Amazon Subsidiary Brings Us TV Greats

Amazon.com subsidiary CustomFlix Labs today said they’d reached agreements with NBC Universal, A&E Home Video and PBS to begin making available popular broadcast content via a new “DVD on Demand” service on the Amazon.com Web site. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Under this new DVD on Demand service, said CustomFlix, content from television programming networks’ vast library of normally archived material is being encoded and distributed on to DVDs as consumers select and purchase them online. For NBC, this includes a wide variety of titles such as the “Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show” and a compilation of popular “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” segments from the “Today” show. More NBC titles are being added on an ongoing basis, with many DVDs being pre-sold during the initial airing of the broadcast.

For A&E Home Video, they are currently selling more than 1,000 titles through the program. Selected content from the A&E Network, The History Channel and The Biography Channel is now available, including programs such as “Modern Marvels,” “Investigative Reports” and the “Biography” series. PBS, meanwhile, is distributing a wide array of programs as well through CustomFlix, including “American Experience”, “Antiques Roadshow”, “Frontline” and “Nova”.

Amazon’s DVD on Demand service is a result of a new program called Media Gateway using a “secure storage and reformatting platform designed to provide content owners the flexibility to repurpose content into multiple future digital formats.” The platform, known as the CustomFlix Future-Proof Archive, “currently supports DVD-Video, with additional formats to be announced”.

The program works by CustomFlix offering digitization and DVD authoring of video content. Amazon.com then makes this content available for sale to tens of millions of its customers and CustomFlix will manufacture DVDs on demand as customers place orders.

As next generation optical disc formats roll out, Amazon and CustomFlix will support them as well. These supported formats for custom ordering by consumers will include HD-DVD, Blu-ray, and Windows Media Video High Definition DVD (WMV-HD DVD). CustomFlix’s first move in this area has already begun as they are teaming with HDNet, a high definition television programming network, to digitize hundreds of HD titles for sale on Amazon.com. Some titles have already been produced under this agreement and are for sale now.

“The CustomFlix DVD on Demand service works perfectly for the massive amount of content that network and cable channels have yet to make available on DVD and other digital formats,” said Dana LoPiccolo-Giles, co-founder and Managing Director of CustomFlix, in a statement. “Our service enables content providers to quickly and economically distribute previously unavailable programming to millions of Amazon.com customers. Because we produce discs only when customers order, our providers are not subject to the expense or risk associated with traditional distribution methods.”

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