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MacRumors
Jan 7, 2008, 09:23 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Businessweek (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jan2008/tc2008016_825385.htm) reports that Apple may be close to striking a deal with most of the major movie studios to provide movies for the iTunes store.

Apple may have had to compromise on a number of issues including pricing in order to get everyone on board. Apple has reportedly agreed to pay studios "closer to the $17 wholesale price" that they get on physical DVD sales. In return, studios may offer online releases on the same day as their DVD debut. Businessweek states its unclear if Apple will increase end-user prices or simply absorb the cost in an effort to promote iPod and Apple TV sales. Apple currently charges $14.99 for new releases and $9.99 for older titles.

Businessweek's sources also claim Apple's movie rental service will be priced at $3.99 for a 24 hour rental, which is consistent with recent rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/29/fox-and-disney-itunes-movie-rentals-24-hours-only/).

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/07/apple-compromising-on-itunes-movie-terms/)



mozmac
Jan 7, 2008, 09:27 AM
Why rent for $3.99 when you can do Redbox for $1?

azentropy
Jan 7, 2008, 09:27 AM
Businessweek's sources also claim Apple's movie rental service will be priced at $3.99 for a 24 hour rental, which is consistent with recent rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/29/fox-and-disney-itunes-movie-rentals-24-hours-only/).



$4 for 24 hours will flop bigtime.

samh004
Jan 7, 2008, 09:28 AM
But if your going to buy a whole movie, will Apple offer an easy-to-use burn-to-DVD option if you want to do that with a downloaded movie ?

If they can expand both the sales and rentals to other countries too, that'd be really useful.

Hopefully they'll up the quality a bit too.

$4 for 24 hours will flop bigtime.

Perhaps if they the offer that $4 off a purchase of the movie if you like it ?

Dorfdad
Jan 7, 2008, 09:28 AM
If the 3.99 deal is true, I really do not care about this deal.
I have the same deal from my cable company 3.99 or 4.99 for HD movies instantly. Yes I can not watch them on my IPOD but im not really interested in that anyway as the older models can barely live through one movie.

If Apple wants to make this a hit they have to make it cheaper! There competting with some MAJOR players and charging 17.00 for a reduced quality version is un-acceptable to me..

and 24 hrs stinks as well. Make it at least a week rental. I love apple just not that much...

sebimeyer
Jan 7, 2008, 09:29 AM
IF this is true it would be a huge deal, not just for Apple. The Writers Guild of America is striking right now because writers get nothing, or hardly anything, for content they wrote that's sold on the internet.

So far the studios are saying "we'd like to pay you, but wen don't know how much we should pay you, so here is nothing instead." If they suddenly make the same amount, or close to, on internet sales that they previously made on DVDs, that line won't fly anymore.

Not saying it won't happen, but it's a mighty weird time to do something like this, if you are a studio head because it would essentially give your opposition (WGA) even more reason to stay on strike.

Popeye206
Jan 7, 2008, 09:29 AM
Oh no! give us more than 24hrs! At least give us 5 days to watch a flick!

I think 24hrs will be a mistake. There are too many times, things come up that I need more time. Please, let this part be wrong!

pieseller
Jan 7, 2008, 09:29 AM
taking a hit on the pricing of the content to maximise the available downloadable video should increase ipod sales and apple tv for sure

remember a device is limited to the content on it. more stuff on itunes= higher ipod sales.

and its with the electronics devices that they make the higest margins.

kbmb
Jan 7, 2008, 09:29 AM
Why rent for $3.99 when you can do Redbox for $1?

Yeah....I really think all these online rental schemes are making users pay a premium for not having to leave their home. C'mon....$3.99 for only 24 hours! Make it $1.99 at least, or give people 72 hours to view it.

Redbox is interesting.....at only $1/day for a rental.

-Kevin

wordmunger
Jan 7, 2008, 09:32 AM
Yeah....I really think all these online rental schemes are making users pay a premium for not having to leave their home. C'mon....$3.99 for only 24 hours! Make it $1.99 at least, or give people 72 hours to view it.

Redbox is interesting.....at only $1/day for a rental.

-Kevin

$3.99 is what you pay at blockbuster or for pay-per-view. Why not $3.99 for 24 hours? It's the same price, but you get your movie instantly without leaving home, and you have a larger selection of movies than pay-per-view.

zelmo
Jan 7, 2008, 09:33 AM
Most new release DVD's can be found at some b&m retailer for $14.99 to $16.99, and for that you get a optical copy, a nice package and maybe a booklet. Why would I pay the same amount to download? I just can't see Apple agreeing to a price hike for new releases, unless it is to prove to the studios that there is a limit to how much people will pay for a download.

As for $3.99/24 hr rentals, it's the same as I pay to Comcast for new OnDemand content. It's the going rate...nothing sexy about it.

hohum

ks-man
Jan 7, 2008, 09:35 AM
$3.99 is what you pay at blockbuster or for pay-per-view. Why not $3.99 for 24 hours? It's the same price, but you get your movie instantly without leaving home, and you have a larger selection of movies than pay-per-view.

Because you first need to pay $300 just to be able to watch it on your tv.

wordmunger
Jan 7, 2008, 09:38 AM
Because you first need to pay $300 just to be able to watch it on your tv.

No, I would connect my computer directly to the TV to watch. But if the service was good, I'd certainly consider getting an Apple TV and weaning myself from Satellite TV.

dmelgar
Jan 7, 2008, 09:38 AM
Sad that the entertainment industry with their misunderstanding of the digital market will again succeed in choking their emerging revenue stream.

