It wasn’t that long ago, that Blockbuster semi-announced plans to enter the crowded realm of movie streaming devices and sure enough, here is the device. The 2Wire manufactured device, dubbed MediaPoint, doesn’t require a Blockbuster subscription and for a limited time is “available for free with the advance rental of 25 first-run movies, TV shows, foreign or classic films from Blockbuster On-Demand (previously Movielink) for $99” So, in other words, the box is $99 and comes with 25 movie rentals. After the initial investment, the movies will cost between $1.99 and $3.99.
I still hold true to my original point that even though Blockbuster is entering the digital streaming world after Vudu and Apple TV, along with all the Netflix clowns of Roku, Xbox 360, TiVo, the LG Blu-ray player and Samsung Blu-ray player, don’t count Blockbuster out just yet.
MediaPoint has a great price and seems well equipped with both WiFi and Ethernet. There isn’t word on specific video resolutions just yet, but the player packs an HDMI port so high-def doesn’t seem out of the question.
More important than the technical capabilities of the player is the demographic. Chances are displays showing off the player’s capabilities will be shown in every Blockbuster and that’s the crowd that will want this box. Not the people shopping and purchasing DVDs at Best Buy and Wal-Mart where the other streamers are demo’d; those folks are buying for their movies at those stores.
Blockbuster holds the ace that these players will be demo’d to people that rent movies and there is a distinct difference. A good amount of the population still likes to own and display their movie collection and so digital downloads are foreign to that mindset. But a lot of Blockbuster fans couldn’t care less about showing off racks of DVDs and so a device that gives them everything they want – just to watch the movie – should be an easy sale.
Now, that’s not to say this thing won’t flop, ’cause it might thanks to the broadband requirement which a good amount of the U.S. population does not have, but Blockbuster might have a better chance than all the other options currently available though because of its established customer base.