It is now in the works that HBO & Cinemax will come together to offer legal downloads.
Even if you don't subscribe to HBO or Cinemax through your cable provider, you will still be able to pay a monthly fee to have 1500 movies, including all the original content, at your fingertips. The great thing about this service is that if you don't want to download the movies you can still watch them online, and once you subscribe you can view all of the content that they offer from any PC or Laptop, granted you must have a broadband connection.
The only major drawbacks that I forsee is that you can't copy the movie(s) to a DVD and that you will actually have a "time-limit" to watch the downloaded media.
I've always had an issue with this type of mentality from the video conglomerates. The reason why people buy DVDs of said content is because it is a better quality format, they usually have a nice graphical interface to navigate, and those releases offer special features. The movies that are available for download legally or illegally aren't the same quality and considering HBO or Cinemax hasn't officially released this news I'm not sure what the streaming rate or standard file size will be.
Still, I can safely say that the downloaded content will not be 9+ GB in size even if the streaming rate is at 600Kbps because it wouldn't be cost efficient for this type of service at this time. If this is the case, their respective HD shows will not be available. As for the special features, HBO & Cinemax will have alot of those juicy "Behind-The-Scenes," "Outtakes," and "Cast Interviews" available on their service portal.
Still, I feel this service will be a huge extension to their already robust line-up that they offer on cable TV. This also will provide a legit alternative to the BitTorrent community to get their "fix" of the ROME series, though I feel the major reason this is being offered is that HBO realizes the BitTorrent faithful cannot be beat.