Overprice and over protect content. Its been shown to fail in the past and will fail in the future. They don't understand that torrents are always available.

$4 for 24hrs is too much for too short a period of time.

It reminds me of when banks used to charge EXTRA for the privilege of banking online, even though the banks cost was much much less.

Now banks have gone the other way and charge if you don't bank online and its free online.

Maybe in another 10 years the industry will provide good content online for low prices.

Online rentals should be cheaper, not more expensive. There's no physical media, no store, no people to pay, no mail. But they insist on trying to choke money out of customers when they finally offer what customers want.

fluidedge
Jan 7, 2008, 09:39 AM
$3.99 for a 24 hour rental

Ouch - needs to be more like 3 days imo

levitynyc
Jan 7, 2008, 09:41 AM
Just give me some HD content and I will be happy. If its all DVD or below quality then its a rip off as you can get it for the same price with better terms on the xbox 360

Small White Car
Jan 7, 2008, 09:42 AM
I liked Roughly Drafted's idea for rentals:

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2007/12/07/how-apple-could-deliver-workable-itunes-rentals/

It's like Netflix. I pay Apple each month for 2 or 3 "empty slots" on iTunes that I can fill with any movie I want. The movie stays there until I download another one to replace it. It's exactly like how Netflix sends me a DVD and I get another one once I send it back.

Too bad they're not going that route.

levitynyc
Jan 7, 2008, 09:42 AM
Because you first need to pay $300 just to be able to watch it on your tv.

As opposed to buying a DVD player or VCR which cost like 800 bucks.

Small White Car
Jan 7, 2008, 09:44 AM
Ouch - needs to be more like 3 days imo

From what I've heard, the 24 hours starts when you first WATCH it, not when you download it.

Which is better, but still, yeah...

fluidedge
Jan 7, 2008, 09:44 AM
how is this whole '24 hours' thing going to work?

a) If i put it on my ipod (manual updating) then it'll be on there for good? So i can 'buy' the movie to play on my tv (with the AV Kit) when ever i like for $4

b) What if i don't open itunes for a week? I can still access the file from Finder

c) Can i not backup the file to an external HD and dump it on another computer so it'll always play?

d) won't some kid find a way to disable the time code/clock on the file(?) so it doesn't 'delete' itself after 24 hours say?

kbmb
Jan 7, 2008, 09:45 AM
$3.99 is what you pay at blockbuster or for pay-per-view. Why not $3.99 for 24 hours? It's the same price, but you get your movie instantly without leaving home, and you have a larger selection of movies than pay-per-view.

More than anything...I'm arguing about ALL 24 hour rentals. It's absurd. At least give people the ability to have a few days to watch the movie. At least 48 hours....but 72 would be nice.

I downloaded a movie from Amazon Unbox the other night. My wife and I have to rush through the end the next day to finish it before it deleted. I'm sorry, but with 2 kids, life can get hectic and we might not finish the movie the first night.

Would it really hurt these places to allow for longer viewing times?

-Kevin

notjustjay
Jan 7, 2008, 09:45 AM
Apple should conduct an experiment. Let the studios price their digital downloads however they like, and let Apple show them the resulting sales losses (and track the increase in torrent activity at the same time).

Meanwhile, another studio could be convinced to price their digital downloads fairly -- and see their sales soar.

I refuse to pay even $15 for a digital download where just a few dollars more will give me a physical disc, higher resolution, DTS/DD 5.1 surround sound, cover art, featurettes and other extras, subtitles, multiple languages, etc, etc. Nowadays I buy my movies from the Previously Viewed bins, and pay only $5-10 each, which is far LESS than the cost of a digital download. Not to mention not having to download gigantic files and then figure out how to back them up.

Don't even talk to me about RAISING prices on downloads.

Small White Car
Jan 7, 2008, 09:46 AM
As opposed to buying a DVD player or VCR which cost like 800 bucks.

Or $30 :rolleyes:

fluidedge
Jan 7, 2008, 09:49 AM
e) sounds a bit virusy/intrusive doesn't it? I don't like the sound of files disappearing off my system. Won't someone work out a way to start removing key files from the registry after '24 hours'?

Am i being paranoid? It just sounds a bit dodgy having files magically remove themselves

notjustjay
Jan 7, 2008, 09:49 AM
As opposed to buying a DVD player or VCR which cost like 800 bucks.

I only paid $480 for my DVD player.

In 1998.

guzhogi
Jan 7, 2008, 09:51 AM
There are 4 things I wish movies & TV shows had on iTunes:
-Chapter markers so you can easily skip a section, though the scroll bar thing is fairly easy
-Full HD 1080P resolution & 5.1 surround sound
-Give the FULL movie/episode. Not just a clipped down version
-the special features from DVDs
The last one is a big one for me. I like listening to the audio commentaries, watching behind the scenes stuff on DVDs. Plus, it's really annoying when you're paying pretty much the same price as the DVD but w/ lots less quality & features. Plus, I've found quite a few movies & TV shows where they're missing quite a few scenes from the DVD. That's just awful! And they're great scenes, too. Example: I have the DVD version of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as well as the iTunes version. In the DVD version, there's a really great scene (probably the best scene in the whole movie) where Kirk & Spock are on a bus w/ a punk rocker type & Spock gives him the Vulcan nerve pinch. That whole scene is missing in the iTunes version. :(

fluidedge
Jan 7, 2008, 09:52 AM
As opposed to buying a DVD player or VCR which cost like 800 bucks.

