Redbox Instant keeps focus on movies

The variety-logolooming public launch of Redbox Instant by Verizon appears to be an escalation of the war between Redbox and Netflix. But the streaming service plans to focus on movies, rather than a catalog of TV shows, which could put the companies on parallel paths.

“Movies are the core business of Redbox,” said Redbox CEO Shawn Strickland at CES. “TV is increasingly becoming available via multiple sources, and while there is valuable content there, and our strategy could evolve, we didn’t see there was a clear offering to come out around television.”

Read more at Daily Variety

Xbox adds iHeartRadio, Verizon FiOS

Microsoft continues to roll out new entertainment offerings for the Xbox 360.

The second wave of content providers for the recent user interface revamp of Xbox Live has hit the console, bringing some familiar names. Starting today, U.S. users will be able to access content from ClearChannel’s streaming radio service iHeartRadio and Verizon FiOS customers will be able to access a limited selection of live channels.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Major update turns Xbox 360 into entertainment hub

For years, Microsoft has used the Xbox 360 as a Trojan horse to get into people’s living rooms. Now, it’s launching a full-scale attack on your other entertainment devices.

Starting Monday, Xbox 360 owners are being prompted to download a free new user interface for the console, which expands Kinect voice control, introduces a broad entertainment search option and adds a slew of new content options that have nothing to do with gaming.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Verizon sells out of pre-order iPhones

That didn’t take long.

Verizon has halted pre-orders of the iPhone after less than a day, saying that they have sold out of their pre-sale units. Your only chance to get one now – short of waiting for the restocking, of course – is to wait until Feb. 9 at 3:01am and try to grab one online or show up at your local Verizon store at 7am on Feb. 10.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

iPhone 4 coming to Verizon – officially

After years of rumors, speculation and pining, Verizon finally has the iPhone.

The company made the formal announcement Tuesday, confirming that the top smartphone on the market will be available to its customers in early March, ending AT&T’s long run of exclusivity with the device.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Verizon CEO: Cable TV at risk

The growing threat of Web video distribution is one the cable industry needs to pay closer attention to, according to the CEO of Verizon. Ivan Seidenberg, at a Goldman media conference in NY, told attendees he doesn’t expect future generations of customers to have any interest in buying cable bundles. 

“Young people are pretty smart. They’re not going to pay for something they don’t need to,” he said. “Over the top is going to be a pretty big issue for cable.”

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Microsoft’s mobile division hits a big roadblock

Windows Mobile 7 might be the most radical (and promising) operating system from the company’s mobile division in years, but the road to retail isn’t going to be perfectly smooth. 

Verizon, which was famously burned by Microsoft with the Kin earlier this year, has announced it will not carry phones using the service at launch – or at all this year. It will be some unnamed date in 2011 before the company begins supporting the OS.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Tablet tech takes TV live

Technology is keeping Hollywood on its toes: Just when studios have gotten used to Netflix reinventing the homevideo biz and are flirting with becoming a major player in the pay-TV biz, it’s time for networks to face a very near future when Apple’s iPad and rival tablet computers steal more eyes away from TV sets.

Verizon is about to offer up the latest carrot for consumers, with the telco giant announcing plans Wednesday for an upcoming app that will let its FiOS TV customers stream television and on-demand programming to the iPad.

Read more at Daily Variety

Verizon, the iPad and Google

Verizon has big plans for the tablet marketplace – maybe bigger than they’re willing to talk about right now.

The telecom giant held a press conference Wednesday showing off an app that would stream live television and on-demand programming to the iPad for FiOS customers. The application, which also allows customers to see which shows are most popular with viewers in real-time, is expected to be available next year.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog