Best Buy (S BBY), not content to simply ride on Google (s GOOG) TV’s coattails, said today that it’s working with TiVo (s TIVO) to integrate the DVR maker’s software into its Insignia brand of TVs, which would allow the big box retailer to push broadband video services of its own. The deal is designed to give customers that buy broadband-connected Insignia TVs an easy way to search and navigate various online video services, including Best Buy’s own upcoming digital storefront.
Interestingly, it won’t see DVR functionality added directly into Insignia TVs; instead, Best Buy will license TiVo’s software for search, navigation and connection to a number of online video sources. TiVo can currently connect with streaming services from YouTube, Netflix (s NFLX), Amazon (s AMZN) Video on Demand and Blockbuster’s (s BBI) On Demand.
Using TiVo as an onramp, Best Buy will also be able to push its soon-to-be launched digital storefront, which is a white-labeled version of Sonic Solutions’ (s SNIC) CinemaNow service — the same technology and content library that Blockbuster uses for its offering. In fact, today’s announcement brings together nearly 18 months of deal-making to enable it to sell and rent videos directly through its televisions — notably with Sonic Solutions and TiVo.
The new digital video service will pit Best Buy against rival Wal-mart (s WMT), which completed its acquisition of Vudu earlier this year. But while a Best Buy-branded service (for now) will only be launched on Insignia-branded TVs, Vudu has built an ecosystem of CE partners that have integrated its video service into their TVs and Blu-ray players. Vudu inked deals with Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba earlier this year, and is already available on CE devices from LG, Mitsubishi and Vizio.
That said, Best Buy isn’t pinning all of its hopes on Insignia-branded consumer electronics products. The announcement comes less than a week after Best Buy was named as a distribution partner to sell devices from Sony (s SNE) and Logitech (s LOGI) that will run the new Google TV platform for Internet-connected TV services.
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