Comcast knows you hardly every leave the house. They're already selling 23 million customers like you cable television and broadband internet and VoIp phone. They've decided to take up the remaining few minutes of your waking life by selling on-demand movie downloads right over the wire they already have running into your house.
According to one source that spoke with Gizmodo, Comcast will ensure that users get the movies as quickly as possible by uncapping the bandwidth limits in place on an account for the duration of the download. If that is indeed the case, those pesky 6Mbps bandwidth caps may disappear until customers have finished grabbing their favorite flick from Comcast's media servers.
In terms of encoding, Comcast will reportedly use two different methods, depending on the destination platform. For set-top boxes, the cable company will use something like MPEG-4. PCs will see the increasingly common Flash format, which has become the streaming video format of choice these days and has the advantage (from Comcast's point of view) of being difficult to save locally. If Comcast goes the portable route, it will have to go with something along the lines of DRMed WMV. Other details, such as pricing and availability, have yet to be disclosed.
Our esteemed Editor, Marco Chiappetta, told you this weekend about Venture Capitalists combing the world for new ideas. Get on down to the VC's office with a package of plans for a media room, a great big flatscreen with an ethernet port, a great big raid array you can keep in the basement next to the water heater, and a beer tap and some comfy chairs. If Comcast doesn't beat you to it.
You'll make Google look like a lemonade stand. Read the whole thing here.