HP, Lite-On, Blockbuster Join Forces for HTPC?

Unconfirmed reports are indicating that optical disk drive manufacturer Lite-On Technology Corp. has received a large order from HP for Blu-ray drives. These drives will supposedly be part of an affordable multimedia personal computer offered by HP at a later date. Lite-On said that the order was so big that it will secure a strong growth drive in sales for the second half of 2010.

Currently the type of affordable multimedia PC is unknown--desktop, laptop, or both. However reports also indicate that HP and Blockbuster have struck a deal so that the popular video rental chain's service will be included on the HP multimedia PCs. The announcement regarding this relationship is expected to be revealed soon, and would follow Verizon's recent announcement that the Blockbuster streaming service is headed to the V Cast video service for the Motorola Droid X in July.

There was also indication that HP will offer an economical Blu-ray player, however a quick visit to Lite-On's website showed that the ODD manufacturer has discontinued all stand-alone players... in North America and Europe at least. Perhaps Lite-On will be an HP-exclusive manufacturer for Blu-ray stand-alone devices?

If anything, the reports could mean that HP will offer consumers an affordable HTPC option that includes a built-in Blu-ray player and access to Blockbuster's online library. This may also indicate that HP is gearing up for a stand-alone Blu-ray player with built-in Blockbuster Video access. Nothing official has come out of all three as of this report, so stay tuned.