Amazon is exploring the movie downloading business, The New York Times reports, and is talking with three studios about a service that would let customers download movies and burn them onto a DVD.
Meanwhile, folks from Moviebeam stopped by my office today to talk about their service, which allows users to rent from a rotating set of 100 movies stored on a set-top box. Moviebeam uses public broadcasting TV signals to load movies into the set-top box, a system which was developed in part using technology from Kent-based Dotcast. The service runs on Microsoft's Windows Media platform.
Carl Crabill, MovieBeam's vice president for sales and marketing, said the company later this year will integrate wireless Internet access into the box so that customers can download movies from a large library of older titles. Personal computers will be able to do this as well, and down the road that will likely mean making the movies playable on portable media players.
After years of basically no progress, this field is now moving along very quickly.