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Amazon Launches Movie Download Service

Seattle — announced the launch of a new video download service called Unbox, which will offer full length movies and other video media.

The service will compete with Apple’s iTunes Music Store as well as other video download services. Apple is expected to announce next week, its entry into full length movie downloads, adding to the music videos and TV programs it already offers.

Amazon said its service will offer customers thousands of TV shows, movies and other video content from 30 studios and network partners and claims it is the only service to offer DVD-quality picture. Amazon said it delivers triple the video quality of other leading Internet video services.

The service will also let users order movies from one PC (such as an office computer) and download it to another PC or to a portable media player using Windows Media.

Movies will be available from studios including 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Unbox will also offer independent films such as “Akeelah and the Bee,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Friends With Money” from studios such as Fox Features, Fox Searchlight and Lionsgate.

TV episodes will be available at $1.99 per episode and most movies may be purchased for $7.99 to $14.99, or rented for $3.99.