May 18, 2010, 2:19 PM

Best Buy launches an online video streaming service

Best Buy today announced it will begin selling on-demand access to movies and TV shows over the Internet by the end of the month.

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Best Buy Co. today announced it will begin selling on-demand access to movies and TV shows over the Internet by the end of the month.

In doing so, Best Buy, No. 10 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, joins an increasingly crowded space that includes Apple Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Blockbuster Inc.

Best Buy is branding the service CinemaNow, a name it acquired from Sonic Solutions for an undisclosed amount. Sonic Solutions will provide the technology for delivering the video to consumers’ screens as part of a multi-year agreement the companies announced in November. The agreement also allows Best Buy to embed Sonic Solutions’ technology into consumer electronics devices, such as web-connected television sets, portable media players and mobile phones, sold in Best Buy stores and on BestBuy.com.

“With the introduction of CinemaNow, Best Buy continues our commitment to evolve with our customers as their demand for digital entertainment grows,” says Chris Homeister, Best Buy senior vice president of entertainment. “The convenience, selection and flexibility of the CinemaNow service offers customers more freedom in the way they choose to consume entertainment from Best Buy.”

Consumers will be able to rent or buy movies or TV shows from CinemaNow without a subscription.

Initially consumers will be able to access the service via the web site CinemaNow.com, as well as through new web-connected Blu-ray players and home theater packages manufactured by LG Electronics Inc. Best Buy says it eventually intends to reach all the web-connected devices that it sells through its stores and on BestBuy.com.

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