Netflix, Inc. and Disney-ABC Television Group today announced a new licensing agreement between the two companies that will allow Netflix to stream hundreds of episodes from the ABC Television Network, Disney Channel and – for the first time – ABC Family over the Internet.

The agreement, brokered by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, will add significantly to the growing selection of movies and TV episodes that can be streamed from Netflix. Once made available to Netflix from Disney-ABC – which, for relevant programming, will be no earlier than 15 days after initial telecast – episodes can be streamed instantly with Netflix memberships starting at $7.99 a month.

Add a comment

PNY Technologies, Inc. has announced an extended partnership with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for a national product promotion, now including mobile compatibility.

With every new purchase of specially marked PNY product, consumers will receive one bonus full-length movie download from Sony Pictures, valued at approximately $10.00. Products include PNY HDMI cables, 8GB and higher SDHC™ flash memory cards and USB flash drives, DDR1/DDR2/DDR3 memory kits, and consumer graphics cards. Users can redeem at with the unique promotion code found within the package.

The updated promotion with Sony Pictures offers new content as well as a new mobile feature. The movie platform is now compatible with Windows Phone 7 devices, made by a variety of manufacturers, giving users the versatility to take advantage of their bonus movie download while on the go. Users will have to download the ‘PNY Movies’ app, one of the first mobile applications of its type, to redeem for mobile entertainment anywhere and anytime.

Add a comment

With its members now watching more content streamed over the Internet than on discs delivered by mail, Netflix, Inc. today introduced a $7.99 streaming-only subscription plan in the United States, the first time it is promoting a 100 percent streaming option in the U.S. The plan, which allows members to instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix to TVs and computers, is available now to both new and existing members.

"We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO. "Today's action reflects the tremendous customer value we've injected into streaming from Netflix, our initial success with a pure streaming service in Canada for $7.99 a month and what our U.S. members tell us they want."

The company also announced that the price of its popular subscription combining unlimited movies and TV shows streamed instantly over the Internet and unlimited DVDs delivered quickly by mail, with one DVD out at a time, will increase by a dollar a month to $9.99. Prices of subscription plans allowing for more DVDs out at a time will also increase and are detailed at Price changes take effect now for new sign-ups and in January for existing members.

Add a comment

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) today announced that on-demand movie service VUDU will launch on PlayStation Network in the United States with an application that allows for High Definition (HD) and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound streaming to the PlayStation 3 (PS3) computer entertainment system. VUDU delivers a massive library of movies to PS3 in true 1080p HD format, providing another choice for PS3 users to experience cinema-quality entertainment in the comfort of their living rooms. When the VUDU application launches on November 23, PS3 will be the first and only system with dedicated gaming functionality to offer this service. This partnership further establishes PlayStation Network as the complete home entertainment hub, which includes the latest in gaming, movies, television shows, sports, original programming, internet browsing and social networking.

Using the VUDU streaming movie service, PS3 owners will be able to conveniently and instantly access more than 4,000 HD movies for all major Hollywood studios on-demand, including new releases available the same day they are released to DVD or Blu-ray Disk. The VUDU streaming movie service also offers great value to PS3 households, with an enormous collection of titles available for only $2 for a two night rental.

"PlayStation® has long been the leader in providing living room entertainment. PlayStation Network has emerged as the industry leading entertainment hub for experiencing an unmatched amount of digital content," said Peter Dille, senior vice president, marketing and PlayStation Network, SCEA. "With the addition of the VUDU application to our free PlayStation Network, users will have another way to access entertainment, with thousands of HD movies available instantly in the comfort of their own home."

Add a comment

Sonic Solutions today announced the integration of the RoxioNow platform into HDTV chipsets from leading system-on-chip (SoC) maker Trident Microsystems, Inc. With built-in RoxioNow capabilities, consumers of Trident-based HDTVs can enjoy instant access to a wide array of premium entertainment offerings streamed directly to their sets over the Internet, including new-release movies and hit TV shows. By partnering with Trident, whose customers include some of the world's best-known television brands, the agreement continues Sonic's string of successes in extending RoxioNow support across the broadest possible range of televisions, set-top boxes, media players, and mobile devices.

"Consumers want to combine the quality from their digital TVs with the variety and flexibility they receive from streaming," said Dirk Wieberneit, SVP & General Manager of Trident's TV business unit. "RoxioNow provides us with an ideal ready-made solution to give them what they want. Building RoxioNow into our HDTV SoCs makes it easy for our customers in the DTV market to take advantage of the explosive growth in demand for high-quality streamed video content."

Trident's highly integrated, programmable SoC semiconductors act as the brains for DTV and other digital media displays, providing image processing and optimization for video and computer graphic signals. Sonic's broad implementation on device chipsets is expected to result in RoxioNow-powered storefronts appearing on over 95% of all connected BD and HDTV consumer electronics devices shipping over the next several years.

