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Blockbuster to release set-top box

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 10 Nov 2008 21:11 User comments (13)

Blockbuster to release set-top box Finally putting an end to weeks of rumors, Blockbuster has announced they will be building a set-top box that can stream digital movies to user's TVs.
The move can be seen as a way for the struggling company to compete with rival Netflix which has been making deal after deal to add to their streaming library.

Blockbuster CEO, Jim Keyes, added that the device will be brand associated with its Movielink rental and purchase service but did not disclose any other details. For the time being, cost, hardware and software specs and release date are unknown but Keyes did note the box would be available for the holiday season.

The new device may be too little too late for Blockbuster however as Netflix has had their own set top box (the Netflix player by Roku) available for almost a year. Netflix has also recently signed a deal with Microsoft to have its subscribers stream movies free of charge on Xbox 360 consoles.

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13 user comments

110.11.2008 21:56

lets see whats gonna happen now that ISP's are making bandwidth caps a major issue. Will you be able to watch movies anytime or worry that u went over ur bandwidth limit for the month. We'll see if this will hurt both blockbuster an netflix as more isp's go that route why more and more ppl will be using set-top boxes and so on. Mainly because if ur streaming HD movies i would think it would be a big chunk of ur bandwidth.

210.11.2008 22:00
tripplite
Inactive

yes competition if finally causing some improved product quality hoaary!!!

partnering with MS doesn't sound good though, although since i doubt the SP's would lend them a hand i don't see an alternative:(

310.11.2008 22:01

That's going to be nice free movies off live

410.11.2008 22:03

While the bandwidth caps are coming more and more frequent as of late, I don't think they will continue if things like this become more popular.

Comcast said they would increase the cap if needed (if you believe them or not is another matter). I am not sure what AT&T's stand is on upping their cap.

But if users start going over bandwidth limits due to movie streaming and other legit reasons the ISPs will be forced to upgrade the caps or else people will migrate to other, capless, ISPs.

Peace

510.11.2008 22:36

I'll be interested to see if the Blockbuster device supports closed captioning for the hearing impaired. Netflix DOESN'T (shame on them!) and if Blockbuster does, then I'll hop over to Blockbuster in a flash.

611.11.2008 6:25

If Blockbuster makes the right moves, I don't think it's "too little, too late." How popular is the Netflix Roku? I've read about it, but in the past year, I don't know anyone who has it. The deal with Microsoft is great, but has it given them any increased market share in a market where they've really been all alone so far? I feel that they've given streaming media the exposure that was needed. Enough exposure to give Blockbuster the confidence that now it's time to jump in the water. Blockbuster has a chance. At least with me. Because I haven't bought into the whole idea of streaming. If they pair up with Sony, I just might renew my subscription with them. Because alone, the PSN rental prices are a ridiculous waste of money.

711.11.2008 8:10

Netflix has more firm ground in this battle, even more so than AppleTV. Xbox 360 owners can stream content, and LG has come out with a Blu-Ray player that is Netflix-enabled as well.

Just having a set-top box for streaming movies, albeit from the dog that is MovieLink, doesn't seem like enough for BlockBuster. They need to partner up with someone and fast. The product should've been on store shelves for the holidays already.

811.11.2008 8:32

I don't know why you guys keep talking about microsoft... The only time they were mentioned was in conjunction with netflix, NOT blockbuster. Also, it isn't free to stream with an xbox, you have to have a Gold account which is $60/year

911.11.2008 8:57

Originally posted by SProdigy:
Netflix has more firm ground in this battle, even more so than AppleTV. Xbox 360 owners can stream content, and LG has come out with a Blu-Ray player that is Netflix-enabled as well.

Just having a set-top box for streaming movies, albeit from the dog that is MovieLink, doesn't seem like enough for BlockBuster. They need to partner up with someone and fast. The product should've been on store shelves for the holidays already.
Oh yeah, AppleTV is one that is also out there. But still, not even my Mac buddies bought into it yet.

1011.11.2008 16:48

Interesting development -- I think a set-top box is a little bit of a dated idea though, or it will be in 5 years or so. But I suppose it is the only strategy they have. Should appeal more to older folks who don't want to deal with computers. It would behoove blockbuster to make these as simple as possible.

1112.11.2008 0:07
lancerx
Inactive

This is just great if you live in the US but if you dont then is useless, netflix wont stream outside of the US i just found out after buying my Roku.... great netflix!!

Anyone want a Roku?

1212.11.2008 10:45

I think that BB is following in CC's footsteps.

NOTE: CC = Circuit City.

1317.11.2008 15:45

Two Intersting comments, one by BobL & one by techoter, tech says it would be a wise move especially for the older folks, Bobl says netflix does not support closed captioning on thier box, which I agree not only is it a shame it should also be illegal not to support cc.

So it would be a nice step up if Blockbuster did have CC on thier boxes, my hearing started to get a little garbled after the age of 55, and I also have 3 deaf kids, I know that the deaf community is not that big out there to make enough noise for companies to listen to thier problems, but there are a lot of hard of hearing folks out there that can are are making enough noise for people to listen.

So yes, I think if BB new boxes would support CC, I think it would raise more than a few eyebrows, especially netflix.

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