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Best Buy rumored to take on iTunes with movie download store

post #1 of 44
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Apple authorized reseller Best Buy will soon add its name to a growing list of firms bidding for a slice of the online movie download business, according to a new report.

Citing unnamed Hollywood studio executives, Variety.com claims the No. 1 U.S. specialty electronics retailer is in talks with CinemaNow and other digital movie download providers about a potential partnership regarding the service, which would ideally launch as early as this summer.

Best Buy is just one of several big-box retailers scrambling to adapt the the digital landscape for movie downloads in the face of plummeting sales of physical DVD, which have long been one of its bread-and-butter businesses.

The report is not clear on how Best Buy would benefit from the rumored partnership with CinemaNow but speculates that the chain may market its own brand of web-enabled devices, such as big-screne TVs and Blu-ray players, that would tap into the service.

Such a move would be similar to those employed by Blockbuster, Amazon, and Netflix, each of which have partnered with set-top-box makes like TiVo and Roku to push their digital catalogs into consumers' living rooms.

For Best Buy to be successful, it would mean defying the odds. Similarly situated Wal-Mart attempted a launch its own movie download service with the help of HP back in 2007 but never made it past the test phase.
post #2 of 44
Movie downloads are about as open a field as you can get.

Apple made hay with iPods and iTunes for music but they haven't really
cornered the market when it comes to downloadable movies.

I say the more the merrier though even as we get more vendors I'm not
noticing any real pricing advantage.

I've grown quite accustomed to purchasing 2nd hand movies from craigslist in
bundles and that's not going to stop anytime soon.
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post #3 of 44
So, how many "Company XYZ takes on iTunes/iPod/iPhone/___ (fill in the blank)" stories have we had now?

I am sure someone will succeed some day, but right now everybody is playing catch-up.
post #4 of 44
the name of the game i trust

i trust to buy DRM'd stuff from ITunes because it has been around for a few years, it's stable and Apple is not going out of business.

MS changes their online strategy every year it seems. same with best buy, after 2-3 years if they are still around and the price is worth it then i'll look at it

i'm not about to risk "buying" something only to have the store fold and my drm'd files will be useless and unplayable
post #5 of 44
I don't understand what's the need for referring to this action in such adversarial terms "to take on iTunes"?
Why can't it just be "Best Buy rumored to join the movie download party". I understand the instinct to create compelling headlines - but try not to cross the line between creativity and deception.
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

i trust to buy DRM'd stuff from ITunes because it has been around for a few years, it's stable and Apple is not going out of business.

MS changes their online strategy every year it seems. same with best buy, after 2-3 years if they are still around and the price is worth it then i'll look at it

100% agreement I do the same for the same reason (plus convenience). I am just not sure that a majority will decide on anything else but price.

IMHO, Apple needs to make up their minds where they want to take AppleTV (and FrontRow). So far it is a one trick pony with too many limitations (narrow format support, no DVD/BD-Player, no PVR functionality, no 1080p), I still like it, but most of my content is from Apple. If others embed their services in more useful/flexible devices, then Apple might get cornered rather soon.
post #7 of 44
Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

I know I always associate movie rentals with Best Buy. <sarcasm>
post #8 of 44
If Apple for whatever reason can't deliver more movies than what they currently offer, open it up. This closed system doctrine for Apple re everything will ultimately result with its failure and the movie catalogue is the main reason. It's just not a serious addition to a home system with that catalogue. Hopefully ATV will change- by opening it up.
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

I know I always associate movie rentals with Best Buy. <sarcasm>

Well a lot of people associate them with movie DVD purchases.

I associate them with scratched-up dented MacBooks myself.
post #10 of 44
A venture which they will botch due to lack of market penetration and the way they will surely try to peddle it in their stores.
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post #11 of 44
Doesn't or didn't Best Buy get into the music download business? I haven't seen too much about it lately. Why would movies work if music didn't?
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloblackmore View Post

I don't understand what's the need for referring to this action in such adversarial terms "to take on iTunes"?
Why can't it just be "Best Buy rumored to join the movie download party". I understand the instinct to create compelling headlines - but try not to cross the line between creativity and deception.

