Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ice Cube solidifies plans for a Web network

First he became a top rap artist. Then he turned his talents to the movies as an actor. Now Ice Cube has a new line to add to his résumé: Internet entrepreneur.

Cube and his partner DJ Pooh, a record producer and screenwriter who also is a self-described techie, are the latest entertainers to launch a new website showcasing all sorts of videos, original to music to user-generated.

But Cube and Pooh aren't just looking to promote their own work. They have loftier ambitions: to create a TV-style network with multiple channels and high-quality video that can support everything from short videos to full-length movies.

UVNTV (short for U View Network Television, at uvntv.com), still in rollout mode, now features about a dozen channels, run both by large companies and individual artists. Each channel will be screened for quality but will run its own programming. For example, Snoop Dogg's Snoopadelic channel features his rap videos; Nextreme TV shows clips of extreme sports such as snowboarding jumps.

All videos are shown in a new Microsoft-developed format called Silverlight that promises definition high enough to be played on big screens. Shows can be viewed by time or on demand. And, like most websites launching these days, UVNTV includes community-building features along the lines of MySpace.



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