PDA

View Full Version : Wal-Mart Launches Movie Download Service




MacRumors
Feb 6, 2007, 09:50 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Wal-Mart launched (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070206/ap_on_hi_te/wal_mart_movie_downloads;_ylt=Aluq3nHtOe.WOvHdtm87j4UjtBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--) a beta version of their movie download store today.

The new service is available at http://www.walmart.com/videodownloads and is offering around 3,000 movies and television episodes from all the major movie studios and some TV networks.

The nation's largest retailer is using its buying power to beat the prices charged by other download services in many cases, offering films from $12.88 to $19.88 and individual TV episodes for $1.96 — 4 cents less than Apple Inc.'s iTunes store.

Wal-Mart's entry into this market is significant for a number of reasons. Early reports (http://www.macrumors.com/2006/09/22/wal-mart-threatened-by-itunes-movies/) claimed that Wal-Mart felt their DVD sales would be hurt by online-download movie sales. As a result, Wal-Mart was said to be threatening movie studios against signing on with Apple's iTunes service.

Apple's iTunes initially launched with only Disney movies and later added Paramount films in January. The article suggests that Wal-Mart's entry "now frees studios to cut deals with other online services".

Wal-Mart's movie service is only available in Windows Media, so the movies are not playable on the Mac or iPod.



spicyapple
Feb 6, 2007, 09:51 AM
Quite the coup for Walmart and hopefully paves the way for Apple.

aricher
Feb 6, 2007, 09:54 AM
OUCH! Steve's gotta be upset. Maybe if it flounders the studios will throw in with ITMS. The fact that it won't work for an iPod will make it limiting for most consumers. This store's geared strictly to the Media Center PC set.

guzhogi
Feb 6, 2007, 09:54 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)
Wal-Mart's movie service is only available in Windows Media. This means, the movies are not playable on the Mac or iPod.

What about Flip4Mac? You can use that to play WM files on your Mac. And then use iMovie to convert it to iPod format.

roland.g
Feb 6, 2007, 09:54 AM
You would think it was still the 1950s. Good thing I never go to wal-mart.

smueboy
Feb 6, 2007, 09:55 AM
Not bad.

If anyone uses it, let us know what your experience is like.

dejo
Feb 6, 2007, 09:55 AM
What about Flip4Mac? You can use that to play WM files on your Mac.
Nope. It won't play WM files with DRM.

biggerbearbrian
Feb 6, 2007, 09:58 AM
Nope. It won't play WM files with DRM.

I guess that means it won't play on Zune either, I know who cares.

Sean7512
Feb 6, 2007, 09:58 AM
Eh, I don't see it taking off....ESPECIALLY with no iPod support. Not many people want to watch their movies at their computers. Ya, some probably have other portable video player, but the majority would want to throw them on their iPod and so on. We'll see what happens

roland.g
Feb 6, 2007, 09:58 AM
It's Windows Media Player only. They say only XP or Vista is supported. Basically it's trash.

wrldwzrd89
Feb 6, 2007, 09:59 AM
What about Flip4Mac? You can use that to play WM files on your Mac. And then use iMovie to convert it to iPod format.
Alas, Flip4Mac doesn't work with WM10 or WM11 (it might work with WM9 - I've heard reports of some successes), nor does it work with the vast majority of DRM'd Windows Media files. At least that's my understanding, I could be wrong...

PharmD
Feb 6, 2007, 10:00 AM
I read this article earlier this morning and it must made me mad at Wal-mart and their shady business practices. "Waaaa, you can't sell movies online because it will kill our sales. Oh, let's make our own and force everyone to sell for us first." I hope it fails. Hopefully what they say is true and it opens up other studios to come to iTS.

dejo
Feb 6, 2007, 10:00 AM
Not many people want to watch their movies at their computers. Ya, some probably have other portable video player, but the majority would want to throw them on their iPod and so on. We'll see what happens
I'd venture a guess to say that most people want to watch movies on their TVs.

thomasfxlt
Feb 6, 2007, 10:01 AM
I suspected Walmart would do this. What is really ironic is to see "Cars" offered on the main page.

What a bunch of crap Walmart spews. They threaten their vendors if they sign on with iTunes and then proceed to play "catch-up". Walmarts supply channel should tell they to get screwed.

Sean7512
Feb 6, 2007, 10:01 AM
Any word on the resolution and any of the technical details of these movies?? I can't seem to find it on the website

BigPrince
Feb 6, 2007, 10:01 AM
I dunno, I tried watching a movie on an iPod, and its not my thing. When I watch a movie I want it on a traditional large screen tv.

spicyapple
Feb 6, 2007, 10:04 AM
If Walmart's success (or lack of) in music downloads is any indication, Apple has nothing to worry about when it comes to movie downloads. Walmart isn't exactly known for tech-related innovation and ease of use.

Stella
Feb 6, 2007, 10:06 AM
Excellent. More consumer choice.

