updated 07:55 am EDT, Thu July 17, 2008
Amazon Video on Demand
Amazon on Thursday is revealing Video on Demand, its second approach to online video. Unlike the company's own Unbox service, which requires that users download the entire video, the new feature will depend on streaming alone; while it depends on an active Internet connection, the feature will allow devices with little to no hard drive space to buy TV shows, and buy or rent movies, with the same access as full computer users.
The new VOD feature similarly remembers which videos the user owns or is renting, allowing them to play back that content on any computer or device without the digital rights management that limits Unbox videos to Windows PCs and TiVo video recorders. The initial service will be cross-platform and support both Mac OS X and Windows PCs, as well as Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video Link add-on for its line of HDTVs. Other devices are expected in the future but haven't been specified outside of likely future BRAVIA TVs that will include the Internet link as a standard feature.
The service will be available in a trial version for some users effective today but will launch in a broader fashion this summer, according to Amazon.
Video on Demand potentially returns an edge to Amazon for Internet video services believed lost to iTunes, which began offering movies for rent available both through Apple TV as well as iPhones and iPods. Notably, Amazon doesn't have complete studio support and is missing content from both ABC and its parent company Disney, which counts Apple chief Steve Jobs as a board member. [image via setteb.it]