PDA

View Full Version : Apple in Online Film-Rental Deal with Fox Studio?




MacRumors
Dec 26, 2007, 08:30 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

The Financial Times reports (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/91d21b3c-b3ee-11dc-a6df-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1) that Apple has signed a deal with the 20th Century Fox studio to launch an online video-on-demand service "that could change the way people pay for online film content." The new service is set to launch at Macworld Expo, which kicks off on January 15th with Steve Jobs' keynote speech. The service will allow consumers to rent the latest Fox DVD releases by downloading a copy from iTunes for a limited time.

Rumors of Apple adopting a rental-model for movies have been circulating (http://www.macrumors.com/2006/07/18/itunes-movie-rentals-to-be-announced-at-wwdc/) since last year. While no pricing information is provided with today's rumor, the Financial Times (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/06/10/itunes-movie-rentals-at-2-99-for-30-days/) claimed in June that Apple was negotiating a rental service for $2.99/film for a 30 day rental. Pricing details, however, may have changed since negotiations first began.

Meanwhile, a digitally protected version of the film is also expected be included with DVD releases, allowing users to copy the movie easily to their iPods and iPhones, without resorting to "ripping" or otherwise converting the DVD into another format. This digital version would employ the same FairPlay copy-protection system used by Apple on their iTunes store purchases, though the details of the restrictions are unknown at this time. This move would help cement Apple's iPod and iPhone as the standard devices for mobile video content.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/26/apple-in-online-film-rental-deal-with-fox-studio/)



4God
Dec 26, 2007, 08:33 PM
Wow! Finally, something we can sink our teeth into. I really like the digital version idea.

Pandaboots
Dec 26, 2007, 08:37 PM
this will revolutionize the movie industry...that is if dumb CEO's like NBC don't stand in the way. This is brilliant. So now we can rent on iTunes/buy on iTunes or for old schoolers..buy the DVD with optimized iPod version already included...

evilyankeefan
Dec 26, 2007, 08:38 PM
Not bad. This just screams for a new :apple:tv to go with it.

unity
Dec 26, 2007, 08:38 PM
Yes... this may push the TV to the next level and make it more practical for me to use.

kungming2
Dec 26, 2007, 08:41 PM
This would be absolutely brilliant! :D

twoodcc
Dec 26, 2007, 08:43 PM
i'm sure whatever the deal is, it'll be good. Apple knows what they are doing.

osustudent
Dec 26, 2007, 08:45 PM
Yes... this may push the TV to the next level and make it more practical for me to use.

Completely agree. I've been looking for a good reason to purchase the TV. I would jump on the chance to go to my computer, download a movie to rent, stream it to the TV, and so on. I hope this is going to happen and that it grows with other studios jumping on.

Yvan256
Dec 26, 2007, 08:46 PM
Count me in even for 2.99$ for only 7 days. :D

Especially in winter time... heat the car, un-ice it, drive to pick up the movie, get back home, watch the movie then repeat all steps. :rolleyes:

luminosity
Dec 26, 2007, 08:47 PM
Sounds great to me :).

X5-452
Dec 26, 2007, 08:48 PM
Actually.... that doesn't sound like a bad idea.
$2.99 for 30 days, and a digital version (albeit protected) with DVD purchase is kind of smart sounding. But only if the digital version has the same protection as iTunes protected purchases, meaning I can burn a back-up copy and be able to share it with my close friends whose computers are authorized for my purchases.

cameronjpu
Dec 26, 2007, 08:50 PM
"One interesting twist that will help, though: Besides the online rental deal, a digital file protected by Apple's DRM scheme FairPlay will be included in new Fox DVD releases, enabling film content to ripped to a PC and video iPod. DVD content can already be moved to an iPod but this requires a bit of an effort."

That quote was in the article I first read on the topic.

I'm a computer professional, helping my customers do anything they want to do with their computers. Now, if 99% of my customers couldn't figure out how to rip a DVD to an iPod, that makes it impossible. Certainly not "a bit of effort". This is a huge development.

Peace
Dec 26, 2007, 08:58 PM
Definitely a positive move forward.I don't see $2.99 rentals though. Closer to $4.99 for a 30-day period I'd say.
As far as the physical DVD having an iPod/iPhone version using FairPlay that's going to increase the price of DVD's by a couple of dollars..Cool though !

amac4me
Dec 26, 2007, 09:00 PM
Bring on Macworld!!!!

JimmyDreams
Dec 26, 2007, 09:01 PM
Not bad. This just screams for a new :apple:tv to go with it.


BINGO! I'm waiting on a new version of :apple:TV that hopefully will support 1080i.

5.1 sound would be GREAT as well. I'm ready to go full digital and wireless in HD if they'll let me!!! :D

Freis968
Dec 26, 2007, 09:02 PM
Definitely a positive move forward.I don't see $2.99 rentals though. Closer to $4.99 for a 30-day period I'd say.
As far as the physical DVD having an iPod/iPhone version using FairPlay that's going to increase the price of DVD's by a couple of dollars..Cool though !

$4.99 is not a good price. I can rent a movie Pay Per View for $3.99 and rent a movie for $3.99 at BlockBuster.

$2.99 is a much better price.

NightStorm
Dec 26, 2007, 09:04 PM
Actually.... that doesn't sound like a bad idea.
$2.99 for 30 days, and a digital version (albeit protected) with DVD purchase is kind of smart sounding. But only if the digital version has the same protection as iTunes protected purchases, meaning I can burn a back-up copy and be able to share it with my close friends whose computers are authorized for my purchases.And that's why we have copy protection. Fair use doesn't give you the right to share it with your "close friends". Maybe family (immediate, not extended), but you're stretching it.

As for new AppleTV, I'm all for it, as long as they update the software on the current hardware. I'd hate to have to buy another one (even though I'd be more than happy to move my current one into the bedroom). :D

Metatron
Dec 26, 2007, 09:06 PM
Hold up people...not so fast. I only want this if the digital rental is the full resolution of the DVD, not this 640x480 crap.

The DVD with iphone/ipod movie...genius, but if I download from iTunes to watch on my HDTV, I better not get the same iphone/ipod version.

Currently this is how the Apple TV, iPhone, and iPod manage to all work so well, at the cost of the Apple TV.

Peace
Dec 26, 2007, 09:07 PM
$4.99 is not a good price. I can rent a movie Pay Per View for $3.99 and rent a movie for $3.99 at BlockBuster.

$2.99 is a much better price.


Renting a movie via PPV usually means you're watching a movie that's been out on DVD for a while meaning you have to wait for a while unless you go the Blockbuster route which in itself creates more steps in the process of procuring the most recent movie in the quickest way. This is a valid reason for marketing to increase cost on what could turn out to be a very lucrative deal for all involved.

The buck talks.

yoman
Dec 26, 2007, 09:12 PM
This has been something I've been waiting for a long time. If the price is right adios Blockbuster entirely...

Nermal
Dec 26, 2007, 09:14 PM
Hold up people...not so fast. I only want this if the digital rental is the full resolution of the DVD, not this 640x480 crap.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will happily pay a few dollars for a 640x480 movie.

Lancetx
Dec 26, 2007, 09:17 PM
Hold up people...not so fast. I only want this if the digital rental is the full resolution of the DVD, not this 640x480 crap.

Well, most NTSC DVDs are just 720x480 anyway, so it's not like there is really all that much difference.

theBB
Dec 26, 2007, 09:18 PM
$5 for a movie rental means Apple would be positioning the service as a competitor for Blockbuster stores. For me, that puts it into "once in a long while impulse buy" category, just like $2 TV shows. $3 might make it competitive with Netflix once Apple's library is about as large. Then, I would probably cancel my subscription.

For the poster who asked for DVD resolution, not 640x480. What do you think NTSC DVD resolution is right now?

PS: I'd be surprised if the price is only $3.

angelneo
Dec 26, 2007, 09:24 PM
Hold up people...not so fast. I only want this if the digital rental is the full resolution of the DVD, not this 640x480 crap.
Not that I don't want full-res DVD download, but the issue is how big the file is and how long does it takes on an average home internet connection to download?

paulyras
Dec 26, 2007, 09:26 PM
BINGO! I'm waiting on a new version of :apple:TV that hopefully will support 1080i.

5.1 sound would be GREAT as well. I'm ready to go full digital and wireless in HD if they'll let me!!! :D

As for the 1080i, congrats- The aTV will do that now (I think you were referring to 1080p). As for the 5.1, it SHOULD just be a software update for the current version. I'm surprised it hasn't been enabled as of yet...

Raidersmojo
Dec 26, 2007, 09:29 PM
do you think they will come out with an update to the old apple TVs to get this? I just got one for christmas and I'd be upset if I couldn't do this :(

theBB
Dec 26, 2007, 09:29 PM
If Fox is on board, it would be surprising if Disney is not. That would be a fairly large library, especially if it includes the smaller studios that are already selling movies through iTunes.

kanaka
Dec 26, 2007, 09:34 PM
$2.99 for 30 days is good, but I'd love to see a one-day rental for $1.49. I already get one day DVD rentals for $1.49 from the DVDPlay kiosk at my Safeway (frequently even cheaper with promos). I only grab movies the day I want to watch them (especially if I'm downloading them), so I only need a one-day rental.

CaptainHaddock
Dec 26, 2007, 09:44 PM
Silly Apple. [Almost] no one wants files that self-destruct after a set number of days. Customers understand why renting physical media, limited in quantity, makes sense. Trying to make bits that degrade doesn't make sense.

bjett92
Dec 26, 2007, 09:52 PM
I hope they open it up to more than just Fox movies. Apple could turn it into something like Netflix's online instant movies, which I would use then.

And YES let's hope for a new :apple:TV! I want Blu-ray and TiVo like recording

ipedro
Dec 26, 2007, 09:59 PM
I understand why an :apple:TV will never have TiVo like ability -- it's an iTunes 'server' -- I would hope for a Blu Ray drive. However, any disc reader will probably not be seen on :apple:TV for the same reason.

Regardless of Apple's motive, I would bet that we'd hear something about BluRay being added to an Apple product. The BluRay camp would make sure a leak took place as another blow to HD-DVD.

In the end of the format war, they'll both be obsolete once internet media sales really takes off.

Metatron
Dec 26, 2007, 10:03 PM
Well, most NTSC DVDs are just 720x480 anyway, so it's not like there is really all that much difference.

Only 38,400 lost pixels...not to much. I just want it to be on par with the standard.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will happily pay a few dollars for a 640x480 movie.

For a rental, yeah not really a big deal as you have no intention of keeping it. But it will hardly be as good as the DVD. And what about 5.1 or greater sound. Will you happily pay for stereo? We are not asking for anything that can not be delivered.

Not that I don't want full-res DVD download, but the issue is how big the file is and how long does it takes on an average home internet connection to download?

Average home internet for a person who is going to own an Apple product??? If Xbox can give us full res, so can apple. And bandwidth is hardly the factor. It is about the ability for it to play across the apple line of products seamlessly.

--All you guys have valid points. I just hope apple delivers and blows us away. I really want the Apple TV to follow in the footsteps of the iPod, but you can not deliver less than what the consumer can already get. Stupid rant thought, in the end we will buy what we are told by steve.

Metatron
Dec 26, 2007, 10:11 PM
I hope they open it up to more than just Fox movies. Apple could turn it into something like Netflix's online instant movies, which I would use then.

