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.
Amazon Video on Demand
Amazon on Thursday is revealing Video on Demand, its second approach to online video. Unlike the company's own Unbox service, which requires that users download the entire video, the new feature will depend on streaming alone; while it depends on an active Internet connection, the feature will allow devices with little to no hard drive space to buy TV shows, and buy or rent movies, with the same access as full computer users.
iPhone 3G unboxed
The Boy Genius Report has released what appear to be the first snapshots of the iPhone 3G straight from the box. The photos show a small neatly organized black box similar to the one used for the original iPhone. As expected, the new model sports an all-black case back with a white apple logo. The back is a bit more rounded than its predecessor, the iPhone 3G appears to be a bit more tapered on the top end. Overall, the device does not look that much different from the current model. Update: A video of the unboxing is also avaiable.
TiVo Whole Home DVR
TiVo is prepping a digital video recorder that would serve as a hub for an entire house, company chief Tom Rogers confirms at the D6 Conference. He notes that current TiVos are essentially limited and can't record or offer content to more than one TV set in the home; the Wi-Fi adapter that lets the TiVo work remotely is only a part solution to the problem, Rogers says. Instead, TiVo is working to produce a version of its self-titled hubs that could give "whole-home" access, though the executive doesn't provide more details.
Amazon VOD and Kindle
Amazon is about to launch an on-demand video service, the company's chief Jeff Bezos said today at the Wall Street Journal's D Conference. Expanding on the company's existing Unbox download feature, the retailer will launch a paid streaming service "in the next few weeks," according to the executive. No details beyond this early news are available, though the move would directly compete with a similar option from Netflix, whose Watch Instantly feature is largely web-based and requires a regular Netflix subscription of $9 or more.
iTunes HD falls short
Apple has reached one of its goals announced at the Macworld Expo in January while missing another, with 100 high-definition Dolby Digital-enabled movies available in the iTunes store of a total library of 604 movie rental titles. iLounge writes that Apple had set a goal of 1000 rental titles by the end of February, but has since fallen short. Apple's main competition in the digital rental marketplace comes from Amazon's Unbox service, and Netflix, who offer thousands of titles.
Amazon Unbox Changes
Amazon is contemplating major changes to its Unbox service to compete against rivals like iTunes and Netflix, say Unbox users sent a new survey. The online reseller is reportedly gauging customer interest in letting Unbox customers purchase HD versions of both movies and TV shows, providing an edge in content quality over most alternatives; most services such as the Apple TV's iTunes access and the Xbox 360's Video Marketplace currently allow only either rentals in HD or purchases in standard definition. The service may also allow users to download the documentaries and other special features normally stripped out of online purchases and rentals, Amazon hints.