Device would directly compete with Apple TV, Roku
Amazon is planning to extend its range of tablets and ebook readers by selling a set-top box, according to a report. The device, said to be coming out sometime in the fall, will provide streaming content, such as movies and TV shows to the user from the company's Instant Video catalog as well as Prime Instant Video.
YouTube joins BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 in on-demand service
British free-to-air satellite television provider Freesat will be allowing users to view YouTube videos through it's set-top box. The app will soon launch on the service under it's web-based On Demand service, and joins existing streaming offerings from the BBC, ITV, and soon Channel 4 and Channel 5.
New 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives
Hitachi GST has added two new drive families to its consumer hard drive range aimed at the growing digital video recorder (DVR), IPTV set-top-box (STB), video surveillance and emerging hard-drive embedded TV markets. The new drives include the 3.5-inch CinemaStar 5K2000 family, which comes in 2TB and 1.5TB capacities, and the 2.5-inch CinemaStar C5K750 family which comes in 750GB, 640GB and 500GB capacities. Each has been developed to meet the specific needs of the A/V market.
Low margin on Apple TV
Apple is currently making little to no money on each Apple TV sold, a teardown analysis suggests. The research firm iSuppli has conducted a estimate of the manufacturing costs of the new 40 and 160GB set-tops, and found that after Apple's $70 price cut, the 40GB Apple TV has a margin of just 10 percent, while the 160GB version has a more reasonable 29 percent. Apple normally has product margins closer to 50 percent, and even this does not account for secondary costs such as marketing or distribution.
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.