And YES let's hope for a new :apple:TV! I want Blu-ray and TiVo like recording

It is a hard call for me. I personally favor HD-DVD as I am very anti-sony. Regardless, i would not mind either in the end as long as there is just one. It is still to early to tell.

I imagine apple will include a DVD player at the best, but even that is pushing it as it does not rely upon itunes for content at that point.

Thataboy
Dec 26, 2007, 10:11 PM
Why does ANYONE need a 30 day rental??? And if it is $4.99 a movie? Bloody forget it. The competition here is Netflix. I get my top-queued Netflix movies in ONE DAY. No, it's not instant, but 1 day is barely a wait at all -- I mean, I have work and a life :) Netflix surely has a greater catalogue too.

If you can get 3 at a time Netflix for $17 or whatever it is these days... and you can probably get 20-30 DVDs a month if you're not throttled and you do a quick turnaround. So we are talking DVD-quality rentals for 60 or 70 cents.

Allow Apple a premium for bandwidth costs, immediate vs. 1 day wait, and no queue waiting at all (not that there is usually a wait on Netflix), but demerit for the likely less than DVD-quality.... and I'd go with a 24-48 hour rental for $1.99-$2.49 or so. $2.99 is pushing it, and $4.99 is absurd!

SheriffParker
Dec 26, 2007, 10:17 PM
Silly Apple. [Almost] no one wants files that self-destruct after a set number of days. Customers understand why renting physical media, limited in quantity, makes sense. Trying to make bits that degrade doesn't make sense.

Yes it does. If the bits degrade, the studios will agree to let consumers have them for a cheaper price. Since most people only want to watch a movie once, paying a cheaper price is preferable.

I have never bought a movie on iTunes, because the price is too high, and I'm only going to watch the thing one time.

Football1maniac
Dec 26, 2007, 10:27 PM
Finally Apple, finally! I've never purchased a movie off iTunes because once you see it the first time, what's there to change? I like the whole idea with the :apple:TV being updated with this news, but the idea of having a Blu-Ray player inside:eek: Great!

Finally my 16GB iPod touch can be filled up with something!

With Apple agreeing to the Blu-Ray Market, imagine the Format War now?!:D

iMikeT
Dec 26, 2007, 10:29 PM
I sure hope this is true. My G4 can't handle any more encoding!

CKtoph
Dec 26, 2007, 10:36 PM
I'd be very interested to see :apple: break out with high-def content. I don't expect it to come with the initial release of online rentals through itunes. But hopefully not to far down the road.

EricNau
Dec 26, 2007, 10:38 PM
Meanwhile, a digitally protected version of the film is also expected be included with DVD releases, allowing users to copy the movie easily to their iPods and iPhones, without resorting to "ripping" or otherwise converting the DVD into another format. This digital version would employ the same FairPlay copy-protection system used by Apple on their iTunes store purchases, though the details of the restrictions are unknown at this time. This move would help cement Apple's iPod and iPhone as the standard devices for mobile video content.
Does this mean the Fairplay-protected copy is physically included on the DVD with the original purchase, or that iTunes would be able to rip and protect any DVD?

The latter would be better for the consumer, easier for the studios, and equally secure.

cameronjpu
Dec 26, 2007, 10:38 PM
With Apple agreeing to the Blu-Ray Market, imagine the Format War now?!:D

Right after they announce the blu ray AppleTV expect the announcement for a discman style iPod that plays actual CDs.

Duh...

KiraDouji
Dec 26, 2007, 10:48 PM
Needs less DRM, kthx.

- Kira

arn
Dec 26, 2007, 10:48 PM
Does this mean the Fairplay-protected copy is physically included on the DVD with the original purchase, or that iTunes would be able to rip and protect any DVD?

The latter would be better for the consumer consumer and easier for the studios, and equally secure.

Based on the original article, it sounds like the encoded file will be included on the DVD, so you just copy it to your iPod.

arn

Sandfleaz
Dec 26, 2007, 10:58 PM
Excellent!
can't Wait ....
.

EricNau
Dec 26, 2007, 11:03 PM
Based on the original article, it sounds like the encoded file will be included on the DVD, so you just copy it to your iPod.

arn
I suppose it's better than nothing; although, I don't believe it would solve the ripping problem because users will still need to rip older disks and disks from studios who aren't participating.

BTW
Dec 26, 2007, 11:12 PM
$4.99 is not a good price. I can rent a movie Pay Per View for $3.99 and rent a movie for $3.99 at BlockBuster.

$2.99 is a much better price.

Yeah, I pay $4.99 for 2 movies a month from Netflix and the downloaded version is optional on some movies. It should be $2.99 or if they want to compete with Blockbuster and Netflix then they should mirror their pricing schemes.

jaw04005
Dec 26, 2007, 11:21 PM
I don't buy the "Fox only" story. Disney has always been Apple's launch partner on new additions to the iTunes Store (TV Shows, Movies, Exclusive Soundtracks, etc). It looks like it will be only Disney/Fox at first.

I wouldn't be surprised if Warner isn't far behind, as they already include a protected WMV version on some of their discs.

What gets interesting is if Disney and Fox offer a rentable HD-quality version for Apple TV.

christall109
Dec 26, 2007, 11:23 PM
any chance of them making a deal with netflix?

For example, netflix has already paved the way "revolutionizing" the dvd-rental industry. And this is about the time that they promised their "Watch Instantly" for Mac users. (Just putting it out there that netflix loves macs, their website and all of their employees primarily use them).

Netflix + Apple = Pure bliss

Fox could just be adding their titles (or more if i'm mistaken).

mixel
Dec 26, 2007, 11:27 PM
Oo! I like the idea of including the encoded file/s on the DVD! I wonder if it'd include all the extras and stuff though? Hmm.

Not so bothered about the rental stuff, I'd never use it and it'll likely be ages before it makes it to the UK anyway.

mrkramer
Dec 26, 2007, 11:42 PM
I hope if they do this they will allow you to pay the difference to be able to keep the movie if you like it and want to buy it. that is the only way I would use a online rental service.

theBB
Dec 26, 2007, 11:44 PM
If you can get 3 at a time Netflix for $17 or whatever it is these days... and you can probably get 20-30 DVDs a month if you're not throttled and you do a quick turnaround. So we are talking DVD-quality rentals for 60 or 70 cents.
Well, they do start throttling after a while, so you cannot get 30 DVDs a month. Best you can do is maybe 15 DVDs a month on average. If you take out the missed viewing opportunities due to vacations etc, I am guessing even a hard core customer gets more like 10 (maybe 12) DVDs a month on average. If you include tax of about $2, we are talking about $1.50 to $2.00 a movie. For the speed of delivery and lack of waitlists, I can see myself paying $3 a movie. $5 is too pricey though.

MiamiMerc
Dec 26, 2007, 11:52 PM
Lets hope you will able to do the same for a TV show. Say $0.49 to watch and bye bye cable and tivo.

TurboSC
Dec 27, 2007, 12:11 AM
man even more rumors of new shiny toys on the way... this is going to be an eventful MacWorld :D

gugy
Dec 27, 2007, 12:19 AM
I would love to have a blu-ray player on :apple:TV, but I think is very unlikely to happen. two reasons:

•blu-ray would add huge cost increase as well as the complexity of :apple:tv, making the physical dimensions much larger or taller

•blu-ray format would be competing directly with iTunes downloads, providing better quality and more titles availability.

So I think :apple:TV will stay as they are now. a bridge between your Mac and your HDTV. But I see maybe they adding the ability to connect direct with iTunes store, maybe a touchscreen remote to navigate audio content without having to turn your HDTV on or maybe adding this same capability to the current iPhones and iPod Touch by software update.
1080p or i and 5.1 audio is very important too and larger drive to locally add my library without the need to turn your Mac on would be a big plus.
I would love to have all my cd and dvd collection ripped and stored locally using and external drive connected to :apple:TV and be able to easily navigate with front-row and enjoy all the content I have.

JesterJJZ
Dec 27, 2007, 12:27 AM
Could care less about renting content, but the ipod video included on DVDs sounds nice.

Football1maniac
Dec 27, 2007, 12:31 AM
I think this will be great for Apple and the consumer. The :apple:TV needed updating anyway.

This is a rumor site. People throw their input in about upcoming products, and with this news about Apple and Fox agreeing on renting movies off the iTunes store, the :apple:TV looks like it should be updated with this news.

SheriffParker
Dec 27, 2007, 12:38 AM
I think this will be great for Apple and the consumer. The :apple:TV needed updating anyway.

This is a rumor site. People throw their input in about upcoming products, and with this news about Apple and Fox agreeing on renting movies off the iTunes store, the :apple:TV looks like it should be updated with this news.

If this rumor is correct, these rentals would most likely play on all :apple:tv models already out there, so there's no evidence that this even points to an update.

This rumor does not have anything to do with the HD format war, unless you count downloads as a third contender... which they aren't really at all...

so yeah your comments are a little confusing.

Football1maniac
Dec 27, 2007, 12:42 AM
If this rumor is correct, these rentals would most likely play on all :apple:tv models already out there, so there's no evidence that this even points to an update.

This rumor does not have anything to do with the HD format war, unless you count downloads as a third contender... which they aren't really at all...

so yeah your comments are a little confusing.

Sorry, just trying to spark some more controversy. ;) The :apple:TV should be updated though, at some point in time, and who knows what Apple will throw in it.

pjarvi
Dec 27, 2007, 12:45 AM
Movie rentals on the Xbox Live Marketplace are typically 240 points, about $3. So, $2.99 sounds right. I just hope they still offer the movies to own for $9.99.

X5-452
Dec 27, 2007, 12:46 AM
And that's why we have copy protection. Fair use doesn't give you the right to share it with your "close friends". Maybe family (immediate, not extended), but you're stretching it.

As for new AppleTV, I'm all for it, as long as they update the software on the current hardware. I'd hate to have to buy another one (even though I'd be more than happy to move my current one into the bedroom). :D

If I buy a song that I think is one of the better songs I've heard in a long time, then I should have every right to share it with some of the closest people in my life, up to and including my sibling, girlfriend and best friend. I'm not mass mailing it to everyone on my contact list. There is a 5 machine max, you know...

impierced
Dec 27, 2007, 12:56 AM
As for the 1080i, congrats- The aTV will do that now (I think you were referring to 1080p). As for the 5.1, it SHOULD just be a software update for the current version. I'm surprised it hasn't been enabled as of yet...

aTV - maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels

The aTV will upscale 720 to 1080, it will not handle 1080 natively.

brewcitywi
Dec 27, 2007, 12:59 AM
I'm just glad there is a business answer to what happened with NBC last year. It's really great that Apple isn't just allowing the movie aspect of iTunes to wane. I still think that all of these other movie sites are going to run into some problems of their own, i.e. traffic and corporate dedication.

ks-man
Dec 27, 2007, 01:15 AM
Why does ANYONE need a 30 day rental??? And if it is $4.99 a movie? Bloody forget it. The competition here is Netflix. I get my top-queued Netflix movies in ONE DAY. No, it's not instant, but 1 day is barely a wait at all -- I mean, I have work and a life :) Netflix surely has a greater catalogue too.

If you can get 3 at a time Netflix for $17 or whatever it is these days... and you can probably get 20-30 DVDs a month if you're not throttled and you do a quick turnaround. So we are talking DVD-quality rentals for 60 or 70 cents.

