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In a continuation of the worst fad ever, it appears NCR’s Blockbuster Express kiosk biz is the the latest to come down with a case of price hike-itis, following competitors Redbox and Netflix. Of course the cause behind this is the studios, who are pushing for higher rates on new release movies or delayed windows. The 3-2-1 pricing structure it has been testing kicks in on “Hot Movies” in the first month they’re available (sound familiar?), renting for $ 3 the first night (additional nights are still just $ 1 each, Blu-ray discs still cost $ 1 extra the first night), dropping to $ 2 after a month and then to $ 1 after 90 days. Expect the squeeze to be continually and evenly applied to your video rental options as long as Hollywood believes it increases sales.
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Dish Network has the answer to Netflix: Blockbuster. The company bought the bankrupt Blockbuster six months ago at auction for $ 228 million and apparently wasted no time integrating Blockbuster’s current streaming service into Dish’s satellite TV plans. The Blockbuster Movie Pass is a complete media rental service and features streaming movies and TV shows along with movies and games-by-mail. But don’t cancel your Netflix streaming account just yet.
This isn’t Blockbuster or Dish Network’s first foray with streaming video. The then-alive (but quickly sinking) Blockbuster launched On Demand back in 2008 complete with its on dedicated player. It’s still up and running and features a robust platform support second only to Netflix. Likewise, Dish Network has long offered on demand video content and was the first to offer 1080p videos.
In fact the Blockbuster Movie Pass is a relaunch of existing Blockbuster products combined with on demand content from Dish Network. The Blockbuster streaming content adds Starz, Epix, Sony Movie Channel, and Encore to Dish’s on demand library that includes Fox, TBS, TNT, Discovery, AMC, CN, DIY, HGTV, FOOD and History. The combined content can be streamed only from DishNetwork.com. Blockbuster.com will continue to stream its On Demand service.
The streaming content can’t compete with Netflix just yet though. Blockbuster announced today that the streaming to TV library includes just 3,000 movies — 4,000 are available if watched via a computer. Of course the DVD mailing service better competes with Qwikster (Netflix) and features 100,000 available titles, which can be returned at Blockbuster location. However, unlike the current Blockbuster By Mail service, you can’t walk out with another title; your next movie will be mailed to you.
Today’s announcement leverages Blockbuster’s name in movie rentals. You don’t rent movies from Dish Network, you rent movies from Blockbuster. That’s at least what Dish Network hope consumers think.
The service launches next Saturday, October 1 and goes head-to-head with Netflix for $ 10. However, this isn’t for cord cutters. This service requires a Dish Network satellite TV package and is not available separately. New subscribers can opt for one year of Dish’s Top 200 programming package for $ 39.99 a month. The Blockbuster service will be billed with the Dish Network TV service, resulting in one bill for subscribers.
Blockbuster’s Ira Bahr said , “They [consumers] still need their SpongeBob Squarepants, they still need their Fox News.” However, some people don’t want Fox News or SpongeBob, but for those already subscribed to Dish, this seems like a no-brainer for $ 10 a month.
- DISH NETWORK
Established in March 1996, DISH Network is the leader in technology and HD programming, and currently serves more than 14.3 million customers. The corporate office is based in the Meridian Complex located in Englewood, Colorado.
DISH Network, a publicly traded Fortune 200 company, is the media and entertainment arm of its former parent company, EchoStar Communications Corporation, founded in 1980 by Charlie Ergen, Candy Ergen and Jim DeFranco.
The two companies officially split in 2008 – EchoStar becoming the source for…
Dish Network already has its DishOnline streaming service for its own paying customers, but it looks like it’s now set to take direct aim at Netflix with a standalone subscription service that will be open to everyone. According to Bloomberg, that will operate under the company’s recently acquired Blockbuster brand and, in what’s surely a bitter pill for Netflix to swallow, it’s said to include titles from Starz (which also handles movies from Disney and Sony). As you’ll recall from yesterday, it announced that it will be pulling all of its titles from Netflix in February of next year after it failed to reach an agreement with the company. Details on the service otherwise remain a bit light — including any word of a possible subscription price — although Bloomberg says it “may” also include on-demand Blockbuster movies that Dish customers will be able to watch on their TVs.
