Weekly wrapup, 5 – 9 May 2008

Here’s a summary of the week’s digital lifestyle action on last100. Note that you can subscribe to the weekly wrapups, either via the special weekly wrapup RSS feed or by email.

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Internet TV news on last100

iTunes same-day movie releases reportedly a loss leader, yet prices remain too high

In striking a deal with Hollywood to offer new movie releases for purchase on iTunes the same day as their DVD equivalents, Apple is making a loss, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to a “person familiar with the matter”, Apple is paying the movie studios a wholesale price of $16 per movie while maintaining its current retail price of $14.99.

Take that, Apple: Zune update adds TV shows from NBC Universal, among others

The Zune Marketplace (U.S.-only) has begun selling downloads of major television shows, including content from NBC Universal — a move that sticks it to Apple, following last year’s public spat between the iPod maker and major television studio, which resulted in NBC pulling its content from iTunes.

Social online video viewing is compelling, if only Lycos Cinema had better content

This week Lycos relaunched its Cinema product with added features: You can now purchase video-on-demand streams for you and your buddies to watch simultaneously on different computers, and interact socially through an improved user interface.

YouTube continues to invade the living room, now supported by HP MediaSmart TVs and set-top box

HP has become the latest company to bring YouTube into the living room.

Owners of HP’s line of Internet-connected MediaSmart High Definition TVs, and the yet-to-be-released MediaSmart Connect set-top box, will soon be able to enjoy content from the Google-owned video sharing site “full screen” on their HDTVs, as well as log-in to their YouTube account via remote to share videos and playlists with other users.

Sony’s PS3 DVR PlayTV launch date and price confirmed

Piece by piece, Sony’s PS3 has the potential to be one of the best, if not the best, media centers on the market. It’s just that most consumers don’t know it. Perhaps that will change this September, in Europe at least, when the PS3’s DVR add-on finally goes on sale.

A hint at what’s to come? NBC streams “The Office”, “30 Rock” to iPhone

As of this week, you can stream a limited number NBC shows to an iPhone or iPod touch, completely bypassing iTunes. As everybody knows, NBC and its network properties pulled their shows off iTunes late last year over a pricing and copy protection spat.

The history and future of DivX

Davis Freeberg over at Zatz Not Funny provides some great analysis on the history and future strategy of DivX. Freeberg notes the importance of creating an eco-system around the DivX codec, both in terms of becoming the preferred format for “grey” content on P2P networks, but also the way in which the company reached out to consumer electronics manufacturers — DVD players, media streamers, PMPs, and more recently Sony’s PS3 — through its DivX certification program. The result is that DivX has become the consumer facing brand for MPEG4, despite rival offerings from Apple and Microsoft, for example. However, the advent of H.264, and other more efficient codecs, means that DivX faces a new round of competition.

Mobile news on last100

Despite complexities, Sprint, Clearwire band together to build WiMax network

Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 wireless carrier in the United States, and Clearwire, a Kirkland, Wash.-based startup company founded by cellular pioneer Craig McCaw, are pooling their wireless broadband spectrum and engineering resources to create a $14.55 billion communications company that will retain the Clearwire name. Along for the ride are outside investors, including Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. They will kick in a total of $3.2 billion to give them a 22 percent stake in the new company.

HTC launches first true iPhone competitor just as Apple is about to take its phone to next level

Taiwanese smart phone manufacturer HTC announced the Touch Diamond this week and, as expected, it’s small, sleek, sexy, very iPhone-esque, and promising.

The AP forms Mobile News Network, bringing 100+ newspapers and local news to iPhone

The Associated Press, the top news service in the U.S., has teamed with 100 member newspapers to formally launch the Mobile News Network. Finally, it feels like newspaper news is being delivered to your cell phone, wherever you are, and without the messy ink on your fingers. What differentiates it from similar services offered by Google and Yahoo is access to local news.

What if Apple re-enters the console gaming market through the iPhone?

Dan Langendorf writes: “I’m going out on a limb here because I’m more of a casual gamer than hardcore. But lately I’ve been wondering, with the coming iPhone 2.0, third-party applications, and expected mobile games, might Apple return to the game-console market?”

That’s a wrap for the week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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