Allow Apple a premium for bandwidth costs, immediate vs. 1 day wait, and no queue waiting at all (not that there is usually a wait on Netflix), but demerit for the likely less than DVD-quality.... and I'd go with a 24-48 hour rental for $1.99-$2.49 or so. $2.99 is pushing it, and $4.99 is absurd!

I agree that $4.99 is too high but far from absurb if that is all Apple can get the studio(s) to agree to. I think $2.99 is a steal for this type of service. I have netflix (3 a month) and I can't tell you how many times my wife asks me what movies we have at home for me to respond, "nothing that you will like."

She probably only asks me once or twice a month, but if I don't have anything for her I will no doubt be asked why we need netflix if we can't have a movie to watch on a Sat night we stay in. I try to explain that I do have movies but they are ones that I will be interested in and watch more regularly. I don't want to burn 1 of my 3 at home for the random weekend when we want to sit and watch a movie together and thus only be able to regularly watch 2 a month. And god forbid we want to watch 2 movies in a weekend.

$2.99 is well worth it for me to be able to respond with "what movie do you want to watch, I'll go download it from Itunes", and 30 mins later be able to press play. I probably wouldn't drop netflix (I get blu-rays and many tv seasons), but I definitely see a lot of people who would use this. $3.99 is the wash point. If I have it for 30 days with comparable quality to DVD, it would still beat going to blockbuster to pay the same price.

I highly doubt that we would see anything less than $2.99 as it would probably mean that Apple wasn't making much on the download and counting instead on profits from AppleTV sales. Personally I think they could still get a large portion of the market at $2.99 so there is no reason to go lower. The 30 days is just a convenience thing for the customer. The studios won't want to sell it for 1 day at $1.49. What do they care whether you have it for 1 day or 30 days? You probably still won't buy it and now won't rent it. They need to get their base money from you experiencing the movie. They just want to make sure you don't get it for good at that price.

Also I think this business is very different than the digital music business was back in 2001. At that time there were no real legal alternatives so by pricing it cheaply they got to become the standard and basically dominate the market. Even if Apple priced the downloads at $1.99 I doubt they would be able to get their marketshare of the rental market anywhere near what it is for music sales. There are too many other cheap solutions and Apple isn't first into the game this time around. Not to mention you still need to get the AppleTV which hasn't taken off like the Ipod did in 2001. Even though very few people had it, there was a coolness factor to the Ipod that AppleTV just hasn't quite adapted.

Nonetheless assuming this news turns out to be true (it is still a rumor after all), it is great for the industry both for the rental market and also for getting the digital copy when purchasing a dvd (assuming the markup isn't too high). I think this is why ebooks and ebook readers haven't taken off yet. I want to be able to purchase the hard copy of a book as well as get a digital copy to load onto my reader. People like having physical media when they purchase something to own.

MacFly123
Dec 27, 2007, 01:44 AM
If this rumor is correct, these rentals would most likely play on all :apple:tv models already out there, so there's no evidence that this even points to an update.

I think the Apple TV update will be a Software update but also increased hard drives. but thats it, and thats fine by me :)

cdinca
Dec 27, 2007, 02:38 AM
I think the number of illegally ripped fox movies on P2P networks is going to plummet. Smart move all around.

CaptainHaddock
Dec 27, 2007, 03:08 AM
Silly Apple. [Almost] no one wants files that self-destruct after a set number of days. Customers understand why renting physical media, limited in quantity, makes sense. Trying to make bits that degrade doesn't make sense.

Yes it does. If the bits degrade, the studios will agree to let consumers have them for a cheaper price. Since most people only want to watch a movie once, paying a cheaper price is preferable.

Of course people want a cheaper price. But why do disappearing bits translate to a cheaper price? No one's going to buy the same movie twice, if that's what the movie studios are thinking.

Or maybe they're hoping people will buy the "cheaper" exploding version and forget to watch it during the allotted time.

At any rate, when studios can offer downloads with the features and quality that bit-torrent provides, I'll be their best customer.

MediaRyan
Dec 27, 2007, 03:29 AM
In the age of RedBox and other $1/day rental machines, I cannot understand why iTunes or any other online media source does not offer a really cheap rental option. For TV shows especially.

I want to see $1 options on digital video rentals. Maybe $2 for movies. Or some sort of 7 day rental thing for less than the rumored $2.99 for 30 days. Oh yeah, 30 days? What idiot thought up that time window? Give me 1 day and I'd still willingly pay half of this rumored price. ($1.49) The whole point of renting is to just watch it one time. If people like it that much and it doesn't cost a lot to rent, they'll rent it again or buy it.

Over the summer I had Blockbuster's $17.99/month 3 at-a-time unlimited rental. I flew through seasons 4 & 5 of 24, Planet Earth and other random movies. I would have 3 DVDs, watch them, turn them in at a Blockbuster, get 3 free rentals from the store, meanwhile the 3 I turned in get processed and 3 more were sent while I had the free rentals.

Repeat.

That is easily, easily 6 DVDs a week. Over 20 a month. The only con is if you're anxious to watch movies or TV shows that snag a wait time, oh and having the time of a college student over the summer.

I did this for the sole purpose of avoiding buying the iTunes or DVD versions of these TV shows and movies for way more money.

Renting or buying in a somewhat overhead free system like iTunes ought to be a lot less expensive. (compared to RedBox, Netflix, Blockbuster)

A DVD copy of Season 6 of 24 can be bought for $37.99 on Amazon right now. Lost Season 3 is $38.99. Why in the h$#! is 24 44.99 on iTunes for the whole season?! Lost is $34.99, a whopping $4 less than a tangible physical DVD copy of the movie.

Classic example is Pirates 3. It costs is $14.99 on iTunes. It is also $14.99 on Amazon for an actual DVD copy from Amazon. This is what is wrong with their business model, they aren't charging significantly less for a digital copy. Even if the movie was $9.99 on iTunes...that still seems like too much for a digital copy of something.

The same is true for rentals, why should a rental online cost the same or more than a physical rental.

I sincerely hope that Apple has negotiated a very competitive price per rental with Fox and that other studios follow suit. Otherwise records like a couple billion downloads on iTunes will continue to pale compared to the illegal download market that thrives and probably continues to grow.

Cheaper options should exist.

Loge
Dec 27, 2007, 03:40 AM
I suppose it's better than nothing; although, I don't believe it would solve the ripping problem because users will still need to rip older disks and disks from studios who aren't participating.

Yes, it is a move in the right direction; DVD ripping is a chore, even on a new MBP, and I don't mind paying a bit more for the the disk if all I have to do then is to copy the file(s). Just make sure it's the full widescreen deal and not cropped.

FireArse
Dec 27, 2007, 04:00 AM
If we're legally allowed to make a 'backup' copy of a CD, why aren't we allowed a backup copy of a movie? Why are we having to use DRM?

If a CD came with AAC encoded DRM infected tracks - would we all be happy?

Why doesn't iTunes have a handbrake-esk tool?

Sod DRM m4v's, I'm quite happy using handbrake.

F

tjcampbell
Dec 27, 2007, 04:35 AM
They need to get something like this up and running as soon as possible seeing as I can rent HD vids through my xbox 360 right now.

BenRoethig
Dec 27, 2007, 04:35 AM
Average home internet for a person who is going to own an Apple product???

Do remember the user base for iTunes stuff is not just Macs. In fact we're the minority of iPod users.

BenRoethig
Dec 27, 2007, 04:49 AM
In the age of RedBox and other $1/day rental machines, I cannot understand why iTunes or any other online media source does not offer a really cheap rental option. For TV shows especially.

I want to see $1 options on digital video rentals. Maybe $2 for movies. Or some sort of 7 day rental thing for less than the rumored $2.99 for 30 days. Oh yeah, 30 days? What idiot thought up that time window? Give me 1 day and I'd still willingly pay half of this rumored price. ($1.49) The whole point of renting is to just watch it one time. If people like it that much and it doesn't cost a lot to rent, they'll rent it again or buy it.

Over the summer I had Blockbuster's $17.99/month 3 at-a-time unlimited rental. I flew through seasons 4 & 5 of 24, Planet Earth and other random movies. I would have 3 DVDs, watch them, turn them in at a Blockbuster, get 3 free rentals from the store, meanwhile the 3 I turned in get processed and 3 more were sent while I had the free rentals.

Repeat.

That is easily, easily 6 DVDs a week. Over 20 a month. The only con is if you're anxious to watch movies or TV shows that snag a wait time, oh and having the time of a college student over the summer.

I did this for the sole purpose of avoiding buying the iTunes or DVD versions of these TV shows and movies for way more money.

Renting or buying in a somewhat overhead free system like iTunes ought to be a lot less expensive. (compared to RedBox, Netflix, Blockbuster)

A DVD copy of Season 6 of 24 can be bought for $37.99 on Amazon right now. Lost Season 3 is $38.99. Why in the h$#! is 24 44.99 on iTunes for the whole season?! Lost is $34.99, a whopping $4 less than a tangible physical DVD copy of the movie.

Classic example is Pirates 3. It costs is $14.99 on iTunes. It is also $14.99 on Amazon for an actual DVD copy from Amazon. This is what is wrong with their business model, they aren't charging significantly less for a digital copy. Even if the movie was $9.99 on iTunes...that still seems like too much for a digital copy of something.

The same is true for rentals, why should a rental online cost the same or more than a physical rental.

I sincerely hope that Apple has negotiated a very competitive price per rental with Fox and that other studios follow suit. Otherwise records like a couple billion downloads on iTunes will continue to pale compared to the illegal download market that thrives and probably continues to grow.

Cheaper options should exist.

Unfortunately, this is one area where Apple is slow and wants to stick with what has worked with music. Unfortunately it isn't quite understood that users are going to watch a movie much less frequently and because of the large size of the movies (due to compression not being as being anywhere near as good as the music side), people are not going to buy digital movies as much. My current DVD library would take out a large chunk of my 320 gig hard drive if it were digital. The by title rental system is a good start, but a 3-at a time monthly fee plan similar to blockbuster or netflix would really help Apple in the long run, especially when it comes to :apple:TV sales. If they learn to adapt and be flexible, they could dominate videos like they do music.

TheChillPill
Dec 27, 2007, 05:43 AM
I would love to see movies available the same day they are released in theaters.

The biggest piracy of movies comes from the releases not yet on dvd - if you make the same movie available in good quality (i.e not a cam or TS), you're going to virtually kill off all piracy of these releases.

I personally hate going to the cinema - especially if it means I have to go alone. But, there are some movies I'd love to see as soon as they come out.

Heck, I'd even be willing to pay a lot more for the privilege.

blashphemy
Dec 27, 2007, 05:46 AM
And in other news, piracy of FOX films and TV shows remains rampant...

Jobs already knows that DRM doesn't solve the piracy matter, so why do we continue down the DRM path? I can understand it for rentals but NOT for digital copies included with a DVD - much easier to rip the DVD or download it online, whichever would be faster for you, and oh by the way in that case it would be legal because you actually own a license to the movie.

blashphemy
Dec 27, 2007, 05:52 AM
The biggest piracy of movies comes from the releases not yet on dvd - if you make the same movie available in good quality (i.e not a cam or TS), you're going to virtually kill off all piracy of these releases.

The only thing that would happen then is someone would crack the DRM off the digital release then release it on the piracy scene, and voila a good quality copy of the movie is available for illegal download. No, I think that the studios like things the way they are and hope that someone doesn't get a DVD screener up while the movie's in theaters so people can continue to pay ridiculous $6+ per watch (and no, very little of that money goes to the theater which is why popcorn etc is so expensive there).

