Roku player to receive Amazon Video on Demand

Amazon has announced its Video on Demand service will head to the Roku Netflix Player sometime in 2009, becoming the first non-Netflix channel through Roku.

Amazon VoD will add more than 40,000 movies and television shows to the Roku Player, with Netflix adding around 12,000 titles for viewers.

Since the Roku player does not have a storage device, all content will continued to be streamed using pure H.264 streams, with play back ranging from 300 kbps up to 1200 kbps.  All the Amazon content shown through Roku will be available for rent or purchase.

The most recent Roku firmware update promised "a number of great new channels that will begin to appear on your player in early 2009."  The firmware message means other streaming services will also be added by Roku, but the company hasn’t made any further announcements about which services are next. 

Amazon’s Video on Demand can also be found with the Sony Bravia Internet Link and TiVo DVRs, along with Microsoft Windows PCs and Macs, with additional devices expected to be announced later.

Streaming content has become increasingly popular as the Microsoft Xbox 360, Roku Netflix player, and several standalone Blu-ray players begin to add streaming capability to their products.  Netflix competitor BlockBuster has a streaming video box, but it hasn’t caught on the same way the streaming Netflix services have.  Apple also has its Apple TV box which offers streaming TV and movie rentals, although it has been rather disappointing since its release. 

Even though the streaming content isn’t going to replace cable or satellite subscriptions any time soon, it complements the services nicely, as it offers a wider library of content to people in the living room.