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Back in April of this year, we got news of some plans Redbox has to branch out from just DVD rentals into the streaming market, similar to the Netflix Watch Instantly system. Redbox plans to outline their plans for this service in their Q3 financial call next month.

Recently, Coinstar CFO J. Scott Di Valerio spoke at an investor event, mentioned that customers did not really want to download movies from its kiosks to flash drives. Right, so you are thinking: what does this have to do with streaming? Nothing at all.

The issue is, the title of the article at Home Media Magazine that broke this news was “Coinstar CFO: Streaming Not a Priority to Redbox Users“, thus making it sound like the “streaming” services planned may be in jeopardy.

Either this is just bad reporting, or language confusion on the part of Di Valerio. Perhaps it was both. In any case, what I gathered from this is that Redbox customers don’t want to carry around flash drives, stick them in the Redbox kiosk, and download a movie to watch later at home.


I didn’t know this was even in consideration, even though apparently they “have the capability” to do so. I don’t know anyone who would want to do something like that. If you are already at the kiosk, you might as well pick up the DVD. If you don’t want to go to the kiosk, then a true “streaming” service is the answer.

What do you say? Did this article just confuse you more? Would you ever consider downloading content from a kiosk to a flash drive? Would you use a real Redbox streaming service (similar to Netflix)? Share your thoughts in the comments.

25 Responses to “Coinstar Exec Talks About Streaming and Flash Drives, Confuses Everyone”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    John Small [visitor]

    It is a badly written article. Misconveys what DV was saying.

    FTR, there are some kiosk solutions that are trying to go the download to a flash drive route but I doubt any of them will take off.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    jwhoopi [visitor]

    Actually, I wouldn’t mind the flash drive idea, if it would mean that I wouldn’t have to return the movie. As it is I don’t return the movies unless I am going that way anyway since the gas to drive to the redbox costs more than the $1 to wait another day.

    Of course, streaming is better, but if you don’t have a good connection, then this would be better than nothing.

  3. Member [Join Now]
    the Ramen Noodle [theramennoodle]

    Here’s where the confusing model could make sense. You’re out shopping and you see Redbox. You want to rent a movie for a night for only $1, but you don’t want to make another trip to return the DVD the next day. Buy the streaming edition now, and it could maybe even start downloading before you get home.

    But I still like Netflix’s ondemand streaming.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    JBG [visitor]

    I want to rent DVDs. The reason I use RedBox is because they offer DVDs. I am not interested in anything else, simple as that.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    scrtagnt420 [visitor]

    If redbox supplied the flash drive it can work. Even without a computer, many new TV’s have flash drive abbility. Also redbox could have movie ready with online reservation. When you pick up new movie on preloaded drive you drop off old drive. It works

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dave Woodman [visitor]

    DUH does not live 10 miles from a Redbox or he does not use it. Flash drives are cheap. I would love it because I would no have to drive 10 miles to return movie. Hurry up with this program.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    SKJ [visitor]

    How many families want to all crowd around the ‘ole laptop or desktop pc to watch a movie? Most people renting the DVDs will just pop it in the DVD player and watch it comfortably on their couch. Streaming works for some people, not all. Yet. How is this different from renting a movie from iTunes?

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      clay [visitor]

      they’re not saying watch it on the laptop/desktop. Most people nowadays connect their PC (be it laptop or desktop) to their TV’s via VGA or HDMI. How else would anyone watch streaming video for free now? Hooking up a computer to your tv is the EXACT same as hooking up a monitor to your computer; in all actuality any LCD/LED PLasma or alike are just that- over sized computer monitors with built in tv tuners.

      So I’d say rethink your post and get with the times and use your television like the rest.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Nytehawk [visitor]

        Also, most TVs sold today have USB ports on them. If you didn’t have a PC hooked up to your TV, you could just plug the flash drive right into the side of the TV.

        • Member [Join Now]
          MovieWatcherSupreme [moviewatchersupreme]

          It seems many people are under-informed about this whole “USB on TV’s” thing. These interfaces on modern televisions are primarily used as a way for users to look at pictures and listen to music stored in a flash drive. Currently few models support video playback and the ones that do support few digital video formats. A time sensitive video codec would not be supported unless the supplier worked with the manufacturer of the TV. However TV’s do have network interfaces now that allow you to access many popular streaming services, which is pretty cool.