Woah! Welcome to 1983 ladies and gents!!

Best post of 2008

superleccy
Jan 7, 2008, 09:54 AM
Apple should conduct an experiment. Let the studios price their digital downloads however they like, and let Apple show them the resulting sales losses
Agreed.

The suits are under false impression about how much their precious content is worth. Let market forces show them the hard way. :)

SL

Trooperof3
Jan 7, 2008, 09:54 AM
Agreed with guzhogi.

I would probabley actually buy movies & shows from Itunes if i could get all the commentaries & behind the scenes stuff. I don't want to pay full price and still be getting less then the actual DVD

Kwill
Jan 7, 2008, 09:55 AM
I just can't see Apple agreeing to a price hike for new releases, unless it is to prove to the studios that there is a limit to how much people will pay for a download.

Since Apple has tens of millions of customers, each might use the rental service once or twice a year, which might seem like great income to a small company but pennies to the movie producers.

Ultimately, executives will ruin iTunes digital delivery platform for movies just as they did for Walmart.

If this deal is announced at Macworld, it will be interesting to see how Steve feigns satisfaction. Likely he will be about as enthused as when the Moto dancing maniac introduced the original Rockr phone.

phoxrenvatio
Jan 7, 2008, 09:59 AM
As opposed to buying a DVD player or VCR which cost like 800 bucks.

$800 dvd or vcr!?!?!?! wut in the world are you talking about?
a blu-ray player or hd-dvd player would be closer in price....

walnuts
Jan 7, 2008, 10:02 AM
Any word on TV shows for rent? I'm adicted to watching TV shows on my iPhone on the train ride- its turning into a $4 a day addiction! I'd love some sort of unlimited purchase/rental plan too...

OllyW
Jan 7, 2008, 10:06 AM
As opposed to buying a DVD player or VCR which cost like 800 bucks.

Which parallel universe are you currently living in :confused:

aardwolf
Jan 7, 2008, 10:07 AM
... the same day as their DVD debut. Businessweek states its unclear if Apple will increase...

The word "its" is not equivalent to "it's". "Its" is possessive, and "it's" is a conjunction of "it is". I wish people knew how to use proper grammar. :o

aeryck
Jan 7, 2008, 10:07 AM
Most new release DVD's can be found at some b&m retailer for $14.99 to $16.99, and for that you get a optical copy, a nice package and maybe a booklet. Why would I pay the same amount to download? I just can't see Apple agreeing to a price hike for new releases, unless it is to prove to the studios that there is a limit to how much people will pay for a download.

hohum

Even now when you buy a movie from iTunes you don't get the features that come on a DVD- features, extra scenes, etc. Even on Pixar movies you don't get the "out takes". We can't blame Apple for this either- its the studios wanting the money and not caring about the experience. Give me less for the same price? Thats no different from the current status quo- people will still be buying, ripping, and selling.

shen
Jan 7, 2008, 10:08 AM
what Apple needs is to make the 4$ rental price apply to purchases.

imagine if you rent a flick for $4, and like it, and then you get all 4 bucks toward buying the film.

then imagine that if you don't buy it, you still get some smaller amount. like $.50 toward buying any other film.

a hand full of rentals later you can own the films you really like for less, get a preview (so to speak) and even get some small credit for just renting.

now add a usb plugin dvd drive that can burn your bought movies as data files that only your computer or AppleTV can read, and you fix the small drive issue on the AppleTV.

that would make a serious dent in blockbuster and netflix. shame i bet the studios would freak out.

Dimwhit
Jan 7, 2008, 10:08 AM
I could care less about the rentals, since nothing works better for me than Netflix (and iTunes doesn't even come close to their selection). But the proposed purchase price is absurd. I buy my DVD for $12-$15. I won't pay any more than that. Personally, I wouldn't pay more than $10 for a digital download. Which I guess is why I've never purchased a movie off iTunes. Increasing the price will ensure that I never will. I'm cheap, I guess.

filmguy15
Jan 7, 2008, 10:08 AM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

It's about time apple bent on pricing. Sitting at home after work, and renting a movie on my apple tv without de-icing my car...is worth a few extra bucks for me. To everyone freaking out about the rental thing...relax, apple is a smart company that knows WAY more about business and strategy than we can pretend to. Relax, have a scotch, and wait for macworld.

levitynyc
Jan 7, 2008, 10:10 AM
$800 dvd or vcr!?!?!?! wut in the world are you talking about?
a blu-ray player or hd-dvd player would be closer in price....

I was referring to their initial releases.

jeremy.king
Jan 7, 2008, 10:16 AM
The 24 hour thing seems to be working with some success for Amazon's unbox. I hope Apple uses a similar pricing strategy - where certain movies are discounted end of week.

kavika411
Jan 7, 2008, 10:17 AM
There is not a shred of good news out of this, other than the notion that - one day - iTunes will support worthwhile movie rentals. For now, the pricing/terms on DVD purchasing and renting - if the rumor holds true - are asinine. No one benefits.

Leoff
Jan 7, 2008, 10:17 AM
Good god, listen to some of you people. Whining and crying about "only 24 hours" for the rental.

Here's an idea. I know this is going to shake some of you to the core, disturb your entire life's outlook and belief in god, but...

