In a push to sell a la carte video content directly to subscribers, TiVo linked arms with Amazon.com to offer Amazon Unbox on TiVo, which will let TiVo subscribers rent and buy movies and TV shows from the online retailer.
Amazon Unbox on TiVo, announced Wednesday, is currently in beta-testing among a small group of TiVo subscribers. The companies said it will eventually be available to TiVo’s 1.5 million digital-video-recorder subscribers who have Series2 or Series3 broadband-capable boxes, but they didn’t say when.
The deal adds a pay TV element to TiVo’s TiVoCast offering, rolled out last year, which provides free access to some Web-based video from CBS and other content providers including the National Basketball Association, The New York Times and Reuters.
TiVo’s partnership with Amazon.com follows other announced Internet-based services designed to deliver movies and TV programming directly to television sets.
This month, Apple expects to begin shipping Apple TV, a device intended to provide access to the computer maker’s iTunes video-download service and other computer-based content from a TV set. Similarly, Microsoft is selling video downloads through its Xbox 360 video-game console.
Amazon.com and TiVo claimed that they’ve developed the first service that allows video downloads to be integrated with programming recorded from TV, “so the consumer can easily navigate all viewing options.”
Pricing will be the same as the regular Amazon Unbox service, with TV episodes at $1.99 and most movies from $9.99-$14.99.
"By adding Amazon Unbox on TiVo, we are expanding the TiVoCast service to include movies, television shows and other premium content, giving TiVo subscribers access to the full range of video programming a consumer may want," TiVo vice president and general manager of programming Tara Maitra said in a prepared statement.