Investment comes as market heats up in China, executive hired to improve business
Capturing the phone market in China doesn't appear to be good enough for competitive electronics manufacturer Xiaomi, as it is now looking to further entice consumers into buying televisions and set-top boxes. The company announced this week that it will be investing $1 billion into online video content to support its smart television business.
Films downloadable to Kaleidescape servers at Blu-ray quality
Kaleidescape has launched a new online video store for its range of home media servers, claimed to be the first in the world to deliver Blu-ray quality movies. Emerging from being in beta since December 2012, the service provides downloads of movies instead of streams, with audio and video quality said to be equal to that of films on Blu-ray disc itself.
Videos include series based on Where's My Water?
Disney and YouTube announced they are working on a collection of co-branded family-friendly videos that will be available online. Disney Interactive will produce and program the videos for both Disney.com and YouTube. Free online video tailored to Disney's core audiences will be made available on both outlets in early 2012. The first project will be a short-form original video series based on Disney Interactive's hit mobile game "Where's My Water? ($0.99, iTunes) and its main character Swampy.
Vudu gets Bourne Ultimatum
Hollywood studios are taking a chance on the Vudu set-top box by granting the service the right to distribute the first of many major movies simultaneously with the official DVD release. The Bourne Ultimatum will be available Tuesday for rent or purchase, in standard and high definition. Universal Pictures is one of a few studios that have agreed to sell high definition content through the Vudu box, though there are not many titles currently available, in contrast to the 5000 standard definition titles that Vudu offers. Vudu sells the set-top box for $400, with rentals ranging from $1 to $5.
iTunes Movie Price Claim
Apple has made a rare concession to movie studios and will raise the average selling price of a movie at the iTunes Store in a bid to gain extra support for its service, according to a report (membership required) by Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield. The company will reportedly boost the average wholesale price of a movie to $15, only $3 below the average selling price of a DVD. This is a necessary condition to lure in studios such as 20th Century Fox that have been hesitant to embrace iTunes in the past, Greenfield says. Fox in particular would roll out both its latest titles and earlier movies in exchange for the deal.
Blockbuster Mobile Video
Blockbuster Video is in the midst of developing a service that would let users bring video downloads more easily to cellphones, company chief James Keys says. The executive notes that his video rental firm is in talks with "virtually all" cellphone manufacturers as well as some software producers to create the service. Its exact function is not described but is believed to involve converting videos downloaded from an online store to a portable form. The decision came as the result of getting help in converting movies to play on a BlackBerry, Keyes says.