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EzyFlix offering "early access" for new release movies

The video-on-demand service will use the 'Digital HD' platform to offer new release films for purchase before DVD or Blu-ray versions become available.

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Fox launched the Digital HD initiative back in late 2012, around the home entertainment launch of "Prometheus". The service was intended to make digital versions of new release films available for purchase ahead of the DVD or Blu-ray releases. Back at launch, for example, "Prometheus" was available as Digital HD three weeks before it arrived on physical media.

Digital HD is now being used by a variety of studios in the US where many pundits are suggesting that it directly contributed to a 47 percent increase in digital movie sales in 2013.

EzyFlix has today announced that it will start offering Digital HD movies. The EzyFlix website currently has nine Digital HD videos available from a variety of studios. The titles include "Spider-Man 2", "Muppets Most Wanted", "Need for Speed" and "300: Rise of an Empire". A further seven are listed as "coming soon". Most are available to own as an HD file for around AU$24.99. However, a list obtained from an EzyFlix spokesperson has 24 upcoming titles including "Maleficent" and "Guardians of the Galaxy".

The Digital HD versions are available around 1-3 weeks ahead of DVD. "Noah", for example, will be available for download on August 13, a head of a disc release on August 27. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" will have a Digital HD version from August 20, with DVD on September 3.

The press release from EzyFlix says that the company is "the first Australian retailer to officially adopt the Digital HD moniker" although it's worth noting that Digital HD movies are available on iTunes, Google Play, the Sony Entertainment Network and Xbox Video.

While the Digital HD movies are mostly integrated into the offerings of the other services, EzyFlix groups the movies under a single menu tab.

In a media statement, Craig White, CEO of EzyFlix said that he thought Australia would see a boost in digital sales of movies in the wake of today's announcement.

"We expect Digital HD will accelerate growth in the local marketplace and we're excited to be leading the charge once again in delivering the best, most innovative entertainment offerings to Australians."