updated 09:50 am EDT, Mon October 22, 2007
SanDisk Ships Sansa TakeTV
After a premature leak through online stores, SanDisk today formally launched the Sansa TakeTV. Though it assumes the same brand as the company's portable jukebox devices, the TakeTV is designed as a substitute for the Apple TV and other media hubs for users who simply want to bring video from their computer to a TV without special network setup. The core player connects directly through USB and allows any Linux, Mac, or Windows user to load videos simply by copying them through the file system; a portable, modular video cradle and remote allow users to navigate footage directly from a TV without the burden of a full media hub, SanDisk says.
In keeping with the previewed details, the Sansa will play DivX, MPEG-4, and xVid videos and supports the DivX Home Theater profile. Video output is limited to analog with RCA and S-video, however. Two versions with 4GB and 8GB of storage will provide between 5 and 10 hours of video respectively and are available to order today for $100 and $150 each.
To feed the device new content, SanDisk has also launched the beta version of Fanfare, a new online store that promises a streamlined way of downloading legal movies and TV shows and transferring them to the TakeTV and future devices. The service is now known to be a universal, web-based service that offers recent content from CBS, Showtime, The Weather Channel, and other networks. Unlike most any other service, Fanfare is said to mix both free and paid content; while some follow iTunes and similar stores with individual episodes selling for $2 each, others are entirely ad-supported, SanDisk says. Songs are protected by the use of TrustedFlash rather than a proprietary copy protection format.
The company did not say when Fanfare would exit beta, but noted that Fanfare should be accessible immediately and that the TakeTV would be the only supporting device capable of playing videos beyond a computer.