SWhile Amazon.com makes no claims as to the quality of video from its new "video on demand" online streaming service being comparable to DVD quality, a measly 1.2 megabit-per-second data rate is still laughable. To put it in perspective, standard-definition DVDs typically run well over 6Mbps (Apple, also risibly, calls the 5Mbps offerings from iTunes "HD," purely based on pixel dimensions and not data depth). And based on your connection speed, Amazon might deliver even less digital resolution. All of this for up to $14.99 to "own" a movie stored wrapped in Adobe's Flash copy protection. Granted, Amazon is hindered by the slow broadband connections typical in American households, but keeping the bitrate low also keeps bandwidth costs down — and margins high.
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