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TiVo and Amazon get with the picture

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Tivo and Amazon have finally gotten it right. Starting today, TiVo DVR users can download movies from Amazon's Unbox service straight from their television sets - without help from a PC.

Users have been shuttling Amazon's Unbox movies to their broadband-connected TiVo digital video recorders since early spring, when the two companies first teamed up, but in truly ridiculous fashion, orders had to be placed on a PC, via a standard web browser. Now, an upgrade to the "Amazon Unbox on TiVo" service gives users to power to order titles directly from their televisions, the Associated Press reports.

"Amazon Unbox on TiVo" is available to anyone with a TiVo Series2 or Series3 DVR. With the service's new "Buy on TV" feature, users can browse the Unbox catalog and either rent or buy titles simply by picking up their TiVo remote control. Amazon's on-demand movie service now offers more than 1,100 titles for rent and over 2,000 for purchase - including TV shows as well as feature films. TV shows are available for $1.99 an episode, while fresh-from-theater feature films start at $7.97.

Tightly integrating TV sets with a web-based movie download service, TiVo and Amazon are following in the footsteps of companies like Apple and Microsoft. Apple offers a similar setup through its Apple TV set-top box, Microsoft through its XBox 360 console.

Tivo users still have the power to order movies straight from Amazon.com, and purchases can be viewed on up to two TiVo boxes as well as a single PC. All purchases are stored online by Amazon, so they needn't take up valuable space on Tivo hard drives.®

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