SanDisk TakeTV Is For Simpletons. You Know; Us

On October 22nd, innovative memory chipmaker SanDisk is rolling out its TakeTV, a big ole flash memory drive that loads television shows or movies from your computer and plays them on your television. It uses a cradle for their drive that you hook up to your television, and allows you to simply scroll through a menu of available files to play them. It's offering content, too, through a video download service they call Fanfare.

For David Poltrack, president of CBS Vision, the TV broadcaster's research division, it's a matter of getting the networks' programming in places that consumers will use it. "When we tested the SanDisk product it clearly resonated with consumers," Poltrack says. "There are other ways to do this with more sophisticated products, but because of cost and complexity they're not as attractive. This is going to be selling at Wal-Mart."

TV show episodes and movies will sell at prices similar to what's found on iTunes: $1.99 per episode for TV shows, and $4.99 for movies, but the service won't be bound by any strict pricing models. That opens the door to free ad-supported downloads, which Poltrack says is hugely attractive to content companies like CBS. "The consumer prefers the ad-supported model," he says. "They would rather accept ads than pay for content. There is a minority that would rather pay, but the majority wants the content for free."

There's a myriad of available set-top boxes from all sorts of manufacturers now, and a bunch of different methods of downloading content to them. All of them are too complicated for the average user to enjoy. SanDisk is the first that makes the process as simple as users demand. $99 for a 4 GB model; $149 for 8GB.

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