Akamai seeks to bring UltraViolet to every device

Akamai is rolling out new capabilities to its HD Network for video distribution that will make it even easier for content owners to securely distribute content to nearly any device. Targeting new UltraViolet services, Akamai hopes to simplify distribution while adding more security features for customers.

Hollywood’s UltraViolet offers an alternative to iTunes

UltraViolet is Hollywood’s first real effort at breaking the Apple stranglehold. The idea is that by implementing a digital rights locker, the studios involved will enable viewers to purchase a piece of content once and watch it on any device. And it’s finally available now.

Best Buy tests the connected TV market

Best Buy is treading carefully into the connected TV space, introducing two new models of TVs that rely on a TiVo-powered user interface and Chumby apps for additional content. But savvy buyers might be disappointed by the lack of streaming services available on the new TVs.

UltraViolet is ready. Now Hollywood needs to make it work.

The DECE has finally completed the backend work needed to roll out services based on its UltraViolet initiative. Now Hollywood needs to spread the word to consumers about what UltraViolet is, how it works and most importantly, why they will want to buy movies again.

Best Buy to Launch Movie Downloads

Best Buy customers can start downloading movies straight to their LG Blu-ray player soon, thanks to a new download service launched by the retailer later this month. The service will be called CinemaNow – a name that brings back memories for digital media insiders.

CinemaNow Adds Warner Bros. TV Shows

Sonic Solutions (s SNIC) is growing the amount of on-demand TV content it will have available through its Roxio CinemaNow service, striking a deal with Warner Bros. Digital Distribution that will allow it to sell TV shows the day after they air on TV. Episodes will be sold for $1.99 each and will include hit shows like Fringe and Human Target, giving the web video service some more content to compete with similar services from Vudu and Amazon (s AMZN) Video On Demand.

CinemaNow already has more than 22,000 videos for sale through its web video service, which also is embedded on consumer electronics devices from Samsung, LG, and TiVo (s TIVO). Sonic’s CinemaNow service is also slated to power a white-labeled digital video service for Best Buy (s BBY), and is expected to be added to TVs and Blu-ray players from Best Buy’s Insignia- and Dynex-branded TVs and Blu-ray players later this year.

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Video Interview: CinemaNow Could Look Beyond Sales, Subscriptions

Sonic Solutions CEO Dave Habiger thinks that consuming movies online is about to become mainstream any day now. Habiger, whose company bought the movie rental site CinemaNow in 2008, stopped by our office yesterday to tell us why he is optimistic about Internet-based movie delivery despite lackluster sales, and how he plans to take on big players like Amazon (s AMZN), Apple (s AAPL) and Wal-Mart (s WMT).
Not shares Habiger’s optimism. ScreenDigest estimates that the industry only made $291 million from download-to-own sales and Internet VOD in 2009, according to a report from Paidcontent. ScreenDigest also lowered its expectations for future online video growth, now forecasting that the industry will only make $943 million in 2014 from Internet VOD and download-to-own sales.
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Wal-Mart, Best Buy to Face Off in Digital Video Sales

For years, people have gone to Wal-Mart (s WMT) and Best Buy (s BBY) to buy DVDs and Blu-ray discs of their favorite movies, but pretty soon those brick-and-mortar stores will be coming to them, in the form of digital storefronts through HDTVs, Blu-ray players and other connected devices. Wal-Mart’s reported acquisition of Vudu marks just one more step by the major retailers to gain a foothold in the new digital living room, enabling consumers to purchase content without ever having to leave the couch.

Vudu already has deals in place for its online video service to be embedded on connected devices from seven of the top nine consumer electronics manufacturers, including new HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players from LG, Mitsubishi, Vizio, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba. Whether the service continues to operate under the Vudu brand or takes on the Wal-Mart brand, the retailer will essentially be operating its digital storefront in millions of homes over the next few years.

But Wal-Mart is not alone in taking its retail ambitions digital. Best Buy also entered the space through a partnership with Sonic Solutions (s SNIC), through which it will license and white-label the Roxio CinemaNow video service to be embedded on devices sold in its stores. The white-labeled service, which will be available on devices from Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and Best Buy’s own Insignia and Dynex brands, will let consumers watch movies that they rented or bought through the Best Buy store to be viewable across a number of other CinemaNow-enabled devices.

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The Decade in Online Video, Part 1: The Early Years

From the tragedy of 9/11 to the groundbreaking election of Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States, the first decade of the 21st century had its fair share of memorable moments. However, what really set these years apart from decades before is how these moments and others were being shared digitally. Armed with cell phones, cameras and camcorders, ordinary people all around the world were shooting photos and videos and sharing them online. First on Flickr, then on YouTube.

The years from 2000 to 2009 were in many ways not only the birth of online video as a mass medium, but the end of television as we know it. NewTeeVee has been covering these developments since we launched in December of ’06, and Om kept a close eye on related trends over on GigaOM in the years before. Still, even we tend to forget sometimes that online video existed long before YouTube, Hulu and all the others that came to dominate the space even appeared on the scene.

To commemorate the end of the decade, we decided to take a trip down memory lane. Think of it as the history of online video, condensed down to the major events and trends of the last 10 years. We’re starting our little time line with the beginning of the new millennium in 2000 through 2004 and will conclude it with the other half tomorrow.

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