Two things happened yesterday – Apple announced their new TV show rentals service and Amazon unveiled their new VOD system as well. There are plenty of similarities between the two – both these services allow users to get access to TV shows at a price of $0.99. Both the services are at present tied to content produced by ABC and Fox.
But there are a few areas where the services will differ too. Firstly, the iTunes service is a rental system whereas Amazon VOD is a purchase-model. In other words, you OWN the content you buy on Amazon which is not the case with iTunes TV rentals. Secondly, the iTunes service will provide amazing 720p HD resolution video rendering on all its rentals – something that the Amazon does not offer on all their videos. Only selected shows on Amazon VOD are available in HD. However, while iTunes TV show rentals are restricted to Apple’s proprietary and closed system, Amazon VOD shows can be watched over the web and on multiple set-top boxes like the TiVo.
Finally, since the iTunes TV rentals will be available only with Apple TV, you have to wait for one more month before you can start watching these shows. On the other hand, Amazon VOD is available now here.
So which one should you go for? If you are an Apple family who own all of their phones,computers and set top boxes from Apple, then the iTunes TV rentals make sense. Otherwise, you may go with Amazon VOD unless you are too specific about watching all your TV shows in HD.