Plug and Play, or: Being Entertained Has Never Been So Easy! So They Say.

On the Technological Breakthrough Tuesday Before Thanksgiving, this news: Dallas-based Blockbuster has a set-top box it'd like to sell you for $99, through which you can beam into your home the latest and greatest in what passes for big-screen entertainment these days. Buy the OnDemand now, just in time for the holidays, and you get 25 movies -- which puts them at, what, $4 a pop? After that initial offer expires, they drop to .... dunno. Says the vague release this a.m., "After the initial 25 rentals, movies are available for as little as $1.99 each." Says Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes in the release, "We are bringing Blockbuster, and the thousands of movies in our digital library, straight to customers' televisions." Just like satellite TV!

In related news, because I say so, Dallas-based PlayApp says it has created the perfect music download deliver service -- one that provides not only a CD's music in 192 kbps MP3 files, but also its lyrics and photos and packaging. Looks like owner John Willsey's been at this a long time -- here's a media release dating back to 2002. But this morning, he's offering Wilco's 2003 More Like the Moon EP gratis (which is still available for free on the band's site), and it does take but a second to download the album (as an executable file) whether you're streaming or extracting the files for later use. But the selection's somehow both non-existent and pricey once you're past the 5-year-old old Wilco outtakes. --Robert Wilonsky

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