Report: Blockbuster Set To Release Set-Top Box

Responding to Microsoft's Xbox 360's movie downloads and Roku player's Netflix rental services, Blockbuster is also trying to revive its offerings.

Attention movie aficionados: Bluckbuster is reportedly in the process of building a set-top box that can stream movies to your TV. Responding to Microsoft's Xbox 360's movie downloads and Roku player's Netflix rental services, Blockbuster is also trying to revive its offering with fresh new digital goodness.

The new box will reportedly use Blockbuster's Movielink rental service and will be powered by Intel chips. Blockbuster's set-top box is said to be released before the end of this year, hopefully in time for the holiday season. An exact release date, further specifications or manufacturer information have not been made public yet.

Blockbuster's initial idea was to release a kiosk solution, competing with Redbox. However, a set-top box does seem to make more sense, especially when Netflix's online watching service is becoming ever so popular. But despite previous plans, Blockbuster CEO and Chairman Jim Keyes, announced last week the company's move to a set-top box device.

But a Blockbuster set-top box would be just the beginning. HD streaming is the next big thing in online movie rentals and Netflix has already announced that it will stream 300 HD movies through Xbox 360's Live service. Physical Blu-ray rentals account for only 2 percent of the Blockbuster domestic chain revenue so if the company's new set-top box will be able to stream both SD and HD movies, together with a decent subscription price, Blockbuster might just be on the right path.

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
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