MediaRyan
Dec 27, 2007, 05:54 AM
Yeah. Sorry for my post/rant but I want to see good options that help everyone. The consumer, Apple and studios.

BarbabusMac
Dec 27, 2007, 05:56 AM
We top off the first 10 years of the 2000s with a live consumer version of the iCar -- right now its just in an few artists minds -- but it would be awesome -- designed as a full kit option to the Audio A4 ... will see if I can find the link to that graphic rendition and forward it along.

fluidedge
Dec 27, 2007, 05:58 AM
Great so we're going to get Jobs rambling on about iTunes and Movie Rentals for 40 minutes or so are we? Time will be short enough as it is - i'm guessing this means something else (more interesting to me as a non American) will get bumped out of the keynote. Like Pro HW updates

BarbabusMac
Dec 27, 2007, 05:58 AM
Gotta love it:

http://dl.maclife.com/1126_icar_front_credit_1200.jpg

artpease
Dec 27, 2007, 05:58 AM
Mind-boggling...I can't imagine Apple including blu-ray in the AppleTV, where is the revenue in that? :)

I'm beginning to wonder if we'll see blu-ray in anything...instant gratification technology is advancing so fast, it won't be long before no one will care about blu-ray or hd-dvd. :(

GregA
Dec 27, 2007, 06:50 AM
Sounds great. And rental is really the key (for movies AND tv shows).

Unfortunately, I'd guess that if an Apple version of the movie is included on a disc, it'll only be on the high def discs - since a regular dvd doesn't have enough space. I wonder if a slight alteration to the deal could allow Apple to convert "authorised" DVDs into computer based versions?

Meanwhile, the rest of us will happily pay a few dollars for a 640x480 movie.

Any of the iTunes widescreen movies are only 640x360. DVD is 720x480. And the AppleTV is capable of 1280x720.

I can't imagine Apple including blu-ray in the AppleTV, where is the revenue in that? :)

I also doubt we'll see blu-ray built into the AppleTVs. However, Apple might have learnt a lesson in the last year with the studios refusing Apple's model - and Bluray might make sure that consumers buy the AppleTVs even if their favourite movie isn't available for it.

Of course, this wouldn't persuade the studios to release Apple versions. I think it's more likely that Apple would put a DVR onboard, so that the studios can deal with Apple and make some money, OR can choose to not deal with Apple and make no money while customers record and watch their shows.

TMay
Dec 27, 2007, 07:42 AM
Sounds great. And rental is really the key (for movies AND tv shows).

Unfortunately, I'd guess that if an Apple version of the movie is included on a disc, it'll only be on the high def discs - since a regular dvd doesn't have enough space. I wonder if a slight alteration to the deal could allow Apple to convert "authorised" DVDs into computer based versions?



Any of the iTunes widescreen movies are only 640x360. DVD is 720x480. And the AppleTV is capable of 1280x720.



I also doubt we'll see blu-ray built into the AppleTVs. However, Apple might have learnt a lesson in the last year with the studios refusing Apple's model - and Bluray might make sure that consumers buy the AppleTVs even if their favourite movie isn't available for it.

Of course, this wouldn't persuade the studios to release Apple versions. I think it's more likely that Apple would put a DVR onboard, so that the studios can deal with Apple and make some money, OR can choose to not deal with Apple and make no money while customers record and watch their shows.

The thing about blu-ray especially (50 GB discs) is that it would be easy to put many h.264 variants on disc. Watch the near lossless version on your 50 inch 1080p via a Blu-Ray player for the theater experience. Then, download a 720P compressed version to any blu-ray equipped mac for storage and streaming to AppleTV anytime. Lastly, download yet another version to itunes for ipods.

The last piece of the puzzle, AVCHD (also part of the blu-ray spec), could be an enhancement to a mac video card to facilitate transcoding of AVCHD files on the fly both for streaming and to speed editing of those files in imovie/FCE/FCP. That way, personal video would be easy to ingest, store, watch (AppleTV), upload (YouTube, .mac) and burn (blu-ray or AVCHD on DVD).

And yes, as a matter of fact, I am waitng for 45 nm Quad core, a Blu-Ray burner, and HDMI IO on my next MacPro.

exopuppy
Dec 27, 2007, 07:51 AM
I read an article the other day proposing an iTunes rental system something like a digital version of Netflix - pay a monthly fee for a set number of download slots, whenever you want to add a new movie just clear out one of your existing slots. In my opinion, this is the only type of digital rental service I would pay for. I'm not interested in downloading time-bomb content, as I don't see any studios being willing to offer it at the right price. Netflix, on the other hand, is exactly what I want because I keep the film only as long as it takes me to watch it. When I'm done, it goes back in the mail and I have a new one the next day with no extra effort. If Apple could provide the same service, cutting out virtually all wait time, I would jump ship in a heartbeat. Anything with per-film rental fees though? I'll pass.

diamond.g
Dec 27, 2007, 07:52 AM
The thing about blu-ray especially (50 GB discs) is that it would be easy to put many h.264 variants on disc. Watch the near lossless version on your 50 inch 1080p via a Blu-Ray player for the theater experience. Then, download a 720P compressed version to any blu-ray equipped mac for storage and streaming to AppleTV anytime. Lastly, download yet another version to itunes for ipods.

The last piece of the puzzle, AVCHD (also part of the blu-ray spec), could be an enhancement to a mac video card to facilitate transcoding of AVCHD files on the fly both for streaming and to speed editing of those files in imovie/FCE/FCP. That way, personal video would be easy to ingest, store, watch (AppleTV), upload (YouTube, .mac) and burn (blu-ray or AVCHD on DVD).

And yes, as a matter of fact, I am waitng for 45 nm Quad core, a Blu-Ray burner, and HDMI IO on my next MacPro.
You are talking about managed copy. Which is apart of the BD specs. The downside to it is that most likely you will have to pay more to get access to those other versions. I think this DVD thing is just testing the waters to see if adding downloadable copies using MC is viable.


I am intersted in knowing if it is like the 360 method, where you rent a movie you have 7 days (or something like that) to actually start watching it, once you watch it you only have 24 hrs to complete the movie. Plus I think that if MS can offer HD downloads to Live users, there is no reason (none at all) why Apple can't do the same thing.

dukeblue91
Dec 27, 2007, 08:16 AM
I think this is a great idea and I would go and buy an :apple:TV in a hurry.
This business model seems to go more after pay per view of the cable companies then after netflix and such.
I don't watch that many movie's except some pay per view every now and then and the price would be very competitive considering that cable charges $3.99 for regular and $4.99 for HD content, and you only have 24 hrs to watch it.

So if Apple can pull this off with having the newest DVD's at the same time the stores do, I think it would work out for them.

pagansoul
Dec 27, 2007, 08:38 AM
I currently have a DVD set of Alfred Hitchcock collection of Public Domain movies/TV shows that also came with a ipod version for download, no DRM just a nice touch. Same with some 'One Step Beyond' shows. I don't remember the brand, maybe ECHO or Diamond or something like that.

I have the advantge of having a fast machine, MacPro with 5GB ram, so ripping a DVD doesnt take much time. I do it in the background while I do other things on my computer. I have ripped hundreds of movies and TV shows. I put them on my old 80gb ipod and use my SonicImpact V55 to watch on a 7inch screen at lunch or in bed. I have a DLO dock attached to my HDTV and can watch the contents that way if I like. I can see using a rental service for comedy but my preference is Sci-Fi and I have to own the DVD/Blu-ray. I don't own :apple:TV and haven't given it much thought.

MacAddict1978
Dec 27, 2007, 08:55 AM
Renting a movie via PPV usually means you're watching a movie that's been out on DVD for a while meaning you have to wait for a while unless you go the Blockbuster route which in itself creates more steps in the process of procuring the most recent movie in the quickest way. This is a valid reason for marketing to increase cost on what could turn out to be a very lucrative deal for all involved.

The buck talks.

eh, most providers now have new releases on ppv the same day they are out in the video store, and have increased their selection. Still, ppv only offers so many titles at one time. But :apple: is still going to be limited in selection. I don't think many studios will jump on board with apple.

i can also do all this now with my tivo via amazon. It takes a long time for the video to actually download. I want to watch it now!!!!!! I'd hope to see being able to start watching as the download progresses. THe Tivo service you have to wait for the entire thing to download.

foniks2020
Dec 27, 2007, 09:17 AM
The most important thing in this news is that Apple may have licensed Fairplay DRM to Fox for this included iPod / Location shifting version of their DVDs.

That is a significant change in policy for Apple as many companies in the past have requested it and Apple has repeatedly stated that more implementations of their DRM scheme would make it more exposed to insider hacking and thus less useful as a deterrent to piracy.

So the question is whether this is a reversal in that policy or some new form of Fairplay that they feel is capable of withstanding the additional exposure?

LeChuck
Dec 27, 2007, 09:25 AM
Yeah. Sorry for my post/rant but I want to see good options that help everyone. The consumer, Apple and studios.

The options that Apple offers are usually designed to help only Apple. Their options are too expensive and restrictive, and somehow the consumers keep buying them. On another note, yesterday I wanted to buy some music off of the iTunes store, despite the DRMs. I still had about 40 song credits on there. I discovered that my credits have simply disappeared, expired they said. That was money already paid to them, in the form of a gift certificate. They call it expired and I call it theft. You should see how surreal the discussions are with their "support" people.

And here's the other catch: I've got song credits but I can't buy an album with them, only songs. Then of course, I can't buy all the songs from an album because Apple makes some of them, often the longest ones or the most known ones, "album only". No matter how you look at it, it is designed to rip you off. So when I see this kind of news, I can't help but think of yet another ripoff. Last time I wanted to buy an album (and the credits were still in my account), I faced that frustration, then went to Amazon and saw that their downloads were cheaper and I could get the whole album that way, without DRMs and in higher quality, then I saw that the actual CD was only a couple bucks more and I could get free shipping, so I got the CD. And yet I have (or had) those unused credits.

Want to download music at a good price and without the restrictions, and especially without the dirty feeling of having to give more cash to Apple, buy from Amazon.

I use an iMac and I'm saving up for a Macbook Pro. How can I buy products that I like so much from a company I dislike so much. I'm going to need therapy.

ph0rk
Dec 27, 2007, 09:25 AM
It is about time they moved to a watch-once or watch-few model for video. I have no desire to own movies anymore - it just isn't the same as music. Can you imagine watching a movie or a show 60 times in a year?

Popeye206
Dec 27, 2007, 09:26 AM
I would like to see a new AppleTV.... with 5.1 and Hi-Def. Then I would love the option to rent a single movie at $2.95 a crack for 30 days, or buy a subscription for $20 a month that allows me to view movies at anytime. This way if I watch a lot, I'd get the subscription. If I watch a few, I'd rent them one at a time.

If Apple could... they could even link up with someone like Blockbuster and have a premium service for a little more that would allow me to rent physical DVDs from the local store much like what they do now... only now instead of mailing me new DVD titles, I would just get them on-line or go down to the local store and pick something up.

I'm excited to see that at least the first option may be coming soon!

megfilmworks
Dec 27, 2007, 09:30 AM
Well, most NTSC DVDs are just 720x480 anyway, so it's not like there is really all that much difference.
Virtually all new movies are produced in HDDVD or BLU-RAY as well as the older SD DVD.
If Apple TV goes HD I'm in, otherwise it is useless to me and anyone who has an HD setup.
But if it includes HD as well as SD than it will be the end of Netflix for me.
My top 25 movies are all short to very long wait and getting worse every week.

