Amazon Instant Video (formerly Amazon Video On Demand and Amazon Unbox) is Amazon.com's Internet video on demand service. The service allows people to rent or purchase movies and television shows online. The service was launched on September 7, 2006 as Amazon Unbox and is currently only available in the United States.
Amazon Instant Video uses Flash video in your web browser to stream and display movies and television shows you rent. An optional Amazon Unbox player is available as well for users to download higher-quality copies of videos.
Amazon also launched "Prime Instant Videos" for its "Amazon Prime" members located in the United States. Prime members get unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows at no additional cost with a paid annual Amazon Prime membership. Prime instant videos can be watched instantly on a Mac, PC and nearly 200 models of Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top-boxes that are compatible with Amazon Instant Video. All of the movies and TV shows are commercial-free and some are available in HD.
Prime instant videos require an Amazon Prime membership and are not included with the free shipping benefits provided by Amazon Mom or if you are a guest of an Amazon Prime member. Prime instant videos are also only available for streaming and cannot be downloaded to a TiVo box or the Unbox Player.