updated 01:10 pm EST, Mon November 10, 2008
Blockbuster set-top soon
Confirming earlier rumors, Blockbuster has announced plans to build a set-top box that will stream digital movies to TVs. The company's CEO, Jim Keyes, further notes that the the device will be associated with its Movielink rental and purchase service, but has not provided details on costs, capabilities or hardware specifications. A release is expected sometime during the holiday season; also in development is support for Blockbuster streaming through Intel chips inside IPTV hardware.
Aside from representing an attempt to boost Movielink, the set-top is also likely a response to the Roku player, currently capable of streaming Netflix movies, and the Xbox 360, which will gain the feature on November 19th. Blockbuster is also being challenged by the Apple TV set top, and has seen a continuing decline in retail income due to a combination of mail and digital competition, along with the spread of DVR set-tops such as the TiVo.