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First download-to-own film service announced

post #1 of 43
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Universal Pictures and the online rental firm Lovefilm are launching what they say is the world's first download-to-own movie service in Britain next month, CNN reports.

The service will reportedly launch with the availability of "King Kong" on April 10, and let users watch the films on their laptops, home computers or hand-held devices.

Films will be available to download the same day the DVD is released, the companies said. Consumers who use the service will get the film in three formats: two digital files available for instant download -- one for a PC or laptop and one for a portable device -- and a DVD copy sent by mail.

Initially, the service will serve up 35 Universal films, including "Pride And Prejudice," "The Bourne Supremacy," "Love Actually," "Nanny McPhee" and "Bridget Jones." They will be priced from £19.99 ($35) for the latest releases to £9.99 ($17.50) for older films.

"New films will be available at midnight on the day of release -- meaning consumers could be watching a DVD on a hand-held device on their train journey to work before stores have opened," CNN reports.

Eventually all 6,500 movies in Universal catalogue could be made available for downloading. Film downloads will reportedly take between 40 minutes and an hour.

Meanwhile, Apple and some of its potential partners appear to be researching an iTunes feature film download service, and analysts have said the company may be close to making an announcement in that department.

It has also been reported that online mega-retailer Amazon.com is gearing up for a similar service launch.
post #2 of 43
Reuters UK reports the download service will us the Microsoft DRMReuters UK
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post #3 of 43
Here we go again.
I just hope Apple doesn't encode the movies at 320x240..
Oh and if there's DRM, I'm not buying it..

Jimzip
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post #4 of 43
Well, Apple still have time to launch theirs before April 10th, if they want to be first... Their birthday is coming up before then...
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
They will be priced from £19.99 ($35) for the latest releases to £9.99 ($17.50) for older films.



Nice try.
post #6 of 43
Let me see if I have this right...

1. It is backed by Universal meaning that it is highly unlikely for there to be anything but Universal films available.

2. The pricing is $35US for everything...but I could likely get those DVDs for $20US and watch them...well...where I already can...on my computer and on my TV.

3. This is (currently) only available in the UK.

Okay. Got it.



P.S. There is no reason that Apple needs to be first. Best would be fine. The target (minimally) has to be DVD quality...and DVD pricing. You get the additional "convenience" of not having to go to the store to buy or rent it, I guess. But paying more for...well not really anything more? I mean...nice work if you can get it I guess.
post #7 of 43
They give 3 files? That's pretty smart. Damn.

I'm not going to comment on dvd pricing but I know tha Britian has jacked up prices on everything, so I have no idea what a dvd costs them.

What handheld divices are they talking about though? Creative?
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post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
They give 3 files? That's pretty smart. Damn.

I'm not going to comment on dvd pricing but I know tha Britian has jacked up prices on everything, so I have no idea what a dvd costs them.

What handheld divices are they talking about though? Creative?

I hardly ever part with more than £10 for a DVD. I wait for new releases to come down in price.

Really, I don't get this service. What the hell is the point if they are going to send you the DVD anyway? I could just buy the DVD for less money, and then make the files for watching on my computer and hand-held device myself. It seems that what you are paying for is for someone else to make the files for you, and to get your "immediate fix". But if they think this is going to be an attractive alternative to online piracy, they are gravely, gravely mistaken.
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post #9 of 43
At that pricing it's probably dead before it's born.

Look at the ads in the Sunday paper and there are always $5 & $9.99 DVDs all over the place. There are also used DVD shops that can have great selections at great prices.

While someone might want to download a movie the day it comes out the $35 is pretty stiff - unless they are going to burn & sell like mad.

Greed is only a motivator for the company - not the customers.
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post #10 of 43
Apple is DOOMED!
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
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post #11 of 43
"Apple is DOOMED"

Get real you fool.

How many monkeys are offering digital music stores today? How are they all doing? Exactly. Just cause you wanna do something; doesn't mean you're actually good at it and will actually take off.
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy01
"Apple is DOOMED"

Get real you fool.