How about not purchasing the movie until you're ready to watch it? *GASP*

Times are changing. No longer do you have to go to Blockbuster and stock up on 3 or 4 movies and plan your weeknights watching them before they have to be returned. If you suddenly say "I'd like to watch Goodfellas tonight," you go to your computer and download it, then watch it. If on the other hand, you don't want to watch your movie until the weekend, then you (*warning: brilliant idea follows*) don't download it until the weekend!

Sure, Redbox is cheaper. Not as easy, but cheaper. If you want to go that route, nobody's stopping you.

I see nothing wrong with the proposed rental services iTunes will (hopefully) offer.

The movie purchases, though? Yeah, iTunes is gonna get creamed. Way too much money for something minus the DVD, the DVD extras, the quality, and the versatility of playing at many different locations.

gvegastiger
Jan 7, 2008, 10:21 AM
I'm glad the grammar police showed up. This board was getting unreadable with all the its being confused with it's.:rolleyes:

Everyone already owns DVD players so who cares how much they cost or did cost (thats not even relevant).

OnDemand is the same price and its already linked to my TV and its in better quality even if its not in HD and it usually is.

The problem with 3.99 for 24 hours is the quality is worse than whats currently available, its not any more accessible and it's not any cheaper. This will be a huge failure.

The better solution is to package a free digital copy of a movie with each physical DVD you purchase. that will move movies along.

the rental idea is a joke unless the price comes down, the period gets longer, or its a subscription service.

chameleon
Jan 7, 2008, 10:23 AM
Why rent for $3.99 when you can do Redbox for $1?

I was about to post the same thing. Sure, I don't have to get off my couch to rent from iTunes, but the Redbox is about 3 minutes from my house. I may not be guaranteed that every title will be in stock, but it's also very rare that I suddenly must watch one given movie, right now without any flexibility.

To me, this seems like the movie industry hedging their bets to ensure that iTunes doesn't rule movies like it does music. I can buy a higher quality DVD at Target for less than $17, and I can rent for cheaper than $4 elsewhere. The convenience factor of iTunes is offset by the very steep prices.

Go the other route -- $1 rentals and $5.99 purchases, and it's a no brainer.

The movie industry should hire a 1st year economics major to teach them about pricing for volume sales.

soosy
Jan 7, 2008, 10:24 AM
$4 for 24 hours will flop bigtime.

24 hrs is ridiculous. Say I want to stop a movie halfway and watch the next night. Or, decide to watch the extras the next night (which they need to include digitally, imo).

What's the point of limiting to 24 hrs anyway? Only a handful of people will pay AGAIN if they want an extension, while a huge amount of people will be pissed off at the limitation. No sense.

nagromme
Jan 7, 2008, 10:25 AM
I'd rather pay $4 at iTunes than $4 PLUS gas and hassle at a physical rental store.

I won't do it often unless the selection is good, which I expect to take time. And I'd certainly be happier with $3, or $2, or 50 cents :)

Whether it's one day or more won't matter much to me: I watch movies once, and returning them "in time" is a non-issue with downloads.

It would be nice, in the event of unexpected emergencies, if the 24 hour countdown did not start at purchase/order, but started when you actually sat down and hit Play. Or some such allowance for the unexpected.

Of course I don't like ANY rules/limits, and don't like paying ANY money... but I do want online rentals, and can accept that a compromise may be needed to at least get this started.

And once started--and successful--hopefully Apple can lobby to change the terms for the better, as they did with music.

chameleon
Jan 7, 2008, 10:30 AM
As opposed to buying a DVD player or VCR which cost like 800 bucks.
You really need to do some price comparisons before you shop.

In fact, I'd venture to say that you would have a hard time finding a standard def DVD or VCR player for half that.

Unless, of course, you have a time machine that will take you back to 1975...

Jimmdean
Jan 7, 2008, 10:32 AM
The 24-hour thing is probably correct, seeing as home ppv has been an all-day ticket sort of thing for a while now. That is, as long as it is indeed an all-day ticket and starts when you start watching the movie, not for just a 1-time showing or starting when you bought the movie and commenced the download.

As for more studios and higher prices for purchases, you can forget that. Even if the rentals are a rather-high $3.99, that would still kill even a $14.99 purchase price for most movies. Apple would have to institute an "upgrade" for people who rented the movie, liked it, and decided to keep it at full price - then it would probably work.

I'm still holding out for $2.99 rentals though...

soosy
Jan 7, 2008, 10:32 AM
I liked Roughly Drafted's idea for rentals:

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2007/12/07/how-apple-could-deliver-workable-itunes-rentals/

It's like Netflix. I pay Apple each month for 2 or 3 "empty slots" on iTunes that I can fill with any movie I want. The movie stays there until I download another one to replace it. It's exactly like how Netflix sends me a DVD and I get another one once I send it back.

Too bad they're not going that route.

That really is a brilliant idea. Copies a system that is already working quite well.


There are 4 things I wish movies & TV shows had on iTunes:
-Chapter markers so you can easily skip a section, though the scroll bar thing is fairly easy
-Full HD 1080P resolution & 5.1 surround sound
-Give the FULL movie/episode. Not just a clipped down version
-the special features from DVDs
The last one is a big one for me. I like listening to the audio commentaries, watching behind the scenes stuff on DVDs. Plus, it's really annoying when you're paying pretty much the same price as the DVD but w/ lots less quality & features. Plus, I've found quite a few movies & TV shows where they're missing quite a few scenes from the DVD. That's just awful! And they're great scenes, too. Example: I have the DVD version of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as well as the iTunes version. In the DVD version, there's a really great scene (probably the best scene in the whole movie) where Kirk & Spock are on a bus w/ a punk rocker type & Spock gives him the Vulcan nerve pinch. That whole scene is missing in the iTunes version. :(

Agreed. Even with a Netflix like rental system, I most likely wouldn't be interested given all the things you're not getting versus a physical disc. And buying is definitely out.

