By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Video download site Guba plans to support transfers of downloaded Sony and Warner movies to portable media players in August, when it expects to offer down-sampled versions of movies playable on a broad selection of the devices.
The movies, in protected WMV format, are already playable on laptop PCs, said CEO Tom McInerney, who said the recent additions of Sony and Warner content make Guba the first non-movie-studio-owned download site to offer new releases and catalog movies from major studios.
For now, the movies are encoded at a 1.2-1.3Mbps data rate that's supported only by PCs and laptops and perhaps some new-generation PMPs, but Guba will offer multiple down-sampled versions of the same movie to support a broad array of PMPs, he said.
The site currently supports transfers of user-generated video and copyright-expired content, such as classic cartoons, to PlayStation Portables and Apple iPods in MPEG-4 and H.234 formats, respectively,
About 200 Warner movies and more than 100 Sony titles can be downloaded at $9.99 for catalog titles and $19.99 for new releases. One-day rentals cost $1.99 and $2.99 for catalog titles and new releases, respectively. Guba plans to offer more than 500 movie titles within a year, including day-and-date releases with DVD.
All titles can be stored on two devices, such as a PC and laptop or PC and PMP. They can also be burned to DVD for backup but are playable only on the PCs for which they're registered. Portable devices such as PMPs are also allowed to display the movies on a connected PC through an analog output.
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