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Latest Video Download Services & Hardware News - Page 2

post #31 of 577
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Hewlett-Packard connects TV to Internet

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APRIL 17 | Hewlett-Packard became the latest company to connect the TV to the Internet, announcing today that its MediaSmart TVs now have Microsoft’s Media Center Extender capability to allow consumers to download movies directly to their TV.

All new and second-generation MediaSmart TVs will include Extender, which will allow users to access and watch Internet video on their set and transfer digital home videos stored on their PC to the TV.

Users can rent or purchase movies through CinemaNow, Starz Vongo and Movielink through their TV. Through the Windows Media Center, viewers also have access to on-demand video from MSN, which features programming from A&E, CNBC, Fox Sports, National Geographic and other providers.

Extender for Windows Media Center also will be included in H-P’s upcoming digital media receiver, the MediaSmart Connect, which will be released this year and connect any HDTV set to the Internet.

H-P is among a growing number of companies that plan to introduce devices this year to allow consumers to easily watch Internet movie downloads on their TV and give a boost to the video download business.

Competitors include such big names as Apple, which introduced the AppleTV last year and allows users to view iTunes movie and TV downloads on the TV.
post #32 of 577
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Info on the HP Media Smart Connect Receiver.

Very promising indeed.
post #33 of 577
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Carrefour to offer movie downloads

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PARIS -- Carrefour Group, the world's No. 2 retailer behind Wal-Mart, is to enter the movie download business, launching a new service in its four key European territories of France, Spain, Belgium and Italy.

Announcing the initiative at the PEVE Digital Entertainment conference in Paris on Friday, Carrefour's international non-food chief Christophe Geoffroy said the site would offer both Download To Own and Download To Rent movies and television programs.

Geoffroy, whose company currently has a 13.3% market share of the 2 billion-euro DVD market in those territories, said the decision to launch into digital distribution was an extension of Carrefour's focus on entertainment.

"It's very important for Carrefour to have more than one point of sale," he said. "We have to be in contact with the consumer in their homes as well as in-store. We know full well that the market forecast for VOD is low at the moment but we are convinced that it will develop over the coming years and we want to provide a legal solution for customers to see the best possible content."

While he declined to offer prices for the download, saying they varied across the countries, he said they would be competitive with the market and that the process would be as simple and fast as possible.
post #34 of 577
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Panasonic to Bolster Tie-up With Samsung in Blu-ray

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MAJORCA, Spain ― Japan's Panasonic, a leading player in the next-generation Blu-ray format business, plans to expand the global storage devices market by boosting strategic partnership with Samsung Electronics.

``Now, the discussion is over. We will maintain a healthy relationship with Samsung Electronics for the next-generation computer storage market,'' Peter Weber, manager of Panasonic Corporate Communication Europe, said in an interview with The Korea Times, Sunday, on the sidelines of the IFA 2008 International Press Conference here.

"Panasonic doesn't care about the introducing timing of Blu-ray players. Time is very crucial to step up the marketing for better prospect of such devices,'' he said, adding his company is all set to inject money only for promotion.

The next-generation Blu-ray players will have disk drives and will be able to connect to the Internet, allowing users to download movie trailers or interact with other Blu-ray owners. Samsung Electronics is expected to release a new Blu-ray product to back up the potential business.

Disc drives...Sounds like the new movie download boxes are coming...
post #35 of 577
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Sony to launch online video service for PlayStation 3

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The company is attempting to stage a comeback in digital entertainment distribution.

Will the third time be the charm for Sony Corp.?

The entertainment and electronics giant is preparing to launch an online video service through its game console PlayStation 3 as early as this summer, studio executives familiar with the plan say.

The company has been in licensing talks with studios in recent weeks, according to these executives, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of continuing negotiations.

The initial version of the service would include movies and television shows flowing from the Internet to the PlayStation 3.

It would follow two other disappointing online ventures backed by Sony in recent years: Movielink, which attempted to become the online equivalent of the video store for mainstream Hollywood movies before being sold last year to Blockbuster Inc.; and Sony Connect, the company's response to Apple Inc.'s iTunes download service. It shut down in March.

The latest service, provided through the online PlayStation Network, is Sony's attempt to stage a comeback in digital entertainment distribution. The maker of the once-dominant Walkman portable music player is still smarting from its defeat by Apple in the online music revolution.

