January 14, 2009
| by Arlen Schweiger
With Netflix trying to get you to watch its movie and TV rentals from just about any device these days, rival Blockbuster is taking measures to play follow the leader.
Blockbuster has teamed with Sonic Solutions to put its branding on web video service CinemaNow, so you can rent movies and watch them instantly on your PC—and other “interoperable” devices for digital video deliver, like “portable media players, Blu-ray Disc players, personal video recorders (PVRs), set-top boxes, mobile phones and Web-connected television sets.”
We’ve already seen recently Blockbuster make its push into the set-top box realm with the introduction of its MediaPoint device, and heard rumblings about the company following Netflix into on-demand Blu-ray streaming that’s expected early this year.
“We are excited to be partnering with Sonic, the industry’s leading entertainment delivery and technology provider, to make Blockbuster’s digital entertainment service easily and instantly available to consumers through the widest range of devices available in the marketplace,” said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster Chairman and CEO.
Thanks, Jim, and now the question people will be waiting to hear back on: when are you gonna drop the individual rental pricing and go all subscription? The major differential right now between Blockbuster and Netflix streaming is that we’ll be able to get new releases on-demand through Blockbuster, versus mainly catalog titles with Netflix—so the question is, does getting your hands on “The Dark Knight” as soon as it hits DVD override the convenience of not having to pay each time you click to stream a movie? Guess we’ll have to wait and see, and in the meantime, Blockbuster fans can rejoice over their greater options, especially with CinemaNow already being a portal on some Blu-ray players.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.