What's the point of a headline if it can't be deceptive?
How else can it be compelling?

Kent Brockman is your guide on things like this.
"A world leader has been assassinated. We'll tell you who... right after this commercial message..."
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifiredmyboss.com View Post

Doesn't or didn't Best Buy get into the music download business? I haven't seen too much about it lately. Why would movies work if music didn't?

Best Buy now owns Napster, which may be how they are planning on distributing these movies.
post #14 of 44
Remember that movie rentals and Apple TV are still "Hobbies" for Apple.

If Apple had been aggressive with it's video offerings as it was with music, it would have a huge market advantage right now. Instead, it's probably 4th or 5th out of what... 30-40 companies offering video downloads and having set-top boxes?

If they made the Apple TV actually useful, I know of 7 people right now who would buy one, myself included. Until then, Apple isn't even an option. Nobody wants to invest in a 'hobby' project that doesn't function.
More Apple TV sales = more downloads.
post #15 of 44
Too little too late for Best Buy.

Netflix/Tivo/Amazon/XBOX are formidable challengers. Comcast is now releasing new movies on the day they come available on DVD (ie. Frost/Nixon and The Wrestler). New TVS are coming out with these features imbedded.

Together, they may just be too much for even Apple to take on, much less Best Buy. I think its the equipment cost and no DVR is the biggest barrier.
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post #16 of 44
Love my AppleTV.

Does anyone know how many movie titles are currently on the AppleTv? I watch about 3 movies per month. It's gonna take me about 3 years just to watch the top 100 movies.

Larger catalog? I can't keep up with the current one.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

Remember that movie rentals and Apple TV are still "Hobbies" for Apple.

If Apple had been aggressive with it's video offerings as it was with music, it would have a huge market advantage right now. Instead, it's probably 4th or 5th out of what... 30-40 companies offering video downloads and having set-top boxes?

If they made the Apple TV actually useful, I know of 7 people right now who would buy one, myself included. Until then, Apple isn't even an option. Nobody wants to invest in a 'hobby' project that doesn't function.
More Apple TV sales = more downloads.

Although I agree with you that Apple could do more to make AppleTV a general purpose media appliance, the availability of movie downloads is most certainly a function of the studios.

Apple can't be as aggressive with movies as they were with music, because the studios have the object lesson of the success of iTunes making them extremely wary of granting the same kind of channel dominance again.

Whether that actually makes economic sense for the studios in the long run, I can't say.
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post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

Remember that movie rentals and Apple TV are still "Hobbies" for Apple.

If Apple had been aggressive with it's video offerings as it was with music, it would have a huge market advantage right now. Instead, it's probably 4th or 5th out of what... 30-40 companies offering video downloads and having set-top boxes?

Apple has consistently claimed that "The iTunes Store is the worlds most popular online TV and movie store, with over 250 million TV episodes purchased and over 33 million movies purchased and rented." This quote from PR on Mar 19, 2009. And nobody has ever publicly challenged Apple on that claim, so they are very likely to be #1, not #4 or 5, for video downloads

Jobs called AppleTV a hobby but he never said that about movie rentals. Movie rentals can be played on a computer or iPod/iPhone as well.
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post #19 of 44
It would have to take something very, very special for me to leave the Apple ecosystem when it comes to downloadable content.
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

For Best Buy to be successful, it would mean defying the odds. Similarly situated Wal-Mart attempted a launch its own movie download service with the help of HP back in 2007 but never made it past the test phase.

Hollywood is screwing this up. On-line movie purchases should be no different than buying a DVD at Wal-mart, Best Buy, or even your local grocery store. Hollywood needs to create a standardized DRM (there's couldn't be worse than anybody else's) and let everyone sell players and titles from whomever wants to jump in and compete. People should be able to buy digital movie downloads from virtually every on-line store they visit, just like a DVD. Hollywood needs to pony up the money and stop looking for everyone else to provide the solutions.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

Hollywood is screwing this up. On-line movie purchases should be no different than buying a DVD at Wal-mart, Best Buy, or even your local grocery store. Hollywood needs to create a standardized DRM (there's couldn't be worse than anybody else's) and let everyone sell players and titles from whomever wants to jump in and compete. People should be able to buy digital movie downloads from virtually every on-line store they visit, just like a DVD. Hollywood needs to pony up the money and stop looking for everyone else to provide the solutions.

