Home video rental giant Blockbuster is reportedly in the works to offer a set-top device that can deliver video from the Internet directly to a television. This would put Blockbuster in direct competition with products such as the Apple TV device, which has gained less-than-perfect sales since its initial launch, despite on-going hype. The development would also get Blockbuster ready for tougher competition with Netflix, which is already developing something similar in coordination with LG Electronics.
“We’re talking to numerous companies and vendors about products, services, alliances and initiatives that can help us achieve our mission to transform Blockbuster into a company that provides access to media content across multiple channels — from our stores, by mail, through kiosks, through downloading, through portable content-enabled devices — so it’s not surprising that there are rumors out there,” a Spokeswoman for Blockbuster is reported as saying by the Hollywood Reporter.
The new service would be an extension to the MovieLink service that was previously bought by Blockbuster. The reinvention of the Blockbuster brand could prove to be successful if introduced to the market, but it could also hurt Blockbuster’s core and vital business. It would be a stand-alone product like Apple TV, as opposed to offering downloadable support for products already in the market, such as Microsoft’s Xbox 360.