Product News
Best Buy Launching Internet Movie Service Under CinemaNow Name
Best Buy is launching its CinemaNow movie streaming service to compete with Amazon, Netflix, Walmart and Blockbuster.
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May 18, 2010 by Stephen Hopkins

If content is king, the Internet is full of royalty. Adding another crown to the pile, Best Buy announced today its CinemaNow Internet movie download service. 

Best Buy’s long-term plans are pinned on CinemaNow being accessible from all of the Internet capable TV and Home Theater devices sold in its stores. Initial offerings will come through LG TVs, Blu-ray players and Home Theater in a Box (HTiBs). An app in Samsung’s Internet@TV service will be the next step, but no date has been announced. Rentals are said to be around $4, with purchases starting around $15. 

The CinemaNow name and technology was originally developed by Sonic Solutions. The CinemaNow name was purchased by Best Buy and the underlying technology will continue to be provided by Sonic. 

Best Buy’s director of digital video predicts “it will be 2012, at the earliest, before the Internet video service gains enough traction to encourage Best Buy to begin phasing out DVDs in its stores.”

Best Buy Provides Customers Same-Day Instant Access to New Release Movies and TV Shows with Launch of CinemaNow(TM)
Digital Entertainment Platform Debuts on Devices This Month

MINNEAPOLIS, May 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Best Buy Co. Inc today announced the availability of its new digital video service CinemaNow which will provide customers same-day instant access to new release movies and TV shows.

The service will initially be accessible through select connected Blu-ray Disc players and HDTVs, and on most PCs via the web at http://www.cinemanow.com. Beginning this month, the service will be available on all new connected Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems from LG Electronics. CinemaNow is also expected to launch on an array of other devices from various manufacturers, including Insignia, later this year.

CinemaNow, the result of the previously announced strategic relationship between Sonic Solutions(R) and Best Buy, will be powered by the RoxioNow(TM) technology platform. Best Buy owns the legal rights to the CinemaNow trademark, and will use it going forward to market the service to consumers who will have the ability to buy or rent from an extensive library of premium content, including new release movies and TV shows, with no subscription required.

The platform will also allow customers to seamlessly access their premium content on a wide range of Internet-connected devices from multiple manufacturers. The initial product launch, which is expected to be followed by an improved and updated version later this year, will allow customers to easily browse, search and purchase premium content through a highly-functional, straightforward user interface, and will deliver a high-quality viewing experience through enhanced playback technology.

“With the introduction of CinemaNow, Best Buy continues our commitment to evolve with our customers as their demand for digital entertainment grows,” said Chris Homeister, senior vice president of entertainment for Best Buy. “The convenience, selection and flexibility of the CinemaNow service offers customers more freedom in the way they choose to consume entertainment from Best Buy. This service, which complements our existing suite of digital entertainment brands, will be available to customers in their homes and on-the-go through a broad array of devices and will be brought to life in store with the help of our Blue Shirts and Geek Squad Agents.”

“At LG, we’re committed to enriching in-home entertainment by delivering the ultimate HD viewing experience and limitless content options,” said Peter Reiner, senior vice president, marketing, LG Electronics USA, Inc. “Best Buy, through its compelling CinemaNow service, will provide customers with one of the most interactive entertainment options available making it easy for people to access their favorite content using LG’s NetCast Entertainment Access feature simply from the remote.”

“With a track record for bringing innovative technologies to a broad audience, Best Buy is in a great position to expand the market for on-demand home entertainment,” said Mike Dunn, Fox Home Entertainment worldwide president. “We are thrilled to partner with them and provide a wide selection of entertainment that can be accessed across many popular devices.”

The first update to the CinemaNow service is expected to release on select devices later this year and will include an advanced user interface and expanded video playback features aimed at further improving the video entertainment experience.

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Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.

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