The Unbox service from Amazon and TiVo has officially rolled out. Nearly 1.5 million TiVo subscribers can now buy or rent digital movies and buy TV shows from Amazon. People can watch the downloads on their TV via their TiVo, which needs to be connected to broadband. Amazon also offers not only buy-to-own, but movie rentals as well.
About 1,000 videos are now for sale and nearly 500 for rental. A movie download to the TiVo appears to take up to an hour, whereas consumers can still get pay-per-view or video-on-demand movies instantly — however they offer a limited selection of titles. As an incentive to use the new service all TiVo owners are issued with a 15 dollar voucher.
Competitors to the Unbox service are Apple TV, which promises to bring iTunes videos to the TV set, CinemaNow, and Movielink. The advantage of TiVo is the fact that people already own the box and only need to connect to broadband internet to make use of the new service.