Amazon has expanded its catalog and improved its software since last year’s launch of Unbox, which is among the most satisfying online rental services. Prices range from $1.99 to $3.99, depending on the title. As with iTunes, Amazon’s catalog is vast, but its rental windows are more flexible, with some titles giving you a seven-day viewing window. Unbox uses your existing Amazon account for easy billing, but the integration of store and viewer is not as neat as that of iTunes. You order the film and start the download using your browser but retrieve and watch it using the Unbox viewer.
Like CinemaNow and Movielink, Unbox does not let you rent or buy films from within the player software, though all of the services let you buy movies outside the player. The system, which took 57 minutes to download 3:10 to Yuma—the slowest download in the group—also does not recover well from botched downloads. We had to repurchase films that failed to load completely because the software and the store were not properly in sync.
The excellent Unbox player is the main attraction here because the interface surrounds the screen with film details, user reviews, and even celebrity images. Despite some quirks, Unbox is a good bet for finding the movies you want and watching them at your own pace.
Online Movie Rentals