"They've got to get a win in the digital, and I'd say on the electronic delivery side of the business," said Kurt Scherf, an analyst with Parks Associates who studies technology in the home. "That's where the future is. They've got to establish a toehold in that space."

The latest initiative seeks to harness Sony's strengths as a maker of high-definition televisions and consumer products as well as a creator of films and TV shows.

Sony is trying to capitalize on its Trojan horse in the living room, the PlayStation 3. The console is already connected to the TV and the Internet, and has sold more than 4 million units in the U.S. and 9 million worldwide, according to Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles. The console gave Sony the decisive edge in the battle to establish its Blu-ray discs as the standard for high-definition video in the home, trumping the HD DVD format backed by Toshiba Corp., Microsoft Corp. and others.

The new service would position Sony to compete with the growing number of Internet-connected devices and services that deliver video to the TV, including AppleTV, Vudu and Microsoft's Xbox 360 console.

Its biggest competitor would be Microsoft's Xbox Live service, which boasts 10 million subscribers who can sample online more than 4,800 hours of video, a quarter of them in high-definition. That includes 350 movies and more than 5,000 episodes of TV shows such as "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," most of which go on sale on Xbox Live the day after their initial broadcast airing. Unlike closed networks such as Apple's, Sony plans to embrace open standards that would make its offering compatible with a range of computers and hand-held devices, including its PlayStation Portable.

Patrick Seybold, a spokesman for the PlayStation unit, declined to comment.

However, a PlayStation marketing chief acknowledged the initiative and promised more details soon in a post Tuesday on the Inside PlayStation Network blog.

"Many of you have been hearing rumblings about a video service that will allow you to download full-length TV shows and movies via PlayStation Network for North America," wrote Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "While I don't have any new announcements . . . it's already been confirmed that we'll be offering a video service for PS3 in a way that separates the service from others you've seen or used."

One of the service's greatest obstacles may be Sony's own culture. Sony Chairman and Chief Executive Howard Stringer has been battling a corporate silo mentality in which divisions within his company work in isolation, undermining new initiatives. The PlayStation group in Foster City, Calif., has been notoriously aloof. Once, a former executive said, it scuttled plans for a movie subscription service for the PlayStation Portable even though Sony Pictures had supported the initiative.

What is more, the company, looking to safeguard its film, television and music holdings, has been an aggressive champion of copyright protection, often, critics suggest, at the cost of technological innovation.

"Sony has this blessing and curse of [having] some of the world's smartest intellectual property lawyers, who've never built or marketed a product in their life, who are good at saying, 'no,' " said Richard Doherty, senior analyst at consultancy Envisioneering Group in Seaford, N.Y. "The sun never sets on the Sony lawyers, they're around the world, in Tokyo, London, New York."

Sony insiders say attitudes are evolving under Tim Schaaff, a former Apple executive who is spearheading the company's latest plunge into online video. Schaaff joined Sony in December 2005 in the newly created position of senior vice president of software development and is helping the company, whose heritage dates to the transistor radio, appreciate the importance of deft software design in the digital era.

Online movie sales are still a tiny business and will remain small over the next year as DVDs continue to be the dominant home video format, according to Convergence Consulting Group. U.S. consumers spent $95 million for movies online last year, compared with $23.4 billion to rent and buy DVDs.

Nonetheless, market researcher Parks Associates projects that Internet video will grow more lucrative, reaping about $6.4 billion in revenue by 2010 from advertising, as well as paid downloads or rentals.

In the market, however, Microsoft has a head start.

"It isn't easy to do this," said Ross Honey, senior director of Microsoft's media and entertainment group.

"There is a lot of work to be done in just making this work and getting that movie up in high quality. We've had over a year's experience on how to do this, so we can focus on innovating as opposed to working out the kinks."
post #36 of 577
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post #37 of 577
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Notes taken during Netflix Earnings Conference Call this Evening

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5:06 More than 9,000 movies and TV episodes available. Instant-watch only on Windows PCs. Fine for laptops, technophiles. More attractive to consumer electronics partners. Want integrated into Blu-ray players, game consoles, TVs, standalone devices. In January, we talked about LG. We have LG plus three additional partners actively working on integrating our technology. Three of four partners are major companies which each sell millions of devices this year, which will hit in Q4. Fourth is a small company which will launch sooner than Q4.
post #38 of 577
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Vudu Takes Top Honors at RetailVision Event

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Digital movie service operator Vudu won Best Product: Digital Home honors at the 2008 RetailVision spring event recently held in Orlando.

