|Picture format||16:9 / 4:3, 576i (SDTV) / 1080i(HDTV)|
PictureBox is a video on demand film service offering a selection of films for a monthly subscription. It launched in 2006 and is available online or as a separate subscription through several Digital TV service providers in selected countries such as United Kingdom, Poland, Russia and Central and Latin America (Mexico, Colombia and Brazil). PictureBox is the only wholly owned SVOD (subscription video on demand service) operated by NBCUniversal.
In May 2013, PictureBox announced the re-launch of its website and online service in a national media campaign. New website features include a dedicated page for every film on the PictureBox service, designed to help users find out more about the films on offer before they make a selection. Other features include ‘bonus content’ such as behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes and film clips which are available only to PictureBox online subscribers.
PictureBox differentiates itself from other subscription video on demand services by offering subscribers ‘hand-picked’ films. Instead of featuring a huge number of titles, its ‘panel of film lovers’ shortlist a selection of films each month.
Films that have played for the longest time are removed from the service and replaced with a selection of different on demand films. Users do not pay per film; for a monthly subscription they have access to any available films and can watch these titles as many times as they choose. In Russia, and Central and Latin America, subscribers can also access TV shows. A PictureBox online subscription, which includes access to iOS and Samsung Smart TV apps, is separate from a Digital TV subscription.
Two leading UK film critics work with PictureBox, hosting events and presenting review shows created by PictureBox to feature on partner platforms. Karen Krizanovich is currently the PictureBox presenter of Virgin Media and James King (film critic) is currently the PictureBox presenter of TalkTalk Group.
Since 8 March 2011, PictureBox has been available as an online film-streaming service in the UK and Ireland. It follows the same subscription model, but allows films to be streamed to a computer, mobile device or internet-connected television. PictureBox online is available as a free app from iTunes for Apple iOS devices and on Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players. Further expansion of PictureBox online is planned with the addition of more compatible devices including games consoles.
PictureBox digital TV service
In the United Kingdom, the service is available through a number of digital TV providers, as well as online. UK providers are: Virgin Media, BT Vision, and TalkTalk TV. Virgin Media, BT Vision and TalkTalk TV subscribers have a selection of 60 on demand films at any one time with a selection swapped out for fresh titles each Friday. This is also true of the service online. On Virgin Media the majority of the PictureBox films are broadcast in high definition.
In Poland, PictureBox is available through two digital TV providers, specifically n and Multimedia. On both services PictureBox subscribers have a selection of 16 films on demand at any one time, with four films swapped out for fresh titles each Sunday.
In Russia, PictureBox is available through two providers: Rostelecom, Russia’s largest national telecommunications operator, and Now.ru. Subscribers can watch classic films as well as TV series, sport series, concerts and programming for children. There is a selection of 35 on demand films at any one time, plus 6 TV Box sets across genres including: Sci-Fi; Comedy and Drama (x2); Reality; Cult Crime/Thriller; and First Glance/Second Chance.
Central and Latin America
PictureBox is available in Central and Latin America (Mexico, Columbia and Brazil) on platforms including Clarovideo and Net . Subscribers can watch classic films as well as TV series, sport series, concerts and programming for children. There is a selection of 35 on demand films at any one time, plus 6 TV Box sets across genres including: Sci-Fi; Comedy and Drama (x2); Reality; Cult Crime/Thriller; and First Glance/Second Chance.
- "PictureBox launches online movies player". Digital Spy. 8 March 2011.
- "Xbox Makes Entertainment More Amazing on Phone, PC, Tablet and TV". Microsoft. 4 June 2012.
- "Virgin Media And Universal Pictures Launch "Picturebox" Movies-On-Demand Service". Virgin Media. 29 June 2009.
- "AmericaMovil’s VOD platform adds content from NBCUniversal". Nex Latam TV. 13 April 2013.