Redbox goes Blu; offers hi-def discs in half its retail spots

By Sean O’Connell The “Box” continues to rock when it comes to home video rentals.

Redbox officially announced that it has begun offering Blu-ray discs in its retail machines for $1.50 a night, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The company, which notoriously charges a single dollar for a DVD rental, had been testing movie rentals in the HD format at select locations. But now Redbox said Blu-ray titles will be inserted into 13,300 kiosks nationwide beginning immediately. By the fall, Blu-rays will be in Redbox’s entire rental system, which totals 23,000 spots.

I don’t have numbers to crunch, but I can tell you everyone I know rents from Redbox now. The convenience of stopping by the box at a neighborhood grocery store can’t be beat. The price, obviously, is right. And while they might not have every title you are looking for at a specific time — like Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tetro,” which I missed in theaters and wanted to catch, only to find it wasn’t an option — Redbox seems to be cultivating a loyal fan base and growing. Smartly. They also contributed to the closure of just about every bix-box Blockbuster Video stores in my town.

According to the story, the first wave of Blu-rays in the Redbox machines include titles like “The Book of Eli,” “The Bounty Hunter” and Paul Greengrass’s “Green Zone.”
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