Lightbox Lights Up With HD Exclusives

Spark’s Lightbox sets sail today with crossbones drama Black Sails among its HD attractions.

The streaming service went live at midnight, with such exclusives as OutlanderVikings, 24: Live Another Day, Alpha House, Suits, Franklin and Bash and Lost Girl.

It’s also picked up the country music drama Nashville that TV One pulled before the end of its first season and comedies ranging from Seinfeld to The Thick of It to Modern Family.

In a statement, Lightbox chief executive Kym Niblock said she’s confident New Zealanders will love Lightbox’s line-up and the freedom it gives them.

“You can head home tonight, sign up to the Lightbox 30 day free trial and choose from hundreds of great TV shows online – all ready to go whenever you are.”

The service can be used across multiple compatible devices, including laptop, desktop, iPad and Airplay on Apple TV.

Up to five devices can be registered to each Lightbox account and two shows can be played on them at once.

Membership is open to everyone regardless of their broadband service provider. After a 30-day free trial, Lightbox costs $15 per 30 days.

“We’ve taken the hard work out of getting access to great television by assembling some of the best shows ever made in one service that’s affordable and incredibly easy and legitimate to use,” Niblock says.

“Spring is looking a lot more entertaining.”

Seems like streaming rival Quickflix agrees. It has welcomed the competition.

“We are firm believers that competition is a good thing,” NZ managing director Paddy Buckley said in a statement.

“Quickflix has a very competitive offering and New Zealand’s largest telco entering the market shows that demand for streaming services is only increasing.

“The marketing that Spark will commit to its service will help grow awareness of the category as a whole, which in turn will drive demand for all streaming services.

“Since launching more than two years ago, Quickflix has streamed more than two and a half million movies and TV shows to Kiwis.

“It is the only service in New Zealand offering both movies and TV series, and has the flexibility of subscription and pay-per-view options.

“We look forward to the coming months as we continue to innovate, add more great content and deliver the best streaming service possible for Kiwis.

It provided the following comparisons of the two services:

Meanwhile, here’s the rest of Lightbox’s press release about its latest acquisitions:

The hotly anticipated first season of the Starz Original series Black Sails centres on the tale of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his men, and takes place twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island. Flint, the most brilliant and most feared pirate captain of his day, takes on a fast-talking young addition to his crew who goes by the name John Silver. Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, the most notorious criminal haven of its day – a place defined by both its enlightened ideals and its stunning brutality. 

For anyone who enjoys a bit of verbal sparring, slick drama Suits and buddy comedy Franklin & Bash both use the legal world as the backdrop for highly entertaining storytelling. 

Suits is a critically acclaimed drama that centres around a hotshot corporate attorney who makes a risky move by hiring a brilliant, but unmotivated college dropout as his associate who doesn’t have an actual law degree. Bound by their secret, the two are forced to keep up the charade as they become an irrepressible duo. The drama was recently renewed for its fifth season in the US, and is from creator/executive producer/writer, Aaron Korsh, who left investment banking to become a comedy screenwriter on series such as Everybody Love Raymond.

Meanwhile, Franklin & Bash was created by Emmy-winning West Wing writer Kevin Falls. Seasons 1-3 of each series are now available on Lightbox, with subsequent seasons to arrive soon.

Fantasy fans will relish the subversive and witty Lost Girl, which tells the story of a supernatural seductress struggling to master her newfound powers, while fighting crime. A hit in its native Canada and for influential US network Syfy, its cast has been anointed “the new paranormal hotness on TV”.

Lightbox also extends its impressive kids’ offering with an adorable series from the makers of Wonder PetsThe sweet and colourful world of 3rd & Bird, created with a crafty animation technique that uses real photographs, is a visual treat for pre-schoolers.

Creator Josh Selig has won 10 Daytime Emmy Awards, nine of them for his writing on Sesame Street.

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