So that whole Amazon Unbox/Tivo deal is something else, huh?Â When Unbox first launched the entire web met it with a resounding “eh”, but this new alliance with Tivo has suddenly made Unbox a very serious player in the digital content world, and has provided a much needed solution to downloading digital content and playing it on your television.
I would dare say (and please don’t kill me here) that for cable subscribers this Amazon/Tivo deal may be a better solution than AppleTV.Â With Apple’s new media device set to ship this month, they have some SERIOUS catching up to do with this Amazon/Tivo alliance.
Here are 5 features that the Amazon/Tivo alliance has that AppleTV does not.Â If Apple is going to come out victorious here, some (or all) of these features need to make their way to Apple TV.
1) Movie Rentals – That’s right, with the UnboxTivo combo you can rent movies, download them, and watch them anytime you want within the rental period.
2) Remote Scheduling – the UnboxTivo service allows you to log on to Amazon’s site, buy a movie, tv show, or rental, and set it to begin downloading on your home box.Â So you could decide to download Heroes while you’re at work, and have it waiting for you when you get home.
3) Online Back-up – With iTunes, you’re pretty much screwed if you lose your files.Â It has been reported that Apple will allow you to re-download once in certain cases, but with the Unbox/Tivo deal Amazon’s site keeps a record of everything you’ve downloaded.Â You can then delete that off of your Tivo whenever you want, and re-download it at any point in the future.
4) More Studio Support – Amazon has the support of Warner Bros. Fox, BBC and other studios that Apple does not yet have.Â This HAS to change, and a rental model will AT LEAST get these movies where we can enjoy them on Apple TV.
5) PVR – The Tivo part of this alliance is nothing to sneeze at.Â They are providing more than just a box for users to download content…they also provide the premiere DVR service in the world right now.
Now, there is one important thing to mention that the Unbox/Tivo alliance has that Apple doesn’t have…that we DON’T want…a monthly service fee.Â The Unbox portion may not cost anything extra a month, but Tivo service isn’t free…and probably never will be.Â That is the biggest thing against the Unbox/Tivo alliance, but will it be enough to keep users from the service?Â In a word: no.