Amazon video service launches today for invited users

Amazon announced today that it plans to launch its online store for movies and TV show rentals and purchases.

Amazon also says that the films will require no downloading to watch and will be stored on a special page for the customer at the website. This will do two things for Amazon’s service. First since the films never reach the consumer’s hard drive thanks to no need for download, issues with security for the movie publisher are lessened. Second, the customer can begin watching their movie immediately without having to wait for the download to complete like you do with Apple TV rented movies from iTunes.

Amazon VP for digital media Bill Carr told The New York Times, “For the first time, this (online rentals) is drop dead simple. Our goal is to create an immersive experience where people can’t help but get caught up in how exciting it is to simply watch a movie right from with a click of the button.”

Amazon says that it is working on a deal with Sony that would put a direct link to the Amazon video store on the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link device currently available. The link to the service could also be integrated directly into future Bravia TVs.

Amazon also says that it is pursuing similar deals with many different makers of internet-connected entertainment devices.  Carr said, “We can support both streaming and downloading. Our goal is to continue to establish partnerships with all companies who have a connected device.”

If the service takes off it is a safe bet that stand alone set top boxes for the Amazon service, similar to the Apple TV or the Netflix Player, will be seen as well. The Amazon service launches today, but is only open at the start to invited users.

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