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Apple premieres iTunes Movie Rentals

post #1 of 71
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As expected, Apple on Tuesday announced iTunes Movie Rentals featuring movies from all the major movie studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate and New Line Cinema.

Starting today, iTunes users can rent movies for as low as $2.99 and watch them on their Macs or PCs, all current generation iPods, iPhone and Apple TV.

Apple said it plans to offer over 1,000 titles by the end of February, including over 100 titles in high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound which users can rent directly from their widescreen TV using Apple TV. iTunes Movie Rentals are priced at $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 and new releases at $4.99.

"iTunes Movie Rentals instantly brings great movies from all the major studios directly to your iPod, iPhone, TV or computer -- without having to drive to the video store or wait for DVDs to arrive in the mail," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. "Movie lovers can now discover and enjoy movies as simply and easily as music lovers discover and enjoy music today on iTunes."

Once a movie is rented, it starts downloading from the iTunes Store directly to iTunes or Apple TV, and users with a fast Internet connection can start viewing the movie in seconds. Customers have up to 30 days to start watching it, and once a movie has been started customers have 24 hours to finish it -- or watch it multiple times.

An all new version of the Apple TV software delivers an entirely new user experience centered around iTunes Movie Rentals, allowing movie fans to rent and watch movies right from their widescreen TV, with no computer required. Users can also view photos from their computers, Flickr and .Mac Web Galleries on their widescreen TV as slideshows or screen savers, and anytime photos are updated on Flickr or .Mac they are automatically updated on Apple TV.

"Apple has created an incredibly easy and innovative way to rent and enjoy movies," said Jim Gianopulos, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment. "Millions of movie lovers will be able to watch wonderful movies from Fox and the other major studios whenever and wherever they want, be it on their computer, TV, iPod or iPhone."

Apple TV users can now also browse and enjoy the iTunes Store podcast directory of over 125,000 video and audio podcasts, view over 50 million originally created videos from YouTube, or choose from a selection of six million songs, over 600 TV shows and 10,000 music videos to purchase directly from their Apple TV. Purchases downloaded to Apple TV are automatically synced back to iTunes on the user's computer for enjoyment on their computer, iPod or iPhone.

Apple TV easily connects to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports. Using high-speed AirPort 802.11 wireless networking, Apple TV now automatically plays all of your iTunes content without setup or management.

Pricing & Availability

Movie rentals from the iTunes Store for Mac or Windows require iTunes 7.6, available as a free download immediately from iTunes.com. iTunes Movie Rentals require a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. iTunes Movie Rentals are available in the US only and are $2.99 (US) for library titles and $3.99 (US) for new releases, and high definition versions are priced just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 (US) and new releases at $4.99 (US).

The new Apple TV software will be available as a free automatic download to all Apple TV customers later this month. Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, is available from the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price $229 (US) for the 40GB model, and for $329 for the 160GB model. Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV. iPod games will not play on Apple TV.
post #2 of 71
I wonder what resolution the HD movies are going to be?
post #3 of 71
Great idea. Wonder why it took so long.
Seems a little expensive and rental time is short. But otherwise, I can't wait to try it.
post #4 of 71
I'd guess 720p. AppleTV can't handle 1080p. Unlikely it could do 1080i.
post #5 of 71
I haven't seen any mention of it but I'd like to have the option to buy movies in HD, also. I rent many movies and buy just a few, but if I could purchase them in HD I would do that long before buying the SD DVD and ripping it.

I don't mind losing the special features, I don't watch them nearly as often as the movies themselves.
John
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John
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post #6 of 71
I don't see where the rental option is on iTunes 7.6. Anybody know where it is?
post #7 of 71
Too Expensive for a Download! This Pricing structure wont work for the general public... it should be,"I mean... RENTAL? Cmon!" 99 cents for Standard Quality,$1.99 for hd!

my 0.2 cents
post #8 of 71
I second the motion. I want to buy HD. I'm not big into renting, and I don't care for near DVD quality...

There is no logical reason to not let me buy the HD. The only reason it wouldn't show up is if the Studios and Apple want play the control/power game (as could be expected). It will be interesting to see if Apple is being reasonable here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateScreenNames View Post

I haven't seen any mention of it but I'd like to have the option to buy movies in HD, also. I rent many movies and buy just a few, but if I could purchase them in HD I would do that long before buying the SD DVD and ripping it.

I don't mind losing the special features, I don't watch them nearly as often as the movies themselves.
post #9 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by dm3 View Post

I'd guess 720p. AppleTV can't handle 1080p. Unlikely it could do 1080i.

