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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What's Up Today: More Hybrid Devices, Distributed Video, Apple News

- Comcast is partnering with Panasonic to make a portable DVR and a TV that has a built-in set-top box (negating the term "set-top"), according to the Wall Street Journal. From Dionne Searcey's piece:

    ...[C]onsumers won't need to lease a separate box or a separate remote control from cable operators. By the time it's on the market later this year, it will be compatible with major cable companies' technology in most markets. Panasonic did not release pricing or other details about the TV.

    The portable DVR allows consumers to take their TV recordings with them when they travel, for playback on a plane, in a car or on a TV set away from home. Including 60 hours of recording capacity, it can also play CDs and DVDs, and will be available in early 2009. While Comcast is offering the device to its customers, Panasonic says it can be used on the systems of other cable operators.

- Viacom's MTV Networks subsidiary is following a strategy of making its video available on a wide range of sites, according to Reuters. Sites include Dailymotion, GoFish, and Veoh.

- BusinessWeek looks at the negotiations between Apple and the movie studios over adding more movies, and movie rentals, to iTunes. From Ronald Grover's story:

    Getting the studios to give Apple their movies for online rentals has been tricky. [Steve] Jobs wants new movies available for download "day and date" with DVD releases so that iPod users can rent them the same day the DVDs become available at Blockbuster, Wal-Mart, and other rental venues. Studios generally won't make their latest releases available for rent electronically—mostly through video-on-demand services on cable systems—until about 30 days after the DVDs hit store shelves.

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