Digitalclips
Dec 27, 2007, 09:33 AM
i'm sure whatever the deal is, it'll be good. Apple knows what they are doing.

And I have to think ABC and Disney will be on board not just Fox, SJ does have some influence there remember.

Popeye206
Dec 27, 2007, 09:34 AM
The options that Apple offers are usually designed to help only Apple. Their options are too expensive and restrictive, and somehow the consumers keep buying them. On another note, yesterday I wanted to buy some music off of the iTunes store, despite the DRMs. I still had about 40 song credits on there. I discovered that my credits have simply disappeared, expired they said. That was money already paid to them, in the form of a gift certificate. They call it expired and I call it theft.

What the heck are you talking about???? Song credits???? iTunes does not use "SONG credits". You put money in your iTunes account. That is money, not credits and they don't expire???? In 3 years of having an account, I've never had any just disappear.

Besides... I think we all need to be clear... Apple did not institute DRM for themselves. They did it so the record labels felt secure with selling on-line! Also, as much as we all love Apple for their products, they are in business to ultimately make money. Otherwise, there would be no Apple or no investments in new developments like the iPhone or other cool products if they weren't profitable. Every company wants to make money and it does not make them evil by doing so.

UGH! I wish some people could get beyond wanting everything for nothing.

avkills
Dec 27, 2007, 09:44 AM
There is no reason to bitch about the 640x480 resolution and here is why:

NTSC 601 video is non-square pixels, which for a full D1 frame is 720x486. Before this became the norm for video editing systems, many systems captured at 640x480 square pixels, which is what computer displays are based upon.

So, NTSC 601 = non-square, Computers = square.

The Media100 (v4.5 ancient now) I used to edit with used this square pixel format and I can honestly tell you it looked better than DV25 video which is 720x480 non-square.

Basically all they are doing is converting the non-square format to square format so it looks right on your computer display; which believe it or not, most people want.

If you have ever looked at a non-square pixel format file opened up in Quicktime, you can tell that it looks stretched horizontally, which is correct since computers use square pixels. All modern editing systems correct for this in the main program window.

-mark

LeChuck
Dec 27, 2007, 09:45 AM
What the heck are you talking about???? Song credits???? iTunes does not use "SONG credits". You put money in your iTunes account. That is money, not credits and they don't expire???? In 3 years of having an account, I've never had any just disappear.

Besides... I think we all need to be clear... Apple did not institute DRM for themselves. They did it so the record labels felt secure with selling on-line! Also, as much as we all love Apple for their products, they are in business to ultimately make money. Otherwise, there would be no Apple or no investments in new developments like the iPhone or other cool products if they weren't profitable. Every company wants to make money and it does not make them evil by doing so.

UGH! I wish some people could get beyond wanting everything for nothing.

Everything for nothing? What are *you* talking about. I had to buy a whole album despite the fact that I had 50 song credits already paid to them. Song credits is the term that they keep using in their emails to me. I've been giving my money to computer companies for the past 20 years and I've got 600 DVDs here in my living room and too many CDs to count. But I don't like my money to be stolen by an arrogant corporation that has no respect for their customers.

My songs were obtained through a 50 song gift certificate, which I added to my account. Do you think I'm making this up? Quit with the cult thing already. I have a whole trail of emails from them telling me that my song credits have "expired". After I complained enough they felt "generous" and just gave me *5* credits back.

ph0rk
Dec 27, 2007, 09:51 AM
Everything for nothing? What are *you* talking about. I had to buy a whole album despite the fact that I had 50 song credits already paid to them. Song credits is the term that they keep using in their emails to me. I've been giving my money to computer companies for the past 20 years and I've got 600 DVDs here in my living room and too many CDs to count. But I don't like my money to be stolen by an arrogant corporation that has no respect for their customers.

My songs were obtained through a 50 song gift certificate, which I added to my account. Do you think I'm making this up? Quit with the cult thing already. I have a whole trail of emails from them telling me that my song credits have "expired". After I complained enough they felt "generous" and just gave me *5* credits back.

All their current cards are in dollars - maybe someone got a card for free songs from some other purchase (everyone seems to be giving itms songs away these days) and regifted? Cards like that often have expiration dates, and it does suck, but you can't just let that stuff sit, or someone would probably try to sue apple for interest.

rockosmodurnlif
Dec 27, 2007, 09:51 AM
30 days for $2.99? What? What do I need a movie for 30 days for? Try 1 week for $0.99 or even $1.50 and it takes a day to download and I'm fine. No streaming nonsense. Because then I can get two movies in two weeks, instead of one for a month.

It'll be nice to get dvd ripping in iTunes but I'm no fan of the DRM so I won't do that either.

Step forward I suppose. Maybe then unbox and other programs will start working with Macs too.

megfilmworks
Dec 27, 2007, 09:52 AM
If you can get 3 at a time Netflix for $17 or whatever it is these days... and you can probably get 20-30 DVDs a month if you're not throttled and you do a quick turnaround. So we are talking DVD-quality rentals for 60 or 70 cents.


Netflix was great when it started, but the new releases take weeks to get and even longer in HD. Apple could destroy (or buy) Netflix with a great download service.

LeChuck
Dec 27, 2007, 10:00 AM
All their current cards are in dollars - maybe someone got a card for free songs from some other purchase (everyone seems to be giving itms songs away these days) and regifted? Cards like that often have expiration dates, and it does suck, but you can't just let that stuff sit, or someone would probably try to sue apple for interest.

Not at all. It was a gift certificate for 50 songs purchased by my employer and given to me the previous Christmas. It is purchased from Apple and mailed as a letter with a number on it that you redeem and add to your account. It was not a dollar amount, and not a regift. I can tell you the support people either know nothing or are instructed to pretend that they are stupid. A discussion with them can go nowhere. There is absolutely no reason that an amount of money that has been paid to them to purchase song credits (or whatever they want to call that stuff) should expire, but mine did. It's not even an issue with a certificate or a card expiring. The credits *were* added to my account within a reasonable time frame and I even used a few of them to buy songs back in October. The remaining credits were showing up on the little username button in iTunes.

Dorfdad
Dec 27, 2007, 10:05 AM
Guys its going to boil down to one thing. Price Point. I love Apple products as much as anyone else, but I refuse to pay the premium for content for said devices.

.99 a song is still too much considering you can buy the full album, artwork, and media and share it with ANYONE in the world for $10.00 now or LEGALLY importing them for much less elsewhere.

at .99 it would cost me over 13 for a digital limited download of the same music, and Im locked into playing it on limted devices.

I love the itunes TV show idea right now, but I never bought one yet why? Cost Im not paying that much for a single episode or movie. Buying a few movies can easily cost me more than my cable bill does with unlimted shows and I can record them myself.

If Apple wants to create a major BOMB in the movie/Tv/Music industry than just create a membership plan. 9.99 or 14.99 a month for Unlimited rentals (make the shows last 3 days after download) Make them compatible with all Apple Products, IMAC, IPHON, IPODS, ITV and split the revenue with the creators. Win/Win we buy more apple products at crazy markups, you have a steady stream of income from users on a monthly basis, and You attract more studios to your one stop shopping Itunes platform..

Stop nickel and diming us, give us a FLAT RATE RENTAL PROGRAM like NETFLIX, OR Blockbuster etc.. and my entertainment sole will belong to apple.

Xtoo
Dec 27, 2007, 10:05 AM
One thing we gotta be concerned about and Apple must figure out is the fact that we all want HD content to download. This Christmas weekend I bought "Ratatouille" through my XBOX 360 in HD. I am sure it was 720 and not 1080.

At home I have Time Warner cable internet. I thought the download would take 1 hour tops. To my surprise, it took about 2.5 - 3.0 hrs. I ended up watching it the next day. Grrrrrr!

So how in the world, could we download a 1080 film. Not in the near future. If we get to download HD it will be 720. Unless Apple puts to use some miracle technology which I doubt.

On the other hand, Mr. Jobs, lets not do the same mistake MS did with my $6.00 (yes! $6.00 rental):
1 Play and is over in 24hrs. 1 ******ing play???????
That is the way Gates play. 14 days to expire from the time downloaded, but the moment you hit play it destroys itself (puuufff) in a 24 hrs.
Bulls**t!

If Apple really goes for anything less than $4.00 per rental, we will be lucky if it is 720. Most likely, it will be standard def.
And don't treat us like MS with the XBOX downloads. Thanks!

ph0rk
Dec 27, 2007, 10:08 AM
Not at all. It was a gift certificate for 50 songs purchased by my employer and given to me the previous Christmas. It is purchased from Apple and mailed as a letter with a number on it that you redeem and add to your account. It was not a dollar amount, and not a regift. I can tell you the support people either know nothing or are instructed to pretend that they are stupid. A discussion with them can go nowhere. There is absolutely no reason that an amount of money that has been paid to them to purchase song credits (or whatever they want to call that stuff) should expire, but mine did. It's not even an issue with a certificate or a card expiring. The credits *were* added to my account within a reasonable time frame and I even used a few of them to buy songs back in October. The remaining credits were showing up on the little username button in iTunes.

I'd have been suspicious of a gift of "songs" not dollars, anyway. I'm guessing the card itself had a hard expire date - really, I don't think I'd expect a gift card from anyone to last much past a year. Those things aren't like real money.

I'd have used it immediately.

LeChuck
Dec 27, 2007, 10:13 AM
I'd have been suspicious of a gift of "songs" not dollars, anyway. I'm guessing the card itself had a hard expire date - really, I don't think I'd expect a gift card from anyone to last much past a year. Those things aren't like real money.

I'd have used it immediately.

It might not be in their offer today but it was last year. Why be suspicious. That was something that they did offer for purchase. It doesn't matter if the certificate had an expiration date. It was used and added to my account, in other words, "redeemed". There was *real* money involved when purchasing the certificate. The money is now in the possession of Apple.

TMay
Dec 27, 2007, 10:23 AM
The options that Apple offers are usually designed to help only Apple. Their options are too expensive and restrictive, and somehow the consumers keep buying them. On another note, yesterday I wanted to buy some music off of the iTunes store, despite the DRMs. I still had about 40 song credits on there. I discovered that my credits have simply disappeared, expired they said. That was money already paid to them, in the form of a gift certificate. They call it expired and I call it theft. You should see how surreal the discussions are with their "support" people.

And here's the other catch: I've got song credits but I can't buy an album with them, only songs. Then of course, I can't buy all the songs from an album because Apple makes some of them, often the longest ones or the most known ones, "album only". No matter how you look at it, it is designed to rip you off. So when I see this kind of news, I can't help but think of yet another ripoff. Last time I wanted to buy an album (and the credits were still in my account), I faced that frustration, then went to Amazon and saw that their downloads were cheaper and I could get the whole album that way, without DRMs and in higher quality, then I saw that the actual CD was only a couple bucks more and I could get free shipping, so I got the CD. And yet I have (or had) those unused credits.

Want to download music at a good price and without the restrictions, and especially without the dirty feeling of having to give more cash to Apple, buy from Amazon.

I use an iMac and I'm saving up for a Macbook Pro. How can I buy products that I like so much from a company I dislike so much. I'm going to need therapy.

