SanDisk's FanFare and TakeTV
Recently leaked on Buy.com, SanDisk's new Sansa TakeTV device touts the ability to take PC video content and play it on your TV with a remote control-enabled cradle.
Launched this morning, the TakeTV unit consists of a USB drive with 4 or 8 GB of space, a USB dock with video outs, and a nested remote. Supported formats include DivX, XVID and MPEG-4.
In tandem with this launch, though, SanDisk is introducing its first venture into the field of Web services: a Web video distribution service called Fanfare. On the surface, it's an online video store with content from CBS, Jaman, Showtime, Smithsonian Networks and The Weather Channel. Inside, though, videos available for download will be protected by SanDisk's proprietary "TrustedFlash" DRM, and will be playable through most SanDisk portable media devices.
SanDisk's goal for the dual Fanfare/TakeTV launch is to give users video content that can be played back on many different portable media devices as well as on TVs...but all through the single device which ties them altogether, and "ties" may be the appropriate word here. Only with a TakeTV unit can content be extracted from Fanfare and transferred to a display for playback. When the site launches in 2008, SanDisk's plans are to incorporate its full line of products, including its existing memory cards.
SanDisk is already recognized as a global producer of removable memory and low-priced MP3 players. It is the world's largest supplier of card-based storage, and market research group NPD estimates SanDisk sells roughly 10% of all digital music players in the United States.