ADOBE will add support for the H.264 standard to its Flash video player. An announcement is expected today, with a beta version of the upgraded software available for download immediately. Flash is installed on 98% of computers, and is favored by YouTube and other video-sharing sites. The move should help boost the quality of Internet video in the coming years.
MTV NETWORKS is entering a joint venture with REAL NETWORKS for an online digital music store. The two companies are expected to combine efforts in pushing Real’s Rhapsody digital music subscription service. VERIZON will supply mobile distribution for the new partnership. The deal is expected to end MTV’s involvement with URGE, a digital music venture with MICROSOFT.
GOOGLE has relented to pressure, and will offer anyone that purchased videos from the shuttered Google Video Store a full refund. Support for videos has also been extended for another six months, after which the video files will become unplayable. Users will also get to keep the Google Checkout credit they had previously been offered. Product manager Bindu Reddy called this an additional “we’re sorry, we goofed” credit.
PARAMOUNT and DREAMWORKS have chosen sides in the high-definition format scuffle. The two companies will only release high-def content in the HD-DVD format. $150 million in cash and promotional guarantees helped convince them that this was the best high-def format for consumers.
THE FCC has set the auction date for the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. The auction will be held on January 16, 2008, and the combined cost is expected to reach $15 billion. Mark your calendars, and start saving up.