TiVo + Amazon Unbox 

One last thing tonight: I'd been reading about the integration between TiVo and Amazon's Unbox service, where you can download a movie or TV show from Unbox and have it delivered to your TiVo. TiVo has sort of lost me as a user, as their HD DVR is way too expensive, and as bad as the Comcast/Motorola DVR software is, I can record HD and do pretty much everything I need to do. The TiVo has been relegated to backup recordings and occasionally streaming some music.

However, TiVo and Amazon are offering a $15 credit, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I signed up for it today--it was very easy, you just sign into Amazon, then type in your TiVo account info, and you're done--and scanned through for something to download. I didn't want to get a TV show, so I grabbed a rental of the recent Mike Judge movie Idiocracy. It cost about $4, which leaves me a good amount of credit to rent a few more movies or TV shows. The rental last a few days after download.

Now, after about an hour, it's only downloaded about 1/3rd of the movie (I've got an older wireless adapter), which means this isn't going to replace On Demand for instant gratification. On top of that, it's not in HD, so I'll probably never use it when I could use On Demand or Netflix.

But, for stuff that I'm not worried about being timely or high quality video, it'll be worth playing around with. Frankly, I doubt that this will take off. I just don't have much of a desire anymore to watch stuff in crappy TiVo quality. I've got a laptop that I can download movies/shows in high quality, or watch them online in high quality, and I can access them faster than the TiVo can get them from Amazon.

So, it's sorta cool technology, but I think it's a little bit of "too little/too late" from the TiVo camp. I don't think this will compete with Apple TV; I don't think this will compete with BitTorrent and a laptop; I don't think this will compete with On Demand. It doesn't win on price, quality, or convenience.

Well, at least I don't think it does, since I haven't had a chance to watch it, and it won't let me start watching it until it's fully downloaded.