Lightbox Sheds Light on 4K Oversight

Lightbox overhauled its TV streaming service today to introduce two subscriber plans and add more than 400 HD movies for rental — but nothing in 4K.

HD library titles cost $5.99 and HD new releases $7.99.

The pricing is the same as for other Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) services, like Stuff Pix and YouTubeRed, as it’s mandated by movie distributors.

There are 400+ titles, with 40 more set to added before Queen’s Birthday Weekend (the ratio of library to new releases is about 5:1).

You don’t have to join Lightbox to rent the movies while subscribers are now being offered two plans: Standard ($12.99 a month) and Premium ($15.99 a month).

The latter adds temporary downloading of Lightbox’s catalogue to multiple devices and allows content to be streamed on up to four screens rather than just two.

Lightbox announce the revamp amid speculation it’s soon to acquire the rights to English Premier League soccer, which, on top of of its Rugby World Cup coup, would give it much more heft in a competitive streaming market.

So, too, would have been adding 4K streams, which would have distinguished it from Kiwi rivals Stuff Pix and Sky’s Neon service (and its pay platform generally) while offering comparable quality to Netflix and Amazon Prime.

At this stage, however, it’s not clear if Lightbox even has the infrastructure to pump out 4K streams

When asked if there was a 4K timetable, Lightbox General Manager Hema Patel said:

To date Lightbox has only supported TV series, which are largely not available in 4K. There hasn’t been a noticeable demand of 4K from our customers so far, with data being a pain point for a lot of people.

However, with our new platform we have the ability to update and review our user experience in an agile and responsive way. As technologies advance and become more popular, we will monitor the needs of our customers and the demand for 4K and review accordingly.

Here’s the Lightbox press release in full:

Lightbox has today unlocked a host of exciting new ways to enjoy TV, movies and kids content after a platform technology upgrade overnight.

Customers can now choose between Standard and Premium TV plans. The new Premium plan includes temporary downloads of the entire Lightbox TV catalogue, giving customers the ability to view on the go whilst saving mobile data. Households are now also able to watch on up to four screens concurrently, perfect for families and shared living.

Lightbox’s new movie rental service brings the latest movies straight from the cinema, plus a library filled with classic flicks. From adventure comedy, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle to dark comedy I, Tonya, Liam Neeson’s action flick, The Commuter and everyone’s favourite marmalade eating bear in Paddington 2. Movies are available to rent on both Lightbox TV plans as well as to non-Lightbox subscribers. Non-subscribers just need to complete a simple registration process.

Current Lightbox customers have been automatically placed on the new look and feel Standard plan at the same current price of $12.99, or as part of selected Spark plans.

All customers can choose to upgrade and enjoy the enhanced features of the new Premium plan. Spark customers on plans that include Lightbox can upgrade for $3 per month; other Lightbox customers will pay the total of $15.99 per month for Premium.

A new PIN-protected Kid’s corner is available on both Standard and Premium plans, offering parents the security of knowing their children are unable to jump between Lightbox profiles. The corner has a kid-friendly new look with loads more kids content available than before.

Lightbox General Manager Hema Patel said this morning, “Since our launch in 2014, we have built relationships with some of the biggest studio partners in TV so it was natural to extend this into movies. We will continue to expand our movie catalogue; further announcements to come.

“We have listened to the feedback from our customers; for them, the most important thing is to be able to view movies that are current or recent release. Movie rentals (TVOD – Transactional Video On Demand) is the best way to be able to offer current Lightbox customers movies straight from the cinema but also open up movie rentals to a wider Kiwi market who don’t want to commit to monthly subscriptions.”

Movies will be available to rent for current Lightbox TV customers. For those who haven’t Lightboxed yet, they will be able to create a profile and rent movies with no contract. Pricing ** from $6.99 (SD) for new releases and $4.99 (SD) for library titles.

**Pricing subject to T&C’s found at lightbox.co.nz

What’s new at Lightbox?
We have a whole host of new ways to enjoy Lightbox – like the latest movies to rent straight from the cinema to your screen, a special Kid’s corner with more kids content than ever before and the ability to download TV and movie rentals to watch whenever, wherever you want – without an internet or mobile connection.

If I’m a Spark customer and already get Lightbox as part of my plan, will anything change?
Spark customers on eligible Spark plans will still receive Lightbox Standard (our $12.99 per month TV plan) on us for the life of their plan. As a Spark customer, you can also take advantage of the additional features like being able to download TV shows, or to have four screens on the go at once (perfect for big households), for only $3 per month with our Lightbox Premium TV plan.

Why is Lightbox now offering a Premium TV plan?
We believe our customers would like more options on where and how they watch content and with Lightbox Premium you can download all your favourite TV shows to selected mobile devices to watch wherever, whenever, without an internet or mobile connection. Plus, big households will love the new Lightbox Premium TV Plan as they can watch on four screens at once.

Lightbox movie rentals:

No monthly fee or subscription to rent latest and classic movies.

  • Pricing for new releases from $6.99 (SD) and library from $4.99 (SD).
  • Customers can temporarily download rented movies to selected devices.
  • Customers will have 31 days after renting a movie to start viewing. Once they click play, they will have 48 hours to view.

Lightbox Standard TV Plan:

 Pricing: $12.99 a month or included for Spark customers on eligible plans. Includes:

  • Watch on two screens simultaneously.
  • New Kid’s corner offering PIN-protection and new look.
  • Movie rentals.
  • HD, Ad-free, cancel at any time.

Lightbox Premium TV Plan:

Pricing: $15.99 a month or $3 a month for Spark customers on eligible plans that include Lightbox. Includes:

  • Premium TV plan includes:
  • Temporary downloads on the entire Lightbox catalogue to multiple personal devices.
  • Watch on four screens simultaneously.
  • New Kid’s corner offering PIN-protection and new look.
  • Movie rentals.
  • HD, Ad-free, cancel at any time.
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7 Responses to “Lightbox Sheds Light on 4K Oversight”

  1. What is this ‘soccer’? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

  2. I got an e-mail from Lightbox offering me a free rental, I might try it 🙂

  3. Lucky you! I’m still waiting for mine …

  4. Picture quality on TV (Handmaid’s Tale) seems slightly better since the relaunch. Smoother and noticeably crisper …

  5. Thanks, Clint, that’s great to hear.

  6. When I played last night’s Handmaid’s Tale I saw the dreaded Netflix-like graphics over the end titles saying that the next episode starts in so many seconds. Can’t stand that on NF. At least on Amazon you have the opportunity of getting rid of it or skipping to the next episode.

  7. I think I’m going to love the new Lightbox, I decided to make the new Jumanji movie my free rental. Also, Philip, you don’t need to wait for the e-mail for the free rental as you automatically get a free rental 🙂

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