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Another Blu-ray player with Blockbuster On Demand support - too little too late?

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 31 Aug 2010 12:23 User comments (7)

Another Blu-ray player with Blockbuster On Demand support - too little too late? US video rental giant Blockbuster just announced the Onkyo BD-SP808 Blu-ray player, set to ship to retailers in September, features a client for their online video service, Blockbuster On Demand.
Blockbuster On Demand is already supported on a handful of players from Phillips, Samsung & Toshiba, as well as a range of other devices including TiVo DVRs and the Archos 605 portable media player. There is also a client for Windows.

Unlike the Netflix Watch Instantly service, which offers unlimited viewing of mostly catalog titles and TV shows, Blockbuster On Demand rents and sells individual titles, including many new releases.

Blockbuster is favored with support from movie studios in the form of earlier access to new releases because this is sees as a tool to keep Netflix and Redbox from dominating the home video landscape. But Blockbuster's failure to compete with either company has led them to bankruptcy.

Blockbuster's plans for success in the on demand rental space may also be in trouble if rumors about Apple expanding their iTunes rental operation are true.

Their online offering has neither the brand name recognition of Netflix nor the base of TV-connected clients. From game consoles to Blu-ray players to HDTVs themselves, Netflix clients are everywhere.

Not to mention this year's introduction of iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch clients. An Android app is also coming at some point in the future.

The widespread availability of the client, especially connected to TVs, has become arguably the biggest driver of recent growth for Netflix.

Blockbuster's client install base is significantly smaller and they have a bigger hurdle to overcome in convincing consumers they should use Blockbuster On Demand.

While every Netflix customer already has the Watch Instantly service available for no extra charge, even trying out Blockbuster's service will cost you. Even though it's not a lot of money, this likely this translates to a smaller percentage of potential customers trying it out.

There's also competition from cable and satellite providers' VOD offerings. Not only do they feature a similar selection to Blockbuster On Demand, they are also a more familiar technology to most of their subscribers.

Blockbuster needs to improve both their brick and mortar and online businesses. Slowly rolling out kiosks and slowly getting clients connected to TVs seems like a failing strategy. Especially when the key point of differentiation for both operations appears to be trading on the somewhat tarnished Blockbuster name.

But the lack of clients may be the least of their problems online. If they managed to make online VOD (not bundled with another service) even half as successful as Netflix, they would be the first to do so.

To be sure, they're taking small steps. But to where?

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7 user comments

131.8.2010 12:59

I guess these guys will go down fighting.

231.8.2010 13:25

Its a shame blockbuster is going down. It was such a treat to go there as a kid and have access to any game or movie I wanted with out having to wait for mail. The thing is since the name and brand are out there why doesnt netflix try to buy up blockbuster. Make a special membership that allows acces to the store where you have the option to use lets say your 2 out at a time or even pay extra to rent something you dont wanna wait for.

331.8.2010 16:41

Originally posted by jpc1284:
Its a shame blockbuster is going down. It was such a treat to go there as a kid and have access to any game or movie I wanted with out having to wait for mail. The thing is since the name and brand are out there why doesnt netflix try to buy up blockbuster. Make a special membership that allows acces to the store where you have the option to use lets say your 2 out at a time or even pay extra to rent something you dont wanna wait for.
You can already do that with a blockbuster online membership. You can return movies you get through the mail to the store to get another movie. This concept is not helping there business any now, so I doubt it would make a difference who owned it. Besides, why would Netflix want to chain thereself to a sinkning ship?

431.8.2010 19:38

Wow a lot of good that machine will be when BB goes under finally.

531.8.2010 23:43

I always hated blockbuster...terrible selection and high prices...at least redbox only has terrible selection.

If they were actually competing with NetFlix on streaming, they might have a tiny shred of a chance...but their crummy pay-per-view knock-off service can't even compete with the cable company pay-per-view, let alone netflix.

61.9.2010 12:18

Originally posted by jookycola:
Wow a lot of good that machine will be when BB goes under finally.
A good point.

Who would want to even buy a machine with Blockbuster built in if Blockbuster is one step from Bankruptcy. Are the companies biting themselves in the foot? I certainly wouldn't buy a device with Blockbuster included.

71.9.2010 15:20

Originally posted by gnovak1:
Originally posted by jookycola:
Wow a lot of good that machine will be when BB goes under finally.
A good point.

Who would want to even buy a machine with Blockbuster built in if Blockbuster is one step from Bankruptcy. Are the companies biting themselves in the foot? I certainly wouldn't buy a device with Blockbuster included.

You could still use it to watch movies that you've rented from Netfix

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