July 15, 2009, 12:00 AM

Blockbuster blocks out a movie streaming deal with Samsung

Shortly after archrival Netflix announced its latest deal, Blockbuster yesterday announced a pact with Samsung to integrate its web-based movie streaming technology into certain models of HDTVs, home theater systems and Blu-ray players this fall.

Downloading movies for viewing is a relatively new market but the competition for manufacturer market share is well under way.

Soon after archrival Netflix Inc. announced its latest download and streaming deal with Sony Electronics, Blockbuster Inc., No. 37 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, yesterday announced a pact with Samsung Electronics America Inc. to integrate its web-based movie streaming technology into certain models of Samsung HDTVs, home theater systems and Blu-ray players this fall.

Consumers who already own Samsung LCD and Plasma HDTVs Series 650 and Samsung LED HDTVs Series 7000 and above can access Blockbuster’s OnDemand digital movie service by upgrading their Blu-ray players and home theater systems or by downloading a special widget. “This agreement underscores the growing opportunities around digital delivery and the plan to make the Blockbuster brand as available on screens as it has always been on storefronts,” says CEO Jim Keyes.

Blockbuster’s OnDemand service, which charges rental fees of up to $3 per movie download or sells movies from $9.99 to $20, gives users on-screen search and browsing capabilities and additional content such as ratings and trailers.

The deal with Samsung is Blockbuster’s second streaming deal with a major consumer electronics manufacturer. In March, Blockbuster announced its OnDemand video content will be available through video services provider TiVo later this year. TiVo subscribers will be able to download OnDemand movies into their digital video recorders. Both TiVo DVRs and Samsung Blu-ray players also will be sold in Blockbuster stores and online.

The new deal aims to keep Blockbuster competitive with Netflix. On Monday, Netflix announced a partnership with Sony Electronics that will enable Netflix subscribers to instantly watch movies streamed from Netflix on Sony`s BRAVIA Internet video-capable HDTVs and on previous BRAVIA models compatible with Sony`s BRAVIA Internet video link module.

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