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EzyFlix video-on-demand service launches

The new VOD service will allow for contract free streaming rental or download-to-own purchases of movies and TV.

EzyFlix has formally launched, offering a new video-on-demand service for Australians to stream video rentals or buy digital downloads of movie and TV content.

(Screenshot by Nic Healey/CNET)

EzyFlix will be contract free and require no monthly fees. Users can choose between streaming a movie as a rental or buying it and being able to download it for offline viewing. TV episodes can be bought individually, or an entire season can be purchased.

New-release movies on the site currently cost around AU$5.99 to rent a standard-definition version and AU$6.99 for high def. Purchasing the SD file costs AU$24.99, while the HD version will cost about AU$29.99.

The cost of a TV season pass differs depending on season length. The EzyFlix site currently lists the fifth season of Castle (17 episodes) as AU$44.99 and the first season of Scandal (seven episodes) as AU$20.53. A single TV episode seems to be around AU$2.99. EzyFlix promises some TV series to be available "within hours" of their international broadcast. Downloaded movie and TV files will be available for offline viewing.

EzyFlix has deals in place with Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Paramount Pictures, Roadshow Films, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Disney and Warner Bros. The service is claiming that "thousands of Hollywood titles" are available at launch, with new titles constantly being added.

The service also operates as an Ultraviolet locker for redemption of Ultraviolet codes on physical disc purchases. EzyFlix CEO Craig White told CNET Australia that some of the purchases made from the service will also include an Ultraviolet digital rights marker.

"When you buy a specially marked video file from EzyFlix, it will be added to your Ultraviolet locker," White said. "What movies include this is determined by the studios, not EzyFlix, but it will soon include TV shows."

EzyFlix works as either a web interface or on native apps for iOS, Android and the Amazon Kindle. While the service isn't on any smart TVs at the moment, Samsung representatives were guests at the launch. White hinted that people should "watch this space" when questioned about the possibility of an EzyFlix app for a Samsung smart TV.

Speaking more generally, White noted that the service is considering its options for smart TV, saying that it is "exploring which manufacturers have meaningful smart TV penetration" in the market.

Both PayPal and credit cards are accepted as payment options. Users of the service can have up to five devices registered, with a purchased video file able to be downloaded across all five. White noted that the company has plans for all registered devices to have the option to sync files down the track.

It's believed that downloaded video files will be in an MP4 format, with the HD versions in full 1080p resolution and rentals using an adaptive bitrate streaming. The service has Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its content delivery back end, with White saying that the system is very similar to that used by Netflix in the US.

In launching the service, White said that EzyFlix is targeting the "avid consumer" who "wanted to own the movies and TV shows that they love".