Several Brands to add CinemaNow to Wal-Mart HD Products

Just in time to help Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, to further jazz up the newly designed CE departments in many of its stores, Sonic Solutions will team with Funai to incorporate the CinemaNow online movie service into some models of HD sets and Blu-ray Disc players. The units are expected to be widely available at Walmart, and perhaps other big-box stores.

Funai is a Japanese maker of both HD TV sets and Blu-ray players for various brands such as Emerson, Magnavox, Philips and Sylvania, which will be configured to offer CinemaNow’s film and TV series downloads through a broad range of connected devices it plans to roll out in coming months--perhaps some in time for the fast-approaching holiday sales season, which begins in less than six weeks. (Some Blu-ray players from LGE will have CinemaNow capabilities available.)

A Funai exec said in a statement that the deal with Sonic Solutions for Wal-Mart is designed to “[address] the emerging market demand for direct access to Internet movie downloads from connected devices.”

The firm didn’t give any evidence; however, of such a “market demand” by consumers.

Sonic has also teamed with other makers in offering online-enabled HD devices.