  8. Member [Join Now]

    I may be in the minority here, but I was extremely underwhelmed with Netflix’s Instant Streaming to the Wii console. I don’t have a super-fast connection like some, and it would take 5 minutes alone to load the movie/TV episode, and then it would stop several times while I would be watching a movie/TV ep. It’s easy to say, “Get a faster connection”, but that costs more money that I don’t have.
    Also, the only SD slot I have in my living room is on my Wii…if I could use THAT then maybe i’d try the Flash Drive experiment. I’m betting the picture quality wouldn’t be all that good unless you had adequate memory though. I’d just rather rent the DVD and call it a day. I have two RB kiosks a mile away from my house so taking back the DVD doesn’t cost me much in gas.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      gothmog [visitor]

      so your blaming netflix for you SLOW connection. i use dial up and i have to wait 2 hrs for my movie.yes get a faster connection.if you can’t afford with one then you have to deal with it,there is nothing netflix can do to make it faster on your end.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Aliceinchains [visitor]

        Gothmog-you are a tool and a moron. If you read what the OP is saying correctly, the OP is not blaming netflix or anybody for their slow connection. They were simply stating that they do not have a fast connection like the majority of people who have internet access. And because of that they just can’t get into this whole streaming your movie over the internet thingy.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Zach [visitor]

    The appeal (at the Kiosk) that I see is that (unless I am wrong) you would be guaranteed that you get to “rent” the movie. Whereas with a DVD it might and might not be available.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    JimC1 [visitor]

    It would be GREAT to be able to use flash drives. One advantage is not having to return a DVD. It also uses less power to run off a solid state flash drive than to run a DVD drive so the battery last much longer. Many of the new Netbooks don’t have a DVD drive so a DVD is not an option. Since I have 6 flashdrives I could take several movies on a cross country flight and not have to worry about my netbook battery dying after the first movie using an external DVD drive. Would also not have to find a redbox at the other end of the flight to return a movie.

    I could also load it onto my SD cards using a USB SD card reader which gives me the option of loading movies onto my SD cards. It also means since the movie is in the redbox and not on the DVD, I would not get there (to the redbox) and find the movie has been checked out.

    The more option redbox give us to rent movies, the more movies we rent and the more money they make. It’s a win win situation. Go for it, it’s a GREAT idea.

    Jim C1

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    GreatLife [visitor]

    I thiink flash drives are the wave of the future and who in their right mind would prefer a dvd which isnt a perfect format to a flash drive. What they need to do is figure a way to make it only play a few times or be purchased out right. No more returning a movie and aquiring late fees, it just vanishes from your flash drive or you purchase it. Way to go on that idea, what we need now is a player that will play it on your tv sort of like a dvd player and it will be better then running around collecting crappy dvd’s

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    TrezofLove [visitor]

    I don’t see a problem with it. First off if can use the download service then use it, if you can’t then shut and stop complaining and just use the DVD. Otherwise i would love it, you rent the DVD for a $1 and then own the movie on your flash drive forever. Good Idea!!! Start the new service now!!!!!

  13. Member [Join Now]

    Your never going to be able to please everyone. Myself, I’m not sure, sometimes I would prefer the DVD if I’m watching a movie somewhere I don’t have access to a computer, but most of time I have access to computer and LCD TV.

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    JBG [visitor]

    Some people here are missing the point. It’s not about whether it’s an optical disk or a flash drive. It’s about a reliable, compatible, proven format that you know will work (DVD) versus… well, who knows? In what format will the movie come on the flash drive? Will it be some sort of proprietary format that will require some special, annoying player? Will it work on all OS? How about set-top media players? Will it have annoying DRM that will occasionally prevent you from watching it even once? All of those “soft” formats are a way for studios to control the market in their preferred way. Well, we, the consumers have the ultimate say and they better get that message!

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    gothmog [visitor]

    if it works then redbox could greatly expand it library,since you can hold infinite movies on a hard drive then just copy it to a flash drive.the trouble is of course copy protection. they will never be able to safe guard the movies.not that dvd safeguard them anyways.

  16. Visitor [Join Now]
    John Small [visitor]

    Has anyone read the article?

    Redbox is NOT going to offer this service. They say no one wants it.

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    John Southard [visitor]

    What would be cool is if you were at the store on Wed., could stop by the RB kiosk and rent a movie that would be valid for Fri. night, download it to your thumb drive, and off you go. I mean they can put expiration times on these downloads, how about start times? Trying to get a recent release on a Fri. night is a crap shoot. This could resolve that.

  18. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bob [visitor]

    About 75% of the time whatever I’m watching on my TV is being played from my computer. I think it would be great if they continued to give out DVDs to those that want them or to allow you to transfer them to a flash drive.

    I think the reason why people don’t like using flash drives is because most people are not very technically literate. They know how to use a DVD player because they have for years. They see using a flash drive as a large hurdle for them, and they don’t want to learn anything to be able to use something they bought for entertainment.

    Simplicity sells. My uncle is a good example. He tells everyone that he knows that technology is finally starting to catch up with the technology that he used 20 years ago in a paper mill. But all he is referring to is a simple user interface.

    Of course like JBG said, the DRM may make it more convenient for me to just use a DVD anyways.

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    Gauss163 [visitor]

    One advantage of flash rentals is that **lines can be completely eliminated**. The RedBox can have multiple flash drives that operate in parallel. Simply insert your flash drive (with some token that uniquely identifies you) and it will write your web-rented movie to your flash drive and eject it. No need for user interaction. With 5 or 10 flash readers that eliminates lines.