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Best Buy Joins CinemaNow in HD, SD Streaming

Best Buy, America’s largest consumer electronics retailer, didn’t spend much time becoming the latest to sign on with studios-connected CinemaNow in a growing bid to attempt to persuade consumers to rent and/or purchase buy movies and TV series (both HD and SD) via fast broadband connections.

CinemaNow is busy making similar content distribution deals with manufacturers and other major retailers, notably Wal-Mart. (Oct. 21, 2009 HD Notebook)

Under the general plan of attack, CinemaNow's video library will become accessible via proprietary software to be included within most Internet-connected devices (i.e., HD sets, Blu-ray players, PCs) sold at Best Buy-- likely beginning with the upcoming holiday sales season that starts in three weeks. Best Buy currently has about 1,000 stores in North America.

One marketing come-on to such online access is the trend to make titles available for downloading the same day-and-date that they’re released on Blu-ray and DVD (such as the upcoming "Angels & Demons" later this month).

The growing alliance with CinemaNow and major retailers appears to be not only another step away from brick-and-mortar stores such as Best Buy and Blockbuster, but also a step away from so-called package content itself (including both DVD and Blu-ray). It’s the big reason why the nation’s biggest disc renter, Netflix, has gotten into HD/SD streaming in a big way (even though Netflix projects it won’t peak in the disc-in-the-mail business for another few years.

Blockbuster also is working with CinemaNow on renting titles online.