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Blockbuster Wants to Stream Movies to Your TV

Rumors are swirling that Blockbuster is getting ready to take a major risk by entering the set-top box market with a streaming video player. This a move that others have speculated that Netflix would make, though there has been little public information about the project. The box would be an off-shoot of Blockbuster's Movielink service, which the video rental company has failed to fully integrate into its Blockbuster branding since purchasing the movie download service. Movielink has also been overshadowed by digital rental services from higher profile companies like Netflix and iTunes.

Streaming digital media straight to the TV is the ultimate goal of the rental outlets, but figuring out that last mile has been tough. Apple built a set top box (the Apple TV), but Apple was already in the hardware business and so it wasn't as big a risk for them. Netflix and Blockbuster have no experience designing, building, or selling hardware or software.

Perhaps the more logical solution, at least for now, would be to piggyback off of other entertainment devices. Netflix is offering its streaming services via Xbox 360 and rumored soon to be on the PlayStation 3, and Amazon's Unbox movie-and-TV-show download service is already on TiVo, leaving the field a little spare for Blockbuster.

Even so, it might be wise to experiment with delivery on a pre-built device before throwing piles of cash the company clearly doesn't have at a new Blockbuster branded set top box.

From Reuters

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Tags: apple tv, AppleTv, blockbuster, itunes, movielink, movies, netflix, streaming

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