Amazon is offering 40,000 downloadable movies and TV shows via its new online store Amazon Video on Demand in the US.

According to the New York Times, customers to the service will be able to start watching the movies or shows as soon as they paid for them, unlike rival such as Apple's iTunes, where users must wait until the content has been completely downloaded.

It is also thought that Amazon Video on Demand will be available on the Sony Bravia range of high-definition TVs.

At present the store can only be accessed by a limited number of consumers who have been invited by Amazon. A full public launch is expected later this summer.