Competition is Good.

( Even though it is Walmart and IMO, going in there is like selling your soul to Satan )


Windows users will watch them on their TV via their PC ( or even XBox - if possible ).

Who seriously watches movies on their iPods?

Eh, I don't see it taking off....ESPECIALLY with no iPod support. Not many people want to watch their movies at their computers. Ya, some probably have other portable video player, but the majority would want to throw them on their iPod and so on. We'll see what happens

miketcool
Feb 6, 2007, 10:12 AM
offering...individual TV episodes for $1.96 4 cents less than Apple Inc.'s iTunes store.

Since when did the difference of $1.99 and $1.96 equate to 4? How many people really flock to Wal-Mart's online service because of penny differences? Anyone know their current market data in the digital download arena?

baleensavage
Feb 6, 2007, 10:14 AM
Wow. They weren't kidding when they said not Mac compatible...
Here's the page on Firefox 2.0.0.1 on a Mac :eek:
http://www.jdmsphoto.com/images/walmart_movies_firefox.png

Safari 2.0.4 is better, but still messed up
http://www.jdmsphoto.com/images/walmart_movies_safari.png

And just for grins, I ran the page through the W3C validator and got "Failed validation, 296 errors."

I suspect they'll sell loads of movies with a Web page that is that well designed. ;)

Sean7512
Feb 6, 2007, 10:15 AM
Excellent. More consumer choice.

Competition is Good.

( Even though it is Walmart and IMO, going in there is like selling your soul to Satan )


Windows users will watch them on their TV via their PC ( or even XBox - if possible ).

Who seriously watches movies on their iPods?


I was referring that you can hook up your ipod to your tv :o Yes, I'm aware that on laptops they have svideo out and stuff....BUT MOST budget laptops offer NO WAY of hooking your computer up to your tv, I know since I have one :mad: So then you're other choice is hopefully your desktop is sitting right next to your big screen tv. My point was with the ipod, all you need is a simple wire and presto! Most people have iPods last time I checked, so a lot of people may be left out with getting it on their tvs.....Do I even make sense, I've been busy studying and I think I've lost it, haha

joeboy_45101
Feb 6, 2007, 10:16 AM
No big deal! I'd say the online service will be just as crappy as the in-store service.

Remember when Wal-Mart started selling music online and people were saying that this was going to be the end for iTunes. Sam Walton's gift to the world is bloated, overrated, and junky. When was the last time anybody had a good experience shopping at those places? Nobody I know of that's for sure!

notjustjay
Feb 6, 2007, 10:17 AM
Oooh, 4 whole cents.

(Or 3 whole cents, if you are actually any good at math. ;) )

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

twoodcc
Feb 6, 2007, 10:18 AM
well this could be bad. hopefully when the studios pick which way to go, they pick Apple and itunes.....Jobs will have to work his magic to swing them our way.....:apple:

clevin
Feb 6, 2007, 10:21 AM
guys, who seriously think DRM protected WMV will not be hacked? its everywhere!

Teh Don Ditty
Feb 6, 2007, 10:22 AM
Wal-Mart is even more evil than MSFT :eek: (if that's possible) I have never stepped foot in one and never will. The no iPod support is dumb. Jeez, just single out 65%+ of the market why don't ya?

You are pointing out Wal-Marts flaws.... cancel or allow?

Maestro64
Feb 6, 2007, 10:22 AM
If Walmart's success (or lack of) in music downloads is any indication, Apple has nothing to worry about when it comes to movie downloads. Walmart isn't exactly known for tech-related innovation and ease of use.

My exact thoughts, I am not sure they are even ranking on the music download stats, anyone know how many songs they sold?

Face it Walmart has no concept of a user experience thus the reason they too are loosing market share to Target

Stella
Feb 6, 2007, 10:26 AM
Yes, of course, I do forget you can hook up your iPod to TV!

I was referring that you can hook up your ipod to your tv :o Yes, I'm aware that on laptops they have svideo out and stuff....BUT MOST budget laptops offer NO WAY of hooking your computer up to your tv, I know since I have one :mad: So then you're other choice is hopefully your desktop is sitting right next to your big screen tv. My point was with the ipod, all you need is a simple wire and presto! Most people have iPods last time I checked, so a lot of people may be left out with getting it on their tvs.....Do I even make sense, I've been busy studying and I think I've lost it, haha

You can't blame Walmart for no iPod support since Apple refuse to license out fairplay. Blame Apple.

The labels won't allow non DRM movie content, either. So, DRM has to be there and if there's DRM it won't support Apple, because Apple won't support microsoft DRM and due to the Fairplay issues.

Wal-Mart is even more evil than MSFT :eek: (if that's possible) I have never stepped foot in one and never will. The no iPod support is dumb. Jeez, just single out 65%+ of the market why don't ya?

