Amazon launches HD movie rental, TV show sales

Online retailer Amazon.com said Tuesday it is adding high-definition video to its on-demand service, offering consumers the ability to rent movies and purchase television episodes shown in HD.

"Our customers have been asking us for two things: HD and the ability to watch movies and TV shows instantly on their television," said Bill Carr, Amazon vice president of music and video, in a statement.

The Seattle-based company said it will add more than 500 HD TV shows and movies to its Amazon Video On Demand service. Titles are from major networks and studios like Warner Bros. Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Showtime Networks, with new-release movie titles including "Twilight" and "Frost/Nixon" and TV shows such as "The Tudors" and "Smallville."

Customers can use Panasonic VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVs, the Roku digital video player, certain types of TiVo and the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link device to order and watch HD movies for $3.99 to $4.99 each. Television episodes are available for purchase at $2.99 each.

Customers also can buy the content to watch on their personal computers or download it for later viewing offline.

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