Feeds

Amazon opens (American) video streaming shop

Down with downloads

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Amazon's new streaming video storefront has gone live today, replacing the online retailer's previous attempt at vending digital video via downloads.

Amazon Video on Demand arrives about two months after service was introduced as a beta build to a limited number of US customers.

The store now lets users stream commercial-free movies or TV shows on either a Mac or PC web browser. Amazon previously required customers to download and watch titles through their Unbox application or TiVo.

While Video on Demand now lets customers rent or buy titles and view them instantly, the Unbox app is still required to access videos when not online. Keep in mind non-streaming downloads are currently viewable offline to PC users only, as Unbox is still not available for Mac. (Gee thanks, DRM!)

Amazon has also inked a deal with Sony to let content be streamed directly to compatible Bravia television sets. This feature of course has an extremely limited audience, but is never-the-less a promising sign of things to come should this sort of thing be extended to a wider range of sets.

The online storefront itself resembles a typical Amazon.com page. When a user clicks on a show or movie, they're directed to a two-minute preview, where after the etailer prompts for some legal tender to continue.

A typical TV show costs about $2. Movies are $3 to $4 to rent, $10 to $15 to purchase. Amazon claims to have over 40,000 movies and TV shows available now. The store boasts films and shows from all the major studios and networks — with the exception of Walt Disney and its ABC subsidiary. They're beholden to Apple.

And perhaps it's not terribly surprising the two aren't onboard with Amazon, as the service is clearly made to compete with Apple's iTunes store.

They've even got a (fake) Front Row-type thing going on.

But it would seem most studios and networks have chosen to let their content be served from several online providers rather than let one dominate the medium. Perhaps they've learned a thing or two from the music industry trying to squirm away from Apple's musical monopoly.

We should note there are some other (legal) streaming TV and movie services available stateside, including Hulu.com, which offers its content gratis so long as viewers tolerate commercial interruptions. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.