Blockbuster partners with TiVo, says Apple products in sight

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
In the latest move to rejuvenate its weathered brand, Blockbuster plans to make its premium digital movie catalog available to TiVo subscribers before ultimately extending the service to devices made by Apple and other hardware vendors.



As part of the deal announced Wednesday, all broadband TiVo subscribers will soon be able to purchase or rent movies from Blockbuster's OnDemand service from their TiVo Series2, Series3, HD, or HD XL digital video recorder (DVR) set-top boxes.



The partnership will also see TiVo DVRs sold at thousands of Blockbuster brick-and-mortar retail stores as well as online at blockbuster.com, offering both parties new distribution outlets as they simultaneously band together to implement a cross-marketing campaign.



Blockbuster's arrival on TiVo will pit it against Netflix and Amazon.com, which already offer digital catalogs to TiVo subscribers. However, the movie rental house believes its catalog will stand out against those of its rivals, which tend to include mostly older titles rather than recent movie theater hits.



The move is also said to be the first of many that will see Blockbuster broaden its reach to embrace the growing demand on the part of consumers to enjoy video at their leisure through a new array of handheld devices and set-top-boxes in the living room.



"You will see us in a large number of other devices going forward," Blockbuster's vice president of digital entertainment Kevin Lewis told Reuters. He added, without providing details, that the company also plans to make its services available on devices sold by Apple.



"We need to be in the normal places that consumers want to watch movies," he said.



In total, about 10,000 movies titles will be available to TiVo subscribers when the integrated service launches some time during the second half of this year. Although pricing details having been announced, Blockbuster currently sells film rentals over its online service for $2 to $4, while movie purchases are priced around $10.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In total, about 10,000 movies titles will be available to TiVo subscribers when the integrated service launches some time during the second half of this year.



    10,000? Apple only has about 2,500 doesn't it? That's huge.



    I hope they do get access to AppleTV. I'd much rather have AppleTV giving me access to a variety of sources (but I'm happy to be forced to use iTunes if any movie is available on both Apple & Blockbuster).



    ps.

    Blockbuster is about to start movie rentals direct to TiVo in Australia, it was supposed to start in March but now April.
  • Reply 2 of 57
    troehltroehl Posts: 30member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    "You will see us in a large number of other devices going forward," Blockbuster's vice president of digital entertainment Kevin Lewis told Reuters. He added, without providing details, that the company also plans to make its digital catalog available on devices sold by Apple, possibly signaling tie-ins with the Cupertino-based company's Apple TV set-top-box and iPhone products.







    I don't take that quote to mean that they will be working with the Apple TV at all. Apple only delivers media through iTunes and I can't see how Blockbuster has the contractual right to put movies in iTunes. More than likely he was referring to some kind of Blockbuster application for the iPhone/iPod Touch.



    However, it would be a much bigger story if this is a hint that Apple is preparing to release a SDK for the Apple TV like they have for the iPhone which will allow 3rd-parties to run applications on the Apple TV. Now that would really be news!
  • Reply 3 of 57
    When this takes off for real, im getting myself a 'rent movies over the internet' thingy for my TV.
  • Reply 4 of 57
    patsfan83patsfan83 Posts: 156member
    I wouldn't put it past Apple to open up AppleTV to blockbuster and others (netflix?). If Apple took 30% of all purchases, they could make a killing off of others' subscription models/rentals. They might have to concede since the movie industry is holding them back (their selections are pathetic). Blockbuster and Netflix would greatly add to their library.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    rtdunhamrtdunham Posts: 427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post


    ...Apple...might have to concede since the movie industry is holding them back (their selections are pathetic)....



    You've got that right. Most of the time when i look for a title it's not available.



    Does anyone have stats on how many films are available for rent on AppleTV, Blockbuster, and other competing sources? It seems like that ought to be data someone's tracking.



    Apple ought to agree to such a deal, to break the stranglehold the studios have on it.
  • Reply 6 of 57
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Who do companies like BB hire to set all this up? There must be only a couple players in the game who can manage to set up an online system like this yea? Is BB actually doing the contracting or do the movie companies take care of this? How does BB get the permission to convert the movie to online formats and how many systems exist that can deliver online movies?
  • Reply 7 of 57
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troehl View Post


    However, it would be a much bigger story if this is a hint that Apple is preparing to release a SDK for the Apple TV like they have for the iPhone which will allow 3rd-parties to run applications on the Apple TV. Now that would really be news!



