Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) wants Hollywood to close the "window." The idea of shortening the period between a film's run in theaters and its arrival on home video, pay per view, and online services such as Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) is nothing new. Will a new proposal from a recent cable industry convention finally sway the major movie studios?

Traditionally, cable operators have had to wait months beyond a film's theatrical run before they're able to place it in their video-on-demand stable. Cable has long pushed to narrow that window; in 2007, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) COO Stephen Burke suggested that films hit pay per view the same day they arrive in theaters -- an idea known as "day and date."

While Burke's pitch didn't persuade the studios, Time Warner Cable's now trying to sweeten the deal. Among other proposals, its plan would grant the cable multisystems operators and other outlets access to a film just 30 days after it begins its theatrical run. In exchange, this "premium video on demand" would run subscribers a hefty $20 to $30.

Hollywood hasn't made any decision on Time Warner Cable's pitch, but studios owned by Disney (NYSE: DIS), Sony (NYSE: SNE), News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), and General Electric (NYSE: GE) -- which could soon hand its Universal Pictures studio to Comcast as part of the cable company's merger with NBC Universal -- are reportedly considering it.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Theater Owners and the theaters it represents have argued vociferously in favor of the traditional release schedules. Last winter, Disney released Alice in Wonderland a month or so early, roundly irritating many theater owners.

The battle to open (or shut) this window definitely bears watching. For interested investors with a reasonable time frame, I'd suggest a look at Comcast. Given cable operators' rapidly growing advertising revenues it could become lots more compelling as time goes on.

Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He does welcome your questions, comments, or kibitzing. Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Walt Disney and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.