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Three top Hollywood studios take films to the web

Epix HDIt is a dash of Hulu and a sprinkle of YouTube, features a crystal clear picture, can rewind or fast-forward at lightning speed, and doesn’t require a download of any special software.

But epixHD.com, the soon-to-launch video website, will have its success dictated more by the movies, concerts and original programs it offers than the technology behind it, said the executive charged with creating and running the site.

“The critical linchpin to what we’ve got is that we have one-third of the box office of Hollywood,” Epix Chief Digital Officer Emil Rensing said in an interview.

That comes thanks to the three parent companies of Epix: Viacom Inc’s Paramount film studio, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp and MGM. In putting together Epix, the companies hope to compete with Time Warner Inc’s HBO and CBS Corp’s Showtime in the premium movie channel business.

epixHD.com comes with an array of features. When watching Paramount’s “Iron Man,” for instance, a person will have access to the trailer, lists of facts about the superhero film, a plot synopsis, and cast list.

Because of its relationship with the studios, Rensing said epixHD.com could eventually offer more unique features.

“Let’s give something to the fans that gets them really excited,” said Rensing. “We’re asking (the studios) for some of the weird stuff. We’d like to go to sets on tear down days, talk to the teamsters about the crazy stuff that happened.”

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