    The AppleTV Jukebox is probably such a huge generator of iTunes revenue (it's totally geared toward buying and renting iTunes content) , I doubt it will ever get SDK.And it's 2 years old already.
  • Reply 8 of 57
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post


    Apple ought to agree to such a deal, to break the stranglehold the studios have on it.



    AS opposed to the stranglehold Apple has on the Apple TV itself?
  • Reply 9 of 57
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,541member
    The whole online video rental 'thing' is obviously in its infancy and at the moment it is completely fragmented and to be honest, stupid. The fact that not all video content is rentable and viewable by anybody, no matter what hardware they have is not only lame but old fashioned, counter productive and consumer un-friendly. For any company - Apple included - to impose artificial hardware barriers is wrong wrong wrong. I should be able to rent a movie from any source and view it through my Apple TV, Tivo box, or whatever hardware I have. I used to go to BB and get a DVD and pop it into any player, PC or dedicated, and watch the content I had rented. I REALLY resent being tied to a specific hardware solution.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    The whole online video rental 'thing' is obviously in its infancy and at the moment it is completely fragmented and to be honest, stupid. The fact that not all video content is rentable and viewable by anybody, no matter what hardware they have is not only lame but old fashioned, counter productive and consumer un-friendly. For any company - Apple included - to impose artificial hardware barriers is wrong wrong wrong. I should be able to rent a movie from any source and view it through my Apple TV, Tivo box, or whatever hardware I have. I used to go to BB and get a DVD and pop it into any player, PC or dedicated, and watch the content I had rented. I REALLY resent being tied to a specific hardware solution.



    Hear, hear.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    hiimamachiimamac Posts: 584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    The whole online video rental 'thing' is obviously in its infancy and at the moment it is completely fragmented and to be honest, stupid. The fact that not all video content is rentable and viewable by anybody, no matter what hardware they have is not only lame but old fashioned, counter productive and consumer un-friendly. For any company - Apple included - to impose artificial hardware barriers is wrong wrong wrong. I should be able to rent a movie from any source and view it through my Apple TV, Tivo box, or whatever hardware I have. I used to go to BB and get a DVD and pop it into any player, PC or dedicated, and watch the content I had rented. I REALLY resent being tied to a specific hardware solution.



    Don't fret friend. I was just talking about movie going from theater to home last night. Ten years ago, I predicted who ever got the compression right will win. Well we're not there yet but someday DVDs will be gone as so will dvrs. All content will be on the tv via flash hard drives. All tvs will have tera bytes of storage. As screens get bigger and light pipe more common, we"ll even see movies direct to homes. Even the theaters may be in trouble, butfor now are safe. We're almost there. Specefic dvrs will be gone in five years and you will only need a common tv as they will all include recording as manufactures will be tied to delivery content providers. Don't be surprised if Apple makes the first device.
  • Reply 12 of 57
    The Mac is an "Apple device," yet Blockbuster has never bothered to get their download service to work on OSX.
  • Reply 13 of 57
    kenaustuskenaustus Posts: 881member
    TiVo?



    We used to have TiVo and then found it cheaper to add the digital recorder from the cable company - they even come out to the house and replace it if there is a problem. The TiVo was taken to Goodwill.



    Actually i didn't know TiVo was doing well enough to be a major player these days.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    djames42djames42 Posts: 298member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akabaka View Post


    The Mac is an "Apple device," yet Blockbuster has never bothered to get their download service to work on OSX.



    Don't blame Blockbuster. Their movies are almost certainly delivered with Windows Media DRM, something Microsoft hasn't made available for non-Windows platforms. Apple has refused to license their Fairplay DRM (which would allow competing services, like BB, to provide streaming content to non-Apple devices). Netflix has made content available to Mac users, but only by using Silverlight as a delivery system. I hear it works well, but I've not tried it. I can't imagine that it provides the same experience as the downloadable HD content I can rent on my Apple TV.



    If we're to see platform-independent content, then Apple would need to license Fairplay (and release QuickTime for other Unix platforms). Then Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster and everyone else in the business could convert their content to h.264 (like YouTube did). That way everyone could view content via iTunes on their computers, or by way of QuickTime on a dedicated box (like a TiVo). I don't see the incentive for Apple to do so, although I think Apple really should license the technology to Blockbuster. I think the BB/TiVo partnership is mainstream enough that it could really take what little steam there is in the Apple TV platform.



