Several months after being acquired by video rental retailer Movie Gallery, rumor has it MovieBeam service is being shuttered next week. While I haven’t received a phone call or email notification (as a former customer), it wouldn’t surprise me if the service is killed – following in the footsteps of Akimbo’s dedicated hardware.
MovieBeam, originally a venture of Disney and later backed by Cisco, never seemed to gain much traction. In addition to competing against the embedded cable and satellite service providers to provide video-on-demand, MovieBeam had to overcome hardware sticker shock (are you listening, Vudu?) and an extremely limited selection of HD content – the kind of video us early adopters wanted. Additionally, MovieBeam leased broadcast TV spectrum to deliver movies… Which may sound good, but I have a much better Internet connection than I do aerial reception. Not to mention, a landline is required for billing (though I got it to sporadically work with a 25′ phone cable to my Vonage router).
Click here for my June 2006 review and video walk-thru.
(Thanks for the heads up, Glenn!)