CES 2010: Roxio CinemaNow takes on iTunes with 3D, HD movies

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By Jay Garmon

The Roxio CinemaNow service has been the ignored stepchild of online movie streaming and download platforms, but maker Sonic Solutions has its sights set on iTunes territory with the impending CinemaNow 2.0 service demo’d at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. First word broke that NVidia’s Tegra mobile graphic processor will have native CinemaNow support, bringing the service to a number of smartphones, netbooks, and mobile devices. At CES Sonic also announced that CinemaNow 2.0 will offer full 1080p HD content, and has built-in support for 3D and interactive video.

The premise behind CinemaNow is its ability to serve content to multiple devices. Essentially, you rent or buy a license to a movie or TV show, and that license resides in your online CinemaNow Locker. Any CinemaNow device – which includes PCs, Android Phones, and set-top boxes, can honor that license and stream or download the content to your screen. CinemaNow has multiple versions of each content item encoded in multiple formats, and serves whichever codec or resolution is optimal for the display device. The range of CinemaNow device now extends to certain HD and 3D-cpable screens. Whether that’s enough to knock iTunes off its lofty perch remains to be seen.

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