In the latest over-the-top competitive threat to cable VOD services, TiVo and Amazon.com this week will offer a lineup of 500 HD movies and television shows on-demand, available to TiVo customers with a broadband-connected DVR to watch directly on their TVs.
The 500 titles comprises a mix of movies and TV shows. TV shows - available only for purchase at $2.99 each - include Showtime's Californication and The Tudors and The CW's Gossip Girl.
Recent movie releases, available for rental only through the service, include Frost/Nixon, Twilight, Ghost Town and Yes Man. Older movies in HD format include The Sum of All Fears and Top Gun.
Movie rentals are either $3.99 or $4.99, according to the companies. The "vast majority" of HD titles provide Dolby Digital 5.1 audio for full surround-sound.
TiVo has offered videos for download from Amazon since 2007. The HD content is available to subscribers with Series3, TiVo HD, or TiVo HD XL DVRs connected to a high-speed Internet service.
"Our customers now have access to a new world of ultra-high-quality HD television and movie choices, many of which are available when the DVDs are released, something no other DVR, cable, or satellite company can match," Tara Maitra, general manager and vice president of content services and advertising sales, said in a statement.
TiVo Search, which is optimized for HDTVs with a wide screen display, will include HD results from Amazon along with broadcast and cable programs when a user performs a search.
TiVo subscribers must log on to Amazon.com to activate their broadband-connected DVRs. They can then use the remote to search and browse the Amazon selections right from the TV screen.