With the popularity of those new Netlix-playing Roku devices and this week's news that Xbox will also work with the Netflix Watch Instantly service and yesterday's launch of the documentary site SnagFilms and the fact that everyone including your grandma has a site that streams movies, it's no surprise that Amazon has finally also launched a stream service called Amazon Video on Demand. And it's got its own special Roku-type device to be manufactured by Sony, only it's much more expensive at $300 (compared to $99 for the Roku). And it seems you also need a Sony-made hi-def television to use it. The good news: eventually Sony's Bravia TVs will cut out the middle man (aka that $300 device) and Amazon may be able to work out future deals with other TV manufacturers.

Because it comes a little too late in the game, and because iTunes will likely forever keep its rival from offering Disney and ABC titles, I don't see Amazon Video on Demand being hugely successful. But the service at least sounds better than Amazon Unbox, which sold movie downloads. Because everyone and your grandmother subscribes to Netflix, if anyone wants to stream a movie they're going to just go with Watch Instantly and Roku. And because the main downside to that service is that it doesn't transfer to portable devices nor does it allow offline viewing, movie consumers are better off with iTunes for their non-Netflix needs. Hey, at least Amazon is still the preferred place to buy books, whether in paper or digital format.

[via Cinema Tech]