Seems like some odd ideas that have failed miserably are suddenly able to scrounge up a ton of cash from some big name backers. First we had FON's overhyped hookup with big namers and now we find out that Disney spinoff MovieBeam has taken in nearly $50 million from a bunch of well known VCs, Disney (of course) and Cisco. The Cisco investment fits with its sudden obsession with consumer electronics and television, in particular. However, there's still no clear reason why MovieBeam makes any sense at all. It didn't make any sense at all when it was announced two and a half years ago, and there's been little improvement. We actually assumed that it had been taken out back and shot last year when Disney shut down all the tests -- so it's a bit surprising to see it spring back to life with so much cash. It still seems like a very limited offering in a world where much more interesting and open solutions are appearing every day. It offered yet another set top box (stack 'em up) that came with 100 pre-loaded movies, with Disney swapping out 10 of them per week with new ones. Of course, you also had to pay a monthly fee and a per rental fee -- and there were all sorts of restrictions that made it seem anything but compelling. Hopefully all this new cash will have it working on a different plan -- but there's an awful lot of competition out there right now.
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