Flash memory maker SanDisk Corp. recently debuted an online video service and a USB flash drive that can carry television programs and videos from a computer for playback on TVs. The Sansa TakeTV video player – an ensemble of an oversized USB drive, remote control and a small dock that connects to a TV – and its accompanying video service, Fanfare, marks the latest attempt by a company looking to bridge content between the PC and the television.
Similar to using a USB drive to store and move data files, users of TakeTV can drag-and-drop video files stored on their computer (Fanfare downloads, home videos or other unrestricted video content from the Web) onto the device. Users can then plug it into the cradle connected to a TV. A simple menu appears on the TV to scroll through the files for playback.
The TakeTV player is $99.99 for a 4 gigabyte model and $149.99 for an 8 GB one that can hold up to 10 hours of video. Fanfare, in a test stage, offers premium TV shows for $1.99 per download – roughly the same price as rival services, but SanDisk says it hopes to ultimately provide a broad mixture of free and ad-supported content as well as pay-per-download videos.