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Posts Tagged ‘Macworld’

As I type, Britney Spears is late for a custody hearing regarding her two children. At the same time, the preliminaries for MacWorld are on-going, just up the road itn_singgerbritn_mazur_14769553.jpgn San Francisco.

Could these two seemingly unrelated events be coincidental, or is it something more?

Perhaps Britney munches the occasional brain? Lord knows, she needs some.

But, I digress…

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Wow, the gang’s (almost) all here. Bloomberg says today that Warner Bros. will join several other studios in making movies available on iTunes Store for sale and rental. The announcement will come in Steve Jobs’ keynote address Monday morning at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

Bloomburg says Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Disney and Lionsgate will participate in the iTS rental service, which will charge $3.99 for a 24-hour rental. Earlier this week, BusinessWeek said Sony could also be on board. That would leave idiot studio NBC Universal as the only holdout among the major studios.

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hd_dvd.pngWow, less than a week after Warner Brothers said it chose Blu-ray over HD DVD and would no longer sell high-definition discs in both formats, Paramount is also apparently dumping HD DVD, according to a report today by Financial Times.

NBC Universal is now the only major studio in the HD DVD camp and — if the rumors are true — will be the only major studio that’s not on board with iTunes Store by this time next week. Instead of ranting about NBC Universal again today, I’ll just quote my rant from yesterday:

NBC Universal is going to have to make a strategic change soon. It would be the only studio with no movies on iTS, no TV shows on iTS, one of only two with no HD films in the prevailing format, was in the worst shape of the four networks prior to the Writers’ Guild strike, and has no big, go-to spring show like ABC (”Dancing With the Stars,” “Lost”) or Fox (”American Idol”). Jeff Zucker: roll over.

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Microsoft chief dork Bill Gates kicked off the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last night by announcing a slew of movie and TV content for its 10-million-member Xbox Live community, much of it in high definition, including:

  •  500 hours of ABC (“Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Ugly Betty”), ABC Family (“Kyle XY,” “Greek”), ABC News and Disney programming.  New episodes of some shows will be available the day after they air on network, and some content will be available in HD.
  • the MGM/UA film libraries, including “Silence of the Lambs” and “The Usual Suspects.”

Most of the content is already available on iTS (though not in HD).  Apple TV has been an HD box since the beginning, so hopefully Apple will finally step up with a slew of HD content next Monday at Macworld.

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There are so many rumors and news items blowing around, I’m going to need oxygen to keep from hyperventilating between now and Macworld. Let’s go:

  • Macworld. Steve Jobs’ keynote address is Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 — one week from today — starting at 12 p.m. EDT.
  • Movie rentals. BusinessWeek says today that Apple is close to agreements with Warner Brothers, Paramount and Liongate to provide titles for movie downloads in iTunes Store, and is also talking to Sony and Disney about rentals. Fox has previously been reported as on board for movie rentals. Rumored rental terms: $3.99 for 24 hours, which is competitive with rental and on-demand pricing. No mention of HD content.

More notes after the jump… (more…)

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The New York Times has a good piece today on the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format fiasco. Basically, the studios and equipment manufacturers have continued to dig in their heels over agreeing to a single format and — surprise! — consumers are still sitting on the sideline.

The impulse Apple angle is to say that this is a perfect opportunity for Steve Jobs to announce HD movie rentals at Macworld and obliterate the format war by moving past it. The problem with that logic, of course, is that the same studios that cannot agree on a high-definition DVD format also have competing strategies for online content delivery.

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Finally, PPV movies in the iTunes Store.

The Financial Times is reporting tonight that Apple and 20th Century Fox have agreed to make Fox new releases available on iTS both on a pay-per-view basis and as embedded tracks that can be ripped from DVDs. Apple Insider and MacRumors have both picked up the story. Announcement to come January 14 at Macworld.

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