Wal-Mart – The world’s largest retailer announced they will start offering downloadable movies on their website starting today.
A “beta” version of the online video store, set to debut Tuesday, will sell digital versions of about 3,000 films and television episodes from all the major studios and some TV networks, including Fox Broadcasting. Wal-Mart will not initially offer content from ABC, CBS or NBC, although the company said it hopes to add shows from those networks. This could be due to deals already in place with Apple, Inc.’s incredibly popular iTunes store.
Wal-Mart has stated the new downloadable movies can be played on a PC or transferred to Microsoft Windows Media-compatible portable digital players. The movies will not play on Apple computers or the popular iPod. This could be a problem considering Apple owns a huge share of the portable media players market in the US.
Another problem for Wal-Mart is the fact they state they don’t expect the dowloadable movie industry to really take off for at least five years and blame the lack of technology in the fact that most customers will want to watch their movies on their big screen tv’s. Hmmm. Didn’t Apple already take care of this problem with the recent announcement of Apple TV?
I really don’t understand where Wal-Mart is coming from here. They’re offering movies in a lower resolution than Apple TV which will be offering video in 720p HD, no compatibility with Macs or the most used portable media device in the iPod and coming soon iPhone and they won’t allow you to burn the movies once you’ve purchased them. I can’t really see how this is even a viable service.
I think Wal-Mart needs to stick to selling DVD’s and can’t imagine too many people even using this service, but then again Wal-Mart will use it’s size, retail value and lower prices to try and bully anyone in any market. They might need to take a lesson learned from Microsoft… sometimes all the money in the world won’t lead to innovation or a stylish, marketable product.
Click the following link if you still want to give Wal-Mart Movie Downloads a try.
Update: Wal-Mart might want to actually try testing their new site on a browser besides internet explorer.
As others have reported, the Walmart download page won’t even load in Firefox or Safari and now Wal-Mart has said they are not supporting any other browser than internet explorer which really is such a rookie mistake. This again show why these non-tech companies need to keep their hands out of industries their not involved in and experts in. It’s as if they just hired some kids down the street to design their site. This is unacceptable for a company the size of Wal-Mart.
If you’ve got internet explorer though, feel free to give it a try and post your reviews below.
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