Best Buy goes live with CinemaNow video on demand service

Big box electronics retailer Best Buy said Tuesday that it's launching its VOD service, CinemaNow, by the end of the month through Blu-ray players and home theater systems from LG, and on the CinemaNow.com website. CinemaNow is also expected to launch on an array of other devices from various manufacturers, including Best Buy's house brand, Insignia, later this year.

The move into the increasingly competitive on-demand market puts more pressure on Blockbuster Video, which on Friday reiterated its desultory position in the market, and on category leaders Netflix, Amazon.com and Vudu.

Best Buy said Sonic Solutions, from which it bought the CinemaNow trademark, will continue to run the backend technology.

Best Buy said CinemaNow will allow customers to browse, search and purchase premium content through a straightforward user interface, and will deliver a high-quality viewing experience through enhanced playback technology.  

"The convenience, selection and flexibility of the CinemaNow service offers customers more freedom in the way they choose to consume entertainment from Best Buy," said Chris Homeister, senior vice president of entertainment for Best Buy. "This service, which complements our existing suite of digital entertainment brands, will be available to customers in their homes and on-the-go through a broad array of devices."

Best Buy said it's planning an upgrade of the service later this year.

The company first disclosed it was looking at a serious on-demand entry in November. Its partnership with Sonic Solutions gave Best Buy a multi-year license for Sonic's technology.

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Related articles:
CinemaNow expands offerings to HD, 3D and interactive content
Best Buy partnering with CinemaNow on movie download service
CinemaNow signs distribution deal with Warner Bros.

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