Amazon finally launched its long-expected video download service a few months ago, and it was the equal of all the other services in the market, which is to say it's pretty unappealing. All of these services are riddled with the same problems, but standing above them all is that they make it way too hard for an average user to watch a movie they buy or rent on their TV set. This is a problem that's pretty obvious, but movie studios' desire to lock down their content as a pointless measure against piracy trumps it, and indeed pretty much everything else. Amazon, however, has announced a deal with TiVo that will let its users access content they purchase from Amazon's video service, Unbox, on their DVR. This sort of arrangement makes a lot of sense and is definitely a step forward, but it's not a huge step. It's only helpful to TiVo users, and then just a small set of those, since it won't work on TiVos through DirecTV, which is about two-thirds of TiVo's subscribers. It also still doesn't change the perception that users are paying roughly the same prices as for DVDs (Amazon charges $14.99 for movie downloads), but getting a less valuable product in return. That's the underlying problem, of which the inability to watch movies on a TV is a significant symptom, and this "pay more, get less" strategy simply won't work.
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