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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Amazon's New Video on Demand Service: A Shift From Downloads to Streams?

Today's big news is that Amazon.com is planning to offer its library of film and TV shows in streaming form, according to the New York Times, transforming Amazon Unbox into Amazon Video on Demand. Brad Stone explains:

    The video store will be accessible through the Sony Bravia Internet Video link, a $300 tower-shaped device that funnels Web video directly to Sony’s high-definition televisions. That is an awkward extra expense, for now. But future Bravias are expected to have this capability embedded in the television, making it even easier to gain access to the full catalog of past and present TV shows and movies, over the Internet, using a television remote control.

And Amazon is also eager to do deals with other set-top box makers.

But the new streaming service is still being tested, and it won't actually launch until later this summer.... for now, all you can do is sign up to be notified about it.

Two questions I've got:

1. Will Amazon still offer downloads? Downloads are kinda nice when you're away from connectivity (like on a plane or train or car trip), and also for transferring to a handheld device (though Amazon Unbox only works with a few Windows-compatible portable video players, and not the iPod).

2. Will Amazon still deliver movies (either in streaming or downloadable form) to TiVos? A lot more people have those than the Sony Bravia Internet Video link.

Here's the NewTeeVee post on the news, and another from Hot Hardware.

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