Finally, LG and Telstra have come up with a good reason for people to buy BluRay players -- and it has nothing to do with BluRay discs!
If you've held off buying a BluRay player because there's no future in physical discs, LG and Telstra have the perfect reason to finally buy one -- HD movie downloads.
The movies will come from BigPond Movies and will cost $6.99 for 48 hours of viewing. Viewing must begin within seven days from download. This compares favourably to the iTunes download store, which only provides 24 hours to view a title -- though it does allow movies to be stored for up to 30 days before you watch them.
BigPond Movies has now got a vastly expanded catalogue of titles (way better than the paltry selection that was there when it first launched as a Windows PC-only service.)
Telstra's own $299 T-Box doesn't even have the HD movie downloads capability yet -- though that's coming within a month or so.
To access the service you need to have an LG "Netcast" enabled TV or BluRay player. We confirmed with LG this morning that even the $229 BD560 BluRay player supports BigPond HD movie downloads.
BigPond HD Movies downloaded on BigPond connections are unmetered, so the usage is not counted towards the monthly usage limits -- though with the bizarrely massive download allowances now available through many ADSL/Cable ISPs (up to a terabyte with iiNet, or 1.1TB with Primus) this is less of an issue.
However, for BigPond Wireless customers it's a big deal -- since allowances are still relatively small on those plans, this is a great way to get HD movies piped into your home if you can't get a decent wired connection at home. (Of course, the speed of downloading an HD movie over 3G might not be so crash hot...)