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Blockbuster Confirms Set-Top Will Launch in Q4

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Video rental chain Blockbuster plans to launch a set-top box into the consumer market before the end of the year, Blockbuster executives said late last week.

During the company's third-quarter earnings call, Jim Keyes, Blockbuster's chairman and chief executive, said that the company's transformation from a movie-rental brick-and-mortar organization into a “multichannel platform" will include a set-top box.

Keyes implied that the set-top will be a trial offer, and not a full-fledged product. Blockbuster representatives did not return calls for comment by press time.

However, Keyes characterized the digital download market – dominated by cable and video-on-demand (VOD) services, he said – as small, worth about $1.4 billion for 2008, and growing to $2.5 billion by 2011.

“So while we're very interested in the long-term development of this market right now, we're mostly interested in understanding consumer response and keeping pace with emerging technologies that are available," Keyes said. “As the market slowly takes shape and begins t emerge, you can rest assured that we will look to play a larger role. The strength of the Blockbuster brand around the world combined with our global business gives us a unique advantage when partnering with some of the device and consumer electronic makers."

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This story appears courtesy of PC Magazine.
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