Add a comment

AC Ryan announced this week that it is expanding the groundbreaking Playon! series to include the Playon!HD Essential. Setting a new standard of performance in the class of no network media players, this inexpensive, user friendly, no network media player supports the most file formats including Blu-ray and DVD ISO.

ac ryan playonhd essential.jpg

The Playon!HD Essential delivers to the world of entry level no network media players, all the benefits that make AC Ryan the No.1 brand in media players. AC Ryan is responding to the broader, mass market consumer demand for user friendly, no network, no fuss media players. Currently only sub-standard products exist in this range, nowthe Playon!HD Essential is here to change that with the most extensive file format support and the highest quality output.

The Playon!HD Essential allows users to store and enjoy all of their precious movies, music and photos in the comfort of their own living room. Free your media content from the limitations of the PC and let the Playon!HD Essential bring them to life in Full HD quality on your TV. The Playon!HD Essential is designed for users who prefer an easy to use media player without the fuss of networking.

Add a comment

patriot pbo core media player.jpgPatriot Memory today announced a refresh of their High-Definition media player product line. The Patriot Box Office has undergone a series of changes adding improved functionality, an enhanced user interface, new product packaging and a new product name. Box Office is now named PBO Core: a name inspired by the legions of devoted fans and active forum participants who often discuss the product under the name “PBO”, short for Patriot Box Office.

PBO Core has an enhanced User Interface which is more visually pleasing, while also proving to be easier to use and navigate. Functionality has been enhanced with the addition of Internet Media Services (IMS), greater compatibility with HDTV’s, ability to play data from external optical USB devices and album artwork during audio playback. The addition of IMS provides a variety of streaming and internet enabled services such as video RSS feeds, streaming podcasts, online photo albums, live stock info, weather, news and more! The latest firmware which provides these features and improved user interface is available now and is backwards compatible with all Patriot Box Office media players on the market.

Add a comment

Western Digital today introduced the WD TV Live Hub media center, a Full-HD 1080p media player with a 1 terabyte (TB) built-in network hard drive that gives users the freedom to play all their personal media on any screen in the home. The WD TV Live Hub media center brings new experiences to the WD TV family, including instantly renting or purchasing the newest releases through the Blockbuster On Demand® service, the same day as DVD/Blu-ray release, as well as interacting with personal Facebook® communities. In the U.S., the WD TV Live Hub media center is initially available exclusively at Best Buy online and at all 1,093 Best Buy stores nationwide.

wd tv live hub.jpg

The WD TV Live Hub media center plays a wide variety of media file types, including popular Full-HD 1080p video formats such as .mkv, .mp4 and .mov. The integrated, compact and quiet 1 TB hard drive enables users to centralize their digital media from multiple sources for smooth, glitch-free playback of even the highest resolution videos. Digital media can be easily transferred to the internal drive from shared folders on PCs and Mac®s on the network or directly from external hard drives, thumb drives, camcorders or cameras connected via one of the two USB ports. Users also can stream videos from home network drives with a DLNA/UPnP™ server such as the recently announced My Book® Live™ home network drive.

Add a comment

Sonic Solutions today announced that it will light up movie storefronts for its retail and studio partners on hundreds of new connected consumer electronics device SKUs this fall. Leading up to the holiday season, the RoxioNow™ platform will power storefronts on a massive number of new HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players, Digital Media Adapters, and mobile handsets from popular manufacturers including HTC, Insignia, Integra, LG, Magnavox, Memorex, Onkyo, Panasonic, Phillips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Sylvania, Toshiba, Western Digital, and VIZIO. The broader reach is expected to continue to drive attach rates and increase transaction volume for both sales and rentals as many more consumers begin to recognize and appreciate the convenience of accessing the latest Hollywood entertainment directly from their living room.

"Our history of helping successfully launch and establish new media formats continues with online entertainment delivery," said David Habiger, President and CEO, Sonic Solutions. "We have taken some significant strides in the quarter to execute support for a massive array of consumer electronics devices and platforms, and remain on pace to surpass our target of 30 million RoxioNow-enabled devices by June 2011. Although Sonic already supports the most movie storefronts and, with the recent addition of DivX®, has technology residing on the largest network of devices, we will continue to dramatically scale our platform in order to fully establish online entertainment distribution as the most efficient and profitable delivery system for entertainment."

Add a comment

Furthering the company’s leadership in the connected TV space, Sony today introduced Sony Internet TV, powered by Google TV -- the world’s first television with the ability to watch HDTV, enjoy apps, and browse the Internet seamlessly on one device.

sony nsz-gt1 bd player.jpg

The combination of Sony’s hardware and engineering expertise and Google’s understanding of open software provides a unique user experience, merging multiple content sources in one easy-to-use interface.  From broadcast to streaming video from the Internet, Sony Internet TV offers the ability to quickly search and watch content from wherever, whenever.

“Sony Internet TV is the world’s first HDTV that combines the big-screen impact of television and full Internet search to deliver an unrivaled entertainment experience,” said Mike Abary, senior vice president of Sony’s Home Division.  “Finally, you can seamlessly search your favorite TV programs and web sites on the same screen, at the same time.”

Add a comment