Here's a link to someone with your same issue:

http://platinumelite.blogspot.com/2007/05/my-fight-with-apple-regarding-itunes.html


From apple faqs:

Does the Apple Gift Card expire?
Apple does not place an expiration date on Apple Gift Cards. However, there may be rules defined by the laws of your state that require Apple to terminate your right to use your Apple Gift Card if you have not used it within a specified number of years. Under those laws, Apple is required to attempt to contact you before terminating your right to use your card.


Your's were third party song certificates as by definition, Apple doesn't sell these. I don't know why the policies exist for third party song certificates and promotions (probably to prevent fraud, but they may exist at the third parties request, ie, the third party pays only for redemptions until a drop dead date).

I think you need to get over this.

Popeye206
Dec 27, 2007, 10:25 AM
Not at all. It was a gift certificate for 50 songs purchased by my employer and given to me the previous Christmas. It is purchased from Apple and mailed as a letter with a number on it that you redeem and add to your account. It was not a dollar amount, and not a regift. I can tell you the support people either know nothing or are instructed to pretend that they are stupid. A discussion with them can go nowhere. There is absolutely no reason that an amount of money that has been paid to them to purchase song credits (or whatever they want to call that stuff) should expire, but mine did. It's not even an issue with a certificate or a card expiring. The credits *were* added to my account within a reasonable time frame and I even used a few of them to buy songs back in October. The remaining credits were showing up on the little username button in iTunes.

LeChuck.... I guess where we're all confused is the use of Song Credits??? iTunes works in money values so I'm not sure how they bought song credits last year. Also.... I have a background in gift cards. All gift cards expire if they are not redeemed over a period of time. There are actually federal and state guidelines for this as to how much can "expire" (Some states dont allow it at all). The reason they do this is gift card revenue although real money, can not be counted as bottom line revenue until it is redeemed for product. So in accounting terms, they have the money, but the card is unrealized revenue until it's redeemed. So, because so many gift cards are never redeemed they expire over time. Usually a small percentage after 1 or 2 years until they are exhausted. If they did not, billions of dollars would be sitting in accounts and companies would not be able to call the money theirs or they would be come a liability.

WIth that said. I went through the iTunes terms and conditions. I looked at several disclosures (All are easy to read) and nowhere did any of them talk about redeemed gift cards or otherwise expiring. So.... my guess is since your 50 songs expired so quickly, I would think you were given or sold something that was promotional in nature. Promotions can expire by any amount of time determined by the company. So, this leads me to this conclusion.

So.... I Don't want to call you a liar. I believe you have run into a real problem and I have personally experienced some what I call the Apple Customer Service "black hole". Twice I've had to be escalated to a resolution specialist for different problems. So, I would recommend asking to be connected with a resolution specialist if you can.

:-) I hope this helps!

Peace
Dec 27, 2007, 10:28 AM
[snip]

One thing we gotta be concerned about and Apple must figure out is the fact that we all want HD content to download. This Christmas weekend I bought "Ratatouille" through my XBOX 360 in HD. I am sure it was 720 and not 1080.

At home I have Time Warner cable internet. I thought the download would take 1 hour tops. To my surprise, it took about 2.5 - 3.0 hrs. I ended up watching it the next day. Grrrrrr!

So how in the world, could we download a 1080 film. Not in the near future. If we get to download HD it will be 720. Unless Apple puts to use some miracle technology which I doubt.



That's the one thing that bothers me. When everybody that has broadband starts downloading all these movies the tubes are going to get clogged. And if not clogged then throttled by companies like Comcast Cable. This will create a really bad experience.

LeChuck
Dec 27, 2007, 10:32 AM
LeChuck.... I guess where we're all confused is the use of Song Credits??? iTunes works in money values so I'm not sure how they bought song credits last year. Also.... I have a background in gift cards. All gift cards expire if they are not redeemed over a period of time. There are actually federal and state guidelines for this as to how much can "expire" (Some states dont allow it at all). The reason they do this is gift card revenue although real money, can not be counted as bottom line revenue until it is redeemed for product. So in accounting terms, they have the money, but the card is unrealized revenue until it's redeemed. So, because so many gift cards are never redeemed they expire over time. Usually a small percentage after 1 or 2 years until they are exhausted. If they did not, billions of dollars would be sitting in accounts and companies would not be able to call the money theirs or they would be come a liability.

WIth that said. I went through the iTunes terms and conditions. I looked at several disclosures (All are easy to read) and nowhere did any of them talk about redeemed gift cards or otherwise expiring. So.... my guess is since your 50 songs expired so quickly, I would think you were given or sold something that was promotional in nature. Promotions can expire by any amount of time determined by the company. So, this leads me to this conclusion.

So.... I Don't want to call you a liar. I believe you have run into a real problem and I have personally experienced some what I call the Apple Customer Service "black hole". Twice I've had to be escalated to a resolution specialist for different problems. So, I would recommend asking to be connected with a resolution specialist if you can.

:-) I hope this helps!

Let me explain this again. I work in a small company of 10 people. Last year, at Christmas, we all got a gift certificate for 50 songs, bought online and directly from Apple, received by mail directly from Apple. It was not a card but a printed certificate. It is not a promotion. It's something that they used to sell I guess. My certificate number was redeemed this year (Apple still has it because they listed it in their replies to me). I then had a credit added to my iTunes account that each song was subtracted from. Yesterday, I intended to buy more songs using the same account, and realized that the credits I had left in there have disappeared. I contacted the iTunes support, and they told me that my "song credits" (I am not making this name up, this is what they are using in their emails, along with the fact that they are "happy to help") have expired. I hope it is clear now. In any case, I'm not going to lose sleep over this, but I'll make sure I'll share my discontent when I can. A normal gesture for them would have been to restore my credits and let me use them, the amount of money that has been paid to them. They didn't do it.

diamond.g
Dec 27, 2007, 10:41 AM
[snip]



That's the one thing that bothers me. When everybody that has broadband starts downloading all these movies the tubes are going to get clogged. And if not clogged then throttled by companies like Comcast Cable. This will create a really bad experience.

I could see Apple hating life if all iTunes users simultaneously downloaded files, but that is unlikely. As far as I can tell iTunes uses port 80 to download music + movies, I highly doubt an internet carrier will throttle that port. Besides if it is popular enough Apple could cut ISP's in on some of the profits.

To the person you quoted, HD videos on live all start out at at least 3 GiB in size. But they also include 5.1 Audio and are of a nice bitrate (macro blocking isn't evident). Of course it is going to take a while XBL (like iTunes) isn't using bitorrent like downloads either.

reldream
Dec 27, 2007, 10:48 AM
This is great news for everyone with any :apple: device.

Also, I just purchased the "Live Free or Die Hard" movie, which is made by FOX, and it came with an addition disc that had a digital copy for you to load onto your computer then sync with an iPod, iPhone, PSP or just leave on your computer for your enjoyment.

FOX has already started this on certain movies, this will be really cool to see done on every movie. :)

EDIT: The FOX digital copy will only work on WMP. However, converting this is simple.

LeChuck
Dec 27, 2007, 10:54 AM
I would pay a few dollars to be able to download a 720p version of new movies and be able to watch them when I want or when I can. It's one thing when you're a single person in front of a computer but a family is a different matter. I use Netflix and somehow we never manage to watch the movies when we intended. I don't mind a large download as long as I can then take my time and can choose whether I want to watch it in the living room on the home theater setup or on a laptop in bed. And if it gets released closer to theater dates. There was a time in life when I could go to the movies whenever I wanted, but with 3 kids, that almost never happens.

network23
Dec 27, 2007, 11:09 AM
If I buy a song that I think is one of the better songs I've heard in a long time, then I should have every right to share it with some of the closest people in my life, up to and including my sibling, girlfriend and best friend. I'm not mass mailing it to everyone on my contact list. There is a 5 machine max, you know...

"Five machine max" is an utter crock. I get livid when I see that on Apple's site. If they'd say "five account max", then they would be telling the truth. I have five computers in my home, yet, I am extremely restricted when it comes to listening to music if I allow my family members (five of us) to have access to the iTunes-bought songs. This means that if I'm across the house working on an XP box, I can't listen to my songs because my "registered" account is on my Mac. My wife may have registered iTunes on this XP, but that doesn't help me when I'm in my account.

I've seriously thought about a class-action, because it really is untrue what they promote on their website, and yet, it should be pretty easy to implement.

SummWriterOne
Dec 27, 2007, 11:09 AM
this rental plan sounds like great news, and I am hoping updates to the Apple TV come with this

are we expecting an announcement of this at MWSF? along with the Beatles catalog? a live appearance by Paul and Ringo? a 3G iPhone, with GPS? 5 million iPhones sold? a flash drive laptop?

It's going to be a long keynote!

Popeye206
Dec 27, 2007, 11:15 AM
Let me explain this again. I work in a small company of 10 people. Last year, at Christmas, we all got a gift certificate for 50 songs, bought online and directly from Apple, received by mail directly from Apple. It was not a card but a printed certificate. It is not a promotion. It's something that they used to sell I guess.

LeChuck, not to beat an expired horse, but I feel for your situation too. I know how frustrating it is when you dont get what you paid for or was given. Anyway... I did find a reference to "Song Credits"... here is the link...

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302264

I'm not sure how these got sold to you or your employer... they indicate that these are promotional credits and not a normal iTunes gift card. My suspicion is they we're bought by someone redeeming credit card points for iTunes songs.... in which case could fall under different circumstances. However, I would not stop there. Again... I would stay after Apple CS and see if you can get the right person to help.

I've found Apple customer service to be very frustrating at times... one time I returned a Apple Care support agreement once that was included in my order without asking for it and Apple receiving lost the merchandise when it was returned (with a RMA). Apple CS kept trying to make their mistake my problem and have me jump through all sorts of hoops over this, but I refused saying it was their mistake and not mine, and eventually I got to the right person that made it all good. In fact, I got the $100 back and $100 credit to boot for my trouble. Persistence can be your friend.

Good luck!

LeChuck
Dec 27, 2007, 11:20 AM
LeChuck, not to beat an expired horse, but I feel for your situation too. I know how frustrating it is when you dont get what you paid for or was given. Anyway... I did find a reference to "Song Credits"... here is the link...

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302264

I'm not sure how these got sold to you or your employer... they indicate that these are promotional credits and not a normal iTunes gift card. My suspicion is they we're bought by someone redeeming credit card points for iTunes songs.... in which case could fall under different circumstances. However, I would not stop there. Again... I would stay after Apple CS and see if you can get the right person to help.

I've found Apple customer service to be very frustrating at times... one time I returned a Apple Care support agreement once that was included in my order without asking for it and Apple receiving lost the merchandise when it was returned (with a RMA). Apple CS kept trying to make their mistake my problem and have me jump through all sorts of hoops over this, but I refused saying it was their mistake and not mine, and eventually I got to the right person that made it all good. In fact, I got the $100 back and $100 credit to boot for my trouble. Persistence can be your friend.

Good luck!

Thanks Popeye. I've got all my energy sapped by Christmas already so I'm not sure I want to bother pushing this, but I might just out of principle.

Popeye206
Dec 27, 2007, 11:46 AM
Thanks Popeye. I've got all my energy sapped by Christmas already so I'm not sure I want to bother pushing this, but I might just out of principle.

Principle is good. :-) I know I would... if anything to help Apple realize those type of products can be misleading and cause bad ju-ju with new or even loyal users like those of us found here. I know my past bad experiences with CS we're expressed to everyone and anyone I could tell my story too at Apple and within the press people I know in hopes of helping them do better in the future. Even though Apple has some of the best customer service in the industry, I know it can also be there weak spot if they don't respond well to problems, concerns and issues.

