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Just Like Being in Theater!

Posted September. 01, 2002 22:49,   


Quality has become a new mantra in the Internet moving image service market. With digital TVs and home theaters catching on fast among consumers, Internet service providers are also moving fast to offer clearer and more vivid images over the Internet to meet growing consumer demands.

Data transmission speeds now run up to 1Mbps, 20 times as fast as the previous average speed of 300 to 500Kbps. Netizens, who found watching movies over the Internet unappealing in the past due to the small screen, blurred and interrupted images, are hailing “upgraded moving-images services.”

▽ Where to Find Movie Services

Large portals such as Daum (www.daum.net), Yahoo! (kr.yahoo.com) and Korea.com (www.korea.com) as well as Internet cinemas like Joynuri (www.joynuri.co.kr) are currently providing movie services.

Korea.com launched a quality moving-image movie theater in May this year, and has provided such box-office hits as Dusabuilche, Friends and Peppermint Candy as well as 50 or so animations, TV series and adult content.

Users are required to pay a modest fee of 700 to 1,300 won a movie, but the monthly revenue from some 200 movies amounts to 70 to 80 million won. The figure indicates higher sales revenue per movie when compared with an average 120 million won made by an offline movie theater, which runs about 1,300 movies.

Daum is offering free movies at its VOD theater, and already lured some 600,000 users in less than a month by showing movies like Bungee Jump and One Night Stand along with animations and music videos. Responses from netizens are encouraging. Review sections are posted with viewer comments that say, “I am willing to pay for this kind of quality service.” or “I am pretty content with both images and sound.”

Yahoo! also opened its online theater early this month. Service fees are set at 2,000 won at maximum for movies like My Tomboy Girl Friend, I am Married to a Female Mob and Dusabuilche.

Online movie service provider Joynuri is also offering quality moving-image movies. Terrestrial broadcaster MBC is providing a TV series-rerunning service at fees over its Internet unit (www.megastudy.net). In addition, Internet education Website Mega Study (www.megastudy.net) has also improved its moving image services to provide upgraded education content.

▽ How to Enjoy

Quality Moving Images Users are required to have at least Pentium III-scale central unit processors, or CUPs, in their computers to enjoy the quality services. Recommended memory capacity is 12MB for a main body and 16MB for a display. While the display of moving images used to be a size of a pack of cigarette, upgraded services allow users to enjoy images at full screen size. With the new Content Delivery System, or CDS, technology, content is transmitted without interruptions and blurring.

Some online theaters even allow users to connect their PCs with TVs so that they can watch Internet moving images via a TV set. Moving images solution providers such as CD Networks and Seho Information Communication are further set to develop products that fit into a 5.1 channel for link with home theaters.

Im-Sook Ha artemes@donga.com