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Redbox is giving digital video another shot

Redbox is once again trying to move beyond DVD and Blu-ray rentals, this time with a digital on-demand video service. Similar to other a la carte stores like iTunes and Vudu, Redbox will offer 48-hour rentals for $4, and purchases starting at $10, though it won’t support 4K HDR video at the moment. It also doesn’t include films from Disney, which is currently suing Redbox over distribution of digital download codes. The service is launching in beta on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, LG TVs, Samsung TVs, and the Redbox website.

In 2012, Redbox teamed up with Verizon on an $8-per-month subscription movie service called Redbox Instant. But it was no match for Netflix, and shut down within two years. While the new service hews closer to the on-demand nature of Redbox’s rental kiosks, the only link between the physical and digital services will be the ability to browse both catalogs through a single app and website. Without more novel features, or at least some deals to pre-load the Redbox app on devices, it’s hard to see how this new digital venture will turn out better than the last one.

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