Rovi buys Sonic for 720 million in digital push
Rovi Corp today confirmed that it was buying Sonic for $720 million in a blend of both cash and stock. The acquisition was characterized as a push beyond TV set-top box guides into digital and centered around both Sonic's RoxioNow video store platform as well as its buyout of DivX from June. The move would help attract Hollywood studios and speed up the adoption of paid online content.
Boxee, Sonic team up on premium streaming content
Sonic Solutions and Internet movie and TV show provider Boxee on Tuesday said they have partnered to bring new ways of accessing premium paid content on as-yet-unreleased Internet-connected devices. This will license Sonic's RoxioNow platform to Boxee-based devices in entertainment and web-to-TV apps. This may include Internet-connected set-top boxes, TVs and mobile devices that run on Boxee.
Sonic acquires DivX to improve Roxio
Sonic today acquired video codec maker DivX for $3.75 per share, or the equivalent of $323 million. The deal gives the owner of Roxio one of the more popular video formats and are intended to give Sonic a better means of providing video over the Internet, especially for home electronics. Many Blu-ray and DVD players, TVs, and set-top boxes already support DivX videos, and DivX is already using copy protection approved by movie studios, Sonic said.
Update to be formally unveiled at CES
Sonic Solutions is set to introduce an update to its CinemaNow platform. Version 2.0 features a new storefront with contextual links that allow users to explore content related to a movie's studio, director, or actors. The interface will also provide recommendations for other movies, along with previews and trailers for upcoming titles.
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.
Sonic to bring 3D movies
Sonic on Tuesday announced that it is working on developing a way to bring 3D movies to users' homes via its Roxio CinemaNow movie delivery service. To make this possible, Sonic has partnered up with other companies, including graphics processor maker NVIDIA. Roxio CinemaNow's 3D content will be optimized for NVIDIA's GeForce graphics chipsets, and the Roxio CinemaNow player will support both GeForce 3D Vision and matching 3D-capable displays. This includes the Samsung 2233RZ and ViewSonic FuHzion VX2265wm, both of which are already available.
Sonic, Zip movie downloads
Canadian rent-by-mail DVD service Zip.ca said today that it's in talks with Sonic Solutions, the owner of the Roxio CinemaNow movie download service, to bring the first large-scale movie download service in Canada. The partnership will allow PC and portable multimedia device users to download TV shows and movies, making it somewhat akin to the streaming feature Netflix offers its US customers; it's not clear if Zip would shadow this format.
Wii to get CinemaNow
Sonic Solutions, the company behind Roxio, on Thursday announced its streaming movie service CinemaNow will be made available for the Nintendo Wii. Sonic will partner with Fujisoft to bring the former's content to the game console via the latter's video-on-demand Everyone's Theater Wii service. While the announcement only covers Japan, its successful integration potentially leads to the service arriving in other countries as well. CinemaNow offers more than 1,500 streaming movies, short films, and concerts to buy or rent.
Blockbuster, Sonic team up
Blockbuster and Sonic Solutions on Wednesday announced a multi-year agreement that will have the former deliver its library of digital movies and shows to home and portable electronics devices with Internet connectivity and Sonic software. The companies will also merge their digital libraries – including Sonic's recently purchased CinemaNow – and offer them under the Blockbuster brand, to create one of the largest VOD services on the market.
Dell intros Qflix drives
Dell announced on Monday it has partnered up with Sonic Solutions to make Qflix DVD drives that, together with software and special DVDs, will allow users to legally record downloaded movies to DVDs with formatting and DRM that works both on other PCs and in home theaters. The downloads will come from the CinemaNow service, though how many and which DVD titles or TV shows will be made compatible with Qflix is not known. The limit is a requirement to purchase DVDs from Roxio, which also supplies the software for the drive, to make the process possible.