Sony Video Unlimited hits Tablet S; more Android devices planned
Sony launched its Video Unlimited movie and TV rental service on its Tablet S on Thursday, offering the tech giant's answer to Netflix and Apple's iPad as well as a sea of Android tablets.
But such a move is expected of Sony. After all, it's one of the few companies out there involved in so many different industries -- tablets, phones, computers, TVs, TV and film production and distribution, music production and distribution, video games, cameras and many others businesses.
What is a bit less expected, however, is that Sony plans to offer a Video Unlimited app for a number of non-Sony devices running Google's Android, which is the most widely used operating system in the world.
Video Unlimited offers more than 6,500 films and over 40,000 TV episodes from just about all the major studios and networks and many indies, and can be found on Sony Ericsson phones, Sony Blu-ray players, PCs, TVs and the company's PlayStation gaming consoles.
But although Video Unlimited and its counterpart Music Unlimited (formerly branded together as Qriocity) will be making their way to non-Sony Android gadgets, Video Unlimited won't be available on all non-Sony Android gadgets, said Mike Aragon, Sony's vice president and general manager of video and music services.
"Video is complicated by some of the technical aspects of our deals with the studios," Aragon said in an interview. "Basically, not every Android device out there has the same hardware and can play video at the same level of quality, and we have to make sure that the quality of our service is something that lives up to our standards and is something our studio partners are happy with too."
And don't expect to see Video Unlimited showing up on any iOS devices, such as Apple's iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, any time soon either.
"With video right now, our main objective is to focus on Android," Aragon said. "Other platforms may come later, but with iOS it's a bit more complicated given the 30% you have to give to Apple."
Video Unlimited should show up on select non-Sony Android devices sometime early next year, he said.
"The goal and the strength of Sony is that our services are offered across our hardware, that we can bring together all we do and offer a consistent user experience and high level of quality," Aragon said. "So, obviously our highest priority is on the Tablet S at this point and other Android devices will come after that."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A Sony Tablet S running Sony's Video Unlimited service. Credit: Sony