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Amazon and Tivo to test TV Download Service

 6:50 am on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)


Amazon.com Inc. and
TiVo Inc. will begin testing on Wednesday a service that lets users watch videos rented or bought over the Internet directly on televisions, as part of a trend to link personal computers and TVs.




 7:30 am on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

What's the market penetration for TiVo type services in the US? Is this like something that comes with your cable box?


 1:35 pm on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

No, Bill, TiVo is a service/technology that you rent. It's one more monthly telco bill you have to pay, along with cable, phone, cell phone, and Internet. Cable here is trying to develop something called "on demand" services similar to this, but of course, it's only what they offer whereas the web has (the potential to offer) everything in the world.

In an interest side note about rights to creative efforts such a music and movies, Apple's Steve Jobs yesterday wrote an open letter where he said it was time to get rid of digital rights rules. As he explains:

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That's right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.

According to Jobs, over 90 percent of the music played on iPods is outside DRM. The same factors are going to come into play with the Amazon/Netflix/Google/etc. movie services.

Here's [latimes.com] more on this.


 2:49 am on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

It would be great to see Mr. Jobs put his money where his mouth is and open the source of Apple's FairPlay DRM, or simply drop it altogether. Somehow I don't think we'll see that any time soon.

So what advantage does this TiVo service have over your standard cable and an HDD recorder? Isn't this the same as pay-per-view? Maybe it's the inventory size of Amazon compared to the cable company's offerings?


 9:18 pm on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Oh boy, they are going to let me watch low quality video I have paid or rented for on my TV, sign me up. Frankly I think you would have to be an idiot to sign up for the Unbox service, if you purchase a video through it you are locked into watching it through the unbox player (or whatever they allow) forever. With the advent of new gen players like Blu-Ray and HD DVD requireing something like 40mbps this will only be a niche.

....and open the source of Apple's FairPlay DRM, or simply drop it altogether.

DRM is just another service provided by many companies, whether or not a video or music title is released with it is up to the content provider. There would be no Itunes without it because they would have no content to distribute , if Apple didn't provide it someone else would have.I have to agree with him, it's time the mass media companies stop treating their customers like thieves. That's besides the fact it doesn't work. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs have been on the market for less than 6 months and have already been cracked and that was supposed to be impossible.

Isn't this the same as pay-per-view?

Similar but Unbox allows you to purchase the movie and provides the content on demand. Whereas you may only have a few selections for pay-per-view you can select anything you want with Unbox providing they have the title. Like going to the video store for a rental. The downside is you need a decent connection, the specs I've seen suggest Unbox video is encoded at 2.5mbps, so if you're on a slow DSL connection it's going to take quite a while.

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