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Deals, launches and products

Revelations this week from the Wall Street Journal have it that Amazon is preparing a streaming TV and movie subscription service to augment its pay p

By PETER WHITE

Published: 9 December, 2010

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Revelations this week from the Wall Street Journal have it that Amazon is preparing a streaming TV and movie subscription service to augment its pay per view service. In the same week, internet billionaire Mark Cuban, now more interested in American Football perhaps than the business that gave him his fortune, has come out and said that Netflix and businesses like it, including we supposed this new Amazon service, will shortly go away. They can’t both be right. His logic is that the content owners will squeeze them of content. We’re on the internet’s side on this one. Cuban was speaking at a UBS Global Media conference in New York and other speakers nodded sagely and agreed with him. The key to the new Amazon Service is that it will be free, say insiders, to members of Amazon Prime, the company's premium shipping service, which currently costs $79 a year.

Modern Times Group which has 1 million plus subscribers to its Scandinavian Viasat DTH pay TV service, has entered into a strategic cooperation with LG Electronics, to make its Viasat OnDemand internet Pay TV services available directly on all LG TV sets enabled with its NetCast connectivity. The

UK set top maker Amino Technologies said in a trading update that it will record a small loss for the year, as expected, and sales are at record levels with a strong order book. Orders received in the second half of 2010 reached 307k units compared to 280k units this time last year and 351k units in the first half, which it says represents £20.5m in revenue. Its tier 1 contract at Telecom Italia began deploying the Amino Freedom hybrid/OTT on December 1 and revenue will be recognized in financial year 2010/11. Because the deployment happened after the year end Amino said inventory was up at £11.6 million compared to its usual £5 million or so and cash balances were temporarily down.

We were pretty sure that ISDB-T had already been embraced by Colombia, but it still has a decision taken by the National TV Commission on its books that says that regular DTT should go the way of DVB-T. To get rid of that decision suddenly there are reports in the local El Espectador newspaper, saying that the DVB-T decision had “irregularities.” The report also says that Europe has not delivered the economic support it promised. Columbia would be crazy to go it alone and use DVB-T, and will instead end up as an ISDB-T supporter, we’re sure.

US researcher In-Stat says that Apple’s new patent on a 3D projection system which needs no special glasses and which allows more than one user to view it on a screen will accelerate the industry. We weren’t aware of any 3D work that Apple has indulged in, but back in 2006 it filed a patent saying that by detecting where each user is in the viewing area and separately creating an image for them, multiple images can be projected to different points on a special reflective screen. We’re sure we have heard similar ideas well before 2006, and we question if this patent would hold up to international scrutiny. In-Stat says that this will emerge in 3D gaming for the Macs. We can’t see it emerging at all in the near future. We think In-Stat is confusing market weight with innovation here in saying that Apple will dominate this sector, it may deliver a dominant product, but we think it’s unlikely to lead the technology, which so far has mostly been led by Japanese CE companies and the odd US start up.

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