The Cinemark movie chain is threatening to pull the upcoming film Tower Heist from its theater locations if Universal follows through with a plan to offer the movie to on-demand subscribers just 21 days after opening. The response came quickly after Universal's announcement last week that it would bring Tower Heist to select cable VoD subscribers for the hefty price of US$60 while the movie is still in theaters. DirecTV's similar attempt to narrow movie release windows at a cost of $30 to premium subscribers has met with a lackluster response.
AT&T U-verse subscribers will get a chance to access the Xbox interface update planned for this fall if they use the console as a TV set-top. The update includes support for integrated search and new Kinect-based voice and gesture control features. However, subscribers will also have to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to watch premium content like HBO Go. AT&T is throwing in a one-time $60 credit to existing U-verse Xbox customers who want to upgrade to the Gold tier.
(See Comcast, Verizon Connect With the Xbox 360, and Xbox 360 Joins the U-verse Lineup .)
The new TiVo Premiere Elite hardware hit the stores this weekend, packed with four tuners and 2TB of storage. The DVR set-top is only made for use with a cable subscription (get your CableCARD ready), and will set consumers back $500 plus a $20 monthly fee. Dave Zatz reports that, as of Saturday, the TiVo Premier Elite was available in Best Buy Magnolia locations. It's now up on BestBuy.com in time for Columbus Day shoppers.
(See TiVo Launches High-End DVR.)
There’s more box news too with word that the folks at DBSTalk have gotten their hands on DirecTV's next-gen DVR hub, the HR34-700 Home Media Center. It's in very limited release for consumers, but the set-top promises five tuners and one terabyte of storage. It's also RVU-ready, meaning subscribers in the future will be able to watch DirecTV content on TVs without a DirecTV receiver. [Ed. Note: RVU is pronounced "R-View" and apparently is not an acronym for anything. Thanks, pay-TV industry. The world wasn't confusing enough already.]
(See DirecTV Tests RVU.)