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TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.

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Trial and Error



The Amazon Unbox Shun Is Over

October 1, 2007 12:49 PM

I couldn’t avoid it any longer.

Even though I banished Amazon Unbox from my computer last year for conduct unbecoming a Web video service (namely crashing and turning my computer to sludge while downloading and watching videos), I went back to it today.

I know what you’re thinking. I should stick to my guns and give it the Heisman forever.

But, really, what choice do I have as I endeavor to be an equal-opportunity basher, er, tester of Web video download services?

So with NBC pairing up with Amazon and Fox offering shows for free, I had to download the service again.

The Web interface is much cleaner than it was a year ago, and I was able to find shows immediately. I opted for Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares” since it’s free for the first few weeks of the season.

Now here’s the part of the service that’s annoying. You have to buy the show just like anything else you buy from Amazon. So you have to go through a few Web pages to get to your cart and click out and all that jazz.

Sure, the service worked fine. It loaded, it played, the video zinged along. But I still prefer the sheer simplicity of the iTunes purchase. You hit “buy show” and boom, it’s bought. And you do it all from one program.

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Comments (2)

Kevin:

Your readers might want to know can access Unbox and all its glory via a Tivo Series 2, 3 or the new HD box, all with your remote control. Not sure if you can do this with the Apple box.

I am still waiting for Amazon to get HD content as well as progressive playing of your purchase, but its still nice.

Also, the Apple box is just a box for viewing iTunes purchases. With Tivo, you can buy AND rent from Unbox, and also use it for its top-of-the-line DVR technology.

John:

Download services like Amazon's Unbox are the future. I didn't realize this until I hooked up my LCD television to my computer via a VGA cable. I now see the huge potential for the business model--it's rooted in convince for the customer.

For those who have not seen it, here is a direct link:

http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=gw_br_unbox/103-5208533-2399030?%5Fencoding=UTF8&node=16261631&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=left-nav-1&pf_rd_r=1AJ1E29JKBA5NAGK87JA&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=313702901&pf_rd_i=507846&tag=opensounds-20

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