Amazon has extended its paid video service to streaming, Macs, and compatible Sony BRAVIA devices and televisions. It previously only made movies and TV shows available for download to PCs or on TiVos. The moves were all expected and forecast, but they are no less important for Amazon to have a viable online entertainment portal.
Amazon bridges current offerings from iTunes, Hulu, and Netflix, though it’s important to note that, like iTunes, none of its content is ad-supported. It beats iTunes on TV because it has NBC, and it beats Hulu on movies because it has far more of them. Netflix’s movie service, meanwhile, only provides streaming for PCs.
The service is now called Amazon Video on Demand, with the previous brand name, Unbox, now just referring to the download helper application. Amazon has a large, but not exhaustive, library of 40,000 movies and TV shows. It also works on Windows Media Center extender devices such as the Xbox 360. It’s worth making special note that downloads still only work on Windows.
Movies cost on the order of $9.99 to $14.99 to own, and $2.99 to $3.99 to rent. Most TV episodes are $1.99; some older TV episodes are free, and there are some Internet TV originals in there too, like A Comicbook Orange.
In my early tests, streaming on a Mac works great, even over the EVDO connection I’m using right now. The video picks up nicely wherever you scan through the status bar. Amazon is also offering free 2-minute previews of each movie and episode.
See also: Comcast Fancast download store news from earlier today.