480p is considered an HD format... I'd be unsurprised if that's what it was. A feature film at 720p is gonna take many hours to download for MOST of us.

(and 1080i is barely any more info than 720p ... something like 1 million pixels vs. 950k pixels.)
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #10 of 71
I don't see the movie rental option in iTunes 7.6 anywhere. anybody been able to use it yet?
post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catman4d2 View Post

Too Expensive for a Download! This Pricing structure wont work for the general public... it should be,"I mean... RENTAL? Cmon!" 99 cents for Standard Quality,$1.99 for hd!

my 0.2 cents

Agreed. Look at the lines at the 'red box' in the grocery store for 99 cents a night. There's only so much to pay for convenience. (mind you, this is itunes, which charges 1.99 for a music video for cryin out loud).

Personally, my best worth would be to get some movies onto the ipod before I get on a plane...
post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateScreenNames View Post

I haven't seen any mention of it but I'd like to have the option to buy movies in HD, also. I rent many movies and buy just a few, but if I could purchase them in HD I would do that long before buying the SD DVD and ripping it.

I don't mind losing the special features, I don't watch them nearly as often as the movies themselves.

Right on! No HD to buy- WTF! What a mistake. Isn't that supposed to be the whole reason not to buy Blu-ray or HD DVD and beat Microsoft to the punch in the first place? If you can rent and buy regular movies you should have the same option for HD. Too bad- it could have been a slam dunk.
post #13 of 71
There is no buying of HD Movies available at this time. Below is my chat...

|
| Hi, my name is Zachary. Welcome to Apple!
| Zachary: How may I help you today?
| You: Hi Zach, I have a quick question about the updates to apple tv
| You: I see the ability to rent has come out, and that HD is now available. Is it possible to buy HD as
| opposed to just renting?

| Zachary: One moment.
| You: sure thing
| Zachary: Thanks for waiting. I'll be right with you.
| Zachary: They are only available for rental only, sorry.
| You: thanks anyway..
| Zachary: You're welcome.
| Zachary: Thank you for visiting the Apple Store. We appreciate your business.
|

p.s. this sucks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordan.murry View Post

I second the motion. I want to buy HD. I'm not big into renting, and I don't care for near DVD quality...

There is no logical reason to not let me buy the HD. The only reason it wouldn't show up is if the Studios and Apple want play the control/power game (as could be expected). It will be interesting to see if Apple is being reasonable here.
post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catman4d2 View Post

Too Expensive for a Download! This Pricing structure wont work for the general public... it should be,"I mean... RENTAL? Cmon!" 99 cents for Standard Quality,$1.99 for hd!

my 0.2 cents

If you drive to Blockbuster to rent a new film you'll pay at least $6; renting from iTunes seems to be not only cheaper but obviously far more convenient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

480p is considered an HD format... I'd be unsurprised if that's what it was. A feature film at 720p is gonna take many hours to download for MOST of us.

xBox live has 720p movie rentals, which range from 5-7GB depending on the film; when xBox Live is working properly they only take 1-2 hours to download. Presuming you can start watching while the film is still downloading (like the xBox), it's not a problem. The important thing here is choice: if you don't want to wait for the HD download, rent the crappy and cheaper SD version instead. I'm sure they're at least 720p, because the increase from SD to 480p wouldn't be worth providing two different versions for, let alone charging an extra dollar for.
post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

480p is considered an HD format... I'd be unsurprised if that's what it was. A feature film at 720p is gonna take many hours to download for MOST of us.

I takes me about 35-45 minutes for 'near-DVD quality'. So I would expect 3-4 hours for 720p, unless they do some amazing compression.

Quote:
(and 1080i is barely any more info than 720p ... something like 1 million pixels vs. 950k pixels.)

1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600

1280 x 720 = 921,600

So, speaking in terms of pixels, 1080i has many more than 720p. If you want to talk about interlaced vs. progressive than the picture changes a little (no pun intended).
John
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post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

If you drive to Blockbuster to rent a new film you'll pay at least $6; renting from iTunes seems to be not only cheaper but obviously far more convenient.

I pay 16 bucks a month at blockbuster. With that I can have to DVD's at a time, I exchange two a month for free at a store and can send as many as I like by mail. They only take 3 days to get. So for that $16 I can watch a 10 to 15 movies a month or more depending on free time. If you go with the iTunes model 15 movies would cost you around 50 bucks (10 SD Library titles, and 5 SD new releases). For the HD content the same would run you $65. For that much more money the convenience goes right out the window.
post #17 of 71
Ha... my first post, i have lurked around for years.
Anyways.... $2.99 for 24hrs is bad... and 30 between DVD on iTunes... thats real bad.
I guess i will rent a movie when i am flying or taking Amtrak.

post #18 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

480p is considered an HD format... I'd be unsurprised if that's what it was. A feature film at 720p is gonna take many hours to download for MOST of us.

