Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blockbuster goes online in a big way

Following the lead of competitor Netflix, Blockbuster plans to expand its digital reach by offering access to its video library through a variety of electronic devices.

The company is expected to announce today a partnership with Sonic Solutions to offer movies for rent and for sale on a variety of broadband-connected digital devices, including personal computers, cellphones, Internet-connected televisions and Blu-ray disc players.

The library of offerings will be a combination of titles from Blockbuster and CinemaNow, the movie downloading service Sonic acquired late last year.

Blockbuster is attempting to match the advances of Netflix, which has struck deals to make its online video service available on devices such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 game console, Blu-ray disc players and television sets. Netflix also offers its titles on TiVo digital video recorders.

Blockbuster intends to make the content easily transferable between devices. For example, by registering the device and account, a consumer would be able to start watching a movie on an Internet-connected Blu-ray DVD player and later watch the remainder of it on a personal computer. Blockbuster will also allow users to download a rented video and watch it on a device not connected to the Internet. (info from The Wall Street Journal)

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