Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

Amazon is reportedly in talks with at least three Hollywood studios to join the UltraViolet digital locker consortium. According to people with knowledge of the matter, Amazon has been in talks with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. The retail giant is currently ranked No. 2 behind Apple in digital movie sales and rentals. If Amazon were to implement UltraViolet, it could help jumpstart efforts to expand the $2 billion online movie-sales business and make it a greater threat to Apple. Continue reading Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

Time Warner Cable Offers VOD, Streaming, Cable via Fan TV

Time Warner Cable has partnered with startup Fanhattan to offer customers the Fan TV cable set-top box, which enables viewers to watch live TV, cable TV, and streaming video via Internet Protocol. The sleek cable box features a unique viewer guide with an integrated offering of online and live content from television shows to movies through a simple touchpad remote. Pre-orders of Fan TV set-tops, which began Tuesday, are $99, and they will be ready to ship in June. Continue reading Time Warner Cable Offers VOD, Streaming, Cable via Fan TV

Target Ticket: Online Video Service with the Family in Mind

Target launched its online video store to the public yesterday, designed to provide parents with family-friendly options for their children. The Target Ticket online storefront goes beyond the standard age-based ratings of other electronic sell-through services by enabling parents to create subaccounts for their children based on various criteria. Target Ticket currently has 30,000 movies and TV shows (for viewers of all ages) available to purchase or rent, download or stream. Continue reading Target Ticket: Online Video Service with the Family in Mind

UltraViolet: Retailer MovieStop Launches New Digital Platform

Atlanta-based MovieStop, with 44 stores in 10 states, is launching a new digital platform that offers electronic sales of movies and TV shows, many to include UltraViolet functionality. MovieStop has been running a buy, sell, trade business model since 2004 that originated during its time as a subsidiary of video game retailer GameStop. It has partnered with Philadelphia-based in the joint venture. FlixFling operates a cloud-based digital locker for independent movies. Continue reading UltraViolet: Retailer MovieStop Launches New Digital Platform

Movie Service M-GO Unveils Personal Cards, Considers Live TV

M-GO, the movie service launched by Technicolor and DreamWorks, recently announced that it is adding LG TVs to its growing list of supported devices. The company is also launching new personal Cards for its Web app, a personalization feature akin to Pinterest for your movies. As part of its expansion strategy, M-GO has ambitious content plans, which possibly include integrating a locker service for access to personal content, in addition to live television. Continue reading Movie Service M-GO Unveils Personal Cards, Considers Live TV

CES 2013: DECE Counts 9 Million UltraViolet Account Holders

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem’s UltraViolet launched in October 2011 and at the 2013 International CES, attendees can expect to hear news and updates from consortium members about the rollout, support and its Common File Format. A booth located in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center will offer live demonstrations and an opportunity for CES attendees to register for UltraViolet accounts. Continue reading CES 2013: DECE Counts 9 Million UltraViolet Account Holders

CinemaNow Introduces Availability of HD Movies from Fox and Warner Bros.

  • CinemaNow — the online video service launched by electronics chain Best Buy in 2010 — has announced it will offer 1080p HD movies from Fox and Warner Bros. on personal computers. “Until now, only standard-definition movies were available from CinemaNow on the PC,” writes Carolyn Giardina in The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, indicates that CinemaNow is using Intel technology to make secure HD content available. “Intel Insider is a hardware-based security technology in second-generation Intel Core processors,” reports THR, “which is the fastest-shipping Intel product with more than 75 million units shipped to date.”
  • “The partnership with Intel and Best Buy’s CinemaNow to bring HD digital downloads of our movies to the PC will expand our reach to millions of devices in the U.S. and potentially more around the world,” adds Mike Dunn, worldwide president at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
  • CinemaNow currently offers approximately 15,000 movies and TV shows.

Rovi Provides Security and New Features for DivX Streams

  • Rovi has announced DivX Plus Streaming that allows cloud-based movie services, such as Best Buy’s CinemaNow and other sites integrated with the Rovi Entertainment Store, to stream movies securely to DivX-compatible devices.
  • New features include being able to pause on one device and seamlessly resume on another, improved video quality, and support for multiple language tracks and subtitles.
  • “Other content-protection companies, such as Google’s Widevine subsidiary, offer some similar capabilities to service providers, so Rovi is playing catch-up to a degree. And not every Hollywood studio allows its movies to be distributed in the DivX format,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Rovi executives insist, however, that they’ve leapfrogged the competition with some features, including the near-Blu-ray-quality images and the ability to support multiple alternate-language soundtracks and subtitles in the same stream.”
  • Although integration into specific products has yet to be announced, Rovi explained the technology will be available to many existing devices through a firmware update.

Elite Premium TVs Merge the Best of Pioneer and Sharp

  • The new Elite brand of premium LCD TVs is the result of a collaboration between Pioneer and Sharp.
  • Two LED-based LCD models (60- and 70-inch) are 3D, THX certified, claim a refresh rate of greater than 240Hz and feature full-array backlighting instead of edge lighting. They also feature online services such as CinemaNow, Netflix, VUDU and YouTube.
  • Elite TVs include a yellow sub pixel with the standard red/blue/green, that when added together, creates more than 8 million dots on the screen.
  • “But the feature that the company is most hyping is something called Intelligent Variable Contrast,” reports Electronic House. “Found only on the new Elite TVs, it automatically controls both the brightness and backlight to enhance color depth, brilliance and detail in dark areas.”
  • The 3D Elites will ship with active shutter glasses — MSRP of $5,999 for the 60-inch model and $8,499 for the 70-inch.