We believe it is a testament to the innovative product and entertainment experience we have developed and exemplifies the close relationships we are building with the retail channel, Vudu VP of marketing Patrick Cosson said of the award, which was judged by top-level merchants.

The Digital Home Award represents the best of the consumer tech products currently on the market and are chosen by the retailers themselves, the ones who shape the market, said Ray Robidoux of the consulting firm Sightline Group. I believe companies such as Vudu, who were so well received by the retail community at this year's show, have a promising future.
post #39 of 577
Thread Starter 
CDSA and EMA Establish Strategic Alliance For The Development Of Digital Delivery Metadata Standards

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The Content Delivery & Storage Association (CDSA) has announced that it has joined the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) in the establishment of industry metadata standards for the digital delivery of home entertainment content via the Internet. In doing so, CDSA actively joins EMA's Digital Delivery Council, which has gained the participation of leading studio and retailers for this vital step in the industry's technical development.

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CDSA joins current members of the EMA Digital Delivery Council including: Lionsgate, Warner Home Video, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Home Entertainment, Cinema Now, and Netflix.

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"Our members were encouraging us to begin our own metadata standardization initiative but, once we became aware of EMA's efforts, it only made sense to work together since the most effective plan involves bringing all concerned parties around a single table at one time," Van Horn explains. "We encourage all our members and all our partnering associations to work together to help build these standards as quickly as possible."
post #40 of 577
Thread Starter 
From Forbes:

Internet TV To Ditch PCs

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Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter points out that Netflix has ready access to a much wider range of licenses than the game makers have--and so should complement what the console makers themselves provide. The service is expected to be free to Netflix subscribers, at least initially.
post #41 of 577
Thread Starter 
Warners enhances global VOD

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Warner Bros. International Television Distribution took a big step into the new-media landscape with the formation Tuesday of a branded services division that will operate Warner TV channels around the world on an array of platforms.

Announcing the move, WBITD president Jeffrey Schlesinger said the unit will use the latest technological developments including digital cable, IPTV, PC and mobile delivery.

The move is an expansion of WBITD's previously announced plan to launch Warner Bros.-branded VOD channels around the world.
...

A somewhat related event:

Time Warner to Split Off Cable Unit; Profit Declines

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April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Bewkes said he will separate the cable-systems unit from the film and television businesses, bringing him a step closer to breaking up the world's biggest media company.

The announcement came as Time Warner reported first-quarter net income fell 36 percent to $771 million, or 21 cents a share, from $1.2 billion, or 31 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 2.1 percent to $11.4 billion, the New York-based company said in a statement.
post #42 of 577
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post #43 of 577
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More on Warner VoD.

Warner Brothers To Rent Movies Online Sooner

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I spoke briefly this afternoon to Kevin Tsujihara, the president of Warner’s home video unit. He said that we are moving to an era when there will be thousands of titles available to rent on systems like Apple TV. (The cable systems don’t currently have the capacity to offer that many movies.)

He said that, of the movies in Warner’s library, only 40 or 50 are now not available for pay-per-view or online rental because of its contract with its corporate cousin, HBO. That won’t disappoint the vast majority of movie watchers, he said because “after six months, most titles have played themselves out.”

For consumers, this moves Hollywood closer to what most people want: The ability to get any movie, on any device, at any time.
post #44 of 577
Thread Starter 
Reuters/Hollywood Reporter, via Yahoo News.

Studio films going day-and-date at iTunes Store

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Apple is expected to announce Thursday that it has struck a deal with a wide array of movie studios to sell new releases at its iTunes Store.

The move would allow a broad slate of top-shelf films to be offered day-and-date with home video releases, which risks cannibalizing DVD sales.

Such a move would also put significant pressure on iTunes competitors ranging from Amazon's Unbox to Microsoft XBox Live Marketplace.

The new arrangement is expected to involve Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and New Line. The deal does not include new titles from MGM, but does extend to boutique firms such as Magnolia and Image Entertainment.

The deal comes on the heels of Apple's announcement in January that it had signed all of the studios to movie rentals, with each title costing just $3-$4 for consumers to access for a 30-day period. Movie purchases, however, could cost as much as $15.

