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Though it was announced early in 2009, the partnership between TiVo and Blockbuster to deliver the latters OnDemand rental service has finally come to fruition this week.Broadband-connected TiVo DVR boxes can now deliver old and new film releases, with rental rates ranging from $2.99 to $3.99.Current selections will be enhanced in the coming weeks by the addition of high-definition content.Blockbuster will also begin selling TiVo DVR boxes in stores.

As the number of connected devices increases in the living rooms of homes around the world, content will be the compelling driver to get consumers to actually connect the device to the network.Until recently, the type and quality of content on connected devices has been limited and often based on deals between the CE companies and the content owner directly.Now, the partnerships between CE manufacturers and content aggregator services such as Vudu, Blockbuster and Netflix are bringing compelling content to a variety of connected devices.

In addition, we have long proposed that stand-alone devices for delivering content will not be the most appealing solution for consumers.These single-function devices are quickly being supplanted by TVs, DVD players, Blu-ray players, and PVRs as the solution to stream online content to the TV.We expect to see continued integration of content, widgets, and browsers in these platforms and others in the digital home.The Digital Home Group at ABI Research continues to create informative research on Internet-connected TVs, fourth-screen devices, and other connected home devices.