Best Buy, CinemaNow Partner on Movie Download Service

Best Buy will partner with Sonic Solutions' Roxio CinemaNow to offer a movie download service that will pipe movies to a range of electronic gear from televisions, DVD players, computers and phones sold at the retail giant's stores. The move is seen as a sign of the times for the leading retail seller of DVD movies, Best Buy, who is seeing its retail sales of DVD discs shrink as more people opt to rent movies via digital distribution.

Best Buy's upcoming service, will stream online directly to consumers first-run DVD movies from Roxio CinemaNow's library, which holds over 20,000 titles. The on demand service (which will not require a monthly subscription fee) is expected to be up and running sometime late this year or in early 2010.

Best Buy will license software and infrastructure from Sonic Solutions, which will be available on the company's own Insignia brand of TVs and Blu-ray players. Best Buy is reportedly in talk with other electronics manufactures such as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba to include the service on their devices.

So for example, if you buy an Insignia brand Blu-ray player from Best Buy and link it to the Internet, you will see an on-screen co-branded Best Buy and CinemaNow movie download service where you can buy or rent movies, often on the same day they get released on DVD.

On top of Best Buy's own brand electronics, the retail giant plans to deliver CinemaNow's software on personal computers and mobile phones sold from its stores as well.

The Insignia-branded Blu-ray players from Best Buy will also stream Netflix movies, following a deal between the two companies in October. Best Buy acquired the Napster music streaming service last year as well, in a bid to secure its position in the future of the digital media market.

Best Buy's upcoming online streaming movie service is set to face stiff competition when launched from the likes of Apple, with its popular iTunes Store and Netflix -- with mail-order DVD rentals and streaming of older releases.

Sonic Solutions' Roxio CinemaNow, which will power Best Buy's movie streaming service, already provides technology for TiVo DVRs and BlockBuster's online video store.

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