Amazon will launch a new streaming video service to select customers on Thursday called Amazon Video on Demand. The service is different from its year-and-a-half old Unbox download service, which offers downloads of movies and TV to rent and buy, but only works on Windows machines.
Amazon has clearly been rethinking the Unbox business lately, and let some details slip about this new service in May. The main difference seems to be that the movies are streamed and can be watched instantly.
40,000 movies and television shows are available now.
Amazon also plans to pipe the data in directly to large screen TVs. they signed a deal to include the service in Sony Bravia high-definition Television sets. To access the movies on their Bravia TVs, users must purchase a $300 Bravia Internet Video link, the Times reported. Brad Stone, who wrote the story, noted that this “was an awkward extra expense, for now.”
Until we see the product it can’t really be judged, Amazon is going to have a fight on its hands as it tries to wrestle its way into the living room. Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Tivo and lots of other services are already there, hanging out with the family. I love Amazon, but I’m not sure I love them more than Apple, Netflix and Tivo combined.