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Blockbuster On Demand gives streaming a second chance, with odd limitations

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 31, 2013
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Blockbuster hasn't had much success shifting from physical rentals to digital, even under Dish's wing. Nonetheless, it's betting that the umpteenth time's the charm with a relaunch of its Blockbuster On Demand streaming movie service. The revamp ticks many of the checkboxes for a modern by-the-title rental store with 1080p and 5.1-channel surround sound as well as apps for 2012 Samsung Smart TVs, Android and Roku 2 boxes. However, there's a number of curious choices, and we don't just mean the omission of a subscription model. It's missing an iOS app, emphasizes apps for desktop viewing and leaves no way to watch HD video on anything but a TV -- our mobile and PC screens have advanced in the past several years, Blockbuster. Idiosyncrasies notwithstanding, the rebirth presents more of a unified front than the one-time giant has offered in the past.

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