Will Tivo box the Amazon Unbox?

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Amazon is reportedly in talks with Tivo to enable movies downloaded from the Amazon Unbox service to be sent to TV sets via the Tivo. Strangely, stock prices for both companies took a quick leap this morning before quickly losing gains again within an hour. Perhaps after the initial enthusiasm the reality set in that Unbox is widely seen as a technical disaster.

Amazon Unbox does provide a DVD quality file with each download that can be burned to a DVD as backup but cannot be watched with a DVD player. For more details on Unbox, see our coverage of its launch.

Apple announced its own set top box called iTV at the “Showtime” event. Rumor has it that the company is in talks with Google to, among many things that are possible, allow videos from Google Video to be played on the iTV.

Ultimately it’s probably all a matter of DRM, as any of these files ought to be viewable on any of the set top devices coming to market. Just as the movie studios make DRM demands on the download services, the download services then share their DRM carefully with device makers. You can only imagine how much further along this industry could be if it weren’t tangled up in such matters. Perhaps everyone would be broke and movies would be free, though, it’s hard to say.

Thanks to Steve Poland for the tip.

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