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Wednesday, 7th February 2007

Multimedia News #2: A Long Time in the Making: Coming Soon, Download Movies Purchased From Amazon.com Direct to Your TiVo

Lots of multimedia news today. Yes, this one falls a bit out of the scope of what we normally focus on. However, it's not only interesting but also a sign of things to come. I'm sure the day when a library user will not only be able to download a movie or other video material to their computer but also to a DVR like TiVo.

Amazon.com announced a new service (coming soon) named "Amazon Unbox on TiVo."

The Amazon Unbox video download service, which launched in September 2006, offers thousands of movies, television shows and other videos for download to PCs and any Windows Media Video-compatible portable device. Now, in addition to PCs and portable devices, movies and television shows will be available to download directly to a customer's TiVo box for playback on their television set. This is the first service that uniquely allows for downloadable broadband video to be integrated with programming recorded from TV so the consumer can easily navigate all viewing options... Customers can purchase television episodes for $1.99, purchase most movies for between $9.99 and $14.99, or rent movies starting at $1.99. As an added bonus, all purchased videos are automatically stored in each customer's "Your Media Library" at Amazon.com for future access and download.

Learn more here.

One thing we're interested in seeing if and when these types of services will be made available to groups, specifically educators in the classroom or libraries. Obviously, the main issue here is licensing for private, home use vs. classroom or library soon.

Of course, another step likely to occur sometime in the future will allow users to quickly keyword search their purchased and recorded-off-TV to find content. Also, the ability to related content based on the makeup (what has been called the image DNA).

Source: Amazon.com

See Also: If something similar to all of this sounds familiar, you're right. About a month ago, NetFlix, announced that about 1,000 titles from their library of films and tv programs will be available for immediately downloading to the computer. Remember, Amazon/TiVo is to a TiVo television box. Other companies in this space (variations of the theme) include Vongo, CinemaNow, and MovieLink.

But today's direct to your TiVo box is not a new idea. Hardly, seven years ago it was reported that TiVo was working with Blockbuster.

The agreement calls for the two companies to jointly develop and deploy a video-on-demand service that will enable TiVo subscribers to view Blockbuster movies using receivers connected to their television sets.

Last year, Engadget reported that they had spotted signs of the Blockbuster deal but also reported that NetFlix was suing Blockbuster.

Finally, the TiVo UK site still lists Blockbuster as a Video-on-Demand partner.

Bottom Lines:

1) When all is said and done, the TiVo on-demand story might make for a perfect soap opera, to download, of course. :-)

2) When you take the TiVo/Amazon hook-up along with the massive and growing libraries of on-demand programming from cable and satellite tv operators (and don't forget content from academic, public, and other libraries) it's not difficult at all to see the end of the "video store" and maybe even mail order video services.


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