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 Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com 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.