SanDisk has decided to expand its line of business with its PC-to-TV video player that lets users download content from a USB port, and then carry the files over to a living room television for playback through standard audio/video sockets. SanDisk is taking a different, simpler approach to getting people's PC video content onto their television, saying that this is a concept consumers can easily understand and set up, rather than dealing with wireless networks, as the Apple TV requires - it might not be as elegant as the Apple TV either, but gets the job done.
The Sansa TakeTV pack includes a USB drive, remote control, and a docking station. It will play DivX, MPEG-4, and XVID videos and supports the DivX Home Theater profile. Video output is limited to analog with RCA and S-video, however. The TakeTV solution USB thumb drives come in 4GB and 8GB models and are priced at $99.99 and $149.99 respectively.
Simultaneously, SanDisk introduced the beta version of Fanfare, a new iTunes-like service featuring TV shows from Showtime, CBS and other networks. The service will allow users to download free ad-supported or paid episodes at $1.99 each directly to the TakeTV USB thumb drive.