Sears, Kmart launching movie download service

Sears Holdings to offer new movie download service made available to both Sears and Kmart customers. Content will be available the same day it's released on DVD and Blu-ray.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The new Alphaline Entertainment platform from Sears and Sonic Solutions.
The new Alphaline Entertainment platform from Sears and Sonic Solutions. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Add another movie-downloading service to mix.

Sears Holdings has inked a deal with Sonic Solutions to offer a Web-based movie download service to both Sears and Kmart customers. According to Sonic, consumers will be able to access movies from the service on the same day they are made available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Dubbed Alphaline Entertainment, today's launch is just part one of a series of moves on the part of the companies to make the service available in several different places. Going forward, Sonic will be bringing the offering to "a broad range of connected devices," such as portable media players, Blu-ray players, and HDTVs, among others.

When browsing Alphaline Entertainment, consumers will find a host of movies from both major studios and independent labels. Titles that have been released recently cost about $19.95, while older films can be purchased for less. The service also provides users with the ability to rent films for $3.99 in most cases. The titles are available for 30 days after downloading, but must be completed within 24 hours after the user starts viewing them.

The store doesn't support playback on the Mac, however, content can be viewed on Windows PCs.

Sonic Solutions has had an interesting couple of weeks. Aside from inking this latest deal, Rovi announced last week that it agreed to acquire Sonic for $720 million. The company was especially interested in capitalizing on Sonic's RoxioNow solution, which Sears is using for its offering. According to Rovi, RoxioNow has more than 10,000 movies and television shows available to consumers and could be made available on more than 30 million devices by June.

Rovi's Sonic acquisition is pending regulatory approval. If accepted, the deal should close during the first quarter of 2011.