Blockbuster Gets Into Set-Top Box Rentals

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Video rental giant BlockBuster might be best known for its seemingly ubiquitous brick-and-mortal retail rental outlets, but the company has decided to make a serious play in the digital video market, announcing a new MediaPoint on-demand set-top media player that will enable users to access BlockBuster on-demand content, including current and classic movies. The MediaPoint box is developed by 2Wire, comes with integrated Wi-Fi and Ethernet for connecting to a home broadband connection, and delivers DVD-quality video.

“The MediaPoint digital player, featuring Blockbuster OnDemand, is entertainment made easy,” said Blockbuster chairman and CEO Jim Keyes, in a statement. “We are bringing Blockbuster, and the thousands of movies in our digital library, straight to customers’ televisions.”

The MediaPoint players are available for sale now via Blockbuster’s Web site, and the company says the players will begin shipping in time for the holiday season. For a limited time will be available “for free” with the advance rental of 25 on-demand movies for $99. After the first 25 rentals, movies will be available for $1.99 apiece—no subscription required. Once a movie is rented, users will have 30 days to watch the title, but must finish watching it within 24 hours of beginning playback. Blockbuster hasn’t said what it plans to charge for the MediaPoint players as a regular price after after the initial promotional period.

With MediaPoint, Blockbuster is going into competition with the likes of the Xbox 360’s online video service, Apple’s iTunes (and AppleTV), Amazon Video On Demand, Vudu, and (of course) Netflix-enabled devices like the Roku set-top box. Blockbuster is hoping to differentiate itself by focussing on new releases rather than back catalog content, and the company will likely pursue alliances with consumer electronics manufacturers, game console makers, and even computer manufacturers to get its service integrated with their devices.

That said, the MediaPoint device is essentially a new way for BlockBuster customers to tap into the company’s MovieLink service, which it purchased in mid-2007. Beginning next month, visitors to the MovieLink site will be redirected to Blockbuster to learn about Blockbuster OnDemand.

Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

From game consoles to high-grade spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet! To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Here are the best Blu-ray players you can buy right now.
Home Theater

Everything you need to know about Google’s Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘T-34,’ ‘An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. To simplify things, we round up the best ones each week. On tap this week: The trailers for An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn and T-34, among other movie previews.
Movies & TV

Stay inside (and in the dark) with the best horror movies on Netflix right now

There's no need to scour the entire Netflix catalog for the hits. We've compiled a list of the best horror movies on Netflix, whether you're into modern monsters or classic scares.
Movies & TV

Brewing nightmare fuel with the FX team behind the ‘Stranger Things’ Demogorgon

Mike Elizalde, co-founder of makeup and creature effects studio Spectral Motion, explains how his team brought the Demogorgon from Stranger Things and Robot from Lost in Space to terrifying, compelling life on the screen.
Home Theater

Bowers & Wilkins’ affordable 600 Series speakers sound better than ever

Bowers & Wilkins has revamped its entry-level speaker lineup, borrowing some goodness from the company's flagship 800 Series speakers, which brings a more refined sound signature while keeping impressively low price points. What's not to…
Home Theater

Google has a new Chromecast on the way, but don’t expect a major leap forward

An FCC filing by Google shows that the company is planning to release an updated model of its highly popular Chromecast streaming hardware, but you might not even notice to look at it.
Home Theater

Images found in a beta of iOS 12 reveal the next-generation AirPods 2

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.
Home Theater

Demystify home audio with our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide

Today's A/V receivers are packed with lots of advanced technology and just plain cool features. From understanding watt ratings to Wi-Fi, we explain how to buy one that will last you for years in our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide.
Music

Bolster your HD music catalog with the best high-res audio sites

Music connoisseurs relish HD audio, but scouring the web for all the best streaming and downloading sites can be a pain. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Check out our list, and let the high-resolution good times roll.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Here's what to do

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.
Home Theater

Our quick-and-easy guide to programming an RCA universal remote

If you're tired of using a million different remotes in your home theater, office, or living room, you'll likely be interested in a single RCA universal remote. Here's how to program it for your system.