From time-shifting to video downloading to on-demand services, entertainment is undergoing some interesting changes. On Tuesday, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) announced another intriguing new idea: It will distribute selected independent films from IFC through its On Demand service -- simultaneously with the films' theatrical release.

The deal recalls the recent release of Steven Soderbergh's Bubble; that movie was an experiment in distribution, released in theaters, on the HDNet cable network, and on DVD all at once. (Judging from how long it remained stuck in my Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) queue, marked "Very Long Wait," it seems to have been more popular on disc than in cinemas.)

IFC, which is owned by Cablevision (NYSE:CVC), has distributed such movies as My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Fahrenheit 9/11. Starting March 22, Comcast customers will be able to order up some of IFC's newly released indie films for $5.99 a pop.

Industry buzz suggests that people are jaded with movie theaters, and increasingly enjoy watching flicks at home instead. Meanwhile, indie films often play in only a limited number of theaters, assuming they're playing at all; that makes it much more of a hassle for many people to find the lone screen in town playing the artsy film they want to see.

As a movie buff (and frequent watcher of indie films on video), I have to applaud the idea of on-demand distribution for films that usually get so little attention to begin with. Of course, the Internet's power to champion more obscure titles through recommendations from sites like Netflix may increasingly give such indie fare a bigger spotlight, regardless of the marketing noise that "blockbuster" movies receive.

Is the era of the Hollywood blockbuster, with lines around the block on opening weekend, coming to an end? I'd imagine that some types of films will always incite fans to emerge from their homes for a night at the movies. Newer technology -- think IMAX (NASDAQ:IMAX) -- might also offer consumers a reason to prefer a movie theater to their living rooms. However, it's clear that there are lots of movies that viewers don't flock to the theater for.

Comcast's new idea gives its customers something interesting to watch On Demand -- and yet another reason to stay home for a movie, too.

Demand further Foolishness:

Netflix is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick, while IMAX was recently singled out for Motley Fool Rule Breakers subscribers. Whether you demand dividends, salivate for value, or gravitate toward growth stocks, the Fool's got a newsletter that's right for you.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.