Amazon.com Inc. on Wednesday launched a service that lets users watch video purchased on the Internet and sent to a home television hooked up to a TiVo set-top box.
Originally announced last month, “Amazon Unbox in TiVo” extends the online retailer’s Unbox download service to more than 1.5 million TiVo Inc. subscribers who have a high-speed connection to the Internet.
TiVo shares rose more than 5 percent on Nasdaq after the launch was announced. Last month, analysts said the service shows content companies may be embracing TiVo as both a potential partner and a distribution platform.
Under an introductory offer, TiVo is offering $15 in free movie and TV show downloads to those who sign up. Television show episodes go for $1.99, and most movies cost between $9.99 and $14.99.
The test service comes as media and technology companies experiment with new ways to court viewers who split their time between viewing traditional media, surfing the Internet and playing video games.
By going directly to the TV, Amazon’s TiVo partnership takes downloads a step further than online video stores like those of Wal-mart and Apple Inc., which are geared toward computers or portable devices.
For TiVo, Unbox adds another factor that differentiates its video-recording technology from generic digital video recorders offered by cable and satellite providers.
Under the Unbox service, viewers must buy their video, or pay for the rental, from PCs. TiVo downloads will count against a two-PC limit on Unbox purchases, though Unbox users can still download the shows to two handheld devices.
Shares of TiVo, which is expected to report its quarterly results later on Wednesday, rose 9 cents to $6.04 in morning trade on Nasdaq, after climbing to $6.25 just after the open.
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