Whilst adoption of DLNA among mainstream consumers is still very low, Samsung is actually making its @internet service quite useful by adding widgets and content to its service.

BBC just announced that the iPlayer would be available on Samsung TVs. It is a simple idea, and works well. I wonder if the iPlayer3 (the upcoming social version) would also be available on Samsung!

Streaming of content direct to TVs is potentially the biggest opportunity and one of the biggest disruptions to the conventional broadcast value chain. More so if the content producers start doing it themselves. This is likely to be the fastest growing area this year. Samsung have reportedly also signed a deal with MGM films. It is not a bad thought if they start offering access to a library of films just to the people who buy their TVs. I am sure a lot of people would switch to Samsung!

Making the DLNA interface really open source is the next big challenge for all the TV producers. At the moment, Sony, LG, Samsung all have their own versions of media servers- though they do work on some common ones as well. Sony has a lead in this all with their PS3 media server. Other manufacturers who do not really have a stake in integrating some of their other products with DLNA should really just work on a combined open source media server platform.

When we hear the term DivX, what usually comes to our mind is a media player, or a set of Codecs that we shove into our QuickTime or Windows Media Player to be able to watch a certain type of media file. Did we ever think that this company would take a leap and begin to think about competing with the likes of Apple iTunes in Content Distribution? Well, they have.

They have just signed a deal with Warner Bros.  which gives them the right to digitally distribute their movies. This is in addition to their existing deal with Sony that distributes movies via a plethora of platforms using the DivX technology- including the game and mobile devices. These two deals now give DivX access to virtually half of the world’s movies!

The reason behind such firms backing DivX is their secure platform which prevents piracy. Besides, why should a studio restrict its distribution to one particular digital outlet? Warner also have a deal with Microsoft’s XBox to distribute their movies as well as with Cinema Now- a leading online retailer of movies in digital format in the US.

This is a development that is going to majorly challenge Apple’s closed-loop distribution of- Ipod/Iphone-Itunes-AppleTV. Why should a distributor or a digital retailer like ITunes (or Cinema Now) restrict access to a particular device? DiVX are likely to make the whole movie distribution eco system a bit more open. Although, their temptation to get a bigger share of the revenues via distribution to a proprietary device is quite visible in their DiVX Connected device. This device is a heaven for anyone who indulges in torrents every now and then for a bit of .avi fun!

Lets wait to hear how DivX front this distribution deal, and how much are they going to charge consumers for the movies. Apple’s ability to lead the pricing models for the digital content is quite likely to be affected here. Cinema Now sell movies from anywhere between 10 to 16 dollars. An equivalent of that price in the UK might not under-cut Apple’s current pricing… but then who knows. There is a great potential for DivX to take a leap into an advertising funded model here as well.

I say keep an eye on DivX!