Disney may have finally come up with a compelling video service to your home, after eating a $56 million “impairment charge” last year on its first effort.

Today it announces the relaunch of MovieBeam, a $199.99 set-top box that will deliver new movies at $3.99 a piece, and older movies at $1.99 — this is not a per-month fee.

It is significant because MovieBeam is offering for the first time to deliver you new movies the same day they’re released on DVD.

The company first launched MovieBeam in 2003, but had issues with its business model and suspended the service in April last year, and ate the…

$56 million, according to SEC filings (page 39).

Disney is using Silicon Valley’s help for this. The valley’s biggest networking company, Cisco Systems, biggest chip company, Intel, and three big venture firms, Mayfield, Norwest Venture Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners have pumped $48.5 million into this baby.

Here’s the Merc’s story today (free registration) on this. Ben Bajarin, analyst with Creative Strategies, say he hasn’t seen anything coming out of the movie distribution business “that is this compelling.”

They’re going to have to overcome a little “box fatigue,” but it’s interesting. It is using the airwaves, not broadband.


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