Blockbuster’s New Download (Beta) Service Explained

It appears that Blockbuster has rolled out their new “Download” Rent/Buy movie service to all subscribers now (based on Movielink’s IP). In fact, one can download movies without having a recurring rental package subscription in place – you just need to create a Blockbuster account. Basically you pay for what you want to watch. New movies on average cost $3.99 for rentals and $17.99 to own/buy. The official Blockbuster Download price range for “Rent Downloads” is $0–$3.00+ and “Buy Downloads” is $9.99–$20.00+. Unfortunately, for Mac and Linux users, the service only works with Windows 2003/XP/Vista computers with Windows Media Player 10 installed. On the bright side, if you do have a compatible Windows PC, the movies you rent or purchase can be viewed through Windows Media Center, the Xbox 360, or select Netgear and D-Link media adapters (most likely the ones who currently support Movielink). What’s more, it appears that Blockbuster has maintained its partnership with AT&T HomeZone to allow users to download movies directly to their set-top.

Storage Period: Up to 30 Days
You’re allowed to store a rental for up to 30 days after checkout. Once you start playback, you can watch it as many times as you want during a 24-hour viewing period.

Viewing Period: 24 HOURS
Your 24-hour viewing period begins when you click “Ready to Play.” Watch the movie as many times as you want within this period. You must use the 24-hour viewing period within the movie’s storage period.

Storage Period: Unlimited

Viewing Period: Unlimited

Multi-PC Playback: 1 PC
Some content providers allow you to play your purchased movie on up to three PCs. However, Blockbuster does not currently support multi-PC playback (may be added at a later date).

Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows Vista; Windows XP (service pack 2)
Processor: 1GHz processor or equivalent
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk: Up to 500 MB of available space
Sound: Full duplex sound card and speakers
Graphics: 256-color video display card; video hardware acceleration set to full


Message to Blockbuster: Since free video streaming isn’t available like with Netflix, how about letting subscribers who get 5 in-store movie exchanges have the option to download the flicks instead? Seems fair to me. And… oh yeah, add Mac and Linux support or else revamp the Movielink backend to be cross-platform compatible. What are we, still in the 90’s?

Tags: , , ,
Filed in: Content Providers