I decided to give Amazon’s new Unbox service a whirl over the weekend (they are offering $15 in credit if you register your Tivo broadband service with Amazon by April 30th) and was very pleased with the experience.
It took only a few minutes to link up my Tivo account and after that, any movie listed on the Amazon Unbox catalog was ready for one-click purchase and download.
I chose two movies (Devil Wears Prada and Little Miss Sunshine which run $3.99 each) and they began to download within minutes and were available for viewing later that evening.
You have 24 hours to view the movie from when you begin viewing and have full Tivo control over stopping, starting, rewinding and fast-forwarding through the movie. Notice the new “red flag” icon which alerts you that the movie will be deleted. Also notice the “save to VCR” option is avaialble although I didn’t try it yet.
It’s early days yet and Netflix has also mentioned that they’re in the download on demand business as well (the Netflix CEO has been quoted as saying that they’re not called “mailflix” for a reason) and from what I see here, it looks like this could be quite a compelling reason to move off of expensive cable plans for HBO and other premium channels if you’re able to get what you want via an on demand service. Add an archive of standard television series and specials and you’ve got a nice alternative to the Apple iTunes/Apple TV product.
Additional bonus is that purchases made here feed into my Amazon recommendation profile (most likely my Tivo profile as well). This will be a space to watch.