Barnes & Noble launches multi-platform Nook Video service

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Barnes & Noble unveiled Nook Video, a new service enabling consumers to stream and download feature films and television programming to devices including the bookseller's Nook tablet as well as smartphones, tablets and connected TVs from other manufacturers.

Launching in the U.S. later this fall and expanding to the U.K. market in time for the holiday season, Nook Video will offer films and original TV shows from partners including HBO, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Viacom, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios, with other content providers to follow. Titles will be available in both standard and high-definition formats, with all content stored in the cloud, enabling a consumer to begin watching a video on one supported device and continue his viewing experience on another device exactly where he left off.

Barnes & Noble additionally will integrate Nook Cloud with DVD and Blu-ray discs encoded with the UltraViolet digital rights authentication system, enabling UltraViolet digital content playback across Nook devices and Nook Video apps as well as through third-party apps.

Barnes & Noble did not divulge pricing for any Nook Video services.

The launch of Nook Video promises to escalate Barnes & Noble's ongoing tablet rivalry with Amazon, which revealed its new Kindle Fire HD tablets earlier this month. The devices offer access to more than 22 million Android applications, games, e-books, movies, TV shows, songs, audiobooks and magazines. According to iSuppli data published last month, Amazon controls 4.2 percent of the worldwide tablet market, ahead of Barnes & Noble at 1.9 percent but far behind Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad at 69.6 percent.

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