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Blockbuster launches Archos Moovyplay-like service in the USA

Posted by Charbax on May 28th, 2008

It seems Blockbuster thinks that the Archos and CPFK Moovyplay system is a good thing with a huge potential. So now that Blockbuster is taking over Circuit City for $1 billion, they are planning their huge brick and mortar transition to VOD using digital video technology. Archos and CPFK seem to have developped the best solution in the world and it’s said to be well patented.

Although this version of the in-store movie download system is said to be developped by NCR Corp, which may or may not be in anyways involved with french CPFK group in developping this solution. The Blockbuster CEO noted that Blockbuster plans to rely on third-party partners to minimize the company’s investment in these initiatives.

The Blockbuster CEO says the plan is to charge approximately $10 per month (it could be a Netflix-type unlimited movies subscription), and people would receive the Archos for free in that deal. Subscriptions is definitely a plan here. So imagine this, users paying $10 or $20 per month for a certain “Blockbuster Unlimited” movies deal, the $10 per month deal might not include new releases (each new release might cost an additionnal $2 or so) while the $20 subscription would include all movies among up to tens of thousands of titles. And with that 1 or 2-year subscription deal, people would be getting for example an Archos 605 WiFi 30GB or an Archos Moovyplay 40GB/80GB for free.

So the deal here is that this would replace the DVD, Blockbuster can fit tens of thousands of movies on a touch-screen kiosk that takes up just a couple of square feet. Download times connecting the Archos to that kiosk is about 30 seconds per movie, which makes it faster then most broadband download connections and especially faster then BitTorrent piracy. Also, up to hundreds of movies can be loaded on the Archos for free and only a subscription would need to be paid each month for the “Unlimited Blockbuster” movie kiosk service, and without the subscription, the movie rental payment can be made remotely over WiFi or using an SMS code at home. Also, this system could seamlessly also begin to work directly over the Internet for the users who have fast enough broadband connection at home for streaming the movies.

The kiosk prototype will begin testing within the next three weeks in Dallas, Texas, download time for movies will be about 30 seconds.

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