You are pointing out Wal-Marts flaws.... cancel or allow?

clevin
Feb 6, 2007, 10:28 AM
Yes, of course, I do forget you can hook up your iPod to TV!


whats the point for doing so? iPods video's resolution is so poor, why bother put it on TV anyway. :D

Butters
Feb 6, 2007, 10:30 AM
guys, who seriously think DRM protected WMV will not be hacked? its everywhere!

If people plan on cracking the DRM, they might aswell just download torrents, bigger selection and all for free ..usually in a real video format that *shock horror!* works on macs AND?? pcs!! :eek:

if you feel guilty about stealing, just buy the movie too then delete it.

*not that I'm encouraging any of this behaviour*

Stella
Feb 6, 2007, 10:31 AM
whats the point for doing so? iPods video's resolution is so poor, why bother put it on TV anyway. :D

Better than watching it on a tiny screen?! :-) Imagine, 5 people hundled around your iPod watching a movie - LOL.

What is the quality like - iPod -> TV? Anyone?

Watchable?

Butters
Feb 6, 2007, 10:34 AM
Better than watching it on a tiny screen?! :-) Imagine, 5 people hundled around your iPod watching a movie - LOL.

What is the quality like - iPod -> TV? Anyone?

Watchable?

640 x 480 h.264 is very watchable.

so is the old 320 x 240 in some senses but it's not the best.

moesker007
Feb 6, 2007, 10:34 AM
Better than watching it on a tiny screen?! :-) Imagine, 5 people hundled around your iPod watching a movie - LOL.

What is the quality like - iPod -> TV? Anyone?

Watchable?

Ya, it's definately watchable actually it's not too bad at all. But ya 5 people around a lil iPod screen is pretty fullalrious (fully hilarious)

clevin
Feb 6, 2007, 10:35 AM
If people plan on cracking the DRM, they might aswell just download torrents, bigger selection and all for free ..usually in a real video format that *shock horror!* works on macs AND?? pcs!! :eek:

if you feel guilty about stealing, just buy the movie too then delete it.

*not that I'm encouraging any of this behaviour*

lol, ask ppl who want to unlock iPhones, i was stating a fact, no judgment involved. :D

BTW, usually, Xvid or DivX has better quality/size ratio. Real video is that nice, and its encoding software isn't free.

640 x 480 h.264 is very watchable.

so is the old 320 x 240 in some senses but it's not the best.

Im surprised u guys would accept this "watchable" standard. i guess that everybody's own preferences tho.

and eventually, its all about bitrate.

Butters
Feb 6, 2007, 10:40 AM
lol, ask ppl who want to unlock iPhones, i was stating a fact, no judgment involved. :D

BTW, usually, Xvid or DivX has better quality/size ratio. Real video is that nice, and its encoding software isn't free.

by real video, I didn't mean the actual Real media format, no I hate that. I meant real (or "of quality") video formats such as mpg, Divx, Xvid etc. instead of wmv which IMO is a stupid format. kind of like .mov but not as bad.

tutubibi
Feb 6, 2007, 10:43 AM
What, it does not support Zune? :confused:

That's deal breaker right there :D

Butters
Feb 6, 2007, 10:45 AM
Im surprised u guys would accept this "watchable" standard. i guess that everybody's own preferences tho.

and eventually, its all about bitrate.

I guess all anybody is saying is that it's watchable, nobody is saying it makes brilliant TV or gives an enjoyable experience, because it doesn't really. I'd much prefer to watch a DVD over it or obviously HD video, as I'm sure you would too.

But if say you want to show a friend that really funny south park episode you watched last night hooking ur ipod up to a tv is an alright way of doing that

autrefois
Feb 6, 2007, 10:51 AM
And just for grins, I ran the page through the W3C validator and got "Failed validation, 296 errors."

I suspect they'll sell loads of movies with a Web page that is that well designed. ;)

What do you expect? The downloads only work on Windows, which is also poorly designed. :)

wealjays
Feb 6, 2007, 10:53 AM
It has a really nice tool called "movie match" that allows you to use a formula of different amounts of content in movies (comedy, horror, realism, romance, etc.) to find your type of movie. It worked really well for me, in about 20 seconds it was recommending some great movies!

http://mediadownloads.walmart.com/mmce/jsp/movieMatch.jsp?filter_levels=130,0,0,0,130,0

Mr. Pippin
Feb 6, 2007, 10:57 AM
Any word on the resolution and any of the technical details of these movies?? I can't seem to find it on the website

Technical details on the site when you pick a movie indicate they have two resolution downloads (portable and PC). The portable version includes two files.

Highest resolution is 640x480.

Portable version is NOT compatible with the iPod (no surprise).

More depressing is no description of sound quality. More than likely will ONLY be stereo (no surround).

So, appears to be about the same as Apple's store.

If Apple would ONLY support DVD quality movies (both video and sound) as well as this working on the Apple TV, I'd be much happier to download movies from Apple's store.

No AC3 on the Apple TV is real bummer so far.

