With TakeTV and Fanfare, SanDisk aims to bridge gap between PC video and TV
Apple TV and the iTunes Store are directly in the line of SanDisk's one-two punch.
It was first shown at January's Consumer Electronics Show--and then leaked on Buy.com just days ago--but the Sansa TakeTV is now official. It's not the first device designed to put PC-based digital videos on the TV, but what sets SanDisk's TakeTV apart is its simplicity: just drag and drop videos to the flash drive from your PC, and then plug it into the included video dock to watch them on your TV. The straightforward operation is a notable counterpoint to most other PC-to-TV digital video alternatives, which involve either cumbersome direct hook-ups (video and audio runs from a PC to a TV); installing digital media adapters (such as the Apple TV or Xbox 360), which require some knowledge of home networking; or burning video files to disc for playback on compatible DVD players.
Concurrent with the TakeTV launch, SanDisk is also debuting Fanfare, a premium video download service. TakeTV is the first device that can play back Fanfare content, but SanDisk is aiming to expand compatibility to other products in its Sansa line. Currently in beta, Fanfare is little more than a proof of concept, but the addition of content partners beyond CBS and Showtime could certainly position it as a worthwhile alternative to Apple's iTunes Store.