iTunes Movie Rentals and the New Apple TV

Susie Ochs's picture

iTunes Movie Rentals and the New Apple TV

 

At every Steve Jobs keynote, you'll hear the Apple CEO talk about the company's successes -- nearly 20 percent market share for the iPhone after the first quarter, 4 billion iTunes songs sold to date, and so on.

 

But at Tuesday's keynote, he did something kind of un-Steve-like: He admitted disappointment. Since movies were added to the iTunes Store, 7 million have been sold. "But that did not meet our expectations, I have to tell you," Steve intoned.

 

And the reason? Apple feels it hinges on the model: People want to buy songs and listen to them over and over. But movies are different -- many are happy to watch a movie just once, so they prefer to rent.

 

Enter movies on iTunes. Starting today, films from all 12 major studios (Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lions Gate, New Line Cinema, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Company, Paramount, Universal, and Sony) will be available to rent on iTunes, starting 30 days after their release on DVD. You can watch them on your Mac, on a PC, or send them over to your current-generation iPod (no 5G video iPods, it seems) or iPhone for viewing on the go.

 

 

Library titles are $2.99 and new releases are $3.99. If an HD version of the movie is available, you can rent it for $1 more. (Steve showed a great-looking HD clip from Live Free or Die Hard, featuring everyone's favorite anthropomorphized Mac, Justin Long.) You have 30 days to begin watching each rental, and once you start it you have 24 hours to finish up.

 

"But what about this flat-screen TV?" Steve continued, gesturing to the giant widescreen behind him. "I'd like to watch it there too."

 

 

Enter the second generation of the Apple TV -- no computer required. The hardware is about the same, but it can connect directly to the Internet, and you can download rental movies from iTunes right from your couch. It starts downloading immediately, and prompts you when you can start viewing -- it looked like the playback starts at around the 10 percent downloaded mark.

 

 

But that's not all the Apple TV's Internet connection can do. You can also view movies and photos posted to people's .Mac Web Galleries. You can see photos posted to Flickr, and even browse photos left by your Flickr friends. (We can't wait to stream photos of our drunk friends in a continuous loop during the next podcast.) It's got 50 million YouTube vidoes to stream. You can download HD podcasts, too, and browse and search all your content with the newly redesigned interface.

 

 

What's better, current Apple TV owners aren't left out of the party. The software update will add all this functionality, and you can expect it in about two weeks. The new Apple TV hardware ships in two weeks, too, and it's got a new lower price: $229 for 40GB and $329 for 80GB. Those are both $70 cheaper than the previous version.

 

The CEO of 20th Century Fox, Jim Gianopulos, also appeared to reveal that new 20th Century Fox DVDs, starting today with the release of Family Guy: Blue Harvest, will include a digital version viewable on your iPod.

 

So Apple is looking to serve you content across all your devices, from your iPod to your Mac, and to your living room TV. Now to find a pre-Super Bowl sale on a fresh new widescreen...

 

 

To download this video to add to iTunes for viewing on an iPod with video, right click here and choose, Save link as.../Download linked file, depending on which flavor of browser you are using.

 

 

REQUIREMENTS: QuickTime 7.0 or later. 

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dubbyd

I believe it's quite cheap as a matter a fact.

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rentacar

Allow me not to agree since i do not think that rentals are expensive in general

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mickhhp

Not sure if i like the idea of a movie rental service, but either way, nice find!

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rentacar

I think it is a very good ideea, and definetly better than autonoleggio, the service with the same nameAlexandra Ionescu
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alexa

It will be very interesting to see how soon it goes international and how much it’ll cost. I also hope that you’ll be able to choose ANY language that you want for the subtitles. I live in Sweden but would love Chinese subtitles for my Taiwanese girlfriend.
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Apple4Ever

...Ones you can buy? Yes, I enjoyed renting a movie, and it was a good price and quality. But why do they only have some movies for rent, and not buy? If there were no rentals, they would probably be available to buy right now. No, I think Apple should keep rentals... but if they put out a movie never before available on iTunes... shouldn't it be available in both ways?


Overall, rentals are great, and pretty well priced. The only problem is that some movies are only available for rent, not buy.

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Phil

It's unclear to me what the hardware difference is between the current model, and the one that ships in 2 weeks.

What does «The hardware is about the same...» really mean?

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Emmett The Crab

When do the rentals start? They have a "top rentals" section, but the individual movies still only have the "buy" button.

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Travis

I'm not sure, but I think you need to upgrade to the new Itunes update (free) to see the rentals page. check to see if you have the latest, latest, latest version of itunes. Also, I can't seem to get netflix to download to my mac. must i have a (gulp) windows machine to do so. if so I'll stick with Itunes. I noticed a Tivo logo on the wall behind steve, are we going to be able to download to Tivo directly like you can with Amazon Unbox
P.s. the itunes 30/24 deal and pricing are very similar to Amazon unbox but unlike itunes, their wbpage ia a pain to navigate

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matthews

What is the point? I get a better deal from Netflix on all levels and I don't have a time limit. Rentals seem a little expensive to me. The only advantage seems to be instant gratification. I don't get it.

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