Retail giant Sears Holdings--parent of Sears and Kmart--has tossed its hat into the online video arena with the launch of a new Netflix-like service called Alphaline Entertainment.

The service is powered by Sonic Solutions' RoxioNow platform and allows Sears and Kmart customers to download movies and TV shows online.

Sears and Sonic Solutions said that content would be available the same day, with DVD releases on a "growing network of devices," including portable media players, Blu-ray disc players, mobile phones and high-definition TV sets. As of now, the service is not available on iPod's or PSPs.

In addition to Netflix, Sears is taking on competitors like Walmart and Best Buy, which have already launched similar direct-to-consumer, video-download services.

"Collaborating with Sonic provides a great opportunity for Sears and Kmart to launch digital services for customers seeking even faster access to the latest in home entertainment experiences," said Karen Austin, president, consumer electronics, for Sears and Kmart.

The companies said movies are available for as little as $0.49, although the typical cost of a rental is in the $3 to $4 range.