our network blog last100 this week, including news of a new joint venture from Viacom, Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate; Netflix has secured three new set-top box partners who'll add support for the companys Watch Now video streaming service; more speculation surrounding Sony's forthcoming movie download service for the PlayStation 3; and Motorola is rumored to be planning a movie download service for its mobile devices.Lots more Internet TV-related coverage on
Netflixs ambitious Internet TV plans are forging ahead, with three new set-top box partners to integrate the companys Watch Now video streaming service into their products by the end of the year. Who those partners are, Neflix won't say, while speculation builds that Microsoft (XBox 360) could be one. However, we think its more likely that well see Netflix compatibility added to a number of media streamers, such as those produced by D-Link and KISS (Linksys). The company has previously announced a partnership with Korean manufacturer LG Electronics to stream movies, TV shows, and other content to LG high-definition televisions or set-top boxes by the second half of 2008.
Viacom, Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate announced a joint venture to create a new premium TV channel and VOD service, which will be rolled out in the fall of 2009. The project will include a strong online component, according to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman: It will also meet the needs of varying distributors and take advantage of online distribution innovative both in presenting the content and in distributing it.
A new report surfaced this week on Sony's forthcoming movie download service for the PlayStation 3. Not much is yet known, except that negotiations with Hollywood studios are taking place no word on pricing or if the movies and TV shows are for rent or purchase. One tantalizing tidbit, however, is being floated about: Unlike closed networks such as Apples, Sony plans to embrace open standards that would make its offering compatible with a range of computers and hand-held devices, including the PlayStation Portable, according to the LA Times.
Lastly, Motorola is rumored to be planning movie download service for its mobile devices. This is from a company that reported a $1.2 billion operating loss last year, and is considering splitting off or selling its handset division. Our advice: Worry about getting cool new phones on the market to compete with Nokia, Apple, Samsung, LG, and the highly-anticipated Google-powered Android phones. Otherwise, Motorola has bigger problems than the latest Hollywood releases.