How many monkeys are offering digital music stores today? How are they all doing? Exactly. Just cause you wanna do something; doesn't mean you're actually good at it and will actually take off.

I'm not sure about you, but I sensed a good measure of sarcasm in Anders post.
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post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy01
Get real you fool.

Hi Mr. One Post

Welcome to Appleinsiders boards. I hope you will find your stay here pleasant.

Remember this place goes back about eight years and we have a lot of history. You will probably come across posts that doesn´t make sense at the first look. In most cases they refer to that history and it would be useful for you to just sit back and see if you catch the meaning later.

With kind regards,

A Moderator.
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post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by eAi
Well, Apple still have time to launch theirs before April 10th, if they want to be first... Their birthday is coming up before then...

Apple doesn't have to be the first to launch a movie service; they just have to do it right, and give the public what they want.
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post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy01
"Apple is DOOMED"

Get real you fool.

How many monkeys are offering digital music stores today? How are they all doing? Exactly. Just cause you wanna do something; doesn't mean you're actually good at it and will actually take off.

Recommended reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony
And for days where you're feeling advanced:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_moderator
Or even:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by damiansipko
Apple doesn't have to be the first to launch a movie service; they just have to do it right, and give the public what they want.

Precisely.

Let's remember that iTMS wasn't the first music store either. It was just the first one to offer a user-friendly platform.
post #17 of 43
'Mr One Post' Now that's funny!
post #18 of 43
This is not a good sign for the Apple service. It reveals that at least Universal is thinking more along the lines of what Amazon wanted to do. Sell the DVD, and add a fee for downloaded versions delivered sooner.

The news about Playstation 3 and its online links to a refurbished Connect service is also not a good sign. Sony seems like it will hold back the Sony movie catalog until the Playstation 3 debuts.

I hope Apple can sign up at least one other studio besides Disney/Pixar for their service.
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post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
I hardly ever part with more than £10 for a DVD. I wait for new releases to come down in price.

Really, I don't get this service. What the hell is the point if they are going to send you the DVD anyway? I could just buy the DVD for less money, and then make the files for watching on my computer and hand-held device myself. It seems that what you are paying for is for someone else to make the files for you, and to get your "immediate fix". But if they think this is going to be an attractive alternative to online piracy, they are gravely, gravely mistaken.

I believe that nails it. I'm assuming that the two download files are low res for the handheld and medium res or heavy compression for the computer, with the full DVD quality considered still too large for pragmatic download-- hence the DVD in the mail.

Which makes no sense whatsovever, particularly at the indicated price point.

As Mr. H says, how many people are going to be willing to shell out an extra $15-$20 just to get a copy of a movie slightly before the DVD (apparently the pitch is that you can download your movie on the day of the DVD release before the video store opens!), and so you can get a low res copy for your handheld made for you? (The "computer" version doesn't even merit mention, since pretty much every computer has a DVD drive in it already.)

I think we're seeing why the industry needs Apple to bring some sanity to the market. Left to their own devices, their greed and arrogance mean they'll just keep rolling out completely witless "solutions", and the video download market will pretty much stay where the music download market was before Apple fixed it.
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post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox

As Mr. H says, how many people are going to be willing to shell out an extra $15-$20 just to get a copy of a movie slightly before the DVD (apparently the pitch is that you can download your movie on the day of the DVD release before the video store opens!), and so you can get a low res copy for your handheld made for you? (The "computer" version doesn't even merit mention, since pretty much every computer has a DVD drive in it already.)

I agree.
This is one of the most half-baked schemes I've heard of so far. Are people really that impatient nowdays that they can't wait 8 hours (At least 6 of which are spent sleeping..) for a store to open?

Jimzip
"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
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"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
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post #21 of 43
MS DRM!

Again a Windows only service!

My god, the French were right again... with there new law, this would force Universal to enable playing the movie on OSX
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Hi Mr. One Post

Welcome to Appleinsiders boards. I hope you will find your stay here pleasant.

