Are you happy with Unbox on TiVo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by ChrisTV, Apr 13, 2007.

Were you pleased or disapointed with the new Amazon Unbox on TiVo service?

  1. Pleased

  2. Disapointed

  1. Darthnice

    Darthnice umop ap!sdn

    Apr 29, 2002


    I used some of my credits to purchase a single episode of The Animatrix ($0.99) and rent XMen 3 ($3.99).

    The audio was ok, Neo-6 Cinema mode made it almost like real surround sound. Nothing to write home about though.

    I was disappointed in the picture quality of both. Apparently Amazon doesn't transcode the video properly, because it constantly had what amounted to a stuttering over large pans. Relatively still images look fine (not great, but not DVD quality either). I've gotten similar results when I chose the wrong de-interlacing scheme in ffmpeg.

    Having seen it for myself, if it weren't free, I wouldn't pay for it. A trip to the rental place would be better than watching that annoying jerking for 2 hours. They need to fix the jerky playback before I actually spend real money on it.
  2. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    Corner of...
    You're supposed to be able to redownload from Amazon at anytime for movies you have purchased. I believe there is a media locker section or something...? I have no interest in purchasing movies via Amazon so I haven't really looked into this.

    I am generally pleased with the rentals though, picture quality seems fine for me and selection is good enough that I can find something that I want to watch if I'm in between Netflix movies. For it to take the place of Netflix though I would need a much better rental selection, subtitles on foreign films, and preferably a subscription model that was reasonably close to Netflix's current offerings...although I'd probably pay a few dollars more a month for the convenience of downloads.
  3. Stu_Bee

    Stu_Bee New Member

    Jan 14, 2002
    As posted previously...I had the same issue with Xmen3 (noticed it after the 1hr mark). I wonder if it is all movies that have this issue, or just some which Amazon mis-encoded.
    I've only watched 2 Unboxes so I can't comment on it's frequency.
  4. debest

    debest Where's the remote?

    May 24, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I used my $15 free credit to download Casino Royale. Shortly afterwards my TiVo died. I replaced my TiVo, but wasn't able to re-download the movie to my new TiVo box. Here is an email exchange with Amazon regarding this...

    Email to Amazon:
    I recently purchase and downloaded Casino Royale to my
    TiVo. Shortly after that my TiVo died (old age). I've bought a new
    TiVo to replaced the broken one, but I can't figure out how to
    re-download the movie to it? I've updated my Unbox profile to include
    my new TiVo box. Do I have to wait a certain amount of
    time before I can re-download a movie? Or is the movie tied only to
    one TiVo box? Thanks for your help!

    I have looked at your account and found that the information you
    provided is correct. Unfortunately Casino Royale is currently
    unavailable for download. Occasionally, because of the agreements we
    have made with the studios that own the rights to these videos, we are
    required to remove the video from our website temporarily. Once these
    black out periods are over the video will be available from our
    website again. Please keep checking the website and Your Media
    Library for the most up to date information. Again, I apologize for
    any inconvenience this situation may cause.

    Thank you for shopping for Amazon Unbox videos on

    I'm glad that I used free money for this "purchase".
    In the future, I'll just buy the DVD.
  5. ChrisTV


    Apr 13, 2007


    Thanks for all the feedback guys :)

    I finally got around to posting it on WebTVHub here.

    Looks like a lot of the concerns are actually more to do with content owners than Amazon themselves.
  6. Cotton

    Cotton New Member

    Dec 7, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    I am very disappointed in this service.

    I signed up and rented a movie that never downloaded. I got one message on my TiVo indicating that the TiVo hard drive was too full or I had too many recordings scheduled over the coming days that Unbox couldn't claim enough space to hold the download for 2 full days. I tried "clear the schedule" over the next couple of days, but the movie never downloaded. I never received another message.

    You should be able to "force the download" if you want to. I would have modified my saved programs to keep the movie if necessary.

    Frankly, I don't care enough to follow-up on it. I'm sure that I could "talk" to Amazon to find out what happened to my download, but it's not worth it to me. I'll stick to Netflix and the movie channels. I had viewed Unbox as a nice alternative to download a movie that I heard about at work from a colleague and have it available to watch that night.

    Luckily it didn't cost me any money. I paid for the download with my $15 credit.

    I don't expect to use this service again.
  7. michael.neel

    michael.neel New Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    Overpriced - it costs less to rent the DVD.

    The DVD has subtitles, better audio, better quality, commentary, and other bonus material.

    I have the DVD for 5 days - not 24 hours after someone clicks "play" - this is a big deal. I have kids and sometime don't get to watch a movie all they way when I start. I'm also busy and don't need a death clock over my head.

    If I rent a video for tivo, I should also be able to change my mind and watch it on the PC. TiVo = living room, PC = bed room. My mood may have changed since renting.

    Selection is awful. Wake up call - there is a big market for independent films, and I can see X-Men 3 anywhere. I expect to see things I can't find to rent locally.

    Used up my credit and don't see using this service again.
  8. ricocarlos

    ricocarlos New Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    I really like it, but I would LOVE it if they had a subscription service.
  9. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Amazon's selection is bigger than any that I have seen. Btw, maybe you haven't heard of CustomFlix. Its a subsidiary of Amazon who's sole purpose is to distribute independent films (which includes Unbox of course).
  10. mansart

    mansart New Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    I don't really watch movies on TV (I go to the movies a lot) so I've only used UnBox for TV shows, but I think it's awesome for when you miss an episode or two of a must-see TV series. I only hope they are able to expand on the number of series they offer. Can you say Heroes?!?!?
  11. dbtom

    dbtom Member

    Feb 14, 2002
    New York City
    The most comparable system in my mind is the Xbox Live Marketplace. I think the XBox marketplace is a much more enjoyable experience mainly because of the video and audio quality. The selection is much more limited on Xbox, and the points are really confusing, but the 480P videos are just about DVD quality and the HD videos (720P) are near HD DVD quality. Audio is also in Full DD.
  12. Khaz

    Khaz New Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    I am really unimpressed with the poor video quality in the movies. You could see the compression artifacts all over the place. I have an xbox360 and have been able to compare the quality of rentals from both places. The xbox is much better than the TiVo, and the rental price and limitations are prettty much the same.

    Once my free rentals expire I do not plan to spend any money on this service unless their video quality improves significantly.
  13. TracerBullet

    TracerBullet New Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Are there certain things that are not allowed to be downloaded to a TiVo? I tried to buy an episode of The State but I only got the option to "add this PC".
  14. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    Not all available downloads are compatible with TiVo. It may be jsut not yet encoded for TiVo, or it may be the studio involved hasn't agreed to allow the TiVo to be used yet. On those items, you just won't see your TiVo receivers as a selectable destination.

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