Blog Post

Blockbuster’s Digital Kiosks and Movielink Plans; August Launch

Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI), which recently abandoned its foolish quest to buy Circuit City, is now on to the next thing, which it has been talking about for the last year: its digital re-invention. The company has a strong presence at Comic-Con going on this week in San Diego, and is also demo-ing its digital kiosks, reports Home Media magazine. It has talked about these kiosks before…they are being tested in select Blockbuster stores in the Dallas area, and plans are to roll it out country-wide in the next three years. These kiosks allow consumers to download movies to portable devices in less than two minutes, though for now, it only works on Archos portable media devices.

Another part of its digital hope: Movielink. It is quietly beta testing a new version of the online movie service, which will be incorporated into a revamped Blockbuster site later this summer. The story says this new site will have about 85,000 DVD titles for rent by mail (including Blockbuster

6 Responses to “Blockbuster’s Digital Kiosks and Movielink Plans; August Launch”

  1. This is new and therefore might be of interest but I do not see it as a big success. It doesn't sound like a super easy way to rent a movie. It is much more easier to watch a movie online, as was already mentioned in the comments above. No messing with cables, no leaving your house to get a movie. I know this would work for many people I know

  2. I don't think this kind of model has a hope. Why should anyone have to leave their house and bring hardware with them in order to get a movie. With broadband ever increasing in speed and availability surely the model that will win out will involve you browsing movies via your TV, choosing one, and watching it as it streams from the net.

  3. Joseph Weisenthal

    I still don't see this model taking off (ever), but my personal opinion notwithstanding, how easy is it to disconnect and reconnect the Archos from a TV. Cause I know it's greatly irritating any time I have to fiddle with the cable box or DVD player. Usually involves moving the TV stand in some way, re/un-screwing those annoying cables.

    Is it any easier with the Archos?

  4. To save time, they could also conceive of a lock system and door system in which you place your Archos for those 10-20 minutes it takes to transfer 20 or 40 HD movies to it, and that you can leave it in there while you do your shopping in the supermarket. And thus when you are finished doing your shopping 10-20 minutes later, you can get back your Archos by inserting a magnetic ID card into the Kiosk ID card reader hich could also be your credit card or your Blockbuster membership card. And thus the Kiosk could host up to 4-5 Archos at the same time, and this way you wouldn't have to wait by the Kiosk for it to transfer all the movies, but you could be doing other stuff while its copying the movies ith as much as 3gbit/s onto as much as 320GB storage in your Archos since Archos players use up to 2.5" hard drives. That is enough to store over 300 movies in DVD quality and up to 100 movies in HD quality.

  5. Each download Kiosk can be built for just a few thousand dollars, so Blockbuster can install them not only at the existing Blockbuster stores, they can also set them up at every supermarket, 7-eleven, tank station, post office and laundry store. Those can also be installed in the streets just as cash registers. Each Kiosk can host 4-5 Archos players at the same time. So if you have to transfer 20 movies over 10 minutes, you don't have to monopolize the use of the Kiosk, you can plug your Archos to it and wait by the machine for 10 minutes to get the 20 movies transfered to it automatically according to the selection you made from home or that you made on the Archos touchscreen before being at the Kiosk, and up to 4 other users can stand there next to you with their Archos players and be synchronizing their latest selections as well.

  6. The point really is, that once you connect your Archos to your TV, this solution effectively replaces the DVD disc and the DVD player. This also can replace the Blu-ray disc and the Blu-ray player once they use Archos devices that support HD resolution videos. They are trying to implement USB3 speeds so that the movie transfer takes less then 30 seconds from the Kiosk.

    You don't have to spend a long time selecting your movies on the touchscreen of the Kiosk, you can have already done your selections at home on the TV, since the Archos can host the complete catalog of all available movies with a selection of trailers, and thus from your TV you prepare your selection list, and thus once you go to a movie download Kiosk, you simply plug your Archos to it and it will immediately download your movie selections automatically. You also don't have to pay for the rental upfront at the Kiosk, you can load tens of movies on your Archos all at once and you only pay the rental and start the 48 hour rental period once you hit the play button. So you can fill up your Archos with a whole months worth of rental movies all at once. Once you go to refill your Archos, it automatically deletes the movies you have already watched if it needs to make storage space available.