This idea is a bit optimistic... in the best case, they might come up with something like one DRM per studio or a Sony rootkit, or with things being required to be licensed and implemented at the OS kernel level (as with BD), then causing OS makers to not accept it or Open Source systems to be unable to afford it. If they want online sales to pick up, they should at least give us the same possibilities as with physical media I can share DVDs/BDs with my colleagues and sell them, DRM is only a copy-protection here (and even that takes away your right to make a private copy/backup). For some odd reason, DRM with online media is more than a copy-protection and ties content to hardware (obviously in an attempt to make you buy the same thing several times; something nobody will do, unless pricing goes down drastically). None of these systems really work, they only limit legitimate buyers.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

Hollywood is screwing this up. On-line movie purchases should be no different than buying a DVD at Wal-mart, Best Buy, or even your local grocery store. Hollywood needs to create a standardized DRM (there's couldn't be worse than anybody else's) and let everyone sell players and titles from whomever wants to jump in and compete. People should be able to buy digital movie downloads from virtually every on-line store they visit, just like a DVD. Hollywood needs to pony up the money and stop looking for everyone else to provide the solutions.

DRM ..I agree but it shouldn't be controlled by Hollywood because Indies will simply get pushed out in favor of mega budget dreck.

The Govt is well within their rights to regulate some features of the media industry. Requiring universal and affordable (license wise) DRM that protects everyone is what they need to be looking at. It beats watching consumers get sued into oblivion.

Standards are great when they become pervasive and contain elements of fair use.
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post #23 of 44
So far it seems all these companies want you to buy their own brand of set top box connected to the net so you can pay them to watch movies. I have lost track of how many there are! Do you really want another set top box stacked somewhere? agh.
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post

So far it seems all these companies want you to buy their own brand of set top box connected to the net so you can pay them to watch movies. I have lost track of how many there are! Do you really want another set top box stacked somewhere? agh.

The latest are the new blu-ray players that also function as a internet download device.
Hmm, seems like the ATV could have done the same thing if they had only added that drive.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post

Jobs called AppleTV a hobby but he never said that about movie rentals. Movie rentals can be played on a computer or iPod/iPhone as well.

That is the comment I was going to make when I read rain's post. The content it distributes has nothing to do with being a hobby, it's a catalyst to sell more of their HW.

I'm curious to see how things will move in the next year. With so much "quality" (subjective) video moving to online downloads through different vendors and with different codecs and DRM that may or may not work with certain OSes and/or media appliances there is going to be another war on. I think that three can thrive together in this space but who will be lead the pack? I haven't seen anything spectacular from any of them at this time to indicate that this is the most convenient option for the average person that people.
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post #26 of 44
SERIOUSLY APPLE- GIVE IT UP.
APPLETV really is a lemon, a bag of hurt, and above all-a lousy hobby.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm curious to see how things will move in the next year. With so much "quality" (subjective) video moving to online downloads through different vendors and with different codecs and DRM that may or may not work with certain OSes and/or media appliances there is going to be another war on.

It's a pity, but I fear you are right.
And the movie producers don't really mind that, as long as they're making their money.
(I still firmly believe that lower price is the long term way of significantly reducing piracy).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

Hollywood is screwing this up. On-line movie purchases should be no different than buying a DVD at Wal-mart, Best Buy, or even your local grocery store.

Yeah, they need to be recognised as equivalent. How they do that is more controversial.

On a similar note - I think the future of "Free to Air TV" is in replicating the existing models into the online world. Let us watch Lost via AppleTV download from iTunes, free but complete with ads. Perhaps we don't need to record it on a PVR - and the ads can evolve into interactive, targeted ads.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

SERIOUSLY APPLE- GIVE IT UP.
APPLETV really is a lemon, a bag of hurt, and above all-a lousy hobby.

