Amazon to launch streaming video service today

July 17, 2008 – 7:12 AM

Amazon is expected to launch a streaming video service today that will either compliment or replace the company’s Amazon Unbox download store. The New York Times reports that Amazon Video on Demand will let users begin watching movies the instant they click they place an order. It’s not clear from the article, but it sounds like the new service is browser-based, whereas Amazon Unbox requires users to download and install Windows-only software.

About 40,000 films and movies from all the major studios will be available for rental or purchase. If you’ve purchased a title, it will be stored in your Amazon account, allowing you to watch the movie or TV show from any computer.

Amazon is also working with hardware makers including Sony to provide access to the video store on television sets and set top boxes.

The service will only be available to a limited number of users today, with a wider rollout scheduled soon. If you visit the Amazon Unbox landing page, you’ll notice a little button on the right side of the screen asking you to sign up for a beta. We’re betting that this is how you get early access.


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