Comcast And Blockbuster Team Up To Make Us Wonder Why They've Teamed Up

from the hey,-Comcast,-you-have-a-fat-pipe dept

It seems like Comcast is a bit confused about the technology that it offers to its customers, which involves a generally fat broadband pipe to users, through which they can access all sorts of content, including on demand videos. So, you might think that if Comcast were to team up with a company like Netflix or Blockbuster, it would be to deliver streaming content. Nope. Apparently Comcast has done a deal with Blockbuster to deliver DVDs by mail. That's literally what the two companies are calling the product: "DVDsByMail." It's not like this hasn't been done for ages by both Netflix and Blockbuster. It's not clear what Comcast brings to the table here other than the "um... why?" factor it adds by wondering why Comcast is involved in something that doesn't involved delivering content over its own network, but using the US Postal Service's "network" instead.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    william (profile), Aug 9th, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    what Comcast brings to the table is to:

    -deep inspect all the packets, identifing people who is downloading movies (legal or not)

    -insert into your web traffic to display targeted ads to tell you that the movie you are downloading is available on DVDByMail.

    Talk about Synergy! Talk about Added-Value! Talk about Comcastic!

     

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    Jeff, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 5:18pm

    TWO WORDS

    Bandwidth. Cap.

    Doesn't Comcast have one? Isn't it like 250gb? How big are movies? 2-4gb?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 5:32pm

      Re: TWO WORDS

      All the latest DVD's I ripped are 4 gigabytes give it or take it 1 or 2 gigs.

      OMG I'm a pirate, call 911!

       

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    Joe, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 5:28pm

    You get a discount off of Blockbuster's price if you are a Comcast subscriber. $3.00 off for the 2 or 3-at a time packages or $2.00 off the 1 at a time package.

     

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    MrWilson, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    It seems like Blockbuster is just continuing to use its "pay for the privilege" strategy. They paid the Weinsteins for an "exclusive deal" (that just meant Netflix bought their titles from Costco instead of getting them directly) and now the deal with Warner Bros for their 28 day lead on Netflix and Redbox. The fallout from Blockbuster's DVDs-in-the-mail program came about because they spent so much on advertising to try to steal Netflix's customers that they couldn't support all the free rentals they'd promised. Considering that every time Blockbuster tries to innovate, it's done through paying some company a lot of money, I won't be surprised when this fails also.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 5:35pm

    I think the studios wouldn't have sign off on the deal if they have used their "skinny pipe" they like to call broadband which is the greatest joke of the last century.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 5:42pm

    This made me laugh.

     

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    Pixelation, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 6:01pm

    Next...

    they'll be teaming up with the postal service to bring you more streaming movies.

     

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    Martin Cohn, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 6:48pm

    Letter Carriers replace Internet

    Maybe they read the old illustration about the bandwidth of a semi full of DVD's traveling at 60 MPH and recalculated to figure out that a 35 pound mail pouch carried at 3 MPH is a more efficient way to distribute movies than via their fiber and coax network.

    Bad latency, though.

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Aug 9th, 2010 @ 6:56pm

    since when does comcast have "fat" pipes. I get 6 mbps on a good day!

    Back in my day you had to walk 15 miles uphill (both ways) just to get 56kbps. And god help you if it was snowing! Geez you kids and your 6 mbps pipes and tubes. You make me sick.

    oh the comcast + blockbuster? I think my little story made about as much sense.

     

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      AvitarX, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 7:50pm

      Re:

      Senshikaze,

      Comcast consistently gives me more than that (8mbps minimum), and 20 on a good day (technically a good wee hours of morn)

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 8:25pm

        Re: Re:

        8 megabits is my upload speed, of course I don't live in the U.S.

        I cry if I had to go back to those speeds you guys endure.

         

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    Hex (profile), Aug 9th, 2010 @ 6:59pm

    This might be a little off-topic

    And I'm not sure how relevant this is outside of New Zealand, but isn't it possible that renting movies is cheaper than pirating them?

    A good quality rip of a movie is going to be 2-4GB, assuming the movie is 4 GB, and depending which ISP you're with, thats around about $8-15 NZD of bandwidth, not taking in to consideration the cost of petrol or the general effort of going out to rent a DVD, you can rent a new release for about $3...

    Then again, NZ have to wait like half a year or so before the DVDs end up over here, and our selection of movies is pretty arse...

     

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      AW, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

      Re: This might be a little off-topic

      Seriously why the kiwi's always getting the shaft. You're some of the coolest people on Earth and apparently we only send movies to you by ocean barge.

       

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    darryl, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 8:25pm

    why attack everyones business models?

    Do you have access to the market studies, or research into what potential customers want, do you know that alot of people in the US have SLOW internet connections, that some people would want the phsical copy of the DVD so they can play it in their DVD player.

    Some people might not want to download it, or they might not be able to, they are also able to plan a few days ahead, do they can buy a movie, and watch it when it arrives.

    Some people even get in their cars, and drive to the video shop, and rent or buy movies and drive home again and watch them, and drive back the next day to return it.

    Does not sound like much of a business model, but it works, and have for a long time.

    You seem to think that the ONLY consumers on the planet are just like you, it appears that you cannot see that other people have different needs and requirements than you do.

    You seem to think that if you cannot 'game' the business model, its a 'bad' model.

    Your always on the attack, I dont know why you pick on specific business models, but you take a quick look and do your best to shoot it down.

    Without looking at anything like a big picture, you are happy to deny services to clients that might find it valuable for them.

    "because you dont think its a good idea", not that you actually know, you have no idea about the market surveys, market research, or the benifit to the client who may want that service.

    Im hoping one day you will say something positive, and give a clear explination as to why you think its a bad model, not just that they can do other things so why not just do that.

