Amazon Extends Video On Demand Reach

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Amazon.com has extended the reach of its online Video On Demand offering, enabling streaming access to thousands of movies and television programs via Mac and PC Web browser, as well as purchases and rentals through Sony’s Bravia Internet Video Link add-on to its Bravia HDTV lines. Amazon has also enabled free two-minute previews of every television show and movie it offers, making it easy for users to determine if they’re looking to rent or buy the right thing—a particularly handy feature for TV episodes where users might be looking for a particular show they missed.

Users can still download movies and episodes to PCs for later viewing via the Amazon Unbox application.

"We’re continuing to create new, convenient ways for our customers to watch digital movies and TV shows. The ability to watch content instantly without downloading first was among the most requested features of our customers, and now it’s live—customers can instantly watch the ad-free title of their choice on a Mac, PC, or compatible Sony BRAVIA TV via Sony’s BRAVIA Internet Video Link device," said Amazon’s video on demand director Roy Price, in a statement.

Amazon lists the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link support as "beta;" users first need to link their Bravia to Amazon’s service via the Web. and users can start watching purchases right away, with backups stored in user’s Video Library.

Expanding out into instant streaming of video content to Mac and PC Web browsers means Amazon’s Video On Demand service is available not only to Mac and PC Web surfers (and Bravia Internet LInk owners) but also to TiVo owners and Windows Media Center extenders like portable media players and the Xbox 360, giving Amazon’s video service a wider reach than most of its competitors. For the time being, however, Amazon is sticking with its little-loved Unbox application as the only way to accessed downloaded content.

Right now, Amazon Video On Demand offers over 40,000 movies and TV shows, and plans to gear up with new programming for the upcoming fall U.S. television season.

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