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Sonic, Widevine To Offer Movies On USB Flash Drives

7/23/2009 11:04:25 AM Eastern

Novato, Calif. - Sonic Solutions and Widevine announced they have teamed up to introduce movies on USB flash drives.

The self-contained CinemaNow USB Movie Drives will come with an integrated media player as well as the necessary video codecs to enable instant high-quality PC playback of movie content offline, the companies said in a joint release. Upon connecting to the Internet, users can add the title to a Roxio CinemaNow Digital Locker to access it on other "ecosystem devices."

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Ecosystem devices are said to include PCs, connected TVs, set-top DVRs, Blu-ray Disc players, and mobile media players from such manufacturers such as Archos, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, LG, Microsoft, Nintendo, Pioneer, Samsung and TiVo.

"The flash drives will work in any PC, laptop or netbook," a Sonic spokesman told TWICE.

Sonic said it expects the first drives to begin appearing at retail in the fourth quarter, with pricing and movie titles to be announced closer to launch.

In order to ensure secure multi-platform playback, Widevine said it is providing Hollywood-approved digital rights management technologies, and the two companies are reportedly collaborating on device-optimized content preparation and delivery.

"Our technologies are helping to ensure consumers get the Hollywood new releases they want along with the playback flexibility they crave," said Brian Baker, Widevine CEO, in the release. "The CinemaNow USB Movie Drives will be an ideal solution for netbook and mobile phone manufacturers that want to enhance and differentiate their product offerings with premium entertainment."

After the movies are added to the Roxio  CinemaNow Digital Locker, they can be viewed on up to four additional CinemaNow-compatible devices. Instead of delivering the same file used for USB playback, a unique file is delivered that has been optimized for the capabilities and display characteristics of the selected device, the companies said.

Sonic said in the release that it has relationships with more than 250 content providers and a content portfolio that includes entertainment from all major Hollywood studios and independent distributors.

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