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 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.

2 comments

  1. Jigsaw hc says:

    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

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