Remember this place goes back about eight years and we have a lot of history. You will probably come across posts that doesn´t make sense at the first look. In most cases they refer to that history and it would be useful for you to just sit back and see if you catch the meaning later.

With kind regards,

A Moderator.


*bawahahahahahahhahahahha*

Oh dear god, thats funny.... oh, wait... yes, yes... I believe I have wet myself!

On topic....

Universal are DOOMED!

b.
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post #23 of 43
Sure $35 for a new movie....

When you can buy the DVD for $20 or you can just go to blockbuster and/or order from netflix and burn that same movie with all extras to a $1 DVD.

But that would be illegal...

This just shows yet another example of corporate ignorance from the MPAA... I'm not paying $35 for anything that is nothing but 1s and 0s.

Jack Valenti get your head out of your ass.
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by pioneer01
'Mr One Post' Now that's funny!

Ditto!

There is something about being a new poster that makes people think they are unusually smart, subtle, thoughtful, insightful, etc. They invariably show themselves to be the exact opposite. Has anyone else noticed that this is true on almost any board, in any forum, no matter the subject?

A wise man once said, much to learn, you still have.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnnySmith
I'm not paying $35 for anything that is nothing but 1s and 0s.

Oh man, you have no idea how ironic this sounds... seeing as you're posting this from a computer, running an OS that you quite likely bought when you bought the computer, and for more than $35 - and what's what the OS is, just 1s and 0s.

I'm sorry but, I can't resist.
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post #26 of 43
Universal is proving their ignorance and greed. Apple's likely going to have to wait until these pigs find the troff is almost empty before they let Jobs try it Apple's way. Perhaps a Disney first roll-out will put the pressure on the other studios. BTW these British files cannot be played on Macs per earlier reports.

One can only wish they'd try and launch the service in France!
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Kosice
MS DRM!

Again a Windows only service!

My god, the French were right again... with there new law, this would force Universal to enable playing the movie on OSX

It's not like they had more than two options for DRM.. It was either MS Windows DRM or Apple's Fairplay... Since Apple does not license Fairplay it doesn't even count as an option, they were forced to use Windows DRM... Apple is the one being the bully by keeping fairplay closed.
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Hi Mr. One Post

Welcome to Appleinsiders boards. I hope you will find your stay here pleasant.

Remember this place goes back about eight years and we have a lot of history. You will probably come across posts that doesn´t make sense at the first look. In most cases they refer to that history and it would be useful for you to just sit back and see if you catch the meaning later.

With kind regards,

A Moderator.



Hey! That's twice in less than a week!

You're hot.
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by mark2005
This is not a good sign for the Apple service. It reveals that at least Universal is thinking more along the lines of what Amazon wanted to do. Sell the DVD, and add a fee for downloaded versions delivered sooner.

The news about Playstation 3 and its online links to a refurbished Connect service is also not a good sign. Sony seems like it will hold back the Sony movie catalog until the Playstation 3 debuts.

I hope Apple can sign up at least one other studio besides Disney/Pixar for their service.

I get a distinct feeling that getting movie companies won't be as easy for Apple as it was getting music companies.

Now, the business is becoming more of a known quantity. They are not happy with Apple's pricing. And it seems as though they don't want to give Apple any more power than they already have.

This could be tough.
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
I get a distinct feeling that getting movie companies won't be as easy for Apple as it was getting music companies.

Now, the business is becoming more of a known quantity. They are not happy with Apple's pricing. And it seems as though they don't want to give Apple any more power than they already have.

This could be tough.

Agreed.

The good news is that Apple will almost certainly have Disney/Buena Vista lined up, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate that the Apple/iTunes way actually moves product.

And I think for a while yet having limited offerings isn't going to be the problem it would have been for music (where a music shopper might look around and decide that the inventory wasn't worth it), since everything's going to be limited for the time being.

