Best Buy Teases 'Media Channels' Launch

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Is Best Buy getting ready to pump up its over-the-top video play?

At an event early next month, the U.S.’s biggest electronics retailer will provide details on forthcoming “media channels,” including video channels that Best Buy is developing content for, according to spokeswoman Paul Baldwin.

“We’ll be previewing Best Buy-owned media channels that will soon open to advertisers,” she said in an e-mail.

The “Brand New Day” event is scheduled for Dec. 2 in New York City, at the Best Buy Theater on 44th Street in Times Square, with a presentation by CEO Brian Dunn.

In a “save the date” e-mail to media buyers, the company said, “Come and see how we’re reinventing Best Buy’s media to work for you.” Baldwin declined to provide additional details.

Best Buy owns the trademark on the CinemaNow service, which Sonic Solutions operates, and has been working on a project to build TiVo’s software and services into its Insignia line of broadband-connected HDTVs. The company has previously said it would offer the CinemaNow video-on-demand service through the new TVs (see Best Buy To Build HDTV With TiVo’s Interface, But No DVR).

CinemaNow is available on PCs and LG Electronics’ new broadband-connected Blu-ray Disc players and TVs, and Best Buy said it expected to launch on “an array of other devices from various manufacturers” later in 2010.

Meanwhile, Best Buy is a partner for the launch of Google TV, which promises to blend Web content and video with traditional TV (see Best Buy Offers Free Google TV Setup Through Holidays). The retailer is offering free installation and setup through the holiday-shopping season to customers who purchase a Sony Internet TV or Blu-ray player powered by Google TV.

Best Buy operates about 1,200 retail locations in the U.S., with another 2,800 in Europe, China and other countries.

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