SERIOUSLY TECKSTUD- GIVE IT UP. You really are a lemon, a bag of hurt, and above all-a lousy poster.
post #29 of 44
Youtube just added Movies and Tv shows... this should be a welcomed addition to the AppleTV
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Youtube just added Movies and Tv shows... this should be a welcomed addition to the AppleTV

I hadn't though of that. Sweet!
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post #31 of 44
It is the last desperate gasp of a dinosaur. They have to do it or Apple and Netflix will make them irrelevant.
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

SERIOUSLY TECKSTUD- GIVE IT UP. You really are a lemon, a bag of hurt, and above all-a lousy poster.

Thanks for that anantkoolaiddrinkerdaram. I'm sure if the exact opposite of those words of mine were posted, praising ATV -you would be the first one down on your knees acting like is was the second coming of Jobs.
Keep name calling people - what a great poster you are.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I hadn't though of that. Sweet!

Just imagine what Youtube's catalog will look like 6 months from now.
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Just imagine what Youtube's catalog will look like 6 months from now.

Youtube is great for watching on an iPhone, laptop or iPod Touch but seriously it's a friggin' joke to watch on a 50 inch Plasma/LCD HDTV with an AppleTV. If this is the best Apple Tv can do (youTube-woo hoo!) then it really is a joke.
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Youtube is great for watchimng on an iPhone, laptop or iPod Touch but seriously it's a friggin' joke to watch on a 50 inch Plasma/LCD HDTV with an AppleTV. If this is the best Apple Tv can do (youTube-woo hoo!) then it really is a joke.

Tell me, how do the HD videos look on the AppleTV?
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Just imagine what Youtube's catalog will look like 6 months from now.

Since it's owned by Google, I would hope they could get as big as Hulu (save for NBC's content) in considerably less time than that. Though any contracts that they have may have to wait, though YouTube might be able to secure movies better than Hulu can. I just hope that it's as organized as Hulu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Tell me, how do the HD videos look on the AppleTV?

It's funny how he blames Apple for YouTube's low bitrate files which only recently have been allowed to be higher. Not once mentioning the HD video you can load yourself into iTunes or the video purchase and rental from the iTS.

As for your question, in regards to HD video from the ITS, it's a big enough improvement their SD content that I think many would pay the extra buck, assuming they have the bandwidth to not have to wait long to queue it up. Blu-ray obviously trounces it in audio and video, as well as extra content, but I think that is only a big deal to a select group of people who the AppleTV isn't marketed for or designed for.
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post #37 of 44
Youtube has an HD section as well...
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Youtube has an HD section as well...

Pointing that out will just infuriate him. He is obviously going off "Take 2" when this was offered for free for his already purchased AppleTV as a feature that wasn't previously promised. The quality wasn't good on a small computer screen and isn't even good on the iPhone's screen, but Apple obviously knew and it was assumed back when they released it that YouTube was going to be upping their resolution and bitrate in the future.
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post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Pointing that out will just infuriate him. He is obviously going off "Take 2" when this was offered for free for his already purchased AppleTV as a feature that wasn't previously promised. The quality wasn't good on a small computer screen and isn't even good on the iPhone's screen, but Apple obviously knew and it was assumed back when they released it that YouTube was going to be upping their resolution and bitrate in the future.

I've really enjoyed my AppleTv. I use to have BlockBuster's movie pass, but I cancelled that and bought the AppleTv. I don't know how many movie titles are currently on the iTS, but it's in the thousands I'm sure. Realistically, there's noway in hell I could watch all those titles. I don't know anyone else who could either. Then you have tv shows, podcasts, youtube, music, music videos, and lets not forget the movies I added to iTunes myself.

It's a great device, and it meets all my video needs and more.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

Kent Brockman is your guide on things like this.
"A world leader has been assassinated. We'll tell you who... right after this commercial message..."

Man, is that ever "spot on". [sigh]
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