Blockbuster ramping up in VOD space

Inks partnership with Sonic Solutions

Taking a page from Netflix, Blockbuster is set to announce today a partnership with Sonic Solutions for building VOD capabilities into a variety of consumer electronics devices.

Without naming names, Blockbuster said that it expects the partnership's VOD technology to be built into DVRs, Blu-ray Disc players, set-top boxes, mobile phones, Internet-connected television sets and other devices.

Blockbuster already has deals in place for a digital movie service with 2Wire and Vizio TV, while Sonic has done likewise with LG, Archos, Samsung and others. Blockbuster also owns Movielink, and that Internet-based VOD service has been integrated into

Sonic, parent company of CinemaNow, will power the content-delivery system, while Blockbuster supplies the branded consumer interfaces.

Blockbuster has been playing catch-up to Netflix in this arena, with the latter having struck deals for putting VOD capabilities into TiVo boxes, Xbox game consoles, Blu-ray players and other devices.

Unlike Netflix, which has no brick-and-mortar retail presence, Blockbuster intends on selling the electronic gadgets that are built to play the VOD content provided through the Blockbuster-Sonic partnership at many of its 7,500 stores.

Similar to Netflix, Blockbuster has 90,000 DVD titles available through its DVD-by-mail service, though only 10,000 are available for digital delivery.