Apple hasn't moved as aggressively to date on film as it has in TV, with most download-to-own devoted to older titles in studio libraries. But Apple's success with those deals, which included MGM, Disney and Paramount, likely encouraged studios to take the next step.

In March, Disney CEO Bob Iger publicly estimated that his company had sold 4 million movies via iTunes since it became the first studio to try download-to-own in 2006. A few major new releases already have been made available day-and-date in recent weeks on iTunes, including Fox's "Juno."

Thursday's announcement is expected to contain new data on the success of Apple's movie revenue to date.

The news follows Wednesday's disclosure by Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes that Warner Bros. will experiment with video-on-demand releases day-and-date with DVD.

The announcement originally was expected to be released earlier in the week, perhaps timed to the fifth anniversary of iTunes, which was Monday.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
post #45 of 577
Thread Starter 
Building B/Sezmi One True Set Top Box Aims to Kill TV as You Know It

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Ideally, you won't know (or care) about where the content is coming from. One of the big things they're pushing, which I don't know people will be able to swallow is the idea of personal portals over channels. Basically, it'll learn your viewing habits and create what are essentially smart playlists of content, drawn from broadcast, cable stored content and internet video, all meshed together—kind of like TiVo on Web 2.0 crack, since it has a TV Guide menu with a list and times of shows and whatnot as well, but decentralized from the channel metaphor. Each person in the house has their own button on the top of the remote and it'll switch to customized programming for them.

Edit: More links to reviews here...

New Sezmi Set-top Blows Away the TV

Sezmi presents TV 2.0

Sezmi Blends Broadcast TV With Broadband Video
post #46 of 577
Thread Starter 
Widevine Announces Commercial Availability of DRM for Windows Media Player & Silverlight

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Widevine Technologies, the only provider of multiformat, multiplatform DRM and digital copy protection solutions, today announced immediate availability of Widevine Cypher to protect content delivered to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Media Player versions 9, 10, 11 and Silverlight versions 1 and 2. This milestone represents the first time content can be securely delivered in Windows Media, Silverlight and Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) Flash environments using a single content protection solution.

Widevine Cypher now enables content owners, service providers and video operators to provide comprehensive DRM to secure the platforms and formats that best suit their consumer media requirements. The new release builds upon Widevine's original Flash media support and the preview of Widevine DRM for Silverlight performed in conjunction with Microsoft at the NAB show earlier in April.

"Consumers want flexibility and choice when it comes to consuming content on a myriad of platforms while content providers have asked for a robust alternative to Windows Media DRM for several years," said Brian Baker, Widevine CEO. "Widevine benefits both parties with a single DRM and digital copy protection solution that secures the business models for premium content delivered to consumers who can enjoy it on their preferred device."

Widevine's Cypher DRM client secures delivery and storage of content on Macs, PCs and Linux platforms and post-decryption where most piracy typically occurs. The client includes digital copy protection technology which further monitors, detects and responds to the hundreds of screen scraping and recording utilities available on the Internet. Many of these utilities can record content from a consumer device and store it as a downloadable file on the Internet. Increasingly, content owners are demanding this level of protection to prevent widespread piracy which costs the industry upwards of $6.1 billion* a year. Widevine first deployed the PC client to secure content delivered on a wide range of PC devices in 2000.

Widevine's latest release is the first time a content owner approved alternative to Windows Media DRM has been available in order to meet widespread demand.
post #47 of 577
Thread Starter 
Lycos Unveils New Cinema Video Community, Adding Online VOD Rentals to Its Ad-Supported Service, Bringing Enhanced Social Viewing Experience to Premium Paid Content

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WALTHAM, Mass., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Lycos, Inc. (http://www.lycos.com ), a leading provider of social publishing, media and search services, today introduced the new Lycos Cinema ( http://cinema.lycos.com ) adding video on demand (VOD) rentals to its existing ad-supported Lycos Cinema community, greatly expanding the interactive social video viewing experience. With the new Lycos Cinema, users now have the option of watching and interacting around premium rentals and free VOD ad-supported film and episodic television titles. Lycos's patent-pending synchronous Watch & Interact technology now enables multiple users to view the same video at the same time with anyone, anywhere, at anytime--all while chatting and socializing.

