Microsoft has launched a new video-on-demand service via Xbox Live for North America, with TV and movie rentals now available for between US$ 2 and US$ 6.
CBS, MTV, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros. have all signed up to provide content for the service. TV shows already available include CSI, Star Trek, Chappelle's Show and South Park, plus Punk'd and Pimp My Ride from MTV.
Movies including Chinatown, Patriot Games and The Untouchables are on offer from Paramount, while the Warner Bros. line-up features Poseidon, The Perfect Storm, The Shining and V for Vendetta.
Users pay for their rentals in Microsoft points; a full-length new release movie costs 320 points (around GBP 2.70), or 480 points (GBP 4) for the high definition version. "Classic" movies are cheaper at 240 / 360 points (GBP 2 / 3).
A single television programme costs 160 points (GBP 1.35) in standard definition, or 240 points (GBP 2) in high definition.
Users who purchase content in high-def also will be able to download the standard version free of charge. Once a film or programme has been downloaded users have 14 days to watch it, but content expires 24 hours after users begin to view.
As yet the service is only available in North America, but Microsoft has previously suggested that it will reach Europe in the future.