The BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND service will use 2Wire’s MediaPoint set top box, and will offer rentals a la carte — including new releases like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Smart — as opposed to a subscription model like Netflix.
Available now at Blockbuster.com (and at select real world locations), the box will cost $99. Well, in Blockbuster marketing-speak, the box is free, but you have to pay for 25 rentals in advance to get it. After the initial 25, rentals start at $1.99 each. The service supports HD (full technical details after the jump), and movies will cost $3.99 to rent regardless of whether they are in standard or high definition.
Similar to the Roku, the MediaPoint box will not only do Blockbuster movies, but will also be able to stream other video content from the likes of YouTube, as well as access video, music and photo content on your home network. Unlike the Roku, or any of Netflix’s streaming options, the Blockbuster service downloads the movie to the 8 GB hard drive, once the movie starts playing, the viewer will have 24 hours to watch it before it is deactivated from the device.
Interestingly, the box itself will not be Blockbuster-branded device, only the packaging and UI will have the Blockbuster logo.
While we thought highly of Netflix’s approach to the living room after hearing CEO Reed Hastings speak at NewTeeVee Live earlier this month, content is still the company’s Achilles heel. Blockbuster’s a la carte approach and the ability to get new releases definitely trumps Netflix’s current content catalog. While Netflix has 12,000 videos, it’s still pretty frustrating to find a ton of things worth watching. However, Netflix is on more devices like the Xbox 360, TiVo and Blu-Ray as well as LG and Samsung DVD players, and the subscription approach is more economical if you watch a lot of movies.
But, this is the type of move Blockbuster needs to make in order to survive.
In the Box
- 2Wire MediaPoint Digital Media Player (8” x 8” x 1”)
- Quick Installation Guide
- Power Adapter
- Composite A/V cable (supports SD viewing)
- Remote Control
- AAA Batteries
Video and Audio Connections
- Component *
- Stereo Audio
- Toslink (digital optical audio)*
- Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
*cable must be purchased separately