Lycos Cinema is the only online social viewing experience to offer synchronous SimulStream community viewing, allowing users to come together to view film and other video content in public or private screening rooms, in four different screening modes, including both full and mini-screen modes. With the addition of VOD rentals, Lycos introduces a new StoreFront business model to compliment its free, advertising-supported content, providing a customized, studio boutique solution for the promotion of upcoming DVD and theatrical releases.
...
post #48 of 577
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Tech giants coalesce for a powerline home networking standard

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Intel, Panasonic, Infineon, and TI are among the charter members of a group dedicated to creating a new worldwide standard for transferring digital media over power, phone, and coaxial cables.

...
post #49 of 577
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post #50 of 577
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Network-equipment makers speed up development of IP STBs

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Irene Chen, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES [Friday 9 May 2008]

More Taiwan-based network-equipment makers, including Gemtek Technology, Alpha Networks and Cameo Communications, have sped up their development of IP STBs (set-top boxes) in line with the growth of IPTV business at carriers, according to sources at network-equipment makers.

Gemtek has predicted shipments of IP STBs will be a growth driver for revenues starting the second quarter of this year, although the company did not provide current shipments figures.

In addition, Gemtek has been shipping IP STBs with its 802.11n-enabled devices to meet requirements of wireless broadband operators, the company said.

Alpha Networks said that it plans to deliver its STB to the US National Telecommunication & Information Administrative (NTIA) for certification soon.

Six Taiwan-based makers, including Zinwell Communications, Skardin Industrial, Tatung, Ultima Electronics and Mustek, have already secured certification for their STBs under the NTIA-initiated coupon eligible converter box (CECB) program.

OEMs - check out their web sites if you get a chance...
post #51 of 577
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post #52 of 577
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The revolution comes to your living room

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ITU has long been a star of the small screen, developing the initial global standards that launched High Definition TV (HDTV) and digital terrestrial broadcasting back in the 1990s.

Now, the world of broadcasting is about to be turned upside down yet again with IPTV television delivered over IP-based networks, instead of over the airwaves.

IPTV trumps conventional broadcasting paradigms by allowing viewers to determine their own viewing schedules, downloading the programs they want directly from their service provider at anytime and potentially from anywhere in the world. What's more, those programs are accessible over a whole host of fixed and mobile devices, from an ordinary TV set to a computer, PDA even a GPRS or 3G mobile phone.

ITU-T's Focus Group on IPTV, set up in 2006 to harmonize and integrate standards into a unified approach to maximize interoperability across networks and markets worldwide, concluded its work in January this year with the announcement of the first set of global standards for this revolutionary new technology.

The first round of IPTV standards cover the high-level architecture and frameworks service providers will need to put in place to roll out IPTV services. As a next step, 21 documents covering IPTV technical requirements, architecture, quality of service (QoS), security, digital rights management (DRM), unicast and multicast, protocols, metadata, middleware and home networks will now be submitted to ITU-T Study Group 13 for further development work.

Operators in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK have already launched local IPTV offerings; now, many are beginning to look outside their national territories, making international standards crucial.

The power to deliver TV services over IP networks is now paving the way for telcos to set themselves up as TV content providers often in partnership with traditional broadcasters delivering voice, Internet and video services over a single broadband link.

"In a market that once threatened to fragment into different regional approaches as telcos and equipment vendors clamoured for first-mover advantage, effective standardization through ITU is a vital step towards high quality products with value-additions, such as video-on-demand services that are widely expected to serve as a key market driver," notes ITU-T Director Malcolm Johnson.
post #53 of 577
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^

ITU-T: IPTV Focus Group Proceedings

PDF document, 715 pages.
post #54 of 577
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NBC Direct, Take Two, Out for Testing

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NBC is opening a trial of the new version of its web VOD software NBC Direct, which now incorporates the download-speeding assistance of peer-to-peer startup Pando.
post #55 of 577
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Sigma Designs to Showcase DOCSIS 3.0 Multi Channel and tru2way™ Set-Top Box at NCTA Cable Show 2008

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MILPITAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sigma Designs (Nasdaq:SIGM), a leader in digital media processing system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions for consumer electronics, leveraging Texas Instruments field proven cable TV technology and VividLogic’s comprehensive tru2way™ software for set-top boxes (STBs) and cable TV ready HDTVs, announces demonstrations of its DOCSIS 3.0 multi channel and tru2way™ set-top box at the NCTA Cable Show 2008, May 18-20 in New Orleans. The demonstrations will take place at Sigma Designs’ stand in the CableNET zone and in VividLogic booth #3929.

