I've growing hope that one box, my TiVo, just might do-it-all. TiVo recently announced that its TV recorder will deliver Netflix movies over the Internet to U.S. living rooms. Now it's going to do the same for Internet movies from Netflix competitor Blockbuster -- at least in Australia.
Blockbuster, meanwhile, also says it will have some kind of a set-top box available here by the holidays that can deliver its Internet movies to TVs. Company execs made the announcement, reported by Home Media Magazine, in a call with analysts. Blockbuster didn't offer any details about the new device, other than to suggest it's an experiment that they don't expect to be commercially viable for some time.
Netflix has shown more enthusiasm for Internet streaming. It has deals with Roku for a stand-alone device, with several companies for piggybacking onto their Blu-ray players, and now with TiVo in the United States.
The Australian TiVo franchise is owned by a company that apparently inked the deal with Blockbuster. The Aussies have great ambitions for their TiVos, including customers ordering pizzas over the box by next spring.
But Blockbuster here may have to turn to a partner like TiVo after apparently deciding to hurriedly ship a set-top offering. As Chris Albrecht reports at NewTeeVee:
Earlier this year, [CEO Jim] Keyes commented on the set-top possibilities for Blockbuster, telling paidContent “Is there any real urgency for us to go out there and create a whizbang set-top box? No. Are we interested long-term in being in that space? Sure.” Guess there was a little urgency.
Much skepticism that Blockbuster can succeed anytime soon with its Internet movies, which are largely based on its purchase of Movielink.
Paul Glazowski at Mashable.com argues Blockbuster must price its service aggressively, put together a complete download option, and offer a vast library of titles. But, he adds:
The chance that Blockbuster will deliver on fronts 1, 2 & 3: slim to none.