Originally Posted by rbinck
Maybe someone who has used this service will weigh in on how the picture quality is on these downloads.
According to Engadget the video quality is better than Netflix HD downloads:
Roku hooked us up with an early preview of Amazon Video on Demand in HD for its Video Player, and while we didn't have much time to poke around, but what we saw was mostly impressive. Video took a little longer to buffer in than Amazon SD or Netflix's HD streams on our 10Mbps cable connection, picture quality was noticeably better, although still not at Blu-ray levels. Apart from the HD content, the experience on the Roku box is essentially same as always: there's still no search in the interface, so be prepared to hunt around for what you want -- anything other than popular or blockbuster titles requires a little digging. Selection and pricing seem to be about on par with Apple TV / iTunes, but you're getting a little less for your money, since audio is stereo-only compared to Apple's 5.1 encoding. That's a potential dealbreaker for us, but it might not matter to you, and Roku's $99 Video Player is now an undeniably appealing way to beef up your HD content options. http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/04/21...e-go-hands-on/
VUDU HDX titles are already supposed to rival Blu-ray for video quality, but they still lack lossless audio.
I have personally never used Netflix, Apple, or VUDU; but I watch Netflix downloads all the time on my Samsung BDP-2550. The quality is quite good; especially after the BDP-2550 upconverts the 720p signal to 1080p. It is definitely much more convenient to watch something whenever you want instantly, rather than ordering a disc from Netflix and then waiting for it to arrive. Presumably someday downloads will have lossless audio too, and then there will be no need for discs at all.