First Wal-Mart and now TiVo...

In a story from the The Hollywood Reporter, they report that TiVo is partnering up with Amazon and its Unbox program to sell and rent "digital downloads of feature films and TV shows."

This service is currently being beta tested and the goal is for it to be 100% operational "to all users of broadband-enabled TiVo boxes no later than year's end."

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The goal with this partnership is that Unbox will "lure early adopters away from iTunes and Wal-Mart, as well as encourage new consumers to try Internet-based VOD even if they're not interested in viewing movies on computer screens."

"So long as you have a browser and can get to Amazon.com and have a broadband-connected TiVo, you can purchase movies from any computer in the world," said director of digital video at Amazon, Roy Price.

TiVo was trying to create a "VOD relationship with Netflix a few years ago, though a product never materialized." Netflix recently "launched its Watch Now initiative without TiVo, though that product is for renting movies to watch on computers only."

According to Tara Maitra, TiVo programming General Manager, talks "with Amazon began late last year, and beta testing started in December." TiVo unveiled this new TiVocast technology in June; "it lets broadband users download certain Internet content that shows up on their Now Playing screen just as a recorded TV show does now, and as an Unbox movie will."

Evan Jacobs