As I mentioned in my post yesterday about Netflix, one of the obstacles video-streaming services are going to have to overcome is the quality of the files they're sending to big HDTVs. Apple has recently introduced 720p HD files on iTunes to download to its Apple TV device, but lesser-known Vudu may have gone one better with its new high-def format for its own streaming devices.
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We all know that the biggest impediment to the greater use of solid state drives in desktops and laptops is cost. While they don't have moving parts and take up less space than traditional hard drives, SSDs still can't deliver cheap enough cost-per-gigabyte storage to stop from the PC industry from freaking out over a looming hard drive shortage.
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to buying an Internet-ready HDTV, and don't need all of the widgets the sets will be rolling out, a networked Blu-ray player could be a viable option. Most importantly, these units are offering the same Netflix and Amazon On Demand video-streaming services as on the TVs, so you have additional movies and TV episodes available at the touch of a remote.
Comcast rolls out Xfinity TV for cable subscribers: Online access to content, remote DVR programming, more
While Internet companies are working hard to get their services on HDTVs, cable companies are working just as hard to make sure their programming can reach subscribers on the Internet. As part of its TV Everywhere initiative, Comcast has just launched Xfinity TV, which gives its cable customers access to a large library of video content online as well as the ability to program their DVRs remotely.
Cox taking cable boxes to the next level with Plus Package: 500GB multiroom DVRs, advanced programming guide
Sooner or later, cable companies had to update their boxes and their archaic programming guides, right? OK, it's 2010, so we're closer to later than sooner, but Cox is making a big splash today with its announcement about its new Plus Package, which responds to the innovations coming from companies like AT&T, DirecTV, and Verizon.
Comcast may be the 800-pound gorilla of pay TV providers, but that size doesn't help it move as nimbly as smaller rivals and upstarts when it comes to taking advantage of changes in the distribution of its content. The cable giant is now playing catch-up when it comes to delivering video online, planning a trial of IPTV at MIT starting this fall, according to the Wall Street Journal.
[Update: The app is definitely in the App Store now. Check out the screengrab below from my version of iTunes.
It's been long rumored that Redbox, the company behind those kiosks that rent DVDs for $1 per night, would extend its brand online, but its president officially confirmed yesterday that it will be delivering a video streaming service that would compete against Netflix.The big question now is with whom Redbox will partner to get the service up and running, rather than build out a massive infrastructure itself.
With Netflix seeing an incredible surge in streaming video activity from its client base, the company is mulling over ways to deal with the single-account, single-stream model it currently offers. GigaOm went digging through the company's Investor Relations section of its Website and found that Netflix is considering how to monetize offering multiple simultaneous streams to subscribers.
The more user-friendly, tablet-like interface also delivers apps for sports, weather, traffic, and music as well as social media features.