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Blockbuster Debuts Broadband Set-Top Box: Device ‘Free’ With Pre-Paid Rentals

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imageBlockbuster’s newest gimmick is out of the gate: the MediaPoint digital media player by 2Wire can be ordered online or bought in some stores. Well, not exactly bought — the launch deal swaps the box for $99 in pre-paid rentals, 25 to be exact. Subsequent rentals start at $1.99. *Blockbuster* chairman and CEO Jim Keyes announced in the Q3 call the new box, which stores the video, a reversal from previous statements that the movie rental chain would avoid the hardware game. The model differs from competitor Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), which, in addition to its own streaming device, has streaming deals with multiple set-top manufacturers. Netflix offers some 12,000 titles, while Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) starts with only 2,000.

Home Video Magazine: 2Wire VP Jonathan Symonds said Blockbuster