Sears, K-Mart Enter Movie-Streaming Biz

Some unique stories in today’s cable roundup...

  • Sears and its K-Mart unit may be known for bargains, but the movies the retail giants are selling on the new Alphaline Entertainment download service are priced comparably to those offered by Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and iTunes. The site is powered by the Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq: SNIC) RoxioNow platform. (See Rovi to Acquire Sonic Solutions.)

  • DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) subscribers in Ohio will have to keep paying a 5.5 percent sales tax on pay-TV programming. The sales tax is comparable to the franchise fees cable subscribers pay in Ohio and other states.

  • Roku CEO Anthony Wood doesn’t expect cable MSOs to pursue usage-based pricing. He tells Multichannel News that stiff competition from telcos and wireless providers will leave unlimited usage packages in place. (See TiVo, Roku Hook Up Hulu Plus and Roku 'Store' Opens With 10 Channels .)

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) will reportedly release three versions of the iPad 2 which will support Wi-Fi, UMTS, and CDMA, or a combination of the technologies, according to Digitimes. Apple is also reportedly working to improve the “anti-smudge and anti-reflective treatments” on the iPad 2. (See Comcast Readies iPad Video Streaming.)

  • Logitech Ltd. denies reports that Google asked it to suspend production on the Revue set-top that it is manufacturing for Google TV subscribers. (See Google TV Stumbles Out of the Blocks and Google TV Guns for Cable Deals .)

  • Arris hired former Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) senior sales manager Don Toft to oversee its account with Comcast.

  • In a story reminiscent of Jim Carrey’s The Cable Guy, police in Florida arrested a man posing as a Brighthouse Networks cable installer. Gregory Tennin was allegedly hooking up Orlando residents to Brighthouse’s cable plant and “trying to profit from his technical work.”

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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