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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Catching up: New set-top box, new projectors, Sony 4K push

- The NY Times has the first major story about Vudu, a new set-top box from a Silicon Valley start-up. Every studio except for Sony is supplying content. Brad Stone writes:

    Vudu, if all goes as planned, hopes to turn America’s televisions into limitless multiplexes, providing instant gratification for movie buffs. It has built a small Internet-ready movie box that connects to the television and allows couch potatoes to rent or buy any of the 5,000 films now in Vudu’s growing collection. The box’s biggest asset is raw speed: the company says the films will begin playing immediately after a customer makes a selection.

The gadget blog Gizmodo has more, including photos of the device.

I still think Apple TV is the technology to beat, in terms of connecting broadband content to the TV. Apple has distribution (its network of stores), a payment mechanism people are used to (the iTunes Store), and a decent content library (though Vudu seems to be a strong challenger here). Vudu's main advantage, at least at first glance: speedier downloads, and the ability to start watching a movie just a few seconds after the click.

- The Times also has a piece looking at the growing number of LED-based pocket projectors. Useful for PowerPoint presentations, gaming, or anytime, anywhere movie-viewing.

- The Washington Post writes about Sony's efforts to establish their 4K digital projectors as the premium digital cinema experience.

Here's a cool idea, Sony: what if you put up on the Web a single page that listed all the places that people could see 4K cinema in action (I know there are a few in Landmark Theatres, but their site doesn't tell you which locations.) Texas Instruments has done this for years to promote their DLP projectors.

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