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Blockbuster, Hollywood Video First to Have NCR, MOD SD Card Kiosks

9 Nov, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Six Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores will have NCR Entertainment's and MOD Systems’ Secure Digital (SD) card kiosk systems up and running by Nov. 13, offering more than 1,000 new release and catalog titles for rent from Paramount, Warner Bros. and others.

Among the first new releases carried day-and-date with DVD and Blu-ray Disc is Warner Home Video’s Dec. 8 release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The Blockbuster locations will be in the Dallas area, while the Hollywood Video kiosks will appear in the Seattle and Portland, Ore., areas. At Blockbuster stores the kiosks will be called "Blockbuster Express Digital." At Hollywood Video locations they will be called "Download to Go."

The kiosks will offer rentals only during the trial run, with consumers able to download content directly to SD cards, which can then be used on electronic devices with SD card slots.

Rentals will be tested at various prices, MOD said, and consumers will have 30 days from purchase to watch the content. After consumers view the content, it will be available for 48 hours before the digital rights management technology included locks it, preventing further viewing.

Alex Camara, VP and GM of NCR Entertainment, which helped develop the system, said Blockbuster was an easy retailer choice to test the kiosks, since NCR already helps to provide consumers with DVD rentals via Blockbuster Express branded kiosks. By putting the MOD kiosks in Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores, where consumers are already headed for movie rentals, he said MOD is giving consumers the choice between physical disc and pure digital-file content.

“We’ve worked on this for a long time, and Blockbuster was a logical first choice for us to work with,” he said. “This is why NCR made an investment in MOD Systems. Digital is a vital part of this business, and this pilot is a very important part of our future.”

Anthony Bay, CEO of MOD Systems, said the rentals will include a digital media player to facilitate playback, but he expects some consumer electronics devices may still have problems reading the content. He said he hopes that in the next year third-party devices will be readily available to play SD card content on devices that may not have an SD card slot.

“We’re talking with more retailers right now, and we’re discussing what’s the right location for the kiosks, the right price points for content,” he said. “The purpose of this trial is a learning process. And this lets consumers decide which format works best for them.”

By early 2010, NCR and MOD aim to increase the number of offerings from about 1,000 to more than 1,500.

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