Warner Archive, the manufacture-on-demand DVD collection from Warner Home Video that has released TV shows like The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Man from Atlantis and Born Free, has launched a streaming service called Warner Archive Instant. Much like Netflix, it will allow users to watch movies and television series online or on their television sets if you have a Roku device. Here’s the official description from its FAQ:
Warner Archive Instant is the new streaming service of the Warner Archive (WarnerArchive.com). Warner Archive Instant lets you instantly view hundreds of rare and hard-to-find movies, TV shows and cartoons, culled from Warner Bros. library – the largest entertainment library in the world. Now is your chance to discover – and rediscover – rare movies and TV shows you can’t find anywhere else (and some favorites you can) from Warner Bros., MGM, RKO, New Line, Monogram, Allied Artists, Lorimar and more.
You can learn more about how the service works here. Currently, the service is in beta testing and is only available to invited users. No word yet on pricing or when it will launch to the general public. Some of the titles will be available in high definition via Roku.
At the moment only a handful of television series are part of the service, including 77 Sunset Strip, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Hawaiin Eye, Gilligan’s Island and Jericho, as well as some made-for-TV movies like Probe and Planet Earth.
What’s interesting about the limited selection of television content is that 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye and Jericho (the short-lived 1966 CBS series set during World War II, not the recent CBS post-apocalyptic series) are not available on DVD through the Warner Archive MOD collection. Could Warner Archive Instant be a way for the company to test the viability of titles it isn’t sure are popular enough to warrant a DVD release, even a MOD one?