BTW.... back on topic here... Woo Hoo! If a rental deal comes out that is enticing, I will have to buy an Apple TV and dump my Blockbusters account. I like the mail in program with Blockbuster, but I also love the idea of getting what I want when I want it. Not go to the store and hope they have a copy in stock! I'm really hoping for a kick-butt MacWorld this year!

Random Ping
Dec 27, 2007, 11:52 AM
$4.99 is not a good price. I can rent a movie Pay Per View for $3.99 and rent a movie for $3.99 at BlockBuster.

$2.99 is a much better price.

Two problems I see are that the studios are concerned about digitally piracy (thus treating their customers like criminals) and studios are concerned about Apple getting too powerful. So my guess is that none will cut a good deal for Apple -- Apple will be at least as expensive, and maybe more expensive, than some of the competitors. And there are lots of competitors out there; just to identify a few:

Local video rental
Netflix
Vudu
Pay-per-view + TiVo
XBox 360 video rentals

Random Ping
Dec 27, 2007, 11:57 AM
any chance of them making a deal with netflix?

For my money, a great combination would be the FairPlay system on DVDs rented from NetFlix. Then I can rent from NetFlix, copy the DRMed content from the DVD to my computer system (maybe with a 30 day life span), send the DVD back to NetFlix and get the next one. Repeat. This way I have a good collection of videos in my house (no downloads to worry about) that I can choose from depending on my mood.

Random Ping
Dec 27, 2007, 12:01 PM
I would love to have a blu-ray player on :apple:TV, but I think is very unlikely to happen.

I agree, but I would like a Blu-ray drive on my workstation for backing up my data if nothing else. It would be cool if I could get a Blu-ray drive for my workstation, put in a Blue-ray movie, and stream the high-def over to my :apple:TV for displaying on my Plasma TV. This way I get the best of both worlds -- Hi-Def movies on my TV and high capacity data backup capability on my workstation.

Maccus Aurelius
Dec 27, 2007, 12:07 PM
If I wanted Blu-Ray hooked up to a Mac-as-set top box, I'd simply get a Mac Mini and get a Blu-Ray external drive via firewire.

As for rentals. Yes...YES please.

jpine
Dec 27, 2007, 12:15 PM
Not that I don't want full-res DVD download, but the issue is how big the file is and how long does it takes on an average home internet connection to download?

That's just it. I don't think there is such a thing as "average." Many small towns in "fly-over" rural America do not have broadband. Even dial-up can be expensive. My sister lives just 20 miles outside of Kansas City and pays $30.00 per month for a Kansas City phone number so she does not have to pay long distance charges for her ISP connection (dial-up). Her monthly bill (KC phone line plus ISP charge) is nearly what we pay for 15 Mbps FIOS here in southern CA.

diamond.g
Dec 27, 2007, 12:23 PM
That's just it. I don't think there is such a thing as "average." Many small towns in "fly-over" rural America do not have broadband. Even dial-up can be expensive. My sister lives just 20 miles outside of Kansas City and pays $30.00 per month for a Kansas City phone number so she does not have to pay long distance charges for her ISP connection (dial-up). Her monthly bill (KC phone line plus ISP charge) is nearly what we pay for 15 Mbps FIOS here in southern CA.
Well it stands to reason that dial-up users wouldn't utilize a movie download service anyways. Even near DVD quality downloads could be several hundred megabytes in size, which would take days to download.
This would be a purely broadband only affair. I believe the average BB speed to be something like 1.5 Mbps (maybe it is higher now with FIOS popping up in lots of places). And even that is slow for movie downloads. Plus Apple would have to come up with tons of loot for bandwidth, unless they have the content owner host the content or use a bittorrent like schema.

AtHomeBoy_2000
Dec 27, 2007, 12:25 PM
If I can move the file off the DVD through iTunes onto my iPod, I would be sooooo happy. I understand that it might have to go through iTunes and their DRM and I am ok with that.

AtHomeBoy_2000
Dec 27, 2007, 12:34 PM
There is no reason to bitch about the 640x480 resolution and here is why:

NTSC 601 video is non-square pixels, which for a full D1 frame is 720x486. Before this became the norm for video editing systems, many systems captured at 640x480 square pixels, which is what computer displays are based upon.

So, NTSC 601 = non-square, Computers = square.

The Media100 (v4.5 ancient now) I used to edit with used this square pixel format and I can honestly tell you it looked better than DV25 video which is 720x480 non-square.

Basically all they are doing is converting the non-square format to square format so it looks right on your computer display; which believe it or not, most people want.

If you have ever looked at a non-square pixel format file opened up in Quicktime, you can tell that it looks stretched horizontally, which is correct since computers use square pixels. All modern editing systems correct for this in the main program window.

-mark

I'll be soooo glad when this square/non-squarw pixel thing is a thing of the past. ATSC and HD cant come fast enough for me.

Unspeaked
Dec 27, 2007, 01:11 PM
Great so we're going to get Jobs rambling on about iTunes and Movie Rentals for 40 minutes or so are we? Time will be short enough as it is - i'm guessing this means something else (more interesting to me as a non American) will get bumped out of the keynote. Like Pro HW updates


Remember, this is MacWorld. It's become a consumer show. Last year's only announcements were the iPhone and AppleTV. I wouldn't be surprised if this year's were only an iPhone update and an AppleTV update (with a related tie-in to rentals).

Macintosh updates have become the thing of WWDC and random seasonal events...

Virgil-TB2
Dec 27, 2007, 01:35 PM
Yes... this may push the TV to the next level and make it more practical for me to use.I'm wondering if these announcements relate to the rumour that the new AppleTV will have an optical drive.

If it was a standard that all DVD's came with a digital copy on the disc that was easily identified by a system like AppleTV and automatically transferred to your library on insertion ...

Could be quite a groovy setup :)

hscottm
Dec 27, 2007, 02:01 PM
As implied/asked by someone above, I think this will in fact be Steve's answer to the Format Wars. The fact that Apple hasnt brought out Blu-Ray yet anywhere, including in the MacPro line, suggests that they arent as pro-BluRay as their membership indicates.

Assuming the rumor is true, I would expect Steve to start by a side-by-side comparison of what is the same and different about HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, and note that the main differences are in capacity and multimedia capabilities (i.e., with respect to shipping players). The key thing the same in them is their support for common formats (eg MP2, H.264). And to point out that the disc options are just competing ways of delivering the same thing (H.264). So given that there is no clear winner, why take sides? He'll then nominate the shadow candidate - direct digital delivery of H.264, capacity-limited only by the storage on your device, and able to still do any of the internet-enabled/multimedia stuff offered already in HD-DVD.

He'll then suggest a lower price point than the current normal retail prices ($40) but close to Amazon prices ($25). I think the open question would be whether to match the "5 free movies with purchase of a player" promo --:apple:TV can already be had for less than the average HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player.

Random Ping
Dec 27, 2007, 02:16 PM
Remember, this is MacWorld.

They should really rename it AppleWorld

II wouldn't be surprised if this year's were only an iPhone update and an AppleTV update

I generally agree. I bet Apple unveils MS Exchange support for the iPhone, the first fully supported and native 3rd party apps for the iPhone (probably from a few software houses with early access to the SDK), and announced availability of the SDK. This will really break down a lot of barriers for people.

I love the purchase model for songs, but I hate it for movies (and even TV shows). I think video rental and HD content for :apple:TV will break down a lot of barriers there as well.

With relatively recent updates to the iMac and iLife suite, I think we will see very little on the consumer Mac side. There are the persistent rumors of an ultra compact Mac (maybe with no HD) or a touch screen tablet Mac, but neither of these excite me too much.

lord patton
Dec 27, 2007, 03:58 PM
I bet Apple unveils MS Exchange support for the iPhone, the first fully supported and native 3rd party apps for the iPhone (probably from a few software houses with early access to the SDK), and announced availability of the SDK. This will really break down a lot of barriers for people.

I love the purchase model for songs, but I hate it for movies (and even TV shows). I think video rental and HD content for :apple:TV will break down a lot of barriers there as well.


I agree completely. Along with the MS Exchange support, look for announcements of major partnerships with corporations who have begun mass deployment of iPhones for their workers.

Announcements of 3rd party apps? Definitely. Apple doesn't just announce, they create a show! When the apps come, there will be some marquee products at launch.

gkarris
Dec 27, 2007, 03:58 PM
As implied/asked by someone above, I think this will in fact be Steve's answer to the Format Wars. The fact that Apple hasnt brought out Blu-Ray yet anywhere, including in the MacPro line, suggests that they arent as pro-BluRay as their membership indicates.


Actually, there is a "third" camp. The "DVD is good enough, the industry will go internet download/mobile". Which seems to be the side Apple is taking.

People will continue to use DVD as they feel it is good enough, only the people with high-end equipment will go High-Def Discs.

Most will go to downloads (like Amazon Unbox with Tivo, or iTunes) and view the content on media players (like :apple:TV), media computers, or mobile devices...

GregA
Dec 27, 2007, 03:59 PM
I read an article the other day proposing an iTunes rental system something like a digital version of Netflix - pay a monthly fee for a set number of download slots, whenever you want to add a new movie just clear out one of your existing slots. In my opinion, this is the only type of digital rental service I would pay for.

The problem with this model is that if you have a high speed connection, then 2 download slots would be pretty well identical to 6 download slots. When it's a physical medium that requires postage, then 6 slots really equates to 3 times as many DVDs as 2 slots. The studios don't want people watching 3 times as much without paying more.

Also, I'd assume that Netflix pays the studios per dvd, not per slot etc. In that case, Netflix (or Apple) would lose on your model rather than the studios... but the end result is the same, it's not a plausible product.

For my money, a great combination would be the FairPlay system on DVDs rented from NetFlix. Then I can rent from NetFlix, copy the DRMed content from the DVD to my computer system (maybe with a 30 day life span), send the DVD back to NetFlix and get the next one. Repeat. This way I have a good collection of videos in my house (no downloads to worry about) that I can choose from depending on my mood.

I'm not sure if you're joking - but the studios would never allow you a model like this. They don't want you to rent something once and own it forever.

GregA
Dec 27, 2007, 04:21 PM
That's the one thing that bothers me. When everybody that has broadband starts downloading all these movies the tubes are going to get clogged. And if not clogged then throttled by companies like Comcast Cable. This will create a really bad experience.

This is a very real concern! And the problem is (surprisingly) more with the backbone than with the last mile. There are solutions - Apple could strategically place caching servers throughout ISP networks. Or they could use bittorrent with a design that only downloads/uploads within an ISPs network and in a single city.

I'm in Australia (so probably no rental or purchase for me!), but I'd want to see an option for downloading overnight. I have a download quota that gives much more off peak quota, so I'd prefer to tell my system to use that (unless I want it right away!)

Well it stands to reason that dial-up users wouldn't utilize a movie download service anyways. Even near DVD quality downloads could be several hundred megabytes in size, which would take days to download. This would be a purely broadband only affair.
Yes, home downloads won't work over dialup.

I wonder if Apple can do anything about that. I doubt it. However, it'd be nice to be able to order a movie online, then plug my iPod in at Starbucks and have it automatically download my movie purchase.. then when I get home have it upload it automatically.

Or forget starbucks specifically but use the same model - as a dialup user at home, go to work (or a friend's house - anywhere with broadband) and plug in my iPod, and have it download automatically.