(and 1080i is barely any more info than 720p ... something like 1 million pixels vs. 950k pixels.)

Not sure where you're getting that from.

Standard Definition (SD), as in DVDs are 720x480 = 480p. That is not High def. It is digital.

High def is 720p or 1080i or 1080p.
720p is 1280x720 at up to 60 frames per second.
1080i is 1920x1080 interlaced with effective frame rate up to 30 frames per second.
1080p is 1920x1080 with a frame rate up to 60 frames per second.

All film movies are filmed at 24 frames per second.

Therefore 1080i is just as good as 1080p for film movies. It is MUCH higher resolution than 720p.
post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Right on! No HD to buy- WTF! What a mistake. Isn't that supposed to be the whole reason not to buy Blu-ray or HD DVD and beat Microsoft to the punch in the first place? If you can rent and buy regular movies you should have the same option for HD. Too bad- it could have been a slam dunk.

Um, how much storage do you people have?? Very, very few people have the space to permanently store HD movies on their hard drives. Myself included.

I'm waiting to see how quickly the library expands before I take the plunge on this, though. And I need to see some real-world reviews of how well it works.
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27" 3.06 GHz iMac

16 GB iPhone 4
80 GB iPod Classic
1 GB 2nd Gen iPod Shuffle

Apple TV (2nd gen)
Apple TV (1st gen 40 GB)
AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11n)
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post #20 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_markt View Post

I don't see where the rental option is on iTunes 7.6. Anybody know where it is?

Glad I'm not the only one; I was feeling stupid...

I didn't see any mention of a future date for movie rentals and assumed they were available immediately with 7.6, but all I see are links for purchase...
post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmcboston View Post

Agreed. Look at the lines at the 'red box' in the grocery store for 99 cents a night. There's only so much to pay for convenience. (mind you, this is itunes, which charges 1.99 for a music video for cryin out loud).

Personally, my best worth would be to get some movies onto the ipod before I get on a plane...

I couldn't disagree more. I pay quite a bit for convenience, because I have the money, and I hate people. But then again, I don't understand why anyone would shop at Walmart, either, so I'm definitely in the minority.

I hate the 24 hour thing more than anything else. I'd much rather pay a monthly subscription, or at least get 48 hours to watch. But I'm guessing that will change in time.

$2.99 is not that much for a rental. How much do most of us pay for Latte's every day?
post #22 of 71
It says on the Apple Website under Apple TV Tech Specs:

iTunes Store purchased video: 320 by 240 pixels, 640 by 480 pixels, 720 by 480 pixels (anamorphic), or high-definition 720p
post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

It says on the Apple Website under Apple TV Tech Specs:

iTunes Store purchased video: 320 by 240 pixels, 640 by 480 pixels, 720 by 480 pixels (anamorphic), or high-definition 720p

Right, for Apple TV.

But I think the original AppleInsider article is wrong. I don't think you can get HD in iTunes--only on Apple TV. (That is, you can only get SD on your computer/iTunes, but you can get 720p HD on your AppleTV. That's one reason they now allow you to order movies directly from your AppleTV, since the movies won't be downloadable to your computer.)
post #24 of 71
I wonder how long until Canadian's can rent movies.

Man... I gotta find someone in USA to employ me, give me a US Credit Card, A Post-Office Box, and start my (barely) legal Cross-Border digital movie rental ring.
post #25 of 71
And an important question for Deaf/hard of hearing folks: Are these videos captioned or not?
post #26 of 71
The rental store isn't showing up for me-- and I downloaded the latest iTunes/Quicktime just now.

Where is it!?
post #27 of 71
I have a question....

If I were to rent a movie from the AppleTV box. How do I get it to my iPod? Does synching now work in reverse (from a device to your iTunes library).

Dave
post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetzel1517 View Post

Um, how much storage do you people have?? Very, very few people have the space to permanently store HD movies on their hard drives. Myself included.

Go with external drives.