As is, no one has a good solution, yet. IMHO

MacVault
Feb 6, 2007, 10:59 AM
3000 videos = very good amount and way more to choose from than iTunes catalog of videos.

Windows Media & DRM = F^(K it! Either of those by themselves is enough of an ABMOMINATION, but put them together and you really have the biggest CLUSTER-F^(K known to man.

fall3n
Feb 6, 2007, 11:15 AM
Definitely still beta...

jettredmont
Feb 6, 2007, 11:19 AM
Im surprised u guys would accept this "watchable" standard. i guess that everybody's own preferences tho.

and eventually, its all about bitrate.

Movies playing off my wife's 5G iPod look better than most stuff coming off DirecTV (much less macro blocking) and Comcast digital cable. Not quite as good as a high-bitrate DVD, but certainly better than VHS.

"Watchable" is good for having a movie on the go with you to watch in a hotel room, etc, without hooking up your own DVD player or laptop. I wouldn't ever think of replacing my DVD player in my home theater setup with an iPod, but for what it is (video on the go) it works well.

stomachdoc
Feb 6, 2007, 11:22 AM
It is kind of curious how slow the arrival of new studios on iTunes has been, especially given the landslide music business. Now, iTunes has been leapfrogged by WalMart in terms of video variety.

I use my iPod as a movie storage device; I download (or, mostly, Handbrake) movies onto my Mac, put 'em on my iPod and take my iPod with me to my weekend place. I watch the movies on a 42" plasma and they are certainly acceptable, probably about as good as a VHS tape. It's a very convenient way to carry video around. I wish there was more downloadable choice. I've pre-ordered an :apple: TV; we'll see how useful that is at home streaming from the Mac.

kevinoneill
Feb 6, 2007, 11:23 AM
My first experience with Walmart.... and this wasn't a loading error, i tried reloading... nada!

But they do have an awsome (but ugly) java applet for finding actors with in movies and finding other movies they've done and who was in them, very nice feature.

worked fin in IE fyi...

http://www.irekevin.com/forumn/walmart.JPG

andiwm2003
Feb 6, 2007, 11:24 AM
works only on my Internet Explorer on XP, no Firefox. but the selection is impressive. this will be tough for apple. i can't imagine that too many people care to watch videos on an iPod anyway (maybe i'm wrong) so this is a strong competition to itunes. steve better gets more movies on his service soon.

TheBobcat
Feb 6, 2007, 11:34 AM
I don't know, I have yet to see an offering from any video download service for full movies that really makes me want to buy it as opposed to DVD. It's not that much cheaper, and it really isn't all that much more convinient (at least for me). Maybe when the Res. is comparable, and things like :apple: TV are cheaper and more prevalent, it might take off.

Until then, I'm happy with NetFlix and my DVD Burner. Wait, did I just say that out loud? :D

Krevnik
Feb 6, 2007, 11:42 AM
The problem with this service is that the TV shows haven't caught up to iTunes in quality. 320x240? Sheesh! Wow, I save 4 cents, and get far worse video quality? Yay!

Movies should be on par with iTunes for quality, but even then, the pricing structure is higher than iTunes' baseline... with the advantage being more selection.

Sad thing is... I can rip certain DVDs for less money than iTunes or Wal-Mart. Now, if Apple would support managed copy from Blu-Ray or HD-DVD for Apple TV and iTunes at 720p, I would be a happy man.

kalisphoenix
Feb 6, 2007, 12:21 PM
Im surprised u guys would accept this "watchable" standard. i guess that everybody's own preferences tho.

and eventually, its all about bitrate.

640x480 H.264 is indistinguishable from a DVD, at least on my (admittedly low-tech) 19" CRT TV. And bitrate is meaningless unless you're comparing two different bitrates of the same codec, and even then there are other factors to consider.

Avatar74
Feb 6, 2007, 12:23 PM
Specifications from Wal-Mart.com:

PC Format: Recommended for our customers that do not own or intend to purchase a compatible portable video player. PC/Laptop videos can be played on a PC/Laptop or on the TV via a Windows Media Extender (e.g. Xbox 360) or through direct connection from a PC to a TV. Videos in this format have the highest image quality. Technical Specification: 640 X 480 maximum resolution, 30 fps, 1,500-1,700 kbps average bit rate. THIS FORMAT WILL NOT PLAY ON MOST PORTABLE VIDEO PLAYERS.

PC & Portable: Recommended for our customers that own or intend to purchase a compatible portable video player. This bundle provides the greatest flexibility providing you two files: one to play your on PC, and one for your portable players. This bundle requires approximately 30% more storage space and time to download as a stand-alone PC/Laptop format. PORTABLE BUNDLE FILES ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH iPODS.

Available TV Episode Formats:

Portable Format: Our TV episodes are optimized for fast downloads and viewing on the go. All TV shows can be played on both your PC/Laptop and compatible portable video players. Technical Specification: 320 X 240 maximum resolution, 30 fps, 500-810 kbps average bit rate. PORTABLE FILES ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH iPODS.


