Samsung Cuts Blockbuster Movie Deal Service Tipped For OZ

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In a move that could have major implications in Australia, Samsung has cut a major deal with Blockbuster that will allow them to delivers movies instantly to a Samsung TV, via a widget that sits in a menu box on the screen.

In a move that could have major implications in Australia, Samsung has cut a major deal with Blockbuster that will allow them to delivers movies instantly to a Samsung TV, via a widget that sits in a menu box on the screen.

In Australia Blockbuster, who last year signed a non exclusive deal with TiVo said that they were “open” to dealing with other vendors to deliver their movie service in Australia.

Blockbuster CEO Paul Uniacke admitted at the TiVo launch that the weekly Tivo movie download will also be available via the Blockbuster web site and that their movie service will not be exclusive to TiVo.

Last night Samsung said that they had agreed a deal with Blockbuster to deliver the video company’s 10,000-title video-on-demand library through a direct connection to select upcoming models of HDTVs, Blu-ray players and home theatre systems.

Several of these TV models with Internet connections are expected in Australia before Xmas. The move by Samsung could spark a content war with Sony set to announce a content network for movies, music and games.

To get the service consumers will have to have either a new TV that has a broadband Ethernet connection or the ability to stream wireless. Users will then go to a widget on their Samsung TV that will take them to a movie menu owned by Blockbuster.

Users will then be allowed to pick a movie which will then start streaming to a TV. Initially a small part of the movie will be buffered to the screen. This will allow consumers to start watching the movie while the rest of the movie is downloaded.

In Australia a big issue is download speeds however tests conducted by SmartHouse reveal that an ABC video program delivered over their iView service can be downloaded in Australia with speeds of only 12Mb per second.

The Blockbuster service could see movies delivered to a Samsung TV, 30 days after their DVD window.

In the USA Blockbuster is charging $3.99 to view a new release and $1.99 to watch older movies any number of times within a 24-hour window. The clock must start ticking within 30 days of purchasing the film.

Blockbuster streams titles at standard-definition DVD quality, however they are planning a HD service however the problem they tip is that HD movies chew up a lot more bandwidth and need faster speeds.

Once more people have higher broadband speeds, it will begin to offer high-definition resolution, said Kevin Lewis, Blockbuster’s senior vice president of digital entertainment.

Blockbuster says consumers need a broadband speed of 2Mbps to 4Mbps to get the best quality; anything lower and the system will temporarily reduce resolution. This makes the service ideal for Australia.

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