Print 25 comment(s) - last by HrilL.. on Dec 29 at 1:01 PM


Duo launches movie-download service

It appears that Netflix has more competition, and Sears is playing catch up with other retailers.  Sears and Sonic Solutions announced today that they have partnered up to provide Alphaline Entertainment, the newest offering of downloaded entertainment on the internet.   

Sonic Solutions provides content delivery through the RoxioNow Platform for the now live service. Sears and Kmart customers will be able to access movies and television shows from the newest online movie download service the same day they are released to DVD and Blu-ray Disc. 

"Collaborating with Sonic provides a great opportunity for Sears and Kmart to launch digital services for customers seeking even faster access to the latest in home entertainment experiences," said Karen Austin, President of Consumer Electronics for Sears and Kmart. "We'll continue to increase the reach and flexibility of the Alphaline Entertainment service by providing consumers on-demand access to the latest entertainment from a range of home and mobile electronics."

Sonic has already teamed up with Best Buy to put its movie library into the store's Web-connected gadgets and Sears competitor Wal-Mart just bought Vudu, a service that streams movies to internet-connected TVs.

The Sears/Sonic team has a multi-year agreement and is setting-up plans for a multi-phase rollout that will also make the service available on portable media players, mobile phones and high-definition televisions.  According to the company, the service is being embedded in chips for TVs, mobile phones, Blu-ray Disc and other connected devices.

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Please stop the embeding
By Dr of crap on 12/28/2010 3:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
What I don't want is to go buy a TV and have 10 different online viewing services embedded into the TV software.

I'll decide which one I want, and then go from there and determine what I need to make it work. It's like the internet services that used to clog up the desktop on PCs long ago.

RE: Please stop the embeding
By Yames on 12/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Please stop the embeding
By bbomb on 12/28/2010 3:36:06 PM , Rating: 5
Well, you end up paying for the royalty the manufacturer has to pay to include that service whether you want it or not because trust me, it isn't embedded for free.

RE: Please stop the embeding
By Shadowmaster625 on 12/28/2010 4:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
Can you document that claim? TVs with internet are basically just like a small computer with a stripped down web browser. It shouldnt cost anything to add another hulu or youtube to their list, other than the cost of making sure the videos actually stream, buffer, and output correctly.

RE: Please stop the embeding
By AssBall on 12/28/2010 4:36:50 PM , Rating: 1
You aren't paying for the technology, you are paying for the marketing.

RE: Please stop the embeding
By Zorlac on 12/28/2010 4:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
I cannot document this practice, but it is sure strange that I can watch a TV show such as 'ALF' on Hulu Plus via my computers, but when you try to watch it on any other device (i.e. HDTV with embedded Hulu Plus, Blu-Ray with embedded Hulu Plus, iPhone 4, etc.), you get a message stating that the show is only available via a computer.

Dont all said devices use the same internet? ..../sigh

RE: Please stop the embeding
By thrust2night on 12/28/2010 5:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but it's not about the internet but about Hulu resizing videos to fit the screen of your phone or other device and probably get rights/permissions from manufacturers to be able to use those Blu-Ray or HDTVs to get to play Hulu videos.

Although I think it should be fairly simple to use the same video to play on your HDTV, for smaller devices such as phones it would require more work and storage space.

RE: Please stop the embeding
By RamarC on 12/29/2010 9:23:51 AM , Rating: 1
bbomb is correct. there's a licensing fee paid by the manufacturer to add the internet streaming service. it may be small, but it is a fee and they just can't add services on a whim.

youtube, amazon, roxio, and hulu are free, but netflix and are not. remember, that hulu has already forced certain manufacturers to remove its service from several devices.

RE: Please stop the embeding
By Richard875yh5 on 12/29/2010 9:32:04 AM , Rating: 2
Cost is what I think consumers are worried about. If a bunch of services are embedded in a TV, I'm sure that will bring the cost up considerably.

RE: Please stop the embeding
By theapparition on 12/29/2010 11:05:03 AM , Rating: 1
Wrong. Those services pay the manufacturer to load them, in effect, LOWERING the price of the finished goods (in this case a Television).

Without such advertised subsidies, the cost of many goods would skyrocket considerably.

I don't have an issue with 2000 services installed on web capable TV's, as long as they are non-intrusive (no constant pop ups, ads, etc) and they do not have an adverse affect on the overall functionality.

RE: Please stop the embeding
By knutjb on 12/29/2010 1:00:56 PM , Rating: 2
It will all be a moot point if the FCC continues create regulations out of thin air for the net without legal authority.

You won't be able to access Netflix or whoever without paying exorbitant fees to anti-competitive ISPs and all the extra taxes required by the FCC to make sure all is "fair."

+1 for competition
By quiksilvr on 12/28/2010 3:04:15 PM , Rating: 1
This is good. Maybe this will push Netflix to put more movies on the stream and we can be done with this DVD mailing.

RE: +1 for competition
By amanojaku on 12/28/2010 3:16:13 PM , Rating: 3
It's not Netflix's fault that the online catalog pales in comparison to the DVD collection. The content providers won't allow a lot of stuff to be streamed, whether it's Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, or anything else. Netflix would put everything online if it could.

