie to be downloaded. The reality, however, is often an hour-plus wait to start viewing the movie or latency during the movie as the streaming process catches up with the viewing process. A service like this should mean the movie is waiting for you when you get home. Talk about planning ahead.

The ultimate goal of CinemaNow may be to have the movies available for viewing on the handset itself, but for now, this should prove to be a good way to ease consumers slowly into the idea of consuming, or at least purchasing, content on the go.

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