TiVo users can now access Amazon Unbox directly from their set-top-box, negating the need to use a PC in order to browse and purchase movies. Although the movie download service has been supported by TiVo devices since March, the feature previously required users to place orders through Amazon’s web site, rather than via a TiVo connected to the TV.
From the New York Times:
Now, PC intervention won’t be needed. The new ”Buy on TV” feature allows TiVo users to search Amazon’s video catalog and rent or purchase titles using their TiVo’s remote control.
However. users will still have the option to order movies via the web — which automatically download to a registered TiVo — so that, for example, you could purchase a movie while at work and have it downloaded and ready to watch by the time you arrive home.
Looking to the future, I fully expect Apple to follow TiVo’s lead and loosen the AppleTV’s reliance on the PC, as it has already begun doing so with its recent support for YouTube. Speaking to Walt Mossberg at this year’s D: conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs hinted at such a move, saying:
“Coming from the PC market you first think about getting content from your PC to your living-room. I’m not sure that’s really what most consumers want.”
Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised to see direct movie downloads (to-own and rental) coming to the AppleTV, sometime soon.