San Francisco — Handheld Entertainment hopes to stoke demand for its ZVUE-brand portable media players by expanding the selection of authorized downloadable videos that can be transferred to its flash-memory-based devices.
Handheld’s videos, available at www.zvue.com, are downloaded in protected WMV and playable on any WMV-compatible portable. Free and paid-for videos are available, and the company plans a subscription-based download service.
In its latest content expansion, Handheld has added concert videos from Music Video Distributors (MVD), which markets music-video DVDs to major retailers. Handheld is also expanding its selection of comedy shorts and independent films from MVD’s library.
The agreement follows Handheld’s addition of Latin music videos from Sunflower Entertainment, the acquisition of 1,500 full-length films and television shows from Worldvision Cinema.
Worldvision is a film library and content licensing company that provides classic and cult motion pictures and television programs to DVD publishers and satellite broadcasters. Worldvision content includes 1930s black-and-white movies to 1990s films produced for drive-in theaters and mainstream theaters.
Classic movies are available as $1.99. “Thousands” of videos are free on the site, the company added.
Other content available on Handheld’s site include comedy movies from Fun Little Movies, extreme sports videos from TotalVid, independent films from StoryPIPE.com and classic TV programs and cartoons from LikeTelevision.
ZVUE offers a $99 model, the 200a, through its Web site and more than 1,800 Wal-Mart stores around the United States. The $99 model features 128MB removable MMC card.
The company is also developing three more models, whose availability hasn’t been finalized. At the top end, a $299-suggested model features 1GB embedded memory, SD/MMC and CF Type II card slots, and Wi-Fi. That device also records directly from the analog outputs of a TV or DVR.
Handheld went public earlier this year and posted a net loss of $3.91 million in the quarter, ended March 31, on $584,000 in sales.