Just like Netflix teamed up with Roku to make the first movie-rental affiliated set-top box for video rentals, it looks like Blockbuster has finally turned the page of it’s slowly dieing business model and done the same. Blockbuster partnered with 2Wire and recently announced it’s MediaPoint box, which allows on-demand movie rentals just like the Roku box, only a couple of possibly beneficial differences.
As reported on Engadget, the new box offers much of what the Netflix player by Roku does, but a few.. shall we say “upgrades.” For one, the box has the ability to store movies on the player itself, be it temporarily. The player can hold roughly 5 standard definition movies on the box for easy replay and better quality, since it won’t be streamed. It also uses a progressive downloading technology that allows better viewing on slower or limited connections.
The main difference though, is the way the pricing is. The box is offered for $99 as well, but it does in need of any subscription. It also comes with 25 free movie rentals (for an average of $4/movie if you count the box as free.) After that, rentals will be $1.99 each. You can watch the movie for up to 30 days after you purchase the download as well. Currently using the Roku box or the xbox live built-it Netflix service, you have to have a regular monthly subscription to be able to stream videos, but you can do so without limitations.
Only time will tell if the pay-per-movie model will flourish as well as the subscription services have, but Blockbuster also has stated they plan to be able to offer movies much quicker than competitors, about 30 days after the movie leaves theaters.Currently they only have about 2,500 movies available, but this list will only grow.
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