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Samsung unveils digital video store

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Samsung announced Thursday a digital video store called Media Hub where users will be able to download movies and TV shows onto Samsung phones, the upcoming Galaxy Tab device and personal computers.

Renting a movie will cost $3 to $5 and buying one will cost $10 to $15, Gavin Kim, Samsung’s vice president of content services and enterprise mobility, said in an interview with The Times last week. TV shows cost $2 per episode and cannot be rented.

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Apple began offering 99-cent TV-show rentals from Fox and ABC this month. Like the videos available on iTunes, Amazon.com or Sony’s recently announced Qriocity service, Samsung’s Media Hub files will be wrapped in copyright protection, which limits the number of devices that can store each video to five.

Videos are also confined to the small screens. While some devices, including Samsung’s upcoming tablet computer, have the ability to transmit video to a TV, the Media Hub content won’t display on an external screen.

Samsung’s Galaxy S smart phones will gain access to Media Hub later this month. The Galaxy Tab, an Android tablet with a 7-inch touch screen, will also have the store. Software for PCs will be available in the fourth quarter of this year, Kim said.

Initial Media Hub partners include NBC Universal, CBS, Fox, MTV Networks, Paramount and Warner Bros. Talks with ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney Co. with Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs as the majority shareholder and board member, started late but may still pan out, Kim said.

Representatives from Samsung demonstrated the Galaxy Tab running Media Hub last week for The Times. Video looked crisp and we were able to start watching movies before the entire file finished downloading. Samsung estimates the Galaxy Tab can play seven hours of video on a fully charged battery.

-- Mark Milian
twitter.com/markmilian


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