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Blockbuster (BBI) CEO John Antioco today said the video retailer could begin a video download service as soon as next year, according to Reuters.

He also said that video downloads should not affect high-def DVD sales until the speed and quality of downloads improves. More details are in the press release.

Meanwhile, as Paidcontent.org reports, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is trying out a service which would bundle physical copies of DVDs with digital downloads. Paidcontent notes that Wal-Mart has has launched an exclusive “Superman Returns” DVD bundle which includes the option to buy a digital version at low cost - $1.97 for portable devices, $2.97 for PCs/laptops, and $3.97 for both portable players and PC/laptops.

For a little perspective on the video downloading game, take a look at the new post on the subject from Mark Cuban. To me, the key takeaway from his rambling post is this: people buy big screen TVs to watch video in high-defintiion. Most Web-based video is low-def, and the bigger the screen, the worse it looks. What’s more, to see video in high-def, you need to use the DVI or HDMI jacks on your big TV. Most PCs do not have DVI or HDMI out jacks. In short, most people are not going to turn to their PCs and the Net to get content for their high-def TVs - they’ll stick to cable and satellite feeds. Writes Cuban: “The PC you have, and that most Americans have, can’t connect to their brand new HDTV and play High Def content.”

Source: Blockbuster Considering Downloads; Cuban: PCs Not HD-Ready