Thoughts on Amazon Unbox on TiVo

Last week, IP delivered television got a little closer to reality or a lot closer to irrational Web 2.0 exuberance when Amazon and TiVo flipped the switch enabling Amazon customers to send movies ordered from directly to your TiVo Series 2 or Series 3 boxes. My wife and I took this for a spin last week, renting a few movies, including one with the $15 credit you get as a TiVo customer. There’s a few things I like about the service, and a lot I don’t.

What I like

  • Convenience of ordering a movie from home or work
  • Integration with is easy enough
  • Ability to send to any TiVo in my home, or supported devices
  • Selection is respectable
  • TiVo Integration is simple- ‘Amazon Unbox” shows up as a new Folder in Now Playing

What I don’t like

  • Lack of a subscription program.
  • No “Season Pass” purchase for TV programs
  • No easy way to search/filter movies by MPAA rating
  • On TiVo, no progress meter or estimated time until your movie is ready to start playing
  • No HD downloads
  • No 10′ movie browser on Tivo. All movies must be browsed & ordered with a PC
  • Encoding is fuzzy
  • No option to get the movie sent on DVD/HD-DVD as well

While this is definitely a step in the direction of convenience, if Amazon is serious about this business model, I hope they’re working on a subscription program and/or considering a deal with NetFlix or Blockbuster directly (NetFlix acqusition anyone?). I’m not likely to buy a $14.99 movie when $3.00 more a month gets me a subscription pass and HD movies on Blockbuster.

2 responses to “Thoughts on Amazon Unbox on TiVo”

  1. The option to download strait to my TiVo is great. It really is nice to be able to easily watch it on TV> The service does have a few quirks, but I think they’ll get those worked out in time.

  2. WHAT no high def downloads, I mean I love great content but with a big High def screen just waiting to have some high def goodness on it, I thrive for High definition content. I like the Unbox service now, it is definetly much better then when it first came out