CrackedButter
Jan 7, 2008, 10:34 AM
I'll just carry on watching movies on-line. All video content on iTunes is over priced.

GQB
Jan 7, 2008, 10:38 AM
The word "its" is not equivalent to "it's". "Its" is possessive, and "it's" is a conjunction of "it is". I wish people knew how to use proper grammar. :o

Well, not like there's a logical rule or anything. It's a memorized exception.
Pretty much every possessive uses an apostrophe.

"aardwolf's comments were quite correct."

Thank god for spell checkers. :)

twoodcc
Jan 7, 2008, 10:39 AM
well, i still think they need hi-def to get people to really do this

iSee
Jan 7, 2008, 10:39 AM
Why rent for $3.99 when you can do Redbox for $1?

Do you really have to ask?
* Redbox has a tiny selection, and popular DVDs are often sold out.
* You've got to go to the Redbox location to rent and return the movie.
* The Redbox near my house is often broken--really, really annoying when returning a movie (you've got to return to the Redbox location repeatedly, waiting for your chance to return the movie, and you've got to call them up to avoid the extra charges--yuck).

gnasher729
Jan 7, 2008, 10:41 AM
Ouch - needs to be more like 3 days imo

It depends on what the terms are. What I would find reasonable: You can download a movie anytime, possibly without even paying. When you start playing, you need to pay for it, and the 24 hours start running (or maybe after watching more than five minutes of the actual movie).

The reasons why you want more than 24 hours say from Blockbusters are: You want to be able to borrow two movies and watch them on two nights, and you don't want to have to rush back to return the movie. The 24 hours is from starting to watch until finishing to watch. The 3 days at a rental store is from leaving the shop to returning the DVDs; that's not the same time.

Stampyhead
Jan 7, 2008, 10:43 AM
I liked Roughly Drafted's idea for rentals:

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2007/12/07/how-apple-could-deliver-workable-itunes-rentals/

It's like Netflix. I pay Apple each month for 2 or 3 "empty slots" on iTunes that I can fill with any movie I want. The movie stays there until I download another one to replace it. It's exactly like how Netflix sends me a DVD and I get another one once I send it back.

Too bad they're not going that route.

I think that's a crap idea, at least for me. Maybe some people have nothing better to do than sit and watch movies one after another ad nauseum but others of us have jobs and lives and only have the time or the desire rent movies once in a while. I don't want to pay Apple or anyone else a monthly fee for a service I'm not always using. That's why I got rid of Netflix years ago...

gvegastiger
Jan 7, 2008, 10:43 AM
The clincher for me is getting it to my TV. Even if I went out and bought a $300 apple tv it still looks noticeably worse than a DVD, let alone a hi-def movie. So if the price is the same as the phsycial DVD, I'll just continue walking out to my mailbox for my blockbusteronline movies or occasional trip to the store if I have to see something right now.

NYLawTalkingGuy
Jan 7, 2008, 10:47 AM
IMHO, the 24 hour time limit (assuming it starts upon first pressing play) really impacts the iPod, or MB/MBP users, much more harshly than those piping to the tv. I would surmise that, other than on cross country flights, or long train or car rides, iPod users break up their viewing to match their commute/short trips. That break-down would likely prevent those users from watching a feature film during the 24 hour time limit. Of course, if there is an ability to sync between the :apple:tv and the iPod with a marker with the point in the film where it is started/stopped between devices, much of that concern could be alleviated.

gnasher729
Jan 7, 2008, 10:49 AM
e) sounds a bit virusy/intrusive doesn't it? I don't like the sound of files disappearing off my system. Won't someone work out a way to start removing key files from the registry after '24 hours'?

Am i being paranoid? It just sounds a bit dodgy having files magically remove themselves

Typically with this kind of DRM system no file disappears at all. What happens is that there is also a small note attached to the file "Play until Tuesday 21:30pm" and after that time, the file is still there, but it won't play anymore. Like when you de-authorize your computer to play music from the iTunes store. All the music files are still there, but the Mac won't play them anymore.

If Apple is clever, then the file is still there, and you can pay another $3.99 next month if you want to watch it again, or pay the difference to the full movie price if you want to buy it, without having to download anything.

Yvan256
Jan 7, 2008, 10:52 AM
Knowing Apple, I would think they asked for the following:
- the 24 hours limit only starts once you start viewing the movie
- the 24 hours limit doesn't apply until you've seen the movie once, for those "I have to stop watching the movie" moments.

As for the price, I also think they will align themselves with the average current prices, because of the advantages are:
- not having to drive to the rental place / not having to wait day(s) for the DVD to arrive in the mailbox
- being sure that if the movie you want is in the rental list, it's in stock
- not having to return the movie to the rental place / not having to send back a DVD by mail
- not wasting time and gas to move a plastic disc back and forth

As for the quality/bitrate/resolution, I'm expecting something similar to what they are currently offering (unless they upgrade everything and announce that at Macworld too).

