Late last week came news that SanDisk has discontinued its TakeTV device and companion Fanfare content aggregation web site, which were unveiled last October. TakeTV was an inexpensive USB PC-TV connector that allowed users to grab video from Fanfare, for easy playback on their TVs.
I gave TakeTV and Fanfare a moderately positive review and thought that as a low-end product it could gain some traction. I thought of it as having "stocking stuffer" appeal - a relatively cheap gadget that would find its market. I've done a little asking around to try to understand what happened.
From what I've gathered, it sounds like SanDisk ultimately recognized the reality that TakeTV was really peripheral to their core focus of marketing memory products. Too much customer education would be required to move this product, especially in the face of quasi-competitors like AppleTV, Vudu, Xbox and others. In addition, minimums from Hollywood to gain top-notch content has continued to raise the bar for startup devices like these to succeed.
Yet, my bet is that we haven't seen the last of SanDisk's involvement in the broadband video market. Like hard-drives, processors and PCs themselves, memory products rely on ever-larger applications to drive the consumer purchase cycle. For SanDisk, video has to be right at the top of their list in terms of the apps that will create demand for its increasingly capacious storage products. So stay on the lookout for SanDisk to resurface somewhere in the video landscape.