“The cable TV industry is upgrading its infrastructure to enable higher speed downstream and upstream communication. The switched digital system in a Cable TV plant provides an unlimited number of high definition channels and video-on-demand functionality to the consumer,” said Ken Lowe, Sigma’s VP of strategic marketing. “Sigma Designs will leverage its expertise in the Telco IPTV set-top box market to support IP-Cable STBs and HDTV manufacturers. We are proud to offer consumers more competitive choices in their home entertainment experience.”

Sigma’s Cable-IP Set-Top Box Demonstrations

Sigma Designs will be showcasing the DOCSIS 3.0 (1.X and 2.0) based STB powered by Sigma’s SMP8634 Secure Media Processors, capable of:

Fast upstream and downstream communication

High speed cable modem for Internet connectivity

Web browsing

Tru2way™ middleware for downloadable EPG and interactive Java applications

Decoding of multiple video streams for simultaneous viewing and recording

Multi standard decoding (MPEG-2, H.264, VC-1)

Unlimited Cable TV channel lineup on “IPTV like” switched digital video & VoD cable plant

Support IPv6 128 bits addresses

More about Sigma’s DOCSIS 3.0 (1.X and 2.0)-based Set-Top Box

Texas Instruments developed the Puma-5 DOCSIS 3.0 based chipset used in the Sigma Designs set-top box. VividLogic developed the Open Cable Host (OCHD 2.0) based tru2way™ middleware that includes OCAP, MCARD, DSG, IEEE-1394, DVR and other OCHD 2.0 components, being ported to run on the Sigma Designs’ SMP8634 media processor.

Optimized for triple play and next generation IP services, TI's Puma 5 family has been developed to support DOCSIS 3.0 enhanced performance and features. New DOCSIS 3.0 features such as channel bonding enable ultra high downstream bandwidth rates of at least 160 Mbps in the residential data and voice services configuration. In addition, the solution offers 320 Mbps in video and business services configuration.

“TI is excited to deliver the Puma 5 to this video segment,” said Irvind Ghai, Director Connectivity and Cable Business at TI. “As the market leader in DOCSIS 3.0 based technology, Texas Instruments is happy to bring the differentiating capabilities of this technology to next generation Cable set-top boxes.”

“We are delighted to work with Sigma Designs and TI in porting our Open Cable Host (OCHD 2.0) based tru2way™ software to Sigma Designs’ set-top box reference platform,” said Shiva Patibanda, CEO VividLogic Inc. “Our comprehensive tru2way™ software solution will accelerate time-to-market for Sigma Designs and TI customers.”

Industry estimates show that Sigma's SMP8634 chip is in approximately 80% of the IPTV set-top boxes worldwide, more than any other semiconductor offered to the industry, making Sigma a leader in global IPTV services.

About Sigma's SMP8634 Media Processor

Sigma’s SMP8634 media processor integrates a complete complement of next-generation capabilities for a single-chip system-on-chip (SoC) solution with powerful multimedia processing, robust content security system, and a full complement of peripherals. Its advanced decoder engines support video decoding of H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), Windows Media® Video 9, VC-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2) with multiple streams, up to the equivalent of two high-definition video streams. High-performance graphics acceleration, multi-standard audio decoding, advanced display processing capabilities, and HDMI/HDCP output round out its multimedia core. Powerful content security is ensured through a dedicated secure processor, flash memory, and a range of digital rights management (DRM) engines for high-speed payload decryption. The SMP8634’s 300- MHz host CPU, 3.2 GB/second unified memory controller, Ethernet 10/100 controller, dual USB 2.0 controller, and IDE controller provide for a single-chip solution for most consumer products.
post #56 of 577
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Verizon Bites CableCard Bullet

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Verizon Communications will join the CableCard set-top club on July 1.

That's when the telco will be required by the Federal Communications Commission to deploy advanced set-top boxes for FiOS TVthose with high-definition and digital video recording featureswith separable security components.

We have a separable CableCard-based solution and we're on track to meet the FCC requirement, Verizon media relations director Bobbi Henson said.

...
post #57 of 577
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Jaman Streaming 100 HD Movies

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Online movie purveyor Jaman.com announced May 15 that it has launched a free streaming option for 100 ad-supported, high-def movies.

The company has recently inked deals with Arts Alliance America, BBC Worldwide America and Fortissimo Films.

