All of these companies are betting that they are more likely to get your video rental business if they don't require you to leave your sofa to watch a movie of your choosing. Nothing good on TV?... but want to avoid a trip to the local video rental store? Not comfortable watching iTunes video or You Tube clips on your laptop? These VoD services will pipe mainstream movies directly onto your plasma screen over the internet. To enable this, they will sell you (or subsidise) the necessary self-branded CE kit to allow you to watch their subscription content on your TV.
Netflix is ahead in partnering with traditional CE brands to put its service at the receiving end of your remote control. (eg, Both LG and Samsung integrate the Netflix service with their BluRay players). Predictably Blockbusters has stated its intention to broaden its deployment beyond the Media Point hardware.
Sitting alongside the self-branded kit from content providers and traditional CE vendors, there is a growing list of independent hardware vendors that want to shuffle digital media from the internet onto your TV. In May 2008 Roku launched their digital video player with Netflix support. (Engadget review). You can find similar independent VoD products from Vudu and others.
© Morgan Henry, 2009