That Best Buy is ready to launch its entry into the online video on-demand game is not at all a surprise, but we weren't expecting to see such a familiar name. The retail giant purchased the CinemaNow brand away from Sonic Solutions (explaining the latter's sudden switch to RoxioNow) and will start selling movies sans-disk to web connected devices later this month, starting with LG Blu-ray players (where buyers won't see the Best Buy logo at all) and home theater in a box systems, followed by Samsung's internet connected home theater equipment and of course the house Insignia brand. As planned, it will have "first run" movies for sale as soon as they arrive on DVD, with rentals for $2.99 - $3.99 per movie and purchases at $9.99 to $19.99, including HD titles and some available in 1080p. Apparently the name game is how Best Buy plans to sneak boxes with its store embedded through other retailers, we'll see how Wal-mart / VUDU, Amazon and the rest respond to the challenge.

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Best Buy Provides Customers Same-Day Instant Access to New Release Movies and TV Shows with Launch of CinemaNow(TM)
Digital Entertainment Platform Debuts on Devices This Month


MINNEAPOLIS, May 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Best Buy Co. Inc today announced the availability of its new digital video service CinemaNow which will provide customers same-day instant access to new release movies and TV shows.

The service will initially be accessible through select connected Blu-ray Disc players and HDTVs, and on most PCs via the web at www.cinemanow.com. Beginning this month, the service will be available on all new connected Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems from LG Electronics. CinemaNow is also expected to launch on an array of other devices from various manufacturers, including Insignia, later this year.

CinemaNow, the result of the previously announced strategic relationship between Sonic Solutions(R) and Best Buy, will be powered by the RoxioNow(TM) technology platform. Best Buy owns the legal rights to the CinemaNow trademark, and will use it going forward to market the service to consumers who will have the ability to buy or rent from an extensive library of premium content, including new release movies and TV shows, with no subscription required.

The platform will also allow customers to seamlessly access their premium content on a wide range of Internet-connected devices from multiple manufacturers. The initial product launch, which is expected to be followed by an improved and updated version later this year, will allow customers to easily browse, search and purchase premium content through a highly-functional, straightforward user interface, and will deliver a high-quality viewing experience through enhanced playback technology.

"With the introduction of CinemaNow, Best Buy continues our commitment to evolve with our customers as their demand for digital entertainment grows," said Chris Homeister, senior vice president of entertainment for Best Buy. "The convenience, selection and flexibility of the CinemaNow service offers customers more freedom in the way they choose to consume entertainment from 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 and will be brought to life in store with the help of our Blue Shirts and Geek Squad Agents."

"At LG, we're committed to enriching in-home entertainment by delivering the ultimate HD viewing experience and limitless content options," said Peter Reiner, senior vice president, marketing, LG Electronics USA, Inc. "Best Buy, through its compelling CinemaNow service, will provide customers with one of the most interactive entertainment options available making it easy for people to access their favorite content using LG's NetCast Entertainment Access feature simply from the remote."

"With a track record for bringing innovative technologies to a broad audience, Best Buy is in a great position to expand the market for on-demand home entertainment," said Mike Dunn, Fox Home Entertainment worldwide president. "We are thrilled to partner with them and provide a wide selection of entertainment that can be accessed across many popular devices."

The first update to the CinemaNow service is expected to release on select devices later this year and will include an advanced user interface and expanded video playback features aimed at further improving the video entertainment experience.

About Best Buy Co., Inc.

With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Mexico and Turkey, Best Buy is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services with a commitment to growth and innovation. The Best Buy family of brands and partnerships collectively generates more than $49 billion in annual revenue and includes brands such as Best Buy; Best Buy Mobile; Audiovisions; The Carphone Warehouse; Future Shop; Geek Squad, Jiangsu Five Star; Magnolia Audio Video; Napster; Pacific Sales; The Phone House; and Speakeasy. Approximately 180,000 employees apply their talents to help bring the benefits of these brands to life for customers through retail locations, multiple call centers and Web sites, in-home solutions, product delivery and activities in our communities. Community partnership is central to the way we do business at Best Buy. In fiscal 2010, we donated a combined $25.2 million to improve the vitality of the communities where our employees and customers live and work.

For more information about Best Buy, visit www.bby.com.

SOURCE: Best Buy Co. Inc.