I believe the average BB speed to be something like 1.5 Mbps (maybe it is higher now with FIOS popping up in lots of places). And even that is slow for movie downloads.

In Australia the line tests for any ADSL connection are for a minimum attenuation which should provide at least 1.5Mbps. So although our "official" average BB speed is 1.1Mbps, that's only because the telcos offer cheap deals for slower speeds.

The network can handle much more (1.5Mbps should be the MINIMUM) - indications are that the average is around 7Mbps. I'm not sure if the US is similar - do people pay less for a slower ADSL??

Anyway, 1.5Mbps is enough for close to DVD quality (most pirated movies on the net use 1.1Mbps or lower), but HD requires more. AppleTV can handle up to 5Mbps (used in fast motion scenes), so I'd expect HD to work well enough if you've got 4Mbps.

Random Ping
Dec 27, 2007, 05:01 PM
I'm not sure if you're joking - but the studios would never allow you a model like this. They don't want you to rent something once and own it forever.

When you move the content from the DVD with FairPlay to your computer system the clock starts ticking, so you only have 30 days before the data on the computer expires. Thus, you cannot keep the content forever. Likewise, since there are existing throttles in place via NetFlix, there is a maximum number of movies you can have on your system at any given time. Still, it would be nice to have say 10 movies I haven't watched queued up on my computer that I can watch at any given time.

Still, I don't expect the studios to support it. When a content provider requires DRM, they start with the presumption that their customer is a criminal, and they will be happy to make their customers unhappy (i.e., onerous DRM limitations and hoops) just in case their customer wants to exercise their criminal tendencies. For example, there have been a couple of recent examples where customers have purchased DRM content that requires periodic re-authentication, and then the company exits the business. You are then stuck with content that you cannot play. And of course there are "Buy access to a movies, but you can only watch it while streaming to your computer" -- a model that doesn't work if you have less than stellar network performance, want to watch the movie while disconnected from the network, or want to watch it on another device.

fluidedge
Dec 27, 2007, 06:11 PM
Remember, this is MacWorld. It's become a consumer show. Last year's only announcements were the iPhone and AppleTV. I wouldn't be surprised if this year's were only an iPhone update and an AppleTV update (with a related tie-in to rentals).

Macintosh updates have become the thing of WWDC and random seasonal events...

If i have to wait until WWDC 08 for a mac pro update, i'm going back to M$ and Dell!!

CWallace
Dec 27, 2007, 06:59 PM
Meanwhile, a digitally protected version of the film is also expected be included with DVD releases, allowing users to copy the movie easily to their iPods and iPhones, without resorting to "ripping" or otherwise converting the DVD into another format.

I just purchased the "Live Free or Die Hard" movie, which is made by FOX, and it came with an addition disc that had a digital copy for you to load onto your computer then sync with an iPod, iPhone, PSP or just leave on your computer for your enjoyment.

FOX has already started this on certain movies, this will be really cool to see done on every movie. :)

My special 2-disc edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix also comes with a PMP digital copy.

elgruga
Dec 28, 2007, 01:57 AM
$2.99 for 30 days is good, but I'd love to see a one-day rental for $1.49. I already get one day DVD rentals for $1.49 from the DVDPlay kiosk at my Safeway (frequently even cheaper with promos). I only grab movies the day I want to watch them (especially if I'm downloading them), so I only need a one-day rental.

Yeah, I agree.
This has to be about just grabbing the movie and watching it NOW.
Its 9.30, you see the movie on Tunes, calculate if there is time before going to bed, d/l it, and watch for $1.49.

But I doubt they will do that - the fees will be about 3.99 - 4.99 and you can keep it for a week or something.

Anyway it shakes down, its a good idea. I like the notion of putting it on the iphone for a flight, for example.
With reading glasses, it works for me!

The Phazer
Dec 28, 2007, 05:00 AM
I have to say, I'd be surprised if this were true.

I work for a major broadcaster, and we've asked (on a "our head meeting face to face with Jobs himself" level) for this several times, and Apple have always said they weren't interested in implementing it. We had to go with MS-DRM instead to get a timeout service.

Phazer

Porco
Dec 28, 2007, 05:33 AM
Oo! I like the idea of including the encoded file/s on the DVD! I wonder if it'd include all the extras and stuff though? Hmm.

Not so bothered about the rental stuff, I'd never use it and it'll likely be ages before it makes it to the UK anyway.

I agree. Also I WISH I had a fast enough net connection that downloading multi-GB files that expired within days was feasible! Either way, I don't think I'm interested in renting movies, I'm probably not typical but I buy more films and TV series on DVDs than I buy music CDs.

Including a professionally encoded video file for iPods on DVDs if a wonderful idea in theory, as long as it works as easily as it does for music. I don't think Handbrake is actually that difficult for the average person if they learn how to use it, but it's still obviously more time-consuming and less elegant than dragging a file from a disc onto your iPod in iTunes would be.

Naturally a DRM-free file would be best, but I think the movie studios and curiously enough Apple themselves seem like they're going to make most of the mistakes the music industry has in going online with digital distribution. Hopefully an 'iTunes Plus' equivalent for movies will not be too long in coming, because otherwise people will carry on using Handbrake etc when they run into issues.

larryinfl
Dec 28, 2007, 08:25 AM
Finally, a reason to buy an AppleTV!

I hope the rentals are true!

Unspeaked
Dec 28, 2007, 11:58 AM
If i have to wait until WWDC 08 for a mac pro update, i'm going back to M$ and Dell!!

Well, they'll probably just update it randomly (with or without an actual event) sometime before WWDC.

It's not like the old days when Apple would only announce updates and new products twice a year at their trade shows...

CWallace
Dec 28, 2007, 01:53 PM
The whole thing kind of strikes me like the original DIVX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX) proposal, without the physical waste. Still, it has it's merits since it doesn't require physical media.

On one hand, it takes a day or more to get a DVD from Netflix and some time to get one from the local video rental store. So a multi-hour download is not quite the deal-breaker some may feel it is and 30 days should be plenty of time for folks to "queue" a number of downloads for future viewing.

On the other, cable and IPTV(?) systems can deliver a movie immediately, streaming it to you in real-time and allowing functions like pausing and FF/RR. I can only guess the FF/RR commands are handled at the head-end since you can do this on non-DVR machines so there would be no local storage (of any great note).

If you can use your :apple:tv to "stream" the rental from iTunes like you can a movie from your Mac/PC, then the concept would likely appeal to the "video on demand" crowd since it seems likely you could fill the HDD faster then real-time so you'd have the whole movie before you were finished watching it. You just would not be able to FF beyond the stream.

hscottm
Dec 28, 2007, 02:09 PM
Actually, there is a "third" camp. The "DVD is good enough, the industry will go internet download/mobile". Which seems to be the side Apple is taking.

People will continue to use DVD as they feel it is good enough, only the people with high-end equipment will go High-Def Discs.

Most will go to downloads (like Amazon Unbox with Tivo, or iTunes) and view the content on media players (like :apple:TV), media computers, or mobile devices...

great point. I didnt mean to imply Apple HAD to go hi-def, but my post suggests that. Regardless I agree he'd say the format war is moot.

The only catch I see is that really Apple TV is a hi-def device. It doesnt have "standard def" outputs (and you have to trick it into doing 480i resolution). Thus my thoughts were geared towards "if we want to save the apple tv hobby device"..

Unspeaked
Dec 28, 2007, 02:17 PM
great point. I didnt mean to imply Apple HAD to go hi-def, but my post suggests that. Regardless I agree he'd say the format war is moot.

The thing about Apple is that its got very close ties to the film and broadcast industry, so you'd think they'd always be on the bleeding edge with this stuff.

If I recall correctly, they had DVD drives and burners well before the PC market (back in the first days of the G4!).

Of course, that was back before Apple become a content provider with a whole different agenda. It sorta reminds me of the whole deal where Sony was making more money selling CD burners and portable music players a few years ago than records, so their electronics arm totally ignored the requests of their music arm to help with piracy!

Virgil-TB2
Dec 28, 2007, 08:42 PM
The thing about Apple is that its got very close ties to the film and broadcast industry, so you'd think they'd always be on the bleeding edge with this stuff.

If I recall correctly, they had DVD drives and burners well before the PC market (back in the first days of the G4!).

Of course, that was back before Apple become a content provider with a whole different agenda. It sorta reminds me of the whole deal where Sony was making more money selling CD burners and portable music players a few years ago than records, so their electronics arm totally ignored the requests of their music arm to help with piracy!I could be wrong, but as far as I understand a big part of the reason Apple might not want to support BluRay or HD-DVD is that both of them require hardware DRM throughout the computer or display system being used before a disc will play.

I could totally see Steve Jobs not liking the idea of putting DRM chips in every PowerBook just because Universal or Sony says they should.

Also, this kind of 24/7, DRM-based checking of every single data stream and interface in the computer (while it's trying to run), is one of the main reasons why Vista is such a slow POS.

Personally, if Apple ever does implement BluRay or HD-DVD, I will start looking at other OS's the very next day.

Virgil-TB2
Dec 28, 2007, 08:51 PM
... The FOX digital copy will only work on WMP. However, converting this is simple.I think this points out the flaw in such a system.

You go to the store and buy three DVD's, when you get them home you realise that two are for Mac and one only plays on Windows. :(

Unless there is a standard digital format that applies to these portable copies that are being put on the disc it will just cause more format problems. Since no movie studio is likely going to support open standards, perhaps the only solution is the (new) AppleTV will have to have enough horsepower to transcode the discs in the wrong format and/or rip a digital copy of *any* DVD inserted into the AppleTV?

SPUY767
Dec 29, 2007, 07:47 PM
Well, most NTSC DVDs are just 720x480 anyway, so it's not like there is really all that much difference.

That's because Pixels on older televisions are taller than they are wide, and 720x480 on an old TV actually ends up being 4:3. Most DVD's these days aren't even 720x480. They are only as tall as they need to be. If you manage to get one of the crappily encoded DVD's from several years ago, the ones that are blackbarred on the top and bottom to fit a 4:3 TV, it will look like crap on a new 16:9 TV. Thankfully, once any modern DVD player is set up properly, it handles the resolution for us. Still, however, DVD's have a greater horizontal resolution than vertical which is a holdover for the inadequacies of the original NTSC format.

MikeTheC
Dec 29, 2007, 11:58 PM
I think this points out the flaw in such a system.

You go to the store and buy three DVD's, when you get them home you realise that two are for Mac and one only plays on Windows. :(

Unless there is a standard digital format that applies to these portable copies that are being put on the disc it will just cause more format problems. Since no movie studio is likely going to support open standards, perhaps the only solution is the (new) AppleTV will have to have enough horsepower to transcode the discs in the wrong format and/or rip a digital copy of *any* DVD inserted into the AppleTV?

Thank God for the Internet, and thank God I don't believe in participating in the mindlessness of Hollywierd and the Entertainment Injusticetry.

mcs37
Jan 1, 2008, 02:16 PM
Paying $3/movie is a good start -- and will get Apple into a position where they can offer a subscription service later.

I'm tired of dealing with optical media from Blockbuster/NetFlix and having to put them in the mail. I think the best solution is a subscription service, $15/month or even $20, where you can have three downloaded at a time. Then I could queue them all up at work and have my home computer download them. I walk home, turn on the Apple TV, and I'm off to the races! No more DVD required.

Although I do like the DVD features -- it would be cool if I could get the whole DVD and not just the film.