In what is being considered a defensive move against Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) said today it is going to start offering thousands of films and other titles to a number of devices as soon as the second quarter. The devices range from PCs and Macs to media players, Blu-ray Disc players, set-top boxes and mobile phones, Reuters reports. Users will be able to download or stream the movies on an ala carte basis, which will allow Blockbuster to offer newer movies than Netflix, which is frequently criticized for having out-of-date titles. Blockbuster may also consider subscription services in the future. Release.
To provide the service, Blockbuster is partnering with Sonic Solutions, which recently bought CinemaNow. Previously, it had been reported that Blockbuster was working with Microsoft that would allow people to watch films on mobile devices using Microsoft's software platform called Live Mesh. The technology, which uses the internet to share data between different gadgets, was being considered as recently as December, although it sounded theoretical and not available until sometime in the future.
By Tricia Duryee