Amazon has launched its US download service Amazon Unbox, whichwill offer features, television and video games from more than 30 studios.
The service is supported by all the US majors with the notableexception of Disney, whose major shareholder Steve Jobs is expected to launch asimilar service through Apple on Sept 12.
Most of Unbox's feature downloads will cost between $3.99 and$14.99, however certain titles will be priced higher. Television episodes willcost $1.99 each.
The service operates on any PCthat runs the Windows XP operating system and has broadband access, howeverusers will have to download Amazon's proprietary video player in order to viewthe downloads.
Significantly, the online retailer claims the quality of itsdownloads is comparable to DVD standard, and says viewers will be able to beginwatching within five minutes while the remainder of the feature continues todownload.
Crucially, users will also be able to download titles to multiplePCs, a facility that is currently unavailable on less flexible rival services.
Apple's upcomingservice is currently only supported by Disney in terms of studio contentproviders, however it will have the advantage of being the only downloadservice to operate with Apple's iPod player.