This development changes the marketplace for long-form content, said Jaman founder and CEO Gaurav Dhillon. By offering a free streaming media service along with our current rental and ownership download options, we are anticipating the future of digital cinema. With streaming, we provide our community with a quality viewing experience that is free, and for our advertisers, we deliver a unique audience and premium and targeted placement opportunities.

http://www.jaman.com/a/home/
post #58 of 577
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TV boxes let Netflix users bypass mail delivery

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Preparing for the eventual extinction of its DVD-by-mail rental service, Netflix Inc. on Tuesday is introducing its first solution for subscribers who want entertainment delivered directly to their television sets with just a few clicks on a remote control.

The breakthrough comes in the form of 5-inch-by-5-inch device tailored for a year-old service that uses high-speed Internet connections to stream more than 10,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix's library.

Although it's provided at no additional cost to most of Netflix's 8.2 million subscribers, the streaming service has had limited appeal so far because it doesn't include the latest movies and couldn't easily be watched on anything but a personal computer.

At $99.99, the Netflix set-top box is priced like a DVD player and is just as simple to hook up to a television. A high-speed Internet connection can either be plugged into the box or the device can pick up a wireless signal.

Similar Internet-to-TV devices made by Apple Inc. and Vudu Inc. cost $229 to $295.

"We think this is something that offers a big value at a low cost," said Reed Hastings, Netflix's chief executive officer.

The Netflix box, made by Silicon Valley startup Roku Inc., is the first of several devices that will pipe Netflix's streaming service to TV sets.

LG Electronics is expected to include the streaming capability in a Blu-ray DVD player that it plans to debut during the second half of this year.

Without providing further details, Netflix has said two other major consumer electronics companies are working on set-top boxes for its streaming service.

Hastings is confident that the demand for DVD rentals will remain strong for at least several more years, partly because movie studios aren't ready to fully embrace digital distribution.

But as technology makes it easier to rent and buy movies within a few minutes instead of waiting for them to be delivered through the mail, Hastings realizes his Los Gatos-based company won't survive unless it evolves.

That's why Netflix has poured more than $40 million into its streaming service, called "Watch Instantly," and is now trying to encourage its subscribers to use it more frequently even though it doesn't generate more revenue.

If anything, the streaming service is eroding Netflix's profits because the company's licensing fees are based on how frequently subscribers use it. And any customer who pays at least $8.99 per month for a DVD rental plan gets unlimited access to the streaming service.

Because the new set-top box figures to spur more usage, Netflix expects its profit margins to be squeezed later this year. Even so, the company is still projecting a profit of as much as $83 million this year, up about 20 percent from last year. The bright outlook has helped lift Netflix's market value 16 percent so far this year.

Hastings eventually hopes to recoup some of the added expense by having to spend less money to attract and retain customers as more people enjoy the convenience of the streaming service. Netflix has no plans to start charging an additional fee for the streaming service this year.

Cowen and Co. analyst James Friedland believes the number of Netflix subscribers interested in purchasing the new set-top box will be relatively small.

Part of the problem is that few recent movies are available on Netflix's streaming service. That's a major shortcoming because nearly one-third of the rental requests on Netflix's DVD service are for new movie releases, Friedland said.

"You can't really drive consumers to do anything before they're ready," Friedland said. "You can only give them options. And Netflix seems to be trying to deliver as much as it can (with the streaming service), given the current limitations of the studios and technology."

Netflix offers more than 100,000 movies and TV shows on DVD, about 10 times the streaming service's selection.

Although the streaming device bears the Netflix brand, it's the brainchild of Roku's founder and CEO, Anthony Wood.

After temporarily leaving his startup to work on the streaming device as a Netflix employee, Wood returned to Roku earlier this year. At that point, Netflix paid $6 million for an undisclosed stake in Saratoga-based Roku. Several other former Netflix employees also work at Roku.
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New York Times on Roku Netflix Player:

Why the Roku Netflix Player is the First Shot of the Revolution

Quote:


In the small, generic plastic box that is the new Netflix Player made by Roku, I think you can see the future of video.

I’m not saying that this product itself is going to take the world by storm, even though I think it is better than any other set-top box I’ve ever seen. Netflix and Roku expect the $99 device to sell in the hundreds of thousands, not millions, this year.

Still, the Netflix player contains most of the interface ideas and technology needed to revolutionize how we get television in our house. Here’s my thinking:
...
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