SanDisk has made a major foray into the video playback market with Friday's announcement of the US public beta of its Fanfare Web-based download service. This closely follows US availability of the company's Sansa TakeTV PC-to-TV video player.
Fanfare is a dynamic Web-based service that enables consumers to download television shows, movies and other premium video content to portable devices.
According to SanDisk, the combination of Fanfare with Sansa TakeTV creates an exceptional, end-to-end entertainment system enabling viewers to time-shift and place-shift their favorite shows by downloading them from their PC to watch them on nearly any TV, at any time.
“Fanfare is a very simple and affordable way to conveniently catch up on TV shows and watch other premium videos,” says Kate Purmal, senior vice-president & GM of digital content for SanDisk. “Pairing Fanfare’s content with a Sansa TakeTV player creates an unmatched, seamless solution where users can browse a rich array of TV programming and movies in a friendly Web interface, and then quickly and easily move this content to a TV, where it’s meant to be enjoyed.”
Fanfare video content is a combination of free (ad supported) and paid episodes. The company is in the process of adding new episodes from current partners to the catalogue, and acquiring additional programs, other premium content and channels. More than 85-titles are available today, with dozens more expected to be added each week to grant consumers access to thousands of hours of television programming.
The overall vision of Fanfare is to enable users to draw from a rich catalogue of free and paid video content from a single location for playback on a wide variety of portable devices in the future. These devices will consist of SanDisk’s line of Sansa audio/video players, as well as mobile phones, hand-held computers and TVs. Future plans also include video being transferred via SanDisk mobile cards.
“Video downloading – particularly television – is in its infancy, and standards and business models are still emerging," Purmal says. "SanDisk saw an opportunity to create a new solution that meets consumers’ needs for a seamless user experience to access and play back television and other video content on our video-enabled products. We’re excited to bring this innovative service to consumers.”