I'm also expecting this to be for USA only. :(

Lancetx
Jan 7, 2008, 10:53 AM
If these are going to be the terms, I'll just stick with renting Blu-ray movies from my local Blockbuster. At least I have a full week to watch those and they're 1080p HD.

I don't blame Apple though at all, the studios are just too greedy to give them decent terms it appears.

levitynyc
Jan 7, 2008, 10:54 AM
well, i still think they need hi-def to get people to really do this

AMEN

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 10:56 AM
The 24 hours has to refer to how long you have to watch the movie once you start it.

To those who complain about the price, well any price is more then a torrent since the torrent is free. $3.99 is still cheaper then the DVD if you only want to watch it once. It could also be cheaper then a subscription to Netflix depending on how many movies a month you watch.

The only thing that has "protected" the MPAA is the sheer size of the files. With file sizes 10x or more then MP3s, it takes longer to download. Yet as bandwidth increases, that time continues to drop. What used to be impossible on dial-up and took hours on low-end DSL is now possible in tens of minutes on high-end cable.

The MPAA is moving to on-line rentals now because if they don't put out a legitimate offering, all that will exist are illegitimate ones. They're hoping enough people believe in paying for the content they watch and it will also help them down the road with legal proceedings by offering a legitimate alternative that people willfully eschew for the illegitimate one.

levitynyc
Jan 7, 2008, 10:59 AM
The 24 hours has to refer to how long you have to watch the movie once you start it.

T

Thats how it is on the 360, although you do get an HD option.

NightStorm
Jan 7, 2008, 10:59 AM
The problem with HD rentals is that they would be 1) a very large download, and 2) incompatible with current iPods/iPhone. They cannot play content > ~720x480.

As for the 24 hours, as long as you can begin watching instantly, I don't see this as too big of a problem. It would be pretty much exactly like PPV from cable or satellite. Just don't purchase until you're ready to watch it within the time period. Also, being able to upgrade a rental to a purchase quickly and easily (with a credit for the rental price) would be nice as well.

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 10:59 AM
well, i still think they need hi-def to get people to really do this

Considering the :apple:tv requires (more or less) a digital television (which pretty much means HD-capable), it is surprising Apple has not pushed HD content as of yet where it is (was) available OTA.

And while HD content is likely very large, and as such might not be popular as an "impulse rental", for the stuff you can buy, what does it matter if you queue it up before you go to bed and let it download overnight?

GQB
Jan 7, 2008, 11:00 AM
This is all pretty moot until they get the AppleTV into a LOT of homes.
Watching movies on a computer is and will be a niche market in the grand scheme of things. Its about the living room, and no one except geeks puts a computer in their living room.
Music downloads are big because of the iPod, not because of people listening to music on their computers.
Seems like the pieces of the puzzle are:
1) Seamless integration with (or even from) the home TV. AppleTV v1 doesn't cut it, and Apple has to have something in the wings. (Although I'm sure we'll hear screams of 'law suite' from people who expected V1 to be the ultimate version.)
2) Agreements with content providers in place from which negotiation can take place. (aka 'foot in the door')
3) Content.

But #1 is the key, and that's the big hurdle.

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 11:02 AM
As for the 24 hours, as long as you can begin watching instantly, I don't see this as too big of a problem. It would be pretty much exactly like PPV from cable or satellite.

The trick is, you may very well not be able to - or you might not be able to keep the stream running in real-time for two or more hours.

This is why I firmly believe that the 24-hour period is based on when you start watching, and not start downloading. That way, you can be sure you have the entire show before you start watching it.

Now, if you start watching as soon as you start downloading...

notjustjay
Jan 7, 2008, 11:02 AM
I was referring to their initial releases.

Yes, VHS and DVD machines did cost $500-800 when they were initially released. And yes, nowadays they are commodity items costing as little as $30-50.

Are you suggesting that the AppleTV or similar playback will one day cost as little as $30, new in stores? That seems highly optimistic.

Though, I certainly hope to be able to eat those words.

levitynyc
Jan 7, 2008, 11:02 AM
This is all pretty moot until they get the AppleTV into a LOT of homes.

1) Seamless integration with (or even from) the home TV. AppleTV v1 doesn't cut it, and Apple has to have something in the wings. (Although I'm sure we'll hear screams of 'law suite' from people who expected V1 to be the ultimate version.)


But #1 is the key, and that's the big hurdle.

I'm not good with networking at all and hooking up and synching my aTV took 3 minutes. If you can't handle that, then you need to seriously reexamine yourself.

The software needs an upgrade, not the hardware.

tba03
Jan 7, 2008, 11:04 AM
14.99 for a compressed to death crappy hollywood movie??
a DVD costs that and at least in's not a lossy file
The problem with HD rentals is that they would be 1) a very large download, and 2) incompatible with current iPods/iPhone. They cannot play content > ~720x480.

As for the 24 hours, as long as you can begin watching instantly, I don't see this as too big of a problem. It would be pretty much exactly like PPV from cable or satellite. Just don't purchase until you're ready to watch it within the time period. Also, being able to upgrade a rental to a purchase quickly and easily (with a credit for the rental price) would be nice as well.
720x480 is far from HD, it only SD, HD is 1920x1080 60fps, that means in h264 about 2,2 GB/42 minutes

wake6830
Jan 7, 2008, 11:05 AM
Too much money for too short a time.

I could see something like $1.99 for 24 hours and $3.99 for 3 or 5 days.

damacus
Jan 7, 2008, 11:06 AM
The prices mentioned on this news article are made of fail.

