USA Today is out with a movie-ordering comparison of Apple TV versus Amazon Unbox on TiVo. Buried in the article is an interesting nugget:
Amazon and TiVo are expected today to announce direct sales that bypass the PC altogether.
Movies can currently be ordered via Amazon’s website on computer. (Unofficially: Unbox OnDemand) This method generally works out fine given movies can ‘t be watched until the download completes, but it makes sense to provide ordering directly on the TiVo unit – for both service and as a means of advertising the feature. The challenge isn’t really the technology of building the Java HME widget, the challenge is creating a well organized and friendly TV interface for Amazon’s large collection of content. We shall see…
As far as the A-TV/TiVo comparison, the author believes both are good choices and signify the start of Internet/TV convergence. Of course, I think the Xbox 360 has Apple and TiVo beat by providing HD content (at a price…) and allowing me to view a movie download in progress once I have a sufficient buffer. However, Amazon Unbox on TiVo aspect ratio and quality is just fine for our 32″ bedroom SDTV and I’ve capitalized on those frequent content sales.
Update: I spoke with a TiVo contact who doesn’t have any comment regarding on-box Unbox ordering at this time. We won’t be seeing it today, as USA Today suggested, given the upcoming print and web corrections. Ah well, it’s only a matter of time.