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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sony Will Distrib Live Perfs to Digital Cinemas ... Pogue Really Likes New Roku Box

- Sony Pictures is creating a new business unit to send live performances (pre-recorded live performances, that is) to digital cinemas, according to the NY Times, Variety, and Wall Street Journal. They're starting with a Cirque du Soleil show, 'Delirium,' and then moving on to the final Broadway performance of 'Rent.' The Times observes: "Sony is the first big studio to dip its toe into the arena, which until now has been left to niche players like Colorado-based Fathom Events, which simulcasts from the Metropolitan Opera." Some events will be offered in 4K digital projection...which should look super-sharp.

- Tech reviewer David Pogue really likes the new $99 Roku set-top box, which streams movies from Netflix. (Though he does have some qualms about the video quality.) Pogue writes:

    In the game of Internet movies, the Netflix Player is revolutionary. It’s the first Internet service that delivers movies to your TV without a per-movie fee — an incredibly strange, liberating feeling. It’s also the first that doesn’t require you to download or store your movie collection.

    Finally, it’s the first without a 24-hour time limit. If you feel like watching a movie again, you can watch it next week or next year, without paying a penny more.

    Roku also says that this box is wired for the future. When Instant Watching goes to high definition, the Player will be ready. Roku also says mysteriously that its deal with Netflix is not exclusive; technically, the box is equipped for future rivals.

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