I think competition is a good thing. But Apple's product differentiation will easily justify the four cent premium for iTunes-purchased downloads. I don't particularly understand what Wal-Mart hopes to accomplish by completely ruling out any chance of migrating content to the iPod, the most popular portable media player on the market. However, it's entirely possible Wal-Mart, as powerful as they are, didn't have a choice in the matter.

If they were, like Apple, struggling to negotiate with studios for their own online downloads it certainly would explain a lot of the pissing and moaning from their end prior to launching the beta store. Apple has a very good head-start though... partly because of their timing, but also because of their market presence with integrated solutions to browse, access, purchase, download and play the product.

The important thing to note here is that competition IS good, that Apple will be kept on their toes by competitors seeking to edge them out and that means more choices and better products at better prices, and, perhaps most importantly, this demonstrates that despite Wal-Mart's whining and initial fears, internet distribution of movies is happening with or without them.

Wal-Mart would have been utterly foolish to persist in deluding themselves to believe otherwise.

... isn't it interesting, though, how closely this beta release comes after Disney announced their initial figures and pointed, particularly, at the fact that their biggest sellers' DVD sales were not hurt by downloads. That in fact, for "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" and "Cars", both iTunes purchases AND DVD sales grew...

It's as if the Reality Fairy flew over Wal-Mart headquarters and jettisoned a few bricks of hard data directly over the board room.

GFLPraxis
Feb 6, 2007, 12:24 PM
What portable players is it compatible with?


Is it the type of Windows Media DRM used by Creative players, or the Zune? They both use different DRMs...

Excellent. More consumer choice.

Competition is Good.

( Even though it is Walmart and IMO, going in there is like selling your soul to Satan )


Windows users will watch them on their TV via their PC ( or even XBox - if possible ).

Who seriously watches movies on their iPods?

I do.

I watch movies on the iPod on the go, and when I'm at home I hook the iPod up to the TV. It's 60 GB, I've got over a dozen movies on there, XPlay's podcast, TV shows, etc...

whats the point for doing so? iPods video's resolution is so poor, why bother put it on TV anyway. :D

You're behind the times; the last firmware update put the iPod at 640x480, DVD resolution. Bitrate isn't quite as high as DVD which is why Steve called it "near DVD", but it looks just as good to me. I Handbrake all my movies at a bitrate of 2000, it looks perfect. I watched Cars off my iPod originally, never bought the DVD (got it off iTunes) and my whole family watched and noticed it was on the iPod.

works only on my Internet Explorer on XP, no Firefox. but the selection is impressive. this will be tough for apple. i can't imagine that too many people care to watch videos on an iPod anyway (maybe i'm wrong) so this is a strong competition to itunes. steve better gets more movies on his service soon.

So far, in my experience, most people buying off iTunes are iPod owners; everyone else just buys the DVDs.

Stella
Feb 6, 2007, 12:39 PM
I don't know - you tell me. There must be some otherwise why would walmart bother?

But competition is good.

I can imagine people would use their XBox to play the content too.

I'm glad you like the quality of iPod playing movies. Shame the rest of the world can't ;-)

What portable players is it compatible with?


Is it the type of Windows Media DRM used by Creative players, or the Zune? They both use different DRMs...


Apple won't license out fairplay and Apple won't support ANY OTHER drm.

Walmart's hand is forced. Its not Walmarts fault!!

So yes, you are correct - Walmart didn't have a choice in the matter - they cannot support the iPod even if they wanted to ( which they probably do - my guess ).

I don't particularly understand what Wal-Mart hopes to accomplish by completely ruling out any chance of migrating content to the iPod, the most popular portable media player on the market. However, it's entirely possible Wal-Mart, as powerful as they are, didn't have a choice in the matter.

soosy
Feb 6, 2007, 01:07 PM
individual TV episodes for $1.96 4 cents less than Apple Inc.'s iTunes store.

ZOMG 4 CENTS LESS!!!!! ;)

It looks like these follow Apple's lead only offering 640x480. I'm guessing no extras. From the fine print I was able to read it seemed to say only 1 computer to view it on.

I'm not interested in movie downloads until they start to approach the DVD experience (resolution/extras).

hagjohn
Feb 6, 2007, 01:07 PM
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070206-8776.html


How did this happen?

Chalk it up to a stubborn Steve Jobs. Apple would not move far from its vision for pricing, which has already been compromised once. Last summer, Apple was adamant that $9.99 was the sweet spot for movie sales, and they battled the studios over it. The final result was that only Disney hopped on board with a revised pricing scheme that included $9.99 for catalog titles, $12.99 for launch releases, and $14.99 for new releases after launch. It still wasn't good enough to bring everybody to the table.

