Amazon.com announced yesterday it will offer 500 HD (High Definition) titles for rent or to purchase. The content includes movies ranging in price from $3.99 to $4.99 and television shows which will cost $2.99 per episode. The move will put Amazon in direct competition with cable TV providers who offer HD VOD and with other downloadable HD services like iTunes.
TiVo subscribers, who have already been able to download titles from Amazon, will now be able to download the new high-definition titles if they are using an HD series DVR (Series3, TiVo HD, or TiVo HD XL) that has been activated for Amazon content. Roku digital video players, which recently started supporting Amazon VOD, is also capable of downloading the HD content.
Other players that are able to download from Amazon are the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link which connects to the back of some Bravia LCDs to interpret internet content, and Panasonic’s VieraCast-enabled HDTVs.
Movies in HD will be available from major studios like Warner Bros., Universal Studios and Sony Pictures, with many of the titles supporting Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio.