Movie Gallery Plans Online Video Rentals

Movie Gallery—owners of Hollywood Video and Game Crazy stores—have announced they plan to launch an online video rental service in mid-to-late 2007. They plan to get their foot in the door via a low-priced “friends and family” program available to existing customers; the company sees the service as a compliment to its existing retail operations (like Blockbuster) rather than a standalone operation (like iTunes or Netflix).

Movie Gallery recently acquired MovieBeam, a digital video on demand service which broadcasts movies to set-top boxes using bandwidth available behind public airwaves. Despite early backing from industry heavyweights, MovieBeam never took off in the marketplace and Movie Gallery was able to pick up the business for a scant $10 million.

“While we firmly believe that our retail brick and mortar stores will remain the foundation of our business, over the past three years we have been diligently pursuing alternative delivery platforms to further complement our base business,” said Joe Malugen, Movie Gallery Chairman, President, and CEO, in a statement. “After considerable research and testing, we believe that we can enter into the online space in a cost-effective manner without spending significant resources on advertising to acquire new customers. Our goal is to increase customer satisfaction and retention by providing consumers with the benefits of greater choice and convenience.”

Movie Gallery also announced it is expanding its movie kiosk program, which put movie vending machines in malls, supermarkets, and high traffic areas. Movie Gallery currently operates about 74 kiosks under its Hollywood Video brand and plans to set up as many as 200 more during 2007.

It’s not clear how the MovieBeam acquisition will factor into Movie Gallery’s online plans; if we had to guess, we’d say Movie Gallery will ditch the comparatively low bandwidth over-the-air transmission methodology which relies on a custom set-top box for a system which relies on customers’ existing home broadband connection and Windows Media for video-on-demand and faster downloads. Perhaps MovieBeam’s backend systems will help Movie Gallery jump into that space more quickly.

Home Theater

Do you need an $8,000 gold-plated digital music player? Sony made one anyway

Sony's new DMP-Z1 digital music player features "audiophile-grade" sound quality and a gold-plated volume knob to let everyone around you know you take your music extremely seriously.
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Photography

Starting a vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (August 2018)

Prime Video gives subscribers access to a host of great movies, but sifting through the massive library isn't easy. Lucky for you, we've sorted the wheat from the chaff. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Home Theater

Here's how to preserve your precious VHS memories in a modern format

There's no reason you should have to lose those precious home videos just because VHS is a dying format. Here, we'll show you how to convert VHS tapes to a digital format, and save those memories forever.
Home Theater

TV calibration 101: Here's how to tune up the picture of your new TV

You’ve got your new TV out of the box, but now what? Our TV picture adjustment guide takes you through the simple steps to get the best picture from your brand new TV so you can set it and forget it.
Home Theater

Samsung’s Harman buyout could prove its worth in new Dolby Atmos soundbars

In 2017, Samsung bought out audio powerhouse brand Harman, which itself owns a ton of major audio brands. Now it seems that purchase may be paying off, as Samsung is launching two impressive-looking new Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbars.
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

Tarantino casts actor to play Bruce Lee in 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, uses the infamous 1969 Manson murders as a backdrop to tell a story set in bohemian Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far.
Home Theater

How to make your TV squeaky clean for not much green

Not sure how to clean the LCD, OLED, or plasma display that's the cornerstone of your living room? You don't need to buy expensive cleaning solutions to clean your TV -- we'll teach you how to do it with simple household items.
Home Theater

Want to save your favorite film? Here's how to fix a scratched DVD or CD

A scratched edition of your favorite DVD is no good, but our guide will show you how to fix a scratched DVD, whether you prefer to repair it using a smattering of peanut butter or Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.
Movies & TV

David Harbour is 'taking risks' with Jim Hopper in 'Stranger Things' season 3

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Home Theater

Let your vinyl sound even better with one of the best phono preamps

Whether you're looking for a quick fix to set up your first turntable or a long-term audio upgrade for higher-quality sound, here are the best phono preamps you can buy that won't empty out your wallet.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.