VUDU Box Offers Hi-End Version – VUDU XL is the new version of the box furnishing instant access to movies and TV shows in the home. Thru relationships with the major movie studios and independent studios and distributors, they offer a huge range of both standard definition and HD video entertainment which can be quickly downloaded and watched without a computer and without cable or satellite subscription. (There is a charge per film.) The new model stores more than 500 standard-def movies and has advanced controls for integration with networked home theaters and IR-based universal remotes. It eliminates the clutter of large DVD libraries, the logistics of DVD rentals, and takes advantage of hi-def displays, surround sound and other HT investments. The XL box SRP is $999.
The Challenge in Web Video Distribution – The current generation of set-top boxes and wireless video boxes have not garnered wide consumer adoption because they work only with exclusive content sources or only with similar equipment. For example, Apple TV only allows copying to devices made by Apple. Macrovision and CinemaNow have partnered in an effort to push adoption of a common home network interconnection standard so that users can play copy-protected videos on a variety of devices. They call it the Connected Platform, and Samsung is already using it in their set-top boxes to act as both embedded digital video players and digital media servers. Macrovision is the leader in copy-protection software for DVDs.
Linn Records Expands Their Digital Downloads – Linn Records of Scotland, which has been selling their 250-recording catalog as digital downloads in a variety of formats (including hi-res surround), has signed a worldwide digital encoding and distribution deal with RSK Entertainment Ltd. which will introduce their catalog on such larger websites as iTunes, eMusic, Napster and HMV Digital. Jazz artists such as Claire Martin and Barb Jungr and classical performers such as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Artur Pizarro and the Fitzwilliam Quartet will be available using different subscription models and a wide range of download qualities to meet each user’s needs.