A whole mess of Samsung web-enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray players are about to get access to Blockbuster's OnDemand service. Since OnDemand doesn't require a monthly fee, this is a nice little value-add.
For owners of select TVs and Blu-ray players, Blockbuster OnDemand will function just as we've seen it before: as a broad on-demand film catalog with a decent selection of newer films. The press release is irritatingly indirect about which products will be supported, but Crave has parsed it for us:
LNB650 series, LNB750 series, UNB7000 series, UNB7100 series, UNB8000 series, PNB650 series, PNB850 series, PNB860 series.
In addition, it looks like virtually all 2009 connected Blu-ray players from the company will support the service, since they already support other, similar ones, including Netflix. Expect the relevant firmware updates and widget availability in fall of this year.
UPDATE: The official supported list turned out to be a bit shorter: BD-P1600, BD-P3600, BD-P4600, HT-BD1250, HT-BD7200, HT-BD8200.
Blockbuster and Samsung Sign Agreement to Deliver BLOCKBUSTER(R) OnDemand Services to Select Samsung HDTVs, Home Theater Systems and Blu-ray Players
Millions of homes across America to gain access to BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand movies
Samsung products to also be sold at select BLOCKBUSTER(R) stores and online at blockbuster.com
RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J., and DALLAS, July 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI, BBI.B), a global leader in entertainment, and Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced they are joining forces to enable consumers to access Blockbuster's vast and growing library of premium digital entertainment via select new Samsung HDTVs, home theater systems and Blu-ray players. The new services will be available in the fall of 2009 and are expected to provide millions of homes across America access to Blockbuster's digital library of movies. Additionally, as part of the agreement, Blockbuster OnDemand will have preferred positioning on the Blu-ray interfaces.
The BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand service provides comprehensive on-screen search and browsing capabilities, as well as full details, ratings, trailers, and other information about each movie directly on the television, eliminating the need for customers to manage a viewing queue on their PC. Once a customer rents or buys a movie, they simply press play to begin instant viewing. Blockbuster's adaptive streaming technology ensures quality viewing with immediate and uninterrupted playback.
"This agreement underscores the growing opportunities around digital delivery and the plan to make the BLOCKBUSTER brand as available on screens as it has always been on storefronts. The Blu-ray players BLOCKBUSTER will feature represent the perfect bridge between physical stores and digital delivery by providing streaming digital access to the newest hit movies and high definition Blu-ray product, which is available in our stores and through BLOCKBUSTER By Mail," said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster Chairman and CEO. "We look forward to working with Samsung to showcase their select products in Blockbuster stores while making Blockbuster's digital library available in homes across America."
"Samsung constantly seeks ways to provide greater value to consumers through innovation and connectivity," said Tim Baxter, President of Samsung Electronics America. "Our strategic alliance with Blockbuster means that we will provide consumers another significant avenue to access rich content and a great viewing experience."
The alliance also includes the sale of Samsung Blu-ray players with the integrated BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand service at Blockbuster's thousands of participating corporate-owned stores and franchise stores and online at blockbuster.com, in addition to Samsung's existing retail channels.
The companies expect to have the BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand service integrated into new Samsung Blu-ray disc players and HDTVs by the fall of 2009. Consumers who already own select 2009 Samsung Blu-ray players and home theater systems, as well as Samsung LCD and Plasma HDTVs Series 650 and above, and Samsung LED HDTVs Series 7000 and above, can access the BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand offering at no additional charge by conducting a firmware upgrade (Blu-ray players and home theater systems) or downloading the BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand widget (HDTVs).