Wal-Mart, on the other hand, has met the studios' demands and will be pricing movies from $7.50 to $19.98. The company will have new downloads on the same day as their DVD release, and they will also host $1.96 TV shows from Fox, CW, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Logo and VH1 (ABC, NBC, CBS nowhere to be found). Classic movies will sell for $7.50 to $9.98, while most other titles will float somewhere between $9.99 and the new release price of $19.98.


Personally, I think of downloading movies on any DRM is a horrible idea.

lind0834
Feb 6, 2007, 01:08 PM
The article suggests that Wal-Mart's entry "now frees studios to cut deals with other online services".

This is very good for iTunes if true

freediverdude
Feb 6, 2007, 01:15 PM
Walmart's site says the files won't play on an iPod (no surprise), OR Zune, OR even Sony PSP. So that basically only leaves players like Creative Zen or Archos, niche market at best for the portable files. And for the PC files, you'd have to have a direct connection from PC to TV, or a Windows Media Center extender thing to see it. And you must use Windows Media Player, which I know a lot of people hate. So I just don't see this being that successful. There will probably be a certain market for people who can watch it through their xboxes. But sorry, they're not gonna get that many takers to pay the same price as the dvd for just the file of the movie without a disc or extras. And it certainly won't be the pleasant experience that iTunes with Front Row will be.

pilotError
Feb 6, 2007, 01:22 PM
Why would anyone pay full price for a movie and not be able to watch it on their TV or burn it to disk? Your better off buying the disk. Unless we see a Microsoft TV device :rolleyes:

These people love shooting themselves in the foot.

A matter of time before this fails too.

Porchland
Feb 6, 2007, 01:23 PM
Wow, this is an A+ all the way around:

1. More serious competitors means more competitive pricing.

2. The studios that haven't yet come to iTS out of fear of retribution from Wal-Mart and Target now have more reason to come to iTS.

3. Wal-Mart getting into the movie download game will raise general awareness about movie downloads and actually help Apple dunk the DVD paradigm.

4. The fact that Wal-Mart's service not compatible with iPod or :apple:TV will give Apple a competitive advantage when it rolls out the widescreen iPod amidst huge hoopla.

Good news.

EDIT: The fact that all of the major studios -- even Sony -- are on board with Wal-Mart makes me think an iPod widescreen announcement will include Warner Brothers, Universal, Fox and -- unless Sony is going to continue to pretend it can compete with Apple -- Sony-owned Columbia Pictures.

When Apple eventually comes out with a PPV plan (and a monthly-fee TV plan), :apple:TV will become a back-door cable-killer.

Stella
Feb 6, 2007, 01:29 PM
Hmmm... double standards brewing...

How is iTMS any different from Walmart offering then?

* To play iTMS content on your TV you need either -
- a direct connection from your Mac ( or PC )
- an iPod
- iTV


( so basically, you need more hardware, just like is being suggested in the quotes )

Just like Walmart - you can't:
- burn iTMS TV content to CD either!
- put iTMS content on your PSP or Zune, or any other play except the iPod ( yes, its more popular but not everyone has one - video capable anyway! ).

Not everyone likes iTunes - shock horror - yes, really, its not 100% universally adored - just like MS Media Player!

However, the inability to put the walmart ( and iTMS ) content on your PSP, Zune etc is very lame.



Walmart's site says the files won't play on an iPod (no surprise), OR Zune, OR even Sony PSP. So that basically only leaves players like Creative Zen or Archos, niche market at best for the portable files. And for the PC files, you'd have to have a direct connection from PC to TV, or a Windows Media Center extender thing to see it. And you must use Windows Media Player, which I know a lot of people hate. So I just don't see this being that successful. There will probably be a certain market for people who can watch it through their xboxes. But sorry, they're not gonna get that many takers to pay the same price as the dvd for just the file of the movie without a disc or extras. And it certainly won't be the pleasant experience that iTunes with Front Row will be.



Why would anyone pay full price for a movie and not be able to watch it on their TV or burn it to disk? Your better off buying the disk. Unless we see a Microsoft TV device :rolleyes:

These people love shooting themselves in the foot.

A matter of time before this fails too.

bluebomberman
Feb 6, 2007, 01:50 PM
The real big news is that presumably Wal-Mart won't use their might in DVD sales to pressure movie makers from putting their flicks out on iTunes because now that would be seen as an anticompetitive measure to prop up their own download service.

Of course, real-world results may vary. (See, for example, Microsoft vs. Netscape, Microsoft vs. US Dept. of Justice...)

soosy
Feb 6, 2007, 02:05 PM
Hmmm... double standards brewing...

How is iTMS any different from Walmart offering then?

* To play iTMS content on your TV you need either -
- a direct connection from your Mac ( or PC )
- an iPod
- iTV


( so basically, you need more hardware, just like is being suggested in the quotes )

Just like Walmart - you can't:
- burn iTMS TV content to CD either!
- put iTMS content on your PSP or Zune, or any other play except the iPod ( yes, its more popular but not everyone has one - video capable anyway! ).

