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Disney Lights Up ‘MovieBeam’

The Walt Disney Co. is launching its direct-to-consumer "MovieBeam" service
this week in Jacksonville, Fla.; Salt Lake City; and Spokane Wash., using the
terrestrial signal of local ABC and PBS TV stations to transmit movies to
MovieBeam receivers inside consumers’ homes.

Samsung Electronics America Inc. is making the receivers, which Disney rents
to consumers for $6.99 per month.

New movies cost $3.99 to rent, with full pause, rewind and fast-forward
capability, while old releases rent for $2.49. Consumers have 24 hours in which
to watch the movies. The receivers contain 160-gigabyte hard drives that Disney
said can store 100 movies.

Disney said MovieBeam will always feature 100 movies, and all major studios,
save for Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, are releasing product to the service.
MovieBeam will premiere 10 new titles each week, all in the video-on-demand

The service will be marketed by Sears, Roebuck & Co.; Best Buy Co. Inc.;
Circuit City Stores Inc.; and Ultimate Electronics Inc., among other

Disney said it can send the MovieBeam receiver, remote control and small
antenna via Federal Express Corp. within two days of signup. Consumers can also
sign up for the service via MovieBeam’s Web site (