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Blockbuster may have had its share of trouble here in the States, but that doesn’t mean its British brother isn’t doing well enough to have (and leak) a big-shot release date or two. According to a flyer brandishing the Blockbuster logo and that good ‘ol co.uk extension, the PlayStation Vita will land in the United Kingdom on October 28th. That’s ominously close to Halloween — not that we’re suggesting anybody is having pre-holiday PSV boot-shakes, or anything — and the flyer’s fall release prediction squares up nicely with Sony’s “end of 2011″ launch window. As always, we suggest taking rumors and leaks such as this with a grain of salt — but considering Sony’s sinkable record regarding loose lips, we’d understand a low sodium approach. Hit the break to get a peek at the Blockbuster UK flyer — ready and waiting for your judgement.
Continue reading PlayStation Vita out in October, says Blockbuster UK flyer
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- 2011July|Tech Meets Blog
It is nearly the end of the road for Blockbuster as we know it. The company has put itself up for auction and is accepting bids higher than “stalking horse” Cobalt Video Holdco bid of $ 290 million. The plan, then would be to accept a higher offer from any potential bidders or sell the assets to Cobalt.
What will you get for your $ 290 million?
“The purchaser will be able to take full advantage of Blockbuster’s many strengths, which include an internationally recognized brand name, an exceptional library of more than 125,000 titles, millions of loyal customers, and a multi-channel content distribution platform. Because of its ability to deliver physical content (through DVDs) and digital content (through streaming), Blockbuster can offer customers the unique ability to access any movie, any time.”
The company is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Press Page via Digitaltrends
28 days. It’s more than an unappreciated flick from the turn of the millennium, it’s also driving the executives at Redbox, Netflix and a smattering of other unorthodox rental companies mad. Movie studios have been hellbent on keeping their new release DVDs and Blu-ray Discs out of instant-rent hands for 28 days after release, noting that dollar-per-night rentals could drastically reduce DVD / BD sales in the all-important launch window. Now, however, it seems that at least a couple of ‘em are willing to bend. Starting this week in four major cities (Atlanta, Miami, Phoenix and San Francisco, for those curious) DVDs for Warner Bros.’ “Inception” and 20th Century Fox’s “Knight and Day” are being slipped into NCR’s Blockbuster Express kiosks. The catch? It’ll be $ 2.99 per night to rent either of them, a nearly threefold increase in the nightly rate that Redbox charges. Additional details on the trial are few and far betwixt, but it’s safe to say that Redbox isn’t any closer to nabbing fresh flicks sooner, and unless you’re down with a 3x price hike, neither are you.
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It’s not like anyone could predict the media streamer war that would erupt in 2010, but it looks like Western Digital’s taking things pretty seriously. The company has just issued a somewhat major overhaul for its WD TV Live Plus and WD TV Live media players, adding Facebook support while also giving US-based users the ability to instantly rent or purchase movies via Blockbuster on Demand. Post-firmware update, users will also be able to tap into Deezer (an on-demand music service), Flingo (another internet TV portal) and AccuWeather (a place that “forecasts” what’s happening in our “atmosphere”). Potentially more important than all of that, however, is the addition of USB wireless keyboard support — simply plug in a USB wireless dongle that ships with most every wireless keyboard out there, and you’ll be free to update your Facebook status or search for “Bed Intruder Song” through YouTube, all from the comfort of your sofa. Huzzah!
Continue reading WD TV Live media players gain Blockbuster on Demand, USB wireless keyboard support
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We’ve been expecting this one for a long time and now it’s official. Blockbuster has initiated “pre-arranged” chapter 11 proceedings. Under this plan, Blockbuster’s debt would be reduced from $ 1 billion to about $ 100 million when implemented.
Blockbuster is currently evaluating its US store portfolio as part of the recapitalization process. All 3,000 stores will remain open for now, but up to 1,000 could be gone before things are said and done. They want you to know that Blockbuster is still open and that it’s business as usual during the restructuring.
Not that you will care. You will be busy on Netflix.
It’s not official, but rumor that Blockbuster is preparing to file for bankruptcy in September is certainly believable. Expected even. According to several sources speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Blockbuster chief executive Jim Keyes along with representation from Blockbuster’s senior debt holders met last week with the six major movie studios to announce the company’s intention to enter a mid-September bankruptcy. Meetings that no doubt hoped to secure an uninterrupted flow of new content from Hollywood as Blockbuster restructures its $920 million in debt and closes another 500 of its 3,425 US stores. In its fight to remain relevant in the age of digital downloads / streaming, Blockbuster has lost $1.1 billion since early 2008. It’s expected that Blockbuster’s debt holders will likely own a substantial portion of the company when all is said and done. We call dibs on those Archos 10 netbooks.
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