updated 11:35 am EST, Tue January 2, 2007
Showtime Video Downloads
TV network Showtime today announced that it would debut its own direct-download store. The service will let viewers buy permanent copies of episodes from the channel's current programming, such as Sleeper Cell and Weeds, for play either on the buyer's home PC or on a portable media player such as the Zen Vision:W. Showtime's store is one of the first designed with Windows Vista in mind, according to the company's partner ExtendMedia: videos bought through the store will be accessible through Microsoft's Media Center interface found in the Home Premium and Ultimate editions of the new OS. Although no pricing was revealed this morning, full details are planned for next week's CES expo in Las Vegas while a launch is anticipated for late January.
The announcement marks another attempt to sidestep the multi-network TV downloads provided by online stores such as iTunes, following launches of streaming-only services by CBS and NBC.