Barnes & Noble announced on Tuesday Nook Video, a cloud-based video service for the company's line of Nook tablets. The company will allow users to rent or buy movies and TV shows, store them in the cloud, and watch them through a new free app available for the devices and apps for other platforms the retailer said will be released "soon."
Barnes & Noble's Nook is analogous to Amazon's Kindle platform. It started life as an e-reader with gray scale E Ink devices that could do one thing, read ebooks (ePubs, in this case). Like Amazon, and before amazon, Barnes & Noble used Android to develop a color tablet dedicated to accessing its own content.
The Nook Color Tablet and its successors have been fairly successful, but Barnes & Noble doesn't have anywhere near the content library that Amazon, Apple, and Google have. Nook Video will help narrow that gap by bringing major studio and network TV content to the platform.
The company listed HBO, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, STARZ, Viacom and Warner Bros. Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Studios. Movie and TV show titles include, Toy Story 3, The Avengers, 21 Jump Street, Awkward, The Artist, Breaking Bad, Dora the Explorer, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Spartacus, Magic City, The Walking Dead, True Blood, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter movies, The Dark Knight, and The Hangover.
Barnes & Noble's Nook tablets are known for offering little storage for user-content, and they don't come with a lot to begin with (8GB for Nook Color, 8GB or 16GB for Nook Tablet). The company is getting around this by storing your streaming videos and purchased videos in Nook Cloud, cloud-based infrastructure set up for the platform.
That does, of course, mean that an Internet connection will be required to watch most videos, but we won't know more about the specifics until the service is launched.
Nook Video also supports Ultraviolet, the studio-owned service that gives DVD and Blu-ray owners access to digital copies of their movies online.
Nook Video will be launched this fall in the U.S. and by Christmas in the UK. The company hasn't announced other markets yet.