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BlinkBox Begins Off-PC Box Delivery With PS3 Service

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It’s added 4.8 million views a month to the BBC’s iPlayer – so what can it do for commercial VOD services?

BlinkBox is about to find out. It’s launching a version of its PPV web-based TV and movie streaming service customised for PlayStation 3’s web browser, with other non-computer devices to come…

BlinkBox says its content library – which includes deals with Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros – “neatly matches the cinema-going habits of PS3 owners”.

Everything streams over the web. Rentals start at £0.39 for TV or £0.89 for movies, and can be played an unlimited number of times within 24 hours. The service also does the equivalent of download-to-own – except, on the PS3, they are stored in a locker on blinkbox.com rather than downloaded to the games console.

A web browser on a games console is never going to stand in for a proper TV box, but the PS3’s browser is rather competent. Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) in the U.S. has had a PS3 and Wii web service for some time plus an Xbox app. BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) also has an Xbox app for its Sky Player, including Sky Movies. PS3 web users account for six percent of iPlayer’s monthly traffic – but will they like pay-for content as much as free catch-up TV?

The likes of BlinkBox and Lovefilm are thought eager for Project Canvas to be cleared and to arrive. Integrating their services with connected TVs would really help their VOD businesses hit the big time.

BlinkBox CEO Michael Comish: “The PS3 is the first of a number of devices to which we will be bringing BlinkBox.”