I think rentals are best left to a subscription model, a la Netflix. Flat rate, fixed number of slots.. maybe some requirement about only X movies may be rented per X days, but rentals may be held as long as desired until released from the slot. (The X per X day limit would be to prevent heavy server abuse.) They can also offer ala carte rentals for, say, $2.99 for a set length of time. Users could opt for either subscription or alacarte or both. (Say it was a movie weekend and you already watched 5 or 6 movies.)

Also it'd be interesting if they could work in P2P and credits, so you can earn back rentals by providing upstream for movies, or something of that nature.

I also wish iTunes would offer music rental like how Napster does. There's a lot of music I'd like to listen to but not own. Maybe they could offer a streaming service and work out a royalties deal or something. I'd prefer a flat rate, but I could also go for a micropayment service.. say, bill me at the end of the month for $0.05 per song played.

Movies to own is a hard sell to me currently at $10. Like someone else said, lower reso than DVD, lesser audio, something that eats my drive space and that I have to back up... $17? Give me a break.

These studios need to remove their heads from their collective asses. The time of them making terms that largely benefit them are over. Their greed blinds them to the fact that until their terms are amicable to consumers that many will ignore their efforts and/or find other venues of purchasing content.. be it second-hand purchases which don't benefit the studios and/or piracy.

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 11:07 AM
14.99 for a compressed to death crappy hollywood movie?? a DVD costs that and at least in's not a lossy file

Look at it this way - Apple is saving folks the effort of ripping the DVD in "MactheRipper" and then compressing it using VisualHub.

If you watch all your DVDs on a DVD player, this option is not meant for you.

It is meant for folks who rip their DVDs to their computer or :apple:tv.

bluefiberoptics
Jan 7, 2008, 11:08 AM
I still believe Redbox and Netflix are the better choices.

tba03
Jan 7, 2008, 11:08 AM
Look at it this way - Apple is saving folks the effort of ripping the DVD in "MactheRipper" and then compressing it using VisualHub.

If you watch all your DVDs on a DVD player, this option is not meant for you.

It is meant for folks who rip their DVDs to their computer or :apple:tv.

i rip them to x264 MKV (or just download them that way (tv shows))

Buran
Jan 7, 2008, 11:09 AM
Why would I want to spend $17 to get a crappy digital-only movie that I have to watch on my computer when, for the same price or less, I can get a physical copy from amazon.com that is guaranteed to be subtitled or captioned and that I can watch on my big TV -- OR on my Mac?

This "deal" is a complete joke and I won't shed a tear if it fails.

HiRez
Jan 7, 2008, 11:09 AM
Yes, I'm dying for a good Apple solution for rentals, but this isn't it. I'm fine with paying $4, but for that price I want at least a 30-hour rental (preferably 54), a 720p encode, and real 5.1 audio. Do you know how hard it is for people with small children to get through a movie in 24 hours? Burn the Apple TV and start over. Until then, they are not getting a cent of my money. I'm begging to give you money Apple, are you listening?

milo
Jan 7, 2008, 11:09 AM
$3.99 is what you pay at blockbuster or for pay-per-view. Why not $3.99 for 24 hours? It's the same price, but you get your movie instantly without leaving home, and you have a larger selection of movies than pay-per-view.

Because most people aren't using blockbuster any more, they're going to netflix and other options. For the cost of four rentals, I can pay for a whole month of netflix. There's a good reason that renting at Blockbuster is dying and the company is in horrible financial shape.

The 24 hour window is ridiculous, and all the pricing mentioned is terrible. But if that's what the studios insist on, apple doesn't have much choice, do they? The alternative is to turn the studios down and not stock that content. I guess apple's best shot is to agree to the lousy pricing, and hopefully the studios will see that nobody is buying at $17 and that disney is making way more cash by selling at a fairly reasonable price (which I still think is on the high side).

Although if they up the resolution to HD, this could justify raising prices a bit from 9.99/14.99. But pricing like that would probably just encourage people to stick with Netflix, or just pirate the movies online.

What is the pricing for other downloaded sold/rented movies on other services like xbox or others? Are there any that are significantly cheaper? Looking at unbox, I'm seeing 2.99/3.99 for rentals and 9.99/14.99 for sales, same as iTunes sales now, and rumored rental pricing.

tumblebird
Jan 7, 2008, 11:11 AM
I'm happy to pay the same price for iTunes movies as DVDs if I get the same extras and bonus content that DVDs have. Is this something anyone is offering yet?

I mean, I'm happy to lose the physical disk. Although, they should strike whatever small cost there is packaging and shipping costs. Unless it equals out with the cost of bandwidth. Both are low numbers, probably in the tens of cents, if that for bandwidth.

Also, when do we see HD content on iTunes. My AppleTV is waiting.

ChrisA
Jan 7, 2008, 11:12 AM
Oh no! give us more than 24hrs! At least give us 5 days to watch a flick!

I think 24hrs will be a mistake. There are too many times, things come up that I need more time. Please, let this part be wrong!

I think it depends on when the 24 hour count down clock begins. If it starts counting when you first start watching the movie then 24 hours might be OK. The major problem with downloads is that you never know how long it will take so you have to start well in advance. Many people would start them one day in advance. And then if your plans change? But starting the clock when you first play the movie removes most of the risk.