I rip DVDs for TV use and they usually come out around 2 GB. Let's call SD 640 x 480 (just to make this easy) and HD 1280 x 720. That would make SD one quarter the resolution of HD. Now let's assume that HD movies file sizes are going to be 4 times that of SD, that would make a 2 GB SD movie into a 8 GB HD movie. I have a 500 GB external drive dedicated to iTunes, that would mean I could fit about 60 HD movies on it. That's not bad. This time next year what will 2 TB of external storage cost? That will hold roughly 240 HD movies.
John
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post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

I have a question....

If I were to rent a movie from the AppleTV box. How do I get it to my iPod? Does synching now work in reverse (from a device to your iTunes library).

That's what it seems like. The TV site says that if you purchase MUSIC it will sync with your computer/iTunes and then your iPhone/iPod. I guessing it works the same with movies. I thought I saw something that said once you start playing a rented movie you can sync it to your iPod.

From the TV Features page under Music: "And any music you buy from Apple TV automatically syncs to your computer, so you can transfer it to your iPod or iPhone."
John
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post #30 of 71
My issue is with the 24 hour time limit. It usually takes me 2 or 3 days to watch a movie because I usually fall asleep and restart the movie the next day from the point I last remember.
post #31 of 71
Where on earth is the rental service? I don't see it anywhere and I've downloaded 7.6.
post #32 of 71
I saw somewhere that new releases are available for rental online 30 days after they are available on DVD. Is this true? The bulk of rentals occurs well within the first 30 days of release.
post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

Right, for Apple TV.

But I think the original AppleInsider article is wrong. I don't think you can get HD in iTunes--only on Apple TV. (That is, you can only get SD on your computer/iTunes, but you can get 720p HD on your AppleTV. That's one reason they now allow you to order movies directly from your AppleTV, since the movies won't be downloadable to your computer.)

Man, that would be a real bummer - there is no difference between downloading it to the AppleTV and to the computer, why would they restrict the HD to the AppleTV??? I would have to see some evidence of this before I believed it... (not that they wouldn't do something like this...)

I thought he said the whole point was that you could finish watching it on another device (like another computer???)
post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catman4d2 View Post

Too Expensive for a Download! This Pricing structure wont work for the general public... it should be,"I mean... RENTAL? Cmon!" 99 cents for Standard Quality,$1.99 for hd!

my 0.2 cents

Oh please!

Do you think they're going to lose money on each doenload just so cheap people can be happy?

I'm sure they're as low as they can go right now.
post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkingDifferent View Post

My issue is with the 24 hour time limit. It usually takes me 2 or 3 days to watch a movie because I usually fall asleep and restart the movie the next day from the point I last remember.

You are a VERY unusual case.
post #36 of 71
As my boss said to me this morning. I get on a plane for a business trip, start a movie, land and go to my meeting then back on a plane and watch the rest of my movie. But wait, it took more than 24 hours before I got back on the plane so I can't watch the rest of my movie That sucks

Forget the 24 hours to watch, make it 30 period, heck, I'd settle for 14 days and be happy.
post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Oh please!

Do you think they're going to lose money on each doenload just so cheap people can be happy?

I'm sure they're as low as they can go right now.

I agree with you to a point. I am sure they are as low as they can go but the fact remains that this pricing is not very competitive in the current market. They can price where ever they want. Its their product. As with all things some people will use these and for others it does not work and won't use it but I think if Apple did it a little different they could get more business.
post #38 of 71
John Gruber at DF read to TOS in the new iTunes and came up with this:

Quote:
(aa) Movies are viewable only on your Mac or Windows computer (using iTunes 7.6 or later), iPhone, video-enabled iPod (iPod touch, iPod nano (3rd generation), or iPod classic), or on TVs using your Apple TV. Movies in high definition resolution (HD) are viewable only on TVs using your Apple TV and must be downloaded directly to your Apple TV. Movies are viewable only on one device at a time.

So there you have it, HD movies only available on TV. He found other interesting stuff, too. I suggest you read the whole article...

Here's the link to his article
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post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesperih View Post

I wonder how long until Canadian's can rent movies.

Man... I gotta find someone in USA to employ me, give me a US Credit Card, A Post-Office Box, and start my (barely) legal Cross-Border digital movie rental ring.

You used to be able to buy from the US iTunes store in Canada by simply entering a valid CDN credit card and a valid US address (including 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA ....) because Apple only validated the credit card numbers, not the associated address. I'm looking into this.
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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJJ View Post

You used to be able to buy from the US iTunes store in Canada by simply entering a valid CDN credit card and a valid US address (including 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA ....) because Apple only validated the credit card numbers, not the associated address. I'm looking into this.

You can also get someone to send you a US Prepaid card and set up an account on the US Store. I've done this in the US to gain access to the Japan iTunes store.
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