    But its ok for a musician to sell T-shirts to make money instead of selling music, but its not ok, for a service provider to provide other services ?? go figure..

    I think you need to take your blinkers off and take a look at the bigger picture.. Mike..

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 9:23pm

      Re: why attack everyones business models?

      Did you miss the part where both Netflix and...Blockbuster itself have already been doing this? Or the part where Comcast's business has nothing to do with sending DVDs in the mail?

      Given your inability to read, I guess so.

       

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        darryl, Aug 10th, 2010 @ 6:21am

        Re: Re: why attack everyones business models?

        Or the part where Comcast's business has nothing to do with sending DVDs in the mail?

        I Guess you did miss that part, Given your inablilty to understand, I guess so.

        The entire article is about Comcast, and what they ARE DOING, ("ARE DOING", is not *NEVER*)

        I would think that comcast is a service privider, and therefore are interested in providing services to clients.
        (now there is a business model).

        Sure, the primary service comcast provides is digital information via internet connections, but what is stopping them from providing other services, they are after all a "SERVICE PROVIDER".

        So they look at other services they could provide, and they found a content provider to work with so they provide the service for that content, (and convienient billing), and blockbuster provides the content.

        Its not a complicated business model, Im surprised that you think a company should only do what they started to do and nothing else, and not expand their products or services to meet customers needs.

        There are 3 basic groups of people, one group makes things happen, the second group can work out what is happening, and the third group say "what happened?".

        People who run successful companies like blockbuster, or Comcast the those that make things happen, I guess you fall into one of the other two groups, It seem like most of the articles and comments on here are from the group that says "What HAPPEND?"

         

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          Michael, Aug 10th, 2010 @ 7:57am

          Re: Re: Re: why attack everyones business models?

          "I would think that comcast is a service privider, and therefore are interested in providing services to clients."

          Ok, but Comcast is a cable and internet service provider. They just made a deal that seems to use neither of these services. It is a bit like going to McDonalds for an oil change.

          Doesn't it seem odd that a company that provides internet service is teaming up with a movie rental company to not stream movies? In addition, they appear to be working on a project that Blockbuster already does!?

           

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          nasch (profile), Aug 10th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: why attack everyones business models?

          Comcast really should get into milk delivery and lawn mowing. After all, they're a service provider and those are services. Maybe dentistry too. The possibilities are endless.

           

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          Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 5th, 2010 @ 8:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: why attack everyones business models?

          Stop, Darryl Maguire.

          You had me at "successful companies like blockbuster"

          Clearly, you don't read the business section. What HAPPEND to the successful company? Here's the answer:

          http://www.examiner.com/technology-in-national/blockbuster-readies-for-mid-sept-bankruptc y-sources?cid=oneriot

           

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      Hephaestus (profile), Aug 9th, 2010 @ 9:33pm

      Re: why attack everyones business models?

      "I think you need to take your blinkers off and take a look at the bigger picture"

      I was going to go after you on a line by line basis. Screw that.

      Comcast and the other cable companies have a ton of cash on hand and are making the wrong decisions. The bigger picture is NBCU, newsday, and this deal are all episodic of monopolies about to fail. They have reached their limits of growth and branching out into similar industries. They are looking for short term gains that will lead to their failures.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2010 @ 6:45am

      Re: why attack everyones business models?

      "Darryl",

      Here's the problem. When you spend millions to start up a new business plan, you should always forecast considerably into the future. Even though there may still be many people who use their DVDs right now, that number is dropping every day. The trend is to download or stream, and that is growing steadily. People are scratching their heads because this seems to be an investment in technology and trends that are on the final stages of their lives. In five to ten years, the vast majority of young adults will be downloading and streaming all the time and NOT using DVD players. So, this is why you are seeing so many negative responses.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Wings.

    Comcast should print wings on the delivery package to show costumers they are fast.

    :)

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 9th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Comcast has to much money. They are doing the same thing that AOL did when it merged with time warner. Spending money in an attempt to break out of what they are good at and doing it poorly. Its the same thing as the NBCU merger. Destined to fail.

     

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    Anonymous Howard, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 10:04pm

    now that is funny, just very funny how far out some business decisions are. The really funny part is that the guy who though this up probably got a bonus!

     

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    Bikerelc (profile), Aug 10th, 2010 @ 12:14am

    Single Bill

    Actually if you think about it, it could have a potential use. Instead of multiple bills you can now get a single bill. Comcast now offers: internet, cable, phone, and movie rentals all on a single bill! Less paper bills and less hassle than calling 4 companies when I have a problem has to have some value.

     

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    Another User, Aug 10th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Perfect what you have.

    Now maybe they eventually plan to release something similar to netflix streaming and this early partnership is just to build up a clientele first. But what they really need to work on is their support and provide better high speed internet.

     

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    vastrightwing, Aug 10th, 2010 @ 3:42pm

    I'm selling all of my tangible media

    Interesting that new businesses are starting where tangible media is being used. This weekend, I will be selling all of my tangible media (ie. CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, cassettes, 8-track tapes, etc.) because it just sits in my basement taking up space. 1) After I've seen a movie once or twice, that's it for me. I never watch them again. I imagine that many people do the same thing. It's good to be able to rent a DVD now & then, but I find streaming so much more convenient & cheaper than going out to buy or rent physical media. Good luck Comcast... oh, I mean xfinity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2010 @ 7:50pm

    comcast sucks they took possesion of my land line phone for two weeks

     

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    Nomo Blockbuster, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Blockbuster hasn't got a clue

    Ever since Blockbuster made that horrific proposal to buy now defunct Circuit City in 2008, its priorities, direction and overall usefulness have diminished to the point where Blockbuster is unable to pay its debt on time, posts worse-than-expected results quarter after quarter and faces the public-desired fate of liquidation into oblivion.

     

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