Blockbuster, the former golden child of movie rentals, is feeling left out lately. No one is paying attention to its online offerings, no doubt partially because it's been broken into a thousand pieces. However, today the company launched a new, central service for renting movies online with just one app for all devices: Blockbuster On Demand.


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When we say "rent", we do mean that. There is no subscription option that we see yet, and every movie costs a few bucks to check out for a 24-hour period. This firmly pits it against the Play Store and Amazon Instant Video. Not so much Netflix. On the upside, the movies can stream in HD, though apparently this is a TV exclusive, as the image below demonstrates.


We'll be doing a more thorough hands on once we've had some time to play. In the meantime, is there room in the world for yet another way to rent movies online?

Source: Blockbuster

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • KyleWay

    The last gasp of a dying company. I compare this to RIM-err Blackberry releasing BB10. It's only a matter of time before the entire company goes belly-up.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      They got bought out by DISH already, they're not going to go belly-up since they're now owned by them and are just a brand. Consider this an offering from DISH instead.

      • KyleWay

        Didn't know that. Thanks for the info.

        Interesting that DISH would keep the Blockbuster brand considering all the negative connotations it gathered during the "No Late Fee" fiasco.

  • Ryan Yakus

    I don't understand how these people come up with these ridiculous pricing structures. you can rent the actual dvd from redbox for 1.20 (or get blu-ray for 1.50) for 24 hours. even worse are television shows. I don't want to buy every episode of a show I'm only going to watch once, amazon. why is there no rental/pay per stream option?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      While I agree that $4 is a bit too much, I feel like it gets forgotten way too much that Redbox charges $1.20 per day. Not $1.20 total. They bank on you forgetting to bring those discs back and, if I were a betting man, I'd say that happens more often than not. It sure does for me. The advantage in a $2-3 rental is that you know for absolutely certain that you're not spending a dime more.

      Is it possible to get a Redbox movie for $1.20 and that be the end of it? Of course! But there are some very slight, hidden costs that make it balance out. Not the least of which is that renting from Redbox requires not one but two trips to the store. That's time and money, too. Not a lot, but we're arguing the difference of a buck. It makes it more subjective than you think. I believe both are good options, but neither is obviously better than the other.

      Unless you're talking about a $4-5 rental. That's just bad. ;)

      • Ryan Yakus

        ...which every hd streaming option is.

        I forget that I'm on of the lucky few that have a kiosk on my block. at least there's only a few of us right now. a redbox in every starbucks!

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          Not everyone *needs* an HD stream. Excluding SD streams because they're not what you want is like saying that iOS doesn't exist. Of course it does. It's just different people who like it. Honestly, I have very mixed opinions about HD. I very rarely spring for high definition movies unless they're visually-intensive. I will never, ever, at all, pay extra for an HD version of a comedy. Funny is funny no matter how many of Bill Murray's pores you can see. So, to me, the SD price is the baseline and the HD is already an indulgence, no matter where I'm getting it from. And you can bet if I can rent a movie for $2 on the Play Store or drive down to Wal-Mart and pick up the Blu-Ray for $1.50, I'll stream the SD version every time.

  • Wesley Camp

    I can do on demand with my cable company, get true HD with out any lag for the same price. So the question is what makes blockbuster better than cable vision on demand?

    • JG

      If you're staying at home, sure.... But, for those of us on the go....

      Cable boxes are, generally, not considered portable technology, but your phone is. And if you're like me, you probably never go anywhere without your phone.... So you could start up a movie wherever and whenever. Even if you hadn't thought ahead & lugged your cable box with you all day.

      Also, my phone, for example, works at home, at University, when I went down to San Diego for Spring Break and pretty much anywhere in between.... Even if I packed my Time Warner cable box from my room at home, it would have issues getting onto the cable system at Uni (Comcast) or in San Diego (Cox). And it'd be even more useless at my Grandmothers who doesn't even have cable (*Of course in this example, her TV is too old for HDMI or Mirrcast etc so I'd be stuck watching on the phone in SD, but)....

  • wickets

    if have netflix amazon and goog, what could blockbuster possibly give you to make you switch? I dont think there is a single thing. btw, if blockbuster could get movues that were still in theatres, now that would be a blockbuster right there!