Warner Goes Retro with Streaming Archive Instant Service

The just-launched Warner Archive Instant is taking a different approach than that of subscription streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Instead of vying to offer viewers the most recent content, it aims to feed the nostalgia within us all, providing a catalog of rare older films and television shows from Warner’s own history, in addition to selections from MGM, RKO, New Line, Lorimar and Allied Artists, all for $9.99 a month.

“Not all of the titles are remastered in high definition, but those lucky selections can be streamed to your Roku in up to 1080p resolution (the Silverlight player for PCs and Macs does not support HD at this time),” reports Engadget. “That’s currently the only connected TV device supported, although others are said to be on the way.”

“The monthly price tag is $2 more than both Netflix and Hulu Plus,” notes CNNMoney. “But Warner Bros., which is owned by CNNMoney parent company Time Warner is promoting the rarity of its catalog as its selling point. Warner Archive Instant’s FAQ page refers many times to ‘other streaming services’ lacking its classic titles.”

The service was just made available to the public, following a few months of beta testing. Warner is currently offering a free two-week trial.

According to the Warner Archive Instant site, 137 titles from the 1920s to 1990s are presently available, with dozens more listed in the “Coming Soon” section. Offerings range from Lillian Gish in “The Scarlet Letter” (1926) to Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Sheltering Sky” (1990). Current TV shows include “Adventures of Superman,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “Hawaiian Eye” and “Cheyenne,” among others.

“Warner Archive Instant offers hundreds of film and TV selections at any given time, reflecting the broad selection of content in the library. New content will be regularly added to the service, offering a consistently fresh experience with plenty of time to explore and discover,” explains the FAQ page. “You will have several months to watch most content. There will be a few exceptions with longer or shorter timeframes. But don’t worry — content scheduled to be removed from the service will be listed as ‘Leaving Soon.'”