updated 09:30 am EST, Wed December 16, 2009
Sony frees CinemaNow from Windows Media
Sonic has launched a pair of initiatives to expand CinemaNow past its current platform. Starting Thursday, the company will make available DivX versions (link not yet active) of movie downloads. The gesture will let any computer that recognizes protected DivX play the service's videos, such as third-party hardware like LG and Samsung devices, game consoles (most likely the PS3 and Xbox 360) and phones.
The web-only start is considered an "initial stage" and should expand to other platforms in the future.
Also, Sonic has committed itself to Adobe's Open Screen Project and should ensure Flash streaming of CinemaNow videos on every device that supports the plugin, soon including Android and webOS phones as well as computers.
Both moves appear a concession to CinemaNow's shrinking influence in the marketplace. Although the online movie service has been extending to platforms like the Japanese Nintendo Wii and Netgear media hubs, it has struggled compared to other formats as its platform has been limited in formats. On the desktop, it has been forced to run on Windows systems using Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, while its portable use has been limited to relatively slow-selling devices like Archos tablets and the Samsung P2.