July 17, 2008 by Arlen Schweiger
It seems like Internet video news is coming fast and furious these days, with Netflix especially having made waves. Today it’s Amazon’s turn, as the dot-com retail giant is unleashing its Video On Demand, essentially to replace (or as Amazon says “provide new enhancements for”) its Unbox Service.
Unlike the current Unbox model, Amazon’s Video On Demand will work somewhat like cable on demand—your video can start playing immediately because it is being streamed, not downloaded.
Rather than have it take up room on your computer’s hard drive—which can be either a PC or a Mac, by the way, since it plays well with both—Amazon stores a selection for you in “Your Video Library” so you can view it whenever you go to Amazon. Movies can be purchased or rented, but we haven’t heard about any time restrictions, such as Apple’s 24-hour watch window for iTunes rentals. You also won’t have to download any special player software, as was the case with Unbox.
Amazon says it will have 40,000 TV and movie titles from which to choose, and titles will automatically start playing the first two minutes when you visit their page. No word on pricing structure.
Two very positive things Amazon has going for it with the new service appear to be the support of every major studio except for Disney and ABC, and a connection with Sony’s Bravia Internet Video Link where you can access the Amazon video store and watch the flicks on your TV.
You can sign up to be a Beta tester for Amazon’s service, which should roll out to the masses later this summer.
Via: Engadget HD (and New York Times)
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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