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Bye-Bye Blockbuster

I was just coming to grips with the notion of a Panasonic plasma-less world when Dish today announced it is shuttering its last remaining Blockbuster stores.

While the move was inevitable, it reminds us of the tremendous forces of change driving the CE industry. To paraphrase The Buggles, digital killed the video store.

At the risk of sounding maudlin, it also speaks to a rapidly changing cultural landscape, in which a remote control and set-top box have replaced a trip to the local rental shop. A welcome convenience on most nights, but I also miss those expectant visits to the children’s aisle with my kids.

“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” Dish president/CEO Joe Clayton said in a statement.

Dish will close the last 300 stores and distribution centers by early January, and will kill its DVD-by-mail service in mid-December.

After that, Blockbuster will continue in name only as Dish’s streaming video service, and as a fading memory of a ride to the video store with the kids.