Naturally, there had to be somewhere to pick up those episodes that iTunes won't be delivering to the Heroes-addicted and "Jim and Pam forever" types, and it looks like NBC has picked Amazon Unbox to do the honors, and has started selling select shows already. If this wasn't a good defense for lifting DRM restrictions from video downloads, we don't know what is: as it stands right now, people will be able to stick with their favorite NBC shows on iTunes until the middle of the season, and then get sent packing over to Unbox -- meaning half of their purchased episodes will only play on an iPod or iTunes, and the other half will only play on PlaysForSure portable devices and Windows computers. Of course, the informed will buy shows on Amazon from the start, and to help that along NBC will be offering free pilot episodes of new NBC shows starting September 10th. Pricing so far hasn't diverged from the $1.99 model, and we're still not sure what exactly NBC meant by "packaging options."

HDTV Listings for September 4, 2007