Shares of Redbox parent Coinstar (Nasdaq: CSTR) opened lower today, after a federal bankruptcy judge ordered a stay of execution for Blockbuster.

The judge will allow the sale of the troubled DVD lender to continue, against the wishes of movie studios and creditors hoping for an outright liquidation.

If Blockbuster followed Movie Gallery into oblivion, business would have been even more brisk than usual at your neighborhood Redbox kiosk. It would also have been tough for NCR (NYSE: NCR) to continue bankrolling its fleet of Blockbuster Express machines against consumer perception that Blockbuster was out of business.

This doesn't mean that Blockbuster is back, naturally. The chain simply has a pulse -- for now. Its eventual buyer will have an uphill battle, even with help from a cleaner balance sheet. Many stores have closed, and more will continue to back out of unattractive strip-mall leases. The video rental superstore as we know it may never return.

We now live in streaming-video times. Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) saw this years ago when it began building up its digital catalog of titles, available at no additional cost to subscribers. Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) recently adopted the Netflix model for its Amazon Prime members.

Redbox will eventually roll out its digital strategy, but for now, it's more than happy with renting DVD, Blu-ray, and now video games overnight at rock-bottom rates.

That business, like the optical disc and physical media in general, won't last forever. However, Redbox's kiosks are a low-overhead business, built to outlast the mom-and-pop rental chains that will inevitably shutter their doors. There's money to be made in this growing slice of a shrinking pie -- for a couple of years more, at least. Though its death has been postponed, the eventual owners of Blockbuster will need to realize that obsolence will find them soon enough.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Netflix subscriber -- and shareholder -- since 2002. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.