updated 11:55 am EST, Tue March 3, 2009
Roku Amazon VOD
Roku today gave its Roku Player support for Amazon's Video on Demand service. The feature gives the networked media hub its first non-subscription video model and lets owners both rent movies on a title-by-title basis as well as buy them; as Amazon allows online streaming, movies and TV shows can be seen without needing permanent storage as on the Apple TV or VUDU Box. Roku's interface for Amazon also trumps the Netflix solution by letting owners browse and buy directly from the TV interface rather than require users add titles separately on a website.
The Amazon VOD upgrade is free and will automatically roll out to Roku Players over the course of the next week. Pricing also doesn't change on the $99 device, though the feature now eliminates the requirement to maintain a Netflix subscription.
Apple is rumored to be implementing an iTunes Replay feature that would compete with both Amazon and Netflix by letting users stream purchased or rented iTunes content rather than force a complete download.