Screening Room is the latest concept from Napster co-founder and former Facebook president, Sean Parker, which would let consumers enjoy the latest movie releases at home as they hit cinemas for $50 (R766.75) per movie.
The service already has the buy-in of big name producers such as J.J. Abrams, Ron Howard and Peter Jackson according to a report by Variety.
While the star-studded endorsements sound impressive, Screening Room won’t be a Netflix-style service where you can simply sign up the day your favourite film comes out.
Users will need to hand over $150 (R2 300.26) to get what is being called an “anti-piracy equipped set-top box” which will allow them to access the content.
So, convenience aside we’re looking at a total of R2300 for the set-top box and R766 for a movie which amounts to just over R3 000, all so you can enjoy the latest movies on your couch.
Surely, this cost means that the movie is yours to own forever? Not so fast movie-goer, because when you download a movie you have 48 hours to watch it. So you’re effectively shelling out close on R800 for a rented movie that may or may not be worth it.
We’re no stranger to Parker’s internet adventures; Napster was the most convenient way for some us to get music when we were younger and the local record store didn’t stock our very particular tastes in music – or it did and the cost of a disc was the same price as selling a kidney.
Screening Room however, confuses us. While we do lament the rising cost of seeing movies at the cinema, we aren’t so averse to them that we would pay R2 300 to enjoy movies at home and R766 for each movie.
Of course, we are but one small group of people, what do you think? Would you pay those figures so you don’t ever have to brave a cinema again or would you rather save some cash and continue going to the cinema?Leo Hidalgo]