Blockbuster Partners with 2Wire to Provide On-Demand Movie Set-top Box


blockbuster ondemand 2wire mediapoint graphic

Big news this morning if you’re a fan of Blockbuster. The company has announced the limited availability of a $99 on-demand video package that gets you 25 movie or TV episode rentals plus a FREE MediaPoint Digital Media Player by 2Wire. No word on how much the MediaPoint set-top by itself will sell for in the future, but I’m guessing this promo is gonna be around from quite some time. Rentals start at $1.99 with no monthly subscription plan required. Video quality will initially be rolled out at DVD resolution. However, the box does include HDMI, Component video outputs and is capable of handling HD video content, according to 2Wire’s press release (attached below). Lastly, the MediaPoint Digital Media Player, which can be connected to your home’s broadband network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, is capable of storing a movie selection for later viewing or on-demand with “progressive” playback instead of streaming for a more consistent viewing experience. Oh yeah… and Blockbuster is also making a big fuss that their latest on-demand selections are typically titles released within 30 days of their DVD release date (unlike the other guys).

Aside: I’m curious if this product will have any of the IPTV content access and UPnP capabilities of the 2Wire MediaPoint device for broadband providers we learned about earlier this month?

Blockbuster and 2Wire Introduce New Digital Media Player

MediaPoint™ digital media player provides instant entertainment from BLOCKBUSTER® ONDEMAND straight to television

Thousands of titles offered including new releases like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Smart, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, The Strangers, The Love Guru

Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI, BBI.B), a leading global provider of media entertainment, and 2Wire, a provider of integrated broadband solutions, today introduced the 2Wire MediaPoint™ digital media player, an easy-to-use, on-demand video solution that offers movie fans instant access through their television sets to BLOCKBUSTER® ONDEMAND content, including thousands of titles from the latest movie releases to classic favorites.

Beginning today, for a limited time, the MediaPoint digital media player is available free with the advance rental of 25 BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND movies for $99 at www.blockbuster.com. Unlike subscription-based services, which typically offer movies years after their release, BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND includes hot new releases, many available within weeks of leaving theaters. After the initial 25 rentals, movies are available for as little as $1.99 each. The players will begin shipping in time for the holiday season.

“The MediaPoint digital player, featuring BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND, is entertainment made easy. We are bringing Blockbuster, and the thousands of movies in our digital library, straight to customers’ televisions,” said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster Chairman and CEO. “The player is simple to use, delivers DVD quality video, and there’s no monthly subscription commitment. We are delighted to team with 2Wire to give consumers this great entertainment product.”

Easy to install, the MediaPoint digital media player works seamlessly with any broadband connection, either wirelessly via built-in Wi-Fi or wired via Ethernet cable, to deliver the hottest new movies, classics, foreign films and television shows from the BLOCKBUSTER digital library. With full fast-forward, rewind, and pause capabilities, the viewing experience is DVD quality, no matter the speed of the broadband connection. Movies can be played right away or saved to watch later. Additionally, the player supports HD video content and can be connected to HDTVs.

“To be successful, a broadband video offering needs to deliver movies that people want to see, in the quality they expect, with minimal setup requirements,” said Pat Romano, chief executive officer of 2Wire. “BLOCKBUSTER ONDEMAND and the MediaPoint digital media player give movie fans what they want. We are thrilled to help bring this service to the living room, providing immediate access to high quality movies directly on the television set.”

The MediaPoint digital media player is extremely compact — about the size of two boxes of movie candy — and can be integrated seamlessly into home entertainment systems through composite cable, HDMI, component cable, or Toslink.

Technical Details
In the Box

  • 2Wire MediaPoint Digital Media Player (8″ x 8″ x 1″)
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Power Adapter
  • Composite A/V cable (supports SD viewing)
  • Remote Control
  • AAA Batteries

Video and Audio Connections

  • Composite
  • Component*
  • HDMI*
  • Stereo Audio
  • Toslink (digital optical audio)*

Network Connections

  • Ethernet*
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)

*cable must be purchased separately

About Blockbuster
Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI)(NYSE: BBI.B) is a leading global provider of in-home movie and game entertainment, with more than 7,500 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company may be accessed worldwide at www.blockbuster.com.

About 2Wire
2Wire integrated broadband solutions are engineered for the carrier and optimized for the subscriber, providing intuitive, reliable user experiences throughout the connected home. 2Wire’s portfolio of broadband solutions includes residential gateways, multi-service media platforms, remote management systems, value-added services, and call center customer support. 2Wire customers are leading broadband providers throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, including AT&T, Telmex, BT, EMBARQ, Bell Canada, SingTel, Telstra and others. For more information, visit www.2Wire.com.




Tags: , ,
Filed in: Content Providers, Streaming Media Devices


  • Brian

    2Wire’s website claims the device supports UPnP AV and DLNA. The USB port and card reader on the front also support their intentions of local playback.

    I’m excited about the form factor and price of this device especially if it can play my photos, music and videos (h.264 and DivX).

  • http://www.ehomeupgrade.com Alexander Grundner

    Right. The MediaPoint platform itself is quite powerful. However, it’s unclear if this unit produced for Blockbuster will come packed with all those goodies or be stripped down. I’m looking forward to seeing the initial reviews.

  • http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/2008/11/28/thoughts-on-blockbuster-ondemand/ Thoughts on Blockbuster ONDEMAND | eHomeUpgrade

    [...] Right. The MediaPoint platform itself is quite powerful. However,…Alexander Grundner – 2 days 18… [...]

  • http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/2008/12/10/video-blockbusters-2wire-mediapoint-vod-box/ Video: Blockbuster’s 2Wire MediaPoint VOD Box | eHomeUpgrade

    [...] has published a video of the 2Wire MediaPoint Digital Media Player designed for Blockbuster that showcases the system’s interface, content selection, and usability. So, if you’re [...]