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British Supermarket Chain Tesco Bows UltraViolet Competitor

1 Dec, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Platform launch with majority-owned subsidiary blinkbox supersedes U.K. access to Hollywood’s cloud-based digital locker, UltraViolet

British supermarket giant Tesco has rolled out a program that allows consumers to access in-store DVD and Blu-ray Disc movie purchases online via media devices, including the PC, tablets, PlayStation 3, and LG and Samsung connected TVs.

Dubbed “Online Movie at blinkbox,” Tesco Entertainment customers who use their Clubcard loyalty membership when purchasing titles such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 (available Dec. 12), Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Hangover Part 2, The Smurfs, Cars 2 and Bad Teacher, among others, automatically receive a digital copy of the film added to their blinkbox account.

The titles can be accessed at any time at no additional charge.

Tesco in April acquired an 80% stake in blinkbox, which calls itself U.K.’s leading digital movie service with more than 9,000 titles. Blinkbox separately rents and sells TV shows and movies, which are not yet automatically linked to Tesco’s digital storage locker.

UltraViolet, Hollywood studios’ (with the exception of Disney) attempt to rekindle sellthrough of packaged media and digital movies, is slated to launch in the U.K. sometime next year.

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