Blockbuster set to announce streaming set-top box

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Hey what’s another box underneath your TV, right? Especially when it’s got movies streaming directly from Movielink and Blockbuster, yeah? According to Reuters, Blockbuster “is developing a set-top device for streaming films directly to TV sets and is expected to announce the offering sometime this month.”

So we’ll have another Vudu-like hardware box just for movies, your digital cable converter box, perhaps a DVD player, and one or two consoles. I can currently consume movie content through my cable box, my DVD player, and/or my Xbox 360.

Blockbuster’s going to have to sell people like my parents on this device because there’s not much chance that it’s going to be different enough from other current options to convince younger generations to A) buy the box and then B) pay for movies when most of us already have the “A” part in some form or another.

Blockbuster’s Netflix-like mail-order rentals had a pretty aggressive pricing structure when it first debuted and offered incentives to visit Blockbuster brick-and-mortar locations (movie returns, free in-store rentals, etc.) but this box it’s planning completely undermines the importance of its physical locations, so it’d better bring the heat if it wants to be successful.

Here’s some advice, Blockbuster; make the device free or very low cost (like $50) and subsidize it with a year’s subscription to unlimited movies for $15 or $20 per month.

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