TiVo users have been able to purchase or rent movies from Amazon Unbox since March. Previously this required users to make the purchase on the Amazon website. From today, TiVo Series 2 and 3 users will now be able to browse and buy movies without having to use a computer.
The NY Times noted that TiVo has developed a safeguard so users don’t accidentally order movies, by requiring a five-digit password to complete a transaction
The service contrasts with Apple TV, which requires the use of iTunes to download, buy and then sync content to an Apple TV unit. Apple TV has already been written off by some as a failure amongst the sea of recent Apple success stories; given the continued improvement of competing offerings, it’s probably not a call without some merit. Certainly one would question the need for a stand-alone Apple TV style device that doesn’t record TV nor play DVD’s, when there are a wealth of alternatives, from TiVo style units, HD DVD players, and network DVD players that provide a superior service for a similar or lower cost.