    While it's clearly not going to happen overnight, I think we all agree that downloadable content is the future. Apple has a slight advantage because of the iPod/iTunes ecosystem, and to maintain that, they'll need to do something to either compete with or partner with someone who's got the content. BB's policy (30 days to start, 24 hours to finish) is the same as Apple's. I can't tell if they've got much advantage in terms of content - on initial look, it seems like much of their content is somewhat obscure (they're probably competing more with Jaman than with Apple). I think their biggest advantage is the delivery system. How many TiVos are in the wild, vs Apple TVs?



    However, the fact that BB is looking to partner with Apple gives me hope -- hope that there is a new Apple TV on the horizon! The current unit is nearly perfect, it just needs more storage and a faster processor (as it currently will only play 720p content if its in h.264, there's no support for 1080, and can only playback non-h.264 content at 480p - and then only after a hack).
  • Reply 15 of 57
    djames42djames42 Posts: 298member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post


    We used to have TiVo and then found it cheaper to add the digital recorder from the cable company - they even come out to the house and replace it if there is a problem. The TiVo was taken to Goodwill.



    Actually i didn't know TiVo was doing well enough to be a major player these days.



    I suspect there are more people using their provider's DVRs than TiVos. However, I know plenty of people who are willing to pay for TiVo because of its added functionality and stability. I only pay for basic-basic cable (the lower 30 channels) and haven't used their boxes, but my understanding was that as soon as Comcast 'upgraded' to the so-called 'Microsoft Enhanced' software, people's boxes were constantly wiping out their recorded content (as if that's a surprise). I hear they've fixed that problem (by removing the Microsoft software), but that they still don't get the functionality of a TiVo (i.e. record all episodes of 'this' show regardless of what channel it shows on, recommend some other shows for me, show me upcoming shows staring 'this' actor, etc).
  • Reply 16 of 57
    I can't believe people still pay for movies.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hotmarkb View Post


    I can't believe people still pay for movies.



    I have no problem supporting creative entertainment.





    Hopefully BB does come to the AppleTv.
  • Reply 18 of 57
    ktappektappe Posts: 745member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post


    TiVo? We used to have TiVo and then found it cheaper to add the digital recorder from the cable company - they even come out to the house and replace it if there is a problem. The TiVo was taken to Goodwill. Actually i didn't know TiVo was doing well enough to be a major player these days.



    They're doing well enough that I ordered one last night. No other DVR comes even close to the TiVo in terms of usability and "it just works" simplicity. I've been waiting year after year for Apple to add DVR to AppleTV and last night the wait ended. Apple lost. As for the "cable company" DVR, I'm glad you're happy with yours, but there are legions of people posting online who are not. So TiVo it is and TiVo it remains.
  • Reply 19 of 57
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,541member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hotmarkb View Post


    I can't believe people still pay for movies.



    Well, you see, it is like this....

    To make a moderately budgeted independent movie easily costs two or three million dollars. usually there is a marketing budget that comes on top of that. Somewhere in the region of 100 people are directly involved in making the movie (getting their hands dirty?) and these people are grown ups who often times have children they have to feed and so need to get paid for their work. Even most of the young people that work on a movie have their own apartments and need to pay for things like food and rent. Making a movie can take anything from three months to several years to make. When people pay to see movies they are funding all of the above. The reason the studios are so protective of their movie 'properties' is that if people don't pay, they can't make movies and if they don't make movies they, and all the people working on the movies don't have jobs.

    See? So next time your mom or dad takes you to see a flick, watch them. While you are running around being a nuisance they probably go to a window in the wall and pay. Ditto if you go with them to the video store.
  • Reply 20 of 57
    troehltroehl Posts: 30member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post


    They're doing well enough that I ordered one last night. No other DVR comes even close to the TiVo in terms of usability and "it just works" simplicity. I've been waiting year after year for Apple to add DVR to AppleTV and last night the wait ended. Apple lost. As for the "cable company" DVR, I'm glad you're happy with yours, but there are legions of people posting online who are not. So TiVo it is and TiVo it remains.



    When are we going to get a DVR that doesn't require a monthly subscription? TiVo is dying because for the same subscription price you can get DVR from your cable company and you don't have to hook up another box and keep track of another remote.
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