HDNet Films Mark Cuban is looking to take movie watching to a whole new, small screen realm.

In a story from Variety, it seems that Cuban plans to take "Brian De Palma's forthcoming Iraq war movie Redacted" and make it "available to digital subscribers two or three weeks before the pic reaches the multiplexes."

This new strategy "is called Ultra HD Video on Demand." Currently, "Cuban is offering it to DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Verizon and other cable-network distributors as a snob-appeal add-on to Cuban-financed and -distributed films that show up, for free, on his 24/7 HDNet Movies on the same day the pics open in theaters."

At present Cuban has only done some small tests with Ultra HD VOD but declined to say with whom they were done.

The pay-per-view price range will be "between $12.95 and $19.95, depending on the movie."

The way the Ultra HD Video program will work is that companies signing up for it "will have the option of allowing subscribers to burn the movie onto a DVD, and the cable ops could also stream it on the Internet or make it available for download from a website to a portable media player."

"Since we own these movies," Cuban stated in an email, "the offer will be in standard def."

This won't preclude people who don't own HD systems from watching the films.

While still a work in progress the goal with "Ultra HD is to tilt the economics so that each of the movies distributed by Magnolia Pictures makes about the same amount of money in each of the three platforms -- theaters, TV and DVD -- on which it's simultaneously released."

Cinemark Movie Club
Evan Jacobs