Amazon Instant Video gets content boost ahead of slate surprise

Amazon has announced a boost in its digital streaming catalog, now exceeding 100,000 titles including over 9,000 TV shows and movies offered free to Amazon Prime subscribers. The news is particularly pointed given long-standing rumors that Amazon's incoming tablets will leverage the retailer's video library to distinguish the slates among the Android and iPad competition.

Over 15,000 of the titles on offer are presented in HD quality, with the remainder in standard definition. Both new releases and classic shows and movies are available, for purchase and rental, priced from $3.99. Thanks to Amazon's cloud store, users can access content from any compatible device, be it a PC or Mac, smart TV, connected Blu-ray deck or STB.

What may provide the tipping point, however, is when Amazon Instant Video arrives on tablets. The company has been preparing its Android services portfolio over the past few months, including the fast-growing Amazon Appstore for Android, and with the existing Kindle app for ereading and Amazon Cloud Player for streaming music, the scene is set for an iTunes-rivaling multimedia showdown.