Lionsgate Inks Distribution Deal With Satellite Startup XStreamHD

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Lionsgate has signed a distribution agreement with XStreamHD, a startup planning to launch a satellite-delivered movies-on-demand service this summer, that will let customers digitally purchase or rent HD recent Lionsgate releases and access a content library of more than 12,000 titles.

The companies did not disclose the expected pricing for the VOD titles. Lionsgate-produced content includes cable series such as Mad Men, Weeds, Nurse Jackie and Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Its theatrical titles include TylerPerry's Why Did I Get Married Too?, Kick-Ass and Precious.

"Our partnership with XStreamHD presents us with a new opportunity to distribute our content in the digital marketplace," Lionsgate executive vice president of distribution and digital Jon Ferro said in a statement. "Our decision to distribute our titles through XStreamHD reflects our commitment to offer consumers the highest quality home entertainment and access to our enormous library of titles."

XStreamHD originally planned to commercially launch in the third quarter of 2008. The company's service is designed to deliver 1080p HD video and up to 7.1 channels of lossless audio.

McLean, Va.-based XStreamHD has signed a multiyear deal with EchoStar Satellite Services to use Fixed Service Satellite (FSS) capacity leased on SES World Skies' AMC-16 satellite to transport multiple streams of "pre-fetched entertainment." The video files are automatically downloaded to subscribers' media server library based on their preferences and previous title selections.

The XStreamHD Fast Start package ($399) includes one HD Media Server with 1 Terabyte of storage, one HD media receiver, remote control and accessories, including an HDMI cable and two Ethernet cables. XStreamHD's media server includes three ATSC tuners, which will provide access to over-the-air broadcasts and let customers record and view up to three separate HDTV programs simultaneously with the additional network video recorder feature.

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