Blockbuster launches OnDemand internet movie rentals

Not one to sit idly by while Netflix eats its lunch, Blockbuster entered the online movie rental hardware market today with OnDemand. Using a smart-looking 2Wire MediaPoint digital media player for its internet movie downloads, its entry price is $99 like the Netflix Roku box, but there's where the similarity ends.

Blockbuster says its set-top box is free, and that $99 price gets you 25 on-demand movies. Each title will cost you $1.99 after that. It sounds like a worse deal than those unlimited downloads for Netflix subscribers, but Blockbuster says its movies will be much newer than Netflix's, giving you titles within 30 days of their release on DVD. The Blockbuster service will start with 2000 titles, with more on the way.

Blockbuster says this MediaPoint set-top delivers "DVD quality," but we were hoping for HD, such as that now delivered with the XBox 360 version of Netflix, as well as the upcoming Netflix Roku HD movie downloads. But even in standard-def, the promise of almost-new movies has our interest piqued.

Via Zatz Not Funny