Amazon Unbox on TiVo is LIVE


Megazone dropped me a note that Amazon Unbox on TiVo has been enabled. I immediately registered and ordered A Scanner Darkly ($3.99) through Amazon’s web site – video to be shipped direct to my Series3 via the Internet. Within just a minute or two the download began…


If you register on Amazon to link your TiVo box(es) before April 30th, you’ll receive a $15 video credit. So we’ll find out pretty quickly (and for free) if the size of the library and if the video quality (SD) are both sufficient.

Movie rentals start at $1.99, while movie purchases start at $9.99. Television episode can be purchased for $1.99. The purchased content is available for re-download (to TiVo, PC, or portable) indefinitely via Amazon’s “Media Library.”

Some handy links:

FYI For each elapsed minute, my download is averaging a little more than 1 minute of content. It’s way too early to call it a rule, so I offer it only for comparative purposes. Also, my S3 bezel has a blue light to the right of the time… which must indicate an in-progress Internet download.

11 thoughts on “Amazon Unbox on TiVo is LIVE”

  1. This could work for TV shows that were originally 1.33:1, but I agree that no OAR for movies is a fatal flaw. This isn’t competitive with DVD no matter how you look at it.

  2. Ult – You need a web browser to order the movies, but then the download is directly to the TiVo. So while Unbox is normally Windows only, with TiVo you can order from a Mac, Linux, etc.

    Adam & Michael – in a comment over at Engadget someone claiming to be the lead engineer said 16:9 and HD content is in the plans for the service.

  3. I dl’ed an episode of “Bones” to my TiVo from Unbox.

    Good news: quality is very good, much better than ‘best’ TiVo quality and at a fraction of the disk space (42 min only 0.9 GB, compared to over 2 GB for an hour long program).

    Bad news: it appears that only a subset of the Unbox content is available to Tivo.

  4. the picture quality is great, but the lack of surround sound a deal killer for me.

    wish tivo would use this this encoding for everything…

  5. Most TiVo boxes only output stereo, only the DVD and S3 have 5.1, so it isn’t a big deal for most users. Maybe when they introduce HD content.

    As for the quality – keep in mind that they don’t have to do real-time encoding for the downloads. Locally TiVo has to do a single-pass, real-time encode of the video. Amazon can do a multi-pass encode of the download content, which gives superior compression for any given quality.

  6. Thanks — I have the Toshiba DVD player version so I don’t know what sound it is outputting; however the sound quality of the video downloads is pretty poor regardless. I had to crank my volume up just to hear the movie. It also sounds flat — again not sure if that is stereo/5.1 or just bad sound encoding.

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