PictureBox is a video on demand film service offering a selection of films for a monthly subscription. It launched in 2006 and is available as a separate subscription through several Digital TV service providers in selected countries such as United Kingdom, Russia, Romania and Central and Latin America (Mexico, Colombia and Brazil). PictureBox was the first only wholly owned SVOD (subscription video on demand service) operated by NBCUniversal.
In September 2016, PictureBox announced a rebrand of the service, along with the relaunch of its website. The new website features include a dedicated page for each territory service provider, designed to help users find out more about the service. Other features include 'bonus content', such as a blog section, with content curated by leading film critics James King and Karen Krizanovich, behind-the-scenes footage, film clips and monthly highlights.
PictureBox differentiates itself from other subscription video on demand services by offering subscribers ‘hand-picked’ films and TV shows. Instead of featuring a huge number of titles, its ‘panel of film lovers’ shortlist a selection of content 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 UK, Russia, and Central and Latin America, subscribers can access TV shows.
James King and Karen Krizanovich are two leading UK film critics on PictureBox. Both James and Karen work with PictureBox hosting events, reviewing content and creating blogs for the website and social channels.
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. As of September 2016, PictureBox ended its online film-streaming service in the UK, with users still able to access PictureBox via UK provider TalkTalk TV.
In the United Kingdom, the service is available through digital TV provider TalkTalk TV. TalkTalk subscribers have a selection of 60 films and a 500+ episodes, all on demand, at any one time. A selection films are swapped out for fresh titles each Friday, and a selection of TV boxsets are replaced by three new series each month.
In Poland, PictureBox is available through the digital TV provider Multimedia. 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 September, PictureBox closed their B2B service in this territory.
In Russia, PictureBox is available through the provider Rostelecom, Russia’s largest national telecommunications operator. 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 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.
In October 2014, PictureBox launched a new service on the TalkTalk TV platform providing on demand TV box sets, alongside the existing film service. It is unknown whether this service will launch with other providers. Since Summer 2016, TVBox has now been bundled into the PictureBox service.