Comcast plans to launch a movie store for its website and cable boxes, potentially before the end of the year, reports The Wall Street Journal. Though the cable provider has long offered streaming movies through On Demand, this new service would ostensibly be different in that it would allow customers to purchase movies — rather than just renting them — and then allow the movies to be downloaded or streamed from different platforms. Details on the service are sparse, however, so it isn't entirely clear how it would operate.
The movie service will reportedly offer new releases, older films, and TV series as well. Though few might be eager to lock their movie purchases into a set-top box, Comcast has been making its boxes smarter and smarter. One recent DVR, the X2, allows for media to be stored in the cloud and streamed for playback — something that could be useful for holding a library of purchased movies. Comcast was also previously reported to be among several parties in talks with Hulu about the possibility of bundling its movies and TV shows. While it's not clear if such a deal will happen, Comcast appears to be on its way to providing more movie access to its customers in one way or another, even if they have to pay for it.