Amazon has announced it will soon offer TiVo subscribers the ability to play movies and television shows either rented or purchased on its site - this just a day after Wal-Mart joined the movie-download business by launching downloads from their site. "Unbox on TiVo" will offer thousands of TV shows and movies.
Amazon's service charges $1.99 for television episodes and between $9.99 and $14.99 for most movies. Rentals start at $1.99. How does it work?
If you're an existing TiVo subscriber, just visit the Unbox section of the Amazon website, where you'll be able to purchase or rent the latest films and television shows and have them sent over the Internet and right onto your TiVo Now Playing List, so you can watch them on your big-screen TV.
The companies are testing "Amazon Unbox on TiVo" in a few hundred homes for an undisclosed period. You can sign up to be notified when the program is available for wide release.
How long will it take to download Unbox videos to TiVo?
Download times will vary depending on your actual Internet connection speed and the length of the video. With a fast broadband connection (5 Mbps), a movie can download in about an hour, while a 1-hour TV episode can download in about 30 minutes. However, on a slower broadband connections (less than 1 Mbps), a movie could take up to 5 hours.
Why would you pay $1.99 for a television episode to be sent to your TiVo if you could just TiVo it? I suppose if you forgot to TiVo something really important you might be willing to fork out $1.99, but you can always wait for the DVD and Netflix. If you are already a Netflix and TiVo user like myself, I see little need for this service. Thoughts?