Blockbuster and Samsung today announced they are joining forces to enable consumers to access Blockbuster's 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 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."
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).
Samsung has already signed a similar deal with in March with TiVo Inc.
Dallas-based Blockbuster is competing with Netflix Inc., the largest U.S. by-mail movie business, as both seek ways to reach consumers looking online for entertainment. Netflix began showing films through TiVo, the Alviso, California-based DVR pioneer, last year and also streams video through Samsung and LG Blu-ray players and home theater systems.