Which means there will be a clear field demonstration: one of the movie stores will be humming along, selling briskly, while the other studio backed enterprises suffer from the usual pricing miscues, confusing interfaces and poorly designed "stores". The thread topic tells us as much.

Studios in league with the PC world suffer from the same fragmentation of hardware, software and web presence that has kept any serious iPod rivals from taking root on the audio side.

And, amazingly, they seem literally incapable of figuring out that that's even true, much less doing anything about it.
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post #31 of 43
Windows DRM... yawn.. More blue screens of death anyone?


The 30th birthday is coming up fast. I am amping about the idea of a vidpod. With so many of the threads here at AI inicating the Apple iMedia/movie store coming soon... exciting times!!!


The only problem being finding the dosh to buy these wonderful toys. Could cut back on the beer consumption I guess......
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post #32 of 43
I actually couldn't give less getting that dvd in post, I'd rather keep my subscription in the service and download/stream that movie when I wanted to watch it. I also hope, that the video services get their game straight with bittorrent, so the stores bandwidth isn't the reason why you couldn't watch over network. This kind of system would also allow "rental" approach, where you were entitled to only limited watching time/views. And please bring the prices and quality to same level with dvd:s
post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
Oh man, you have no idea how ironic this sounds... seeing as you're posting this from a computer, running an OS that you quite likely bought when you bought the computer, and for more than $35 - and what's what the OS is, just 1s and 0s.

I'm sorry but, I can't resist.

PWND!
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker


Nice try.

true, true...
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post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by lostkiwi
Windows DRM... yawn.. More blue screens of death anyone?

I get those a lot less of those than I do of the off switch of death, though I think my OSoD issue was resolved with an update.
post #36 of 43
I'd like to know the quality of the encoding on these. Are they using h.264? If so, what's the bit rate set to?

They're probably using WMV...... can you use windows DRM on anything but WMV?

If apple starts a service, what quality are they going to use?

I've got about 20 some dvds ripped at 500 mbps. It's decent quality, and the filesize is roughly 500MB for a two hour movie. But I don't think that's a high enough quality to sell.

We'll probably get 500MB files with the current TV SHow compression in iPod size I'll probably stick with handbrake no matter what they do.
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
I'd like to know the quality of the encoding on these. Are they using h.264? If so, what's the bit rate set to?

They're probably using WMV...... can you use windows DRM on anything but WMV?

WindowsMedia DRM is a proprietary* addition to WindowsMedia Audio/Video. I am 99% certain it is not going to work with other codecs (let alone other containers!), if only for the fact that it's not available as a separate component.

*) It is, as far as I'm aware, inherently incompatible with the standardized parts of WindowsMedia, i.e. VC-1/VC-9, at SMPTE. Hence "proprietary".

Quote:
I've got about 20 some dvds ripped at 500 mbps. It's decent quality, and the filesize is roughly 500MB for a two hour movie. But I don't think that's a high enough quality to sell.

Since you're not specifying the codec, let alone the specifics (quality settings and all), that's a pretty useless mark.
post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker

Since you're not specifying the codec, let alone the specifics (quality settings and all), that's a pretty useless mark.

485.63 MB
1h 43m
h.264
528x224
24 fps


The point is, if a movie is going to have a high enough quality for apple to be content with, (ie. NOT 500mbps) the file size is probably going to be huge! Unless they keep going with the iPod size.
post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
h.264

Main Profile, presumably?

Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
The point is, if a movie is going to have a high enough quality for apple to be content with, (ie. NOT 500mbps) the file size is probably going to be huge! Unless they keep going with the iPod size.

They could implement H.264 High Profile. That's where all the good stuff happens. 1 Mbps High Profile with "standard definition" resolution would look pretty damn good.
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post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Main Profile, presumably?

They could implement H.264 High Profile. That's where all the good stuff happens. 1 Mbps High Profile with "standard definition" resolution would look pretty damn good.

yah, main profile. What exactly IS the profile? On handbrake you can select main or baseline (no high). What's the difference?
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