RE: +1 for competition
By nafhan on 12/28/2010 3:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it is kind of Netflix's fault. It's true that some studios just don't want their stuff streamed, but Netflix could certainly get more content if they were willing to pay up. They're actually in the process of doing this, now.
Anyway, the Sears/Kmart deal appears to be for rentals (i.e. $3 to watch a movie over a 24 hour period) rather than unlimited streaming. So, it'll be competing with the likes of Amazon and Apple - not Netflix, and I see it failing... quick.

RE: +1 for competition
By Suntan on 12/28/2010 3:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
Anyway, the Sears/Kmart deal appears to be for rentals (i.e. $3 to watch a movie over a 24 hour period) rather than unlimited streaming. So, it'll be competing with the likes of Amazon and Apple - not Netflix, and I see it failing... quick.

Kind of my thoughts.

Between Vudu, Amazon VOD, itunes and a couple of other no-names offering a la cart movie/TV rental/purchases, how is this going to be any better/different?

Seems to be an already crowded market with a couple of big names (not including Netflix) that already have a head start on them.

Personally, I am interested in seeing what Redbox does for streaming. Although it wasn’t always this way, now-a-days movies and TV shows seem to have a very short expiration date for commanding top dollar. Now a blockbuster is in movie theaters for all of 2 or 3 weeks, second tier movie theaters for an additional 2 or 3, then promptly flushed out to the Target and Wal Mart isles in DVD/BR after that. Showing up in my Netflix queue 30 days later for pennies on the dollar what it costs a person to see it the day it releases. Similar thing for cable based TV episodes. The point is, if Redbox can build a streaming option that is closer to Netflix (wait a little longer to offer the content at substantially lower prices) they might be able to fill a small, but lucrative, niche between Netflix and all these full-price a la cart competitors.


RE: +1 for competition
By AssBall on 12/28/2010 4:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
I think the production companies and studios have a heavy hand in the price (call it royalties) and the delay of movies to DVD too.

That being said, I have no problem waiting even 6 months to get a mailed DVD on my Netflix subscription rather than blowing 30 bucks at the theater (its not like recent movies have been worth a wait, either).

Movie theatre's have and always should remain an expensive novelty, kinda like dining out.

Redbox has been doing great, but they have their work cut out for them and better have some smart execs if they want to compete on Netflix's level for streaming.

RE: +1 for competition
By cjohnson2136 on 12/29/2010 11:31:30 AM , Rating: 2
I actually get to see movies the first week they come out for free. Thank god my wife works in a movie theater

RE: +1 for competition
By RamarC on 12/29/2010 9:47:09 AM , Rating: 2
The major studios don't want new releases on Netflix because it cuts into DVD/BD sales. (Even redbox is dealing with the 30 day delay.) That's why they negotiated the 30 day delay in exchange for more recent movies in the streaming library.

The only way to get around the delay is to pony up more money to the studios and that will raise your rental fee.

RE: +1 for competition
By Suntan on 12/29/2010 9:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
The only way to get around the delay is to pony up more money to the studios and that will raise your rental fee.

Or keep the rental fee as it is and cut into netflix's margins.


I still do not understand
By rudy on 12/28/2010 3:15:05 PM , Rating: 2
Now we have odd partners jumping in but the one group that could crush the competition is still holding back. Why don't cable and TV providers just have better prices as a value added service to TV this might save them from their eventual demise. If it was $1 per movie for cable on demand I would dump netflix and never go to redbox. Instead they charge an outrageous $5 per movie.

RE: I still do not understand
By Yames on 12/28/2010 3:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, plus I wish there was a way to a la carte the cable channels you want.

I know several people, myself included,looking to ditch their cable in favor of streaming services combined with OTA DVRing. Depending on your viewing habits the savings could be substantial. I am looking at getting about 80% of the content I want at $60 a month savings. Very tempting...

RE: I still do not understand
By Denigrate on 12/28/2010 3:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
Because they are dinosaurs, and need to be extinct. It would be better for the consumers if we had full choice as to the channel content we watch. I'd much rather pay per channel access fees to individual channels like SyFy and a couple sports channels and end up paying $25-$30 per month for channels that I actually watch instead of paying $50/month at a minimum for 200 channels I never watch.

I currently have an antenna in my attic and subscribe to the $7.99 instant watch on Netflix. Cable company is still getting some of my cash for broaband.

By Shadowmaster625 on 12/28/2010 4:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
Those dinosaurs are just going to charge more and more for broadband. In the end you will still be paying $3 to $7 a movie to the ISP. One way or another...

Pop Quiz
By The Insolent One on 12/29/2010 3:21:43 AM , Rating: 2
Q: What does this partnership and HD-DVD have in common?

A: They were both miserable failures.

These 2 companies just need to execute like they always have to fulfill their destiny.

No pricing details. Fail?
By HrilL on 12/29/2010 1:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
These new services are for morons.

With Best Buy you get to "own" a movie for $15 for as long as you have an account or until the services shuts down. (Many of these services where you "own" music/movies close down and you lose what you paid for.) They charge $4 to rent a movie for 24 hours. While you have 30 days to play the movie once you start it you must finish within 24 hours or you don't get to finish.

Sears is going to charge $20 to "own" a movie and $4 to rent one with the same time restrictions as Best Buy.

Or you can just get Netflix for $8 a month for streaming only and "own" all the movies they offer for streaming. Its the same as owning them on any of the other services since you don't actually get to have a downloaded copy on your computer and it will only last while you have an account or until the service shuts down so Netflix is by far the better deal.

This is clearly designed for people that are too ignorant to know of the better options out there.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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