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Rajshri launches broadband entertainment portal, to release 'Vivah' for viewers at $9.90

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NEW DELHI: Rajshri Group, one of the oldest production and distribution houses in the country, has launched a broadband entertainment portal, www.rajshri.com, that will offer streaming and downloading of various forms of content including movies, music videos, concerts, and documentaries.

Rajshri's latest movie, Vivah, will be premiered on the portal simultaneously along with its theatrical release on Friday. This is the first time in India that a film is being made available on the internet at the day of its release.

The downloading of Vivah will be at a payment of $9.9 through an international credit card, said Rajshri Media (P) Ltd managing director Rajjat Barjatya. The copies do not run the risk of being pirated because of a special software that has been used, he added.

Rajshri Media (P) Ltd will be the group's digital media initiatives arm. This will cover streaming services which users don't have to pay for. Among the broad gamut of content available is the historic midnight speech of late Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru on 15 August 1947. "We are also soon going to add humor, management-related content and spiritualism to our site," said Barjatya.

Describing the new initiative as an "historic moment," Barjatya said the company had been working on this project for the past two years. The aim seems to be converting the 'non-consumers into consumers' while attempting to break the stranglehold of piracy.

Barjatya is also targeting about 25 million Indians abroad, NRIs and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) put together, who are "extremely keen to stay in touch with their roots and will pay for rich and origial Indian content as against the pirated one."

About 51 per cent Indians abroad spent time daily on the net, he revealed. Besides, Indian content was also becoming extremely popular among non-Indians across the world.

So how will the box office takings of Vivah, for instance, be a hit because of online viewing? "We are getting into a four screen scenario, instead of a two-screen one. Cinema theatres were always there, and then came TV, the big screen and the small screen. Now there is the internet and the mobile," said Barjatya.

"Each of these screens are a different experience and one cannot replace any of the other. It is one thing to see a film on the Net alone, and quite another doing so with the family on a TV set, or watching it in a dark hall with a lot of people, so there is no cutting into turfs," he added.

The delivery of movies through the internet could also cut down piracy. "If there is a viewer in say Finland, I can now get to him before the pirates can," Barjatya said.

A key feature of the site is that the movies can't be pirated. "We have used a software which 'wraps around the programme' and while it is being streamed, it cannot be copied, nor downloaded. Even while it is 'sitting' on the hard disk for 72 hours, it cannot be made into a CD or DVD," he said.

The portal is also aimed at the tech-savvy younger audience. "The site has a lot of features. You can actually saute the film, slice and dice it, rate it, send a link to a friend and read what others have to comment about it," Barjatya said.

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