The Evolution of Amazon Unbox

Today Amazon adds multi-platform video streaming (think web browser) to their Unbox arsenal. Initially, the Amazon Unbox movie and TV video service required a Windows player install or Plays for Sure portable device, which was followed by the TiVo playback option. And now they appear to be dabbling in Netflix Watch Instantly and Hulu territory as they begin “Video on Demand” beta testing. Though I wonder, from a branding perspective, if they’re making a mistake… “Video on Demand” is clearly more descriptive than “Unbox,” but it’s also unremarkable.

In regards to Amazon Unbox on TiVo, I don’t see the service going anywhere anytime soon (despite the recent CinemaNow and Disney announcement) - though, it’s possible video could be served in the newly supported H.264 format. I’m all for that if it gets us to HD quality sooner. Proof positive Amazon won’t be shuttering the existing Unbox download service:

The video store will [also] be accessible through the Sony Bravia Internet Video link, a $300 tower-shaped device that funnels Web video directly to Sony?s high-definition televisions. Mr. Carr said Amazon would pursue similar deals with other makers of TVs and Internet devices. ?We can support both streaming and downloading,? he said.


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