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 11:13 AM
i rip them to x264 MKV (or just download them that way (tv shows))

Well there you go. Use iTunes and cut-out the middle-man. :)

Peace
Jan 7, 2008, 11:15 AM
Apple has to do this or iTunes would sink..

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 11:16 AM
Apple has to do this or iTunes would sink..

No, sales of :apple:tvs and iPod Classics and iPod Touches would sink.

guzhogi
Jan 7, 2008, 11:17 AM
Knowing Apple, I would think they asked for the following:
- the 24 hours limit only starts once you start viewing the movie
- the 24 hours limit doesn't apply until you've seen the movie once, for those "I have to stop watching the movie" moments.

As for the price, I also think they will align themselves with the average current prices, because of the advantages are:
- not having to drive to the rental place / not having to wait day(s) for the DVD to arrive in the mailbox
- being sure that if the movie you want is in the rental list, it's in stock
- not having to return the movie to the rental place / not having to send back a DVD by mail
- not wasting time and gas to move a plastic disc back and forth

As for the quality/bitrate/resolution, I'm expecting something similar to what they are currently offering (unless they upgrade everything and announce that at Macworld too).

I'm also expecting this to be for USA only. :(

I hope that's true. It would really suck for people still on dial-up if the 24 hours start once you click on the download/buy (whatever it says) link. It'll take them the whole 24 hours just to download it. Plus, it'll also suck f it stopped halfway through saying "oops, you went passed your time."

naroola
Jan 7, 2008, 11:18 AM
e) sounds a bit virusy/intrusive doesn't it? I don't like the sound of files disappearing off my system. Won't someone work out a way to start removing key files from the registry after '24 hours'?

Am i being paranoid? It just sounds a bit dodgy having files magically remove themselves

For the people who have OS X Leopard and an external Hard Drive, Time Machine backs up all changed/new files every hour. So if Apple goes down the route of having the user download rental movies to their computers, wouldn't Leopard users have a backup of this file anyways?

Apart from that, one option might be that Apple has various versions of a movie for different prices, i.e. a lower price for a SD/Stereo quality, and a slightly higher price for a near HD/5.1 version of it... kind of like the current iTunes Plus concept with songs. When you sync the higher quality movies to your iPod/iPhone, iTunes will automatically render them to be SD quality and stereo sound on the fly.

Thoughts?

Peace
Jan 7, 2008, 11:19 AM
No, sales of :apple:tvs and iPod Classics and iPod Touches would sink.

That's a given !

I see nothing wrong with Apple restructuring the price range of their online music and video services.

EagerDragon
Jan 7, 2008, 11:21 AM
My cable company has pay per view service for 3.99 and for 2.99 depending on the release date. It is as convinient as it comes and the quality is reasonable.

Even with the above service, I find my self going with Redbook instead for their .99 cents instead. I can pickup the physical disk on the way from work to my home and drop it off on my way to work. Since it is in the way, there is no special trip.

I rather use RedBook that the cable service as it is a better deal and I do not mind betting off the couch.

If Apple wants to compete in the 3.99 area, then it is competting with the Cable service when and if I do not feel like picking a Redbook dvd which is rare. I see little to nothing that Apple will offer for that price that my cable company offers.

I do not see me as an Apple customer for this at those prices. If Apple wants me to switch then it has to offer me something the Cable company does not offer and that I really need.

Offer me something extra or I stay with Cable company and Redbook.

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 11:21 AM
I see nothing wrong with Apple restructuring the price range of their online music and video services.

Nor do I. Choice is always nice. If one does not like the price or quality of a choice, one does not need to partake of the choice.

milo
Jan 7, 2008, 11:26 AM
how is this whole '24 hours' thing going to work?

a) If i put it on my ipod (manual updating) then it'll be on there for good? So i can 'buy' the movie to play on my tv (with the AV Kit) when ever i like for $4

b) What if i don't open itunes for a week? I can still access the file from Finder

c) Can i not backup the file to an external HD and dump it on another computer so it'll always play?

d) won't some kid find a way to disable the time code/clock on the file(?) so it doesn't 'delete' itself after 24 hours say?

a) It may stay on your ipod until you sync, but how long are you going to be able to go without syncing? Also, if the ipods have date/time built in, they may expire even without syncing.
b) DRM works at they system level - you can't even open an unauthorized music file in the finder.
c) You can back up the file, but again, the player checks the media to see if it is authorized to play on that computer.
d) Somebody may hack it, same as all the other DRM out there. But most people don't go to the trouble and abide by the DRM restrictions.


Good god, listen to some of you people. Whining and crying about "only 24 hours" for the rental.

Here's an idea. I know this is going to shake some of you to the core, disturb your entire life's outlook and belief in god, but...

How about not purchasing the movie until you're ready to watch it? *GASP*

How does that help in situations where you want to take more than one night to watch a movie? Because it's long, because you get interrupted, or any other reason? Even 48 hours would make a big difference and probably make the same money for the studio.


There are 4 things I wish movies & TV shows had on iTunes:
-Chapter markers so you can easily skip a section, though the scroll bar thing is fairly easy

Don't iTunes movies have this already?

-Give the FULL movie/episode. Not just a clipped down version

This is the first I've heard of missing scenes, it may be that the studio sent apple the wrong version...have you contacted them about it?

Peace
Jan 7, 2008, 11:26 AM
[snip]


My cable company has pay per view service for 3.99 and for 2.99 depending on the release date. It is as convinient as it comes and the quality is reasonable.



By contrast : Comcast Cable charges $5.