Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: Things would start looking better for the movie rental industry in the near future, provided the Internet broadband penetration in the country picks up.

With movie rental stores providing a variety of options to movie buffs, online rental services still have a long way to go. Right from overriding road blocks such as video piracy, the future of movie rentals is online, says Kamal Gianchandani, COO, Bigflikx.com.

Internet availability

“Online rentals and streaming movies will gain popularity only if high speed Internet is available in every nook and corner of the country. However, this will take a lot of time and infrastructure to support online viewing. But the number of Internet users watching movies on Internet has increased,” says Mr. Gianchandani.

The quality of content is also set to change in years to come. With high definition formats (HD) being launched by various companies, movies shot in such formats will also be available online, he adds.

However, tackling online piracy seems to be a distant reality even though online streaming movies can be viewed free of cost. “A pirated site will not offer the same quality of cinema that an original will do,” t,” points out Mr. Gianchandani.

With original movie prints available online after two to three months of its release, the pirated ones would have done the damage in that span of time. “Unfortunately, we are not able to counter this issue. Many film producers have lost over Rs.100 crore for each release due to online piracy. These loop holes will have to be dealt sternly by the government and the film industry,” he concludes.