South Africans have been deprived of the ability to stream movies and TV series using the internet for far too long (or at least legitimately) but a new service called VIDI from the Times Media Group (TMG) promises to end the frustration that Saffas have been feeling.

VIDI has two different payment options for users – an all-you-can-eat subscription model which costs R149 a month and includes a selection of both TV series and movies in the subscription as well as a rental service that offers movies of varying recency for between R15 and R27 each. You can try out the subscription service for free for the first 30 days and the service is billed on a month-to-month basis allowing you to cancel at any time without needing to give notice.

All payments are handled via credit card (or selected debit cards hat have been activated for online shopping transactions) which will also be required as part of the registration process.

At launch there are more than 1 000 hours from 21 different TV series as well as a library of 100 movies included in the unlimited streaming package, with a further 72 titles available to rent from the Instant Rental Service. TMG has already set up a content delivery network (CDN) with nodes in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town that can be added to if there is particularly high demand for media in a different part of the country.

It is worth while noting that the 72 movies in the rental service do not form part of the subscription service and will need to be paid for separately in addition to the subscription fee.

According to VIDI, the minimum connection speed required is a 1Mb/s download speed with the video quality scaling dynamically to higher resolutions when more bandwidth is available and, in an interview with TechCentral, Times Media MD of broadcast and content Andrew Gill stated that each movie would use around 2GB of data dependant of course on the quality of the video being streamed.

“VIDI represents a significant step in Times Media’s evolution to a multi-platform media and entertainment company,” said TMG CEO Andrew Bonamour. “It reflects a new entrepreneurial and innovative mindset for the group that we believe will bring long-term growth and sustainability.”

It will be interesting to see how VIDI does against the likes of DStv’s BoxOffice in terms of movie rentals and whether those South Africans who don’t want to go through the initial set up process for Netflix will be give VIDI a go.

[Via – TechCentral, Image -VIDI]