BlockBuster may be best known for its brick-and-mortal video rental outlets, but the company is now getting ready to make a serious play in the digital video market, with the introduction of a new set-top box player that will let customers download movies over broadband connections and watch them on their TV sets.

For a limited time the recently introduced MediaPoint box will be available "for free" with the advance rental of 25 on-demand movies for $99 – movies will then be available starting at $1.99 each. The company is emphasizing its a la carte pricing model, in contrast with Netflix's fixed-rate fees, and promises “hot new releases available within weeks of leaving theaters” with the new service. While the player supports HD video content, Blockbuster did not specify whether it will offer any high-definition titles initially.