It's no secret that video retailer Blockbuster had a rough quarter. Their profits are dipping, stores are closing -- suffice to say things aren't looking good. But, the company is looking for new ways to compete with services like Netflix and Redbox and so they're getting into the digital content game. But, as some critics have pointed out, the results so far are lackluster to say the least. Blockbuster and NRC/MOD systems have announced the pilot of digital media kiosks where customers use an SD memory card to download movies and TV to take home to play on their TV with the aid of a proprietary device (provided to participants of the trial). But the kicker has to be that the content would be DRM protected and customers pay $1.99 for a movie that must be viewed within 30 days and is only viewable for 48 hours.

The digital download service is just the latest in Blockbuster's new strategy to hold on to customers by offering something other than the brick and mortar experience. Some of their other ideas have included DVD subscription services and DVD kiosks. Blockbuster is hoping these new services could reduce the effect that illegal downloading has cost their bottom line as well as open them up to new tech-savvy customers. I understand that Blockbuster needs to fight off the pirates like everybody else, but I doubt that products bogged down with DRM are going to persuade your average pirate to go legit. But on the upside, at least Blockbuster's latest scheme would mean that there's nothing to return, and you don't have to deal with receiving damaged or scratched discs -- but in the grand scheme of things, that ain't much.

If Blockbuster wants to live to fight another day, I think they are going to have to come up with something a lot better than this, don't you?