Seems like the threat of Netflix partnering up with everyone for TV downloading services has spurred Blockbuster into action. The video rental chain has finally confirmed rumors that it'll launch its own set-top box before the end of the year. For a “limited time,” their 2Wire-built MediaPoint player will be free and give you an advance rental of “25 first-run movies, TV shows, foreign or classic films from Blockbuster On-Demand for $99.” Anything after ranges from $1.99 to $3.99 a piece. Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes said the box—which measures 8x8x1 and includes two USB ports, an HDMI port, Ethernet and WiFi, and an SD slot—is just a trial to check out consumer responses and “keep up with emerging technology.” Okay... except you know, Keyes, you're kind of going into an already crowded market now. When everybody and their mother already owns another set-top box offering, what are the chances they're going to switch to Blockbuster's option?
Blockbuster and 2Wire Introduce New Digital Media Player MediaPoint™ digital media player provides instant entertainment from BLOCKBUSTER ® ONDEMAND straight to television Thousands of titles offered including new releases like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Smart, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, The Strangers, The Love Guru DALLAS, TX and SAN JOSE, CA — November 25, 2008— Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI, BBI.B), a leading global provider of media entertainment, and 2Wire, a provider of integrated broadband solutions, today introduced the 2Wire MediaPoint™ digital media player, an easy-to-use, on-demand video solution that offers movie fans instant access through their television sets to BLOCKBUSTER® ONDEMAND content, including thousands of titles from the latest movie releases to classic favorites. Beginning today, for a limited time, the MediaPoint digital media player is available free with the advance rental of 25 BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND movies for $99 at www.blockbuster.com. Unlike subscription-based services, which typically offer movies years after their release, BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND includes hot new releases, many available within weeks of leaving theaters. After the initial 25 rentals, movies are available for as little as $1.99 each. The players will begin shipping in time for the holiday season. “The MediaPoint digital player, featuring BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND, is entertainment made easy. We are bringing Blockbuster, and the thousands of movies in our digital library, straight to customers’ televisions,” said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster Chairman and CEO. “The player is simple to use, delivers DVD quality video, and there’s no monthly subscription commitment. We are delighted to team with 2Wire to give consumers this great entertainment product.” Easy to install, the MediaPoint digital media player works seamlessly with any broadband connection, either wirelessly via built-in Wi-Fi or wired via Ethernet cable, to deliver the hottest new movies, classics, foreign films and television shows from the BLOCKBUSTER digital library. With full fast-forward, rewind, and pause capabilities, the viewing experience is DVD quality, no matter the speed of the broadband connection. Movies can be played right away or saved to watch later. Additionally, the player supports HD video content and can be connected to HDTVs. “To be successful, a broadband video offering needs to deliver movies that people want to see, in the quality they expect, with minimal setup requirements,” said Pat Romano, chief executive officer of 2Wire. “BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND and the MediaPoint digital media player give movie fans what they want. We are thrilled to help bring this service to the living room, providing immediate access to high quality movies directly on the television set.” The MediaPoint digital media player is extremely compact – about the size of two boxes of movie candy – and can be integrated seamlessly into home entertainment systems through composite cable, HDMI, component cable, or Toslink. Technical Details 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 - more - Blockbuster/2Wire Page Two Video and Audio Connections * Composite * Component * * HDMI* * Stereo Audio * Toslink (digital optical audio)* Network Connections * Ethernet* * Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) *cable must be purchased separately