With the economy in decline, it's no wonder that people are ditching the video store for online movie downloads -- a trend that Tivo and Internode hope to capitalise on.
Internode and Tivo have struck a deal that will see Tivo owners able to download movies without eating away at their monthly usage allowance.
Utilizing an ADSL2+ connection provided by Internode and a Tivo PVR, users will have access to a plethora of both free and pay-per-view movies. New release movies will be rented at rates similar to those charged by Foxtel box office, while older movies found within the “TV release window” would be ad supported, and therefore offered to customers for free download.
Starting in April, individuals will be able to purchase the Tivo as a bundle which comes with Tivo-branded Internode ADSL2+, and a special unlimited downloads Tivo plan.
Rates are expected to range from $79 to $99 each month with a two year contract, and for that price, customers will be offered a TiVo PVR, ADSL2+ connection, TiVo wireless adapter and a WiFi broadband modem.
Initially this service will be offered only to users of Internode (and Internode ADSL2+ will be the exclusive connection sold under the Tivo marketing partnership), however Internode is inviting other broadband providers to deliver unmetered content to their customers as well. Internode claims this would be simple for other ISPs as Internode is hosting all current and future TiVo content on its national “content delivery network”, and is well connected through low cost internet exchanges like PIPE, making moving the data between ISPs low-cost.
Internode Managing Director Simon Hackett says he hows that allowing users to view movies on demand with no bandwidth cap will result in a reduction of piracy.
Telstra, which has big ambitions to be a media company, has been pipped at the post by Tivo in providing a broadband movie download service, but it's rumoured that BigPond will be offering a similar service later in the year, offering a set-top box much like TiVo which will deliver access to BigPond’s online services with no bandwidth cap.
Rumours are also surfacing that Amazon.com will very soon begin offering its HD Video on Demand content for direct download from TiVo set-top boxes. Unofficial sources claim that the new downloads will include surround sound for a better viewing experience. The concept of HD Amazon videos has been circulating since last year, when users discovered shortcuts to HD content in the TiVo menu.
Amazon’s announced last week that the giant online retailer would offer its VOD library through the Roku Player, though at this point no HD content is available on that device.
There's no suggestion that Amazon.com VOD content will come to Australia any time soon, as it's not even available through the Amazon website to Australians yet. However, the signs are that the content, broadband and electronics industries are finally getting their act together in delivering content down the pipe, rather than through physical media.