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Amazon makes Mac, BRAVIA-ready VOD official

updated 11:10 pm EDT, Wed September 3, 2008

Amazon VOD Live

Amazon tonight launched the finished version of Amazon Video on Demand, the streaming version of its online video service. The official launch moves beyond the beta stage and lets any Mac or Windows PC purchase, rent and watch movies and TV shows directly from the browser, bypassing the Windows-only nature of the company's Unbox software. It also delivers a beta version of a promised link to Sony's BRAVIA TVs equipped with the Internet Video Link add-on and gives the TVs the same purchasing and renting privileges as a computer.

For all computers and devices, Amazon always remembers the purchase and rent history and so lets users get access regardless of their location or the exact device they use. Prices are comparable to services such as iTunes with movies costing an average of $10 to $15 to purchase and $3 to $4 to rent depending on the age of the title. TV shows must be purchased.

The service counters both dedicated media hubs such as Apple TV and Vudu but is most directly targeted against free web services such as network-run sites as well as the Fox/NBC joint project Hulu. Amazon's service is for pay but drops the advertising necessary for earlier sites and also has a much larger catalog of about 40,000 movies and TV programming, including current iTunes holdout NBC.

Amazon's Unbox feature for complete downloads is widely believed to have been hindered by its device limitations, which have required either a Windows PC, a TiVo DVR, or devices that specifically play protected Windows Media, such as the Xbox 360 when joined to a Windows Media Center PC.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    stupid Flash

    Of course, for Windows you can download the content and watch a higher-resolution version at your leisure. For MacOS X and Linux, you can only stream a variable-quality through Flash in a web browser. And iPod's aren't supported. So, this is basically the way to claim some Mac support, while not actually supporting key features that the Windows version has.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    US Only??????

    When will content be available everywhere? In this internet age we shouldn't have this stupid restrictions anymore. Torrent it is!!!!!

  1. chas_m



    Rough start, but ...

    ... competition is good, and there is at least some level of Mac compatibility, so I applaud Amazon for moving beyond the untenable UnBox software solution.

    In time, this could mature into a real competitor for AppleTV, though it's a poor cousin to it at the moment. Still, anything that pushes society away from the concept of video-rental stores is probably a good thing, so the more the merrier, I say.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sony Bravia

    I really like the built-in internet feature in the Sony Bravia tvs. Of course with no standard in place you're gambling just like with Apple TV, though for the latter the iTMS has pretty much established itself. Not that Amazon is a slouch either, but they don't build the Bravia and have even less at stake in it's success ie, Amazon could decide to just build its own Desktop device much like what Netflix is doing.

  1. scottnichol

    Joined: Dec 1969



    i still don't want to sit in front of my computer to watch TV! i don't understand why these retailers don't understand this. i work in front of a computer! when i want to watch a movie, i want to do it from my couch with some beer and popcorn.

    this is simply what makes the appleTV such a brilliant device.

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