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Amazon Unbox, Now Playing on TiVo

Amazon’s Unbox video-on-demand service will make the leap out of the PC box and into the TV box via a partnership with TiVo, the two companies said in an emailed press release. Subscribers to both Unbox and TiVo will be able to rent and purchase movies and television shows from Amazon and download them directly to their TiVos.

Getting onto television sets is key breakthrough for an online video-on-demand service, thought to be key to achieving widespread popularity. However, the computer is not completely out of the equation with the Unbox-TiVo partnership; users will not yet be able to make purchases directly through their TVs, according to Reuters.

The service is now in beta testing and will be available to 1.5 million broadband-ready TiVo boxes “soon.” This is a plum feature for Amazon, whose offering hadn’t exactly dazzled on its debut in September. But later entrants from Netflix and Wal-Mart, which launched Monday, have continued to lack portability features.

Early leader Apple has yet to make it all the way to the couch, pending the release of its supposedly delayed Apple TV. Still, that box will not have access to iTunes, meaning you might have to get up off your butt to download movies. And we can’t have that!

9 Responses to “Amazon Unbox, Now Playing on TiVo”

  1. Rick Hanley

    Netflix is getting closer to death. Below are two items that are important but were left out of most reports on Amazon and Wal-Mart:
    “ had a catalog of distribution rights, which Netflix couldn’t deliver.”
    “Wal-Mart will make about 60,000 DVD titles available through mail-order.”

    TiVo, Amazon offer video downloads that can be viewed on TV sets
    From Associated Press

    5:45 PM PST, February 6, 2007

    …TiVo had previously announced a downloading partnership with Netflix, the mail-order movie rental service, but that deal eventually fell apart.

    TiVo Chief Executive Tom Rogers said TiVo decided to go with in its new venture because the online retailer had a large customer network and a large catalog of distribution rights, which Netflix couldn’t deliver.,0,6108661.story?coll=la-home-headlines

    Red Herring
    The Business of Technology
    Wal-Mart Intros Movie Downloads
    …Wal-Mart will use the foray into digital movies as a way to build a full-service online store aimed at home entertainment.

    “We view this as the first step to move toward a multi-format and multi-channel strategy,” said Cameron Janes, director of digital media for Wal-Mart…

    Willem de Zoete, head of HP’s digital entertainment services business, said the company is building a business based on custom DVD distribution.

    About 60,000 DVD titles will also become available through a mail-order service in which consumers have an option to go online and order the discs. The service will launch mid-year.

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