Amazon.com Launches Its Video Download Service In U.S.

As expected this week, Amazon.com has launched its much-anticipated download service, called Unbox Video. This is only for U.S.
Some topline details:
— TV shows will cost $1.99 per episode, and most movies will go for $7.99 to $14.99; movies can also be rented for $3.99.
— Studios signed on: 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Indie studios: Focus Features, Fox Searchlight and Lionsgate.
— Network content available: CBS with “CSI” and “Numb3rs” and FOX with “24” and “Prison Break” as well as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly” and “Star Trek.”
— Cable content available: A&E, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, FX and several channels from MTV Networks, including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1.
— Some shows making online debut: all 79 episodes of the original “Star Trek” series.
— Its Unbox RemoteLoad technology allows customers to buy from one PC (such as an office computer) and download to another (such as a home computer).
— It says it is offering triple the video quality of the competitors, delivering content encoded at 2,500 kilobits per second using the VC-1 Advanced Profile codec. I bet we’ll see refuting of this claim…
— Unbox also automatically includes a second file optimized for playback on any Windows Media-compatible portable device…the retailer is promoting Creative Zen Vision:M.
— It uses progressive download (common in all online movie services).
— Full TV list: A&E, Adult Swim, Animal Planet, BBC, The Biography Channel, Cartoon Network, CBS, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids, E! Entertainment Television, FINE LIVING TV Network, FOX, Fuel TV, FX, HGTV, The History Channel, KBS (Korean Broadcast System), Logo, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, The N, PBS, Speed, Spike, Travel Channel, TV Land and VH1.

Comments have been disabled for this post