Samsung to Offer Blockbuster OnDemand on HDTV's, Home Theater Systems, Blu-ray Players

Video rental company, Blockbuster, and Samsung Electronics America announced Tuesday that they are partnering to provide over-the-top access to Blockbuster's broadband VOD service, Blockbuster OnDemand, on select new Samsung HDTV sets, home theater systems and Blu-ray players. The companies also said that, as part of their agreement, Blockbuster OnDemand will have preferred positioning on Samsung's Blu-ray interfaces, and that Blockbuster will sell Samsung Blu-ray players with integrated Blockbuster OnDemand service in "thousands" of its corporate-owned and franchise stores, as well as on its Web site.

According to Blockbuster (which also offers the service through a $99 2Wire-manufactured over-the-top set-top box; and which has previously announced plans to offer it on TiVo set-tops and Vizio HDTV sets), Blockbuster OnDemand provides comprehensive on-screen search and browsing capabilities, as well as full details, ratings, trailers and other information about each movie directly on the TV screen, eliminating the need for customers to manage a viewing queue on their PC. Once customers rent or buy a movie, the company says, they simply press "play" to begin viewing immediately. The service also incorporates adaptive streaming technology. "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," Blockbuster chairman and CEO, Jim Keyes, said in a prepared statement. "The Blu-ray players Blockbuster will feature represent the perfect bridge between physical stores and digital delivery by providing streaming digital access to the newest hit movies and high-definition Blu-ray product, which is available in our stores and through Blockbuster By Mail. We look forward to working with Samsung to showcase their select products in Blockbuster stores while making Blockbuster's digital library available in homes across America."

According to the companies, Blockbuster OnDemand will be integrated into new Samsung Blu-ray disc players and HDTV sets by the fall. The companies say that consumers who already own select 2009 Samsung Blu-ray players and home theater systems, as well as Samsung LCD and Plasma HDTV's Series 650 and above, and Samsung LED HDTV's Series 7000 and above, will be able to access Blockbuster OnDemand by conducting a firmware upgrade (Blu-ray players and home theater systems) or downloading a Blockbuster OnDemand widget (HDTV's).

North America