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This week’s InfoShot:

Lack of demand means cheaper big screen TVs… Toyota re-plugged… msPod more expensive, less space?… NBC takes next Fall’s shows to Netflix… Apple Rumors: iTunes to rent movies? Bigger nanos in the pipeline?…

Links and comments after the jump…

Yahoo News: Flat-panel TVs get less pricey faster

“A year ago, a 37-inch flat-panel model typically cost about $4,000. Now, some can be found for as little as $1,100, says television analyst Rosemary Abowd at Pacific Media Associates…

Expect prices to fall even more in coming months, Abowd says. TV makers generally offer discounts during the busy fall and winter shopping seasons.”

So bad news for TV manufacturers could be good news for you!

Marketwatch: Toyota mulls plug-in hybrids, ethanol cars for US

“[Toyota North America President Jim] Press did not elaborate in his remarks on the company’s exact plan related to plug-in hybrid vehicles, except to say the announcement of Toyota’s interest in such products has been “highly anticipated.” Ford (F) Chief Executive Bill Ford in May said his company is considering selling a plug-in hybrid vehicle, which can be plugged in when not in use in order to recharge batteries.”

The story also says Toyota wants to cut the price premium for Hybrids in half. A plugin hybrid with half the price premium could be a serious good deal for total cost compared to a regular car.

the Inquirer: Further msPod rumours emerge

“…the player will launch in November in the US and come with 30gb of storage with pricing similar to the 60gb iPod – approximately $399.

…The player will arrive in three different colours with a dual-tone effect on each, and a scroll wheel will sit beneath an oversize screen, and menu options will include “Music,” “Video,” “Pictures,” “Community,” “Extras,” and “Settings”.

…will be “incompatible with other Windows Media services,” forcing focus on one device, one jukebox and one music store, similar to the iPod/iTunes combination.”

I wonder who the genius is that thinks MS should have a smaller capacity at a high price. The features they list are not compelling enough to justify a high price. Without a serious change in price or features MS is lining up to be a loser. They might want to call Creative and learn from their experiences.

Gizmodo: Netflix To Offer Sneak Preview of Fall NBC Shows

Sounds like NBC is trying to harness the power of DVD to promote shows instead of waiting and selling DVDs after. Now they just need to make a deal with iTunes as well.

ThinkSecret: WWDC surprise: Apple to announce iTunes movie rentals

“Think Secret has learned exclusively that CEO Steve Jobs will use his keynote address to announce the debut of movie rentals through the iTunes Music Store.

…industry experts tell Think Secret that the software would likely either limit the number of playbacks or provide unlimited viewing for a period of time…”

I think the movie biz won the battle with Apple (forcing rental rather than ownership) but they will lose the war if they try to force Apple to sell iTunes resolution movies at the same price as DVDs.

ThinkSecret: Second-gen iPod nano on tap for August

“The new nano is said to be very similar to the company’s current offering but will feature increased capacity and be available in multiple colors, some of which will feature a metal alloy enclosure…

Exact capacities are not known, but reasonable speculation suggests the line will top out at 6GB or 8GB.”

More colors and higher capacity could be nice – it won’t make me want a new nano (I’ve got a black 4 gig) but the bigger capacity would be tempting if you needed it.

  1. Thanks for same day post of InfoShot, although today is 7/19, not 7/20 as in byline.