American Airlines has received FAA certification to stream video content inflight via Wi-Fi, and now is offering a library of more than 100 movies and TV shows on flights operated by 767-200 aircraft. The service is available primarily on flights between New York and Los Angeles and New York and San Francisco, though American plans to roll out the service to its entire fleet this year. “We continue to execute this strategy and lead in this space by making prudent investments in innovative, cutting-edge technologies,” said Rob Friedman, American’s VP of marketing. “During this initial phase of launch, Entertainment On Demand allows customers to access content through select personal Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, and in the coming months [we intend] to make tablets and other devices available for use with the product.” TV shows rent for 99 cents and movies go for $3.99. Movies are available for 24 hours, TV shows for 72, and both can be viewed on a portable device after the consumer has debarked, using the same browser and device.
A federal court has issued a preliminary injunction against Santa Clara–based Zediva, essentially ordering a shutdown of its low-cost streaming-movie-rental service. The decision comes less than six months after the launch of the service, which aimed to curtail streaming licensing fees by renting and streaming DVDs over the Internet. Zediva launched in March, hoping to build a business from what it saw as a loophole in the way that DVDs are rented and how streaming-video-on-demand services license content. It built out a data center that housed numerous DVD players, which were hooked up to servers to deliver streaming “rentals” of those DVDs over the Internet. As a result, Zediva was able to offer streaming rentals at a much lower price than competing services that licensed the content for streaming. While most new releases on online VOD services like iTunes or Vudu are priced at around $5 each, Zediva was offering rentals for $1.99 or a package of 10 rentals for $10. It was also able to offer new releases sooner than competing subscription VOD services like Netflix, which must wait for titles to hit a certain distribution window before they’re available for streaming. Because it was buying the DVDs, it could offer new titles as soon as new releases were available for sale in stores.
CEDIA has announced this year’s finalists in the Manufacturers’ Excellence Awards competition. Finalists include 30 products in the Best New Product category as well as two products in the Sustainable Lifestyle Product Innovation category, which recognizes products with an environmentally friendly approach. Winners will be announced at the Electronic Lifestyles® Awards Banquet during CEDIA EXPO on Saturday, September 10 in the Indiana Roof Ballroom. Up to 10 Best New Products will be recognized, and one Sustainable Lifestyle Product Innovation winner will be announced. Also honored at the banquet will be the 2011 Product Hall of Fame inductees as well as winners of the Designer Awards, the Attendees’ Choice Award, the CEDIA/HGTVPro.com People’s Pick Awards, and more! View Finalists here.
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