Not everyone likes iTunes - shock horror - yes, really, its not 100% universally adored - just like MS Media Player!

However, the inability to put the walmart ( and iTMS ) content on your PSP, Zune etc is very lame.


I agree. Apple's movie offerings are not very compelling for the same reasons, sadly. The iPod made a lot of sense for ripping all your CD's and making music portable. AppleTV on the other hand doesn't bring much to the table. Why should I pay $300 just so I can watch the movies on a TV? Computers should just have HDMI ports built right in, but of course, movie studios wouldn't have that. Same reason DVD ripping isn't completely legal.

The other thing music downloads had going for it is that a $9.99 album is cheaper compared to Best Buy, etc. With Walmart's movie service, you're not even getting that. Why pay the same for much less?

I just don't see the Movie download business taking off like the Music download business unless they make some significant changes.

biggarthomas
Feb 6, 2007, 03:57 PM
This is the same Wal-Mart that threatened to pull all of their Disney DVDs off their shelves if Disney continued to sell through iTMS!

Good thing that I do not and will not ever shop there.

SpaceJello
Feb 6, 2007, 05:09 PM
Wonder if there are any ways to limit Walmart Movies online as some American cities have limited the building of Walmart stores in the city......

I surely hope so. If we can limit Walmart low wages in brick and mortar stores from entering, why can't we just block this monopoly and explotive corporation from entering our cable lines and dictate online movie sales.

clevin
Feb 6, 2007, 05:20 PM
Wonder if there are any ways to limit Walmart Movies online as some American cities have limited the building of Walmart stores in the city......

I surely hope so. If we can limit Walmart low wages in brick and mortar stores from entering, why can't we just block this monopoly and explotive corporation from entering our cable lines and dictate online movie sales.

u can always use parental control on your own computer.

biggarthomas
Feb 7, 2007, 12:25 AM
I'm placing money on the idea that Apple and Wal-Mart agreed to let each other run movie download services. The two week head-start that Wal-Mart gets is payback for Appl having pissed of Wal-Mart a few months ago.

If you remember. Wal-Mart put the arm on the major studios telling them that if they let their content be downloaded off iTunes, Wal-Mart would kick them of its retail shelves (where they make most of their money).

Since that was a situation that would not hold for too long, the studios, Apple, Wal-Mart and who knows which other download service (possibly MSFT) cut a deal for everyon eto have the same rights and may th best man win.

Remember Jobs is a huge player on the Disney board and would have had a big role in saying yes to Disney's content being downloaaded at Wal-Mart. So why did he say yes?


I'll bet that the video download services agreed to use a shared DRM protocol. This mkes sense and ties in with Apple's statement today in which they neatly tried to head off arguments about a shared DRM between music content providers (too many providers, too complicated). If Wal-Mart and Apple are both suppliers, there will be no arguments about Apple setting up a monopoly as has been the case with iTunes music.

Watch what happens when Apple TV comes out. I'll bet that all of the studios are onboard and that there is a shared DRM protocol allowing consumers the "freedom" to use wal-Mart or Apple content on the Apple TV. The only player who might be upset about this arrangement is MSFT (if they have been left out).

gkarris
Feb 7, 2007, 10:35 AM
The article suggests that Wal-Mart's entry "now frees studios to cut deals with other online services".

This is very good for iTunes if true

How is Wal-mart still going to let the studios sell on iTunes, especially if it cut a deal to sell movies on its own service?

That's like saying "now that Hitler has taken over Poland, Poland is now free to deal with the United States..."

soosy
Feb 7, 2007, 11:11 AM
I'll bet that the video download services agreed to use a shared DRM protocol. This mkes sense and ties in with Apple's statement today in which they neatly tried to head off arguments about a shared DRM between music content providers (too many providers, too complicated). If Wal-Mart and Apple are both suppliers, there will be no arguments about Apple setting up a monopoly as has been the case with iTunes music.

Actually it goes against Apple's statement in that they didn't even mention any sort of "shared" format as a possibility... unless we are talking about licensing Fairplay which they did mention and rejected.

I highly doubt the two stores will be interoperable.

Joedy
Feb 7, 2007, 11:44 AM
Doesn't anyone remember when Wal-Mart sold their mail DVD rental program to Netflix after visibly demonstrating that it was a failed endeavor on their part?

WalMart is good at only one thing - offering low prices for cheap imported goods and domestic products through volume sales and by owning their own highly efficient distribution system. Insofar as offering actual services (be it personal while in the store through poorly paid employees or through an online non-personal medium such as this endeavor), WalMart simply does NOT know how to do this, nor have they ever demonstrated that they care enough to perfect the art of offering excellent services.

The proof is in the pudding; there is nothing at WalMart that shows otherwise.

-joedy

Passante
Feb 7, 2007, 12:27 PM
Better than watching it on a tiny screen?! :-) Imagine, 5 people hundled around your iPod watching a movie - LOL.

What is the quality like - iPod -> TV? Anyone?

Watchable?

Even more funny is watching 5 people share two ear buds :D

cseeman
Feb 7, 2007, 12:34 PM
You may be misinformed on this. WM 10 and 11 are PLAYERS, not codecs.

Flip4Mac can play MANY variations including ISOMPEG, WM7, WM8 and WM9. It can't play new VC-1 yet but that's called WM9 ADVANCED, NOT 10 or 11. There is virtually no WM9 Advanced on the web at this point.

Alas, Flip4Mac doesn't work with WM10 or WM11 (it might work with WM9 - I've heard reports of some successes), nor does it work with the vast majority of DRM'd Windows Media files. At least that's my understanding, I could be wrong...

failsafe1
Feb 7, 2007, 09:42 PM
Oh No! Wal-Mart has the 1st season of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. I have been waiting for this on ITS. Must resist must. AHHHHH.

bobber205
Feb 7, 2007, 09:55 PM
Lol. 4 cents below. OMG. walmart that is SO sad.

Grakkle
Feb 8, 2007, 07:59 AM
I'd be more interested if I didn't avoid buying from Wal-Mart as much as possible.

Wal-Mart is one of the worst examples of so-called "global capitalism" and as such, I'll avoid their movie downloads just as much as I avoid their stores.

mrgreen4242
Feb 8, 2007, 09:04 AM
I'd be more interested if I didn't avoid buying from Wal-Mart as much as possible.

Wal-Mart is one of the worst examples of so-called "global capitalism" and as such, I'll avoid their movie downloads just as much as I avoid their stores.

This is a bit off topic, but I'm kind of tired of the Walmart bashing. Yes, they are an "evil giant corp" and they don't give their employees much in the way of pay or benefits... however, they employ a crap load of people (largest non-government employer in the US) which is a good thing. They force prices to drop at the manufacturing level (which drops prices everywhere, not just Walmart). They are efficiency experts, and will share that experience with suppliers (in exchange for lowest price contracts, etc) which is good for these companies, in the long run. They are committed to being environmentally sound; they have one of the most fuel efficient trucking fleets in the world, they are making more and more stores "green", etc (their reasoning is pretty much that it's expensive not to do these things but the end result is the same, so I don't care about the reason).

Ya, Walmart does some crappy, shady, bad stuff. They also do a lot of good things. The end result is that, just like everything else, it's not a black and white "Walmart is evil" world. I shop there, but I also get my groceries from local stores/farmers markets. I get the best value for the quality of product that I want.

mcs37
Feb 8, 2007, 11:03 AM
I don't want to pay $20 per major download. I want to pay $15 per month and have three downloaded at a time. Why waste $20 if I'm only going to watch it once? And why no simple Media Center plugin? Why aren't people thinking like me? Hellooooooo?

wnurse
Feb 9, 2007, 05:43 PM
Movies playing off my wife's 5G iPod look better than most stuff coming off DirecTV (much less macro blocking) and Comcast digital cable. Not quite as good as a high-bitrate DVD, but certainly better than VHS.

"Watchable" is good for having a movie on the go with you to watch in a hotel room, etc, without hooking up your own DVD player or laptop. I wouldn't ever think of replacing my DVD player in my home theater setup with an iPod, but for what it is (video on the go) it works well.

Ok, now you are taking your apple fandom a little bit too far. Your ipod plays movies at better resolution that comcast digital cable? (not analog, digital?).
I bet your wife ipod can play music at better fidelity than a $3000 system, Displays photos better than Apple 30 inch display and also you have a bridge in brooklyn to sell us. GET OUT OF HERE!!!. That is one rad ipod. BTW, how much for the bridge?.

bobber205
Feb 10, 2007, 01:10 AM
Ok, now you are taking your apple fandom a little bit too far. Your ipod plays movies at better resolution that comcast digital cable? (not analog, digital?).
I bet your wife ipod can play music at better fidelity than a $3000 system, Displays photos better than Apple 30 inch display and also you have a bridge in brooklyn to sell us. GET OUT OF HERE!!!. That is one rad ipod. BTW, how much for the bridge?.

His post sounded reasonable to me.

Krevnik
Feb 10, 2007, 01:21 PM
Ok, now you are taking your apple fandom a little bit too far. Your ipod plays movies at better resolution that comcast digital cable? (not analog, digital?).
I bet your wife ipod can play music at better fidelity than a $3000 system, Displays photos better than Apple 30 inch display and also you have a bridge in brooklyn to sell us. GET OUT OF HERE!!!. That is one rad ipod. BTW, how much for the bridge?.

Uhm... I would like to point out that (at least in my area) Comcast Digital Cable is /horrible/. While the iTunes video store downloads aren't the greatest quality, they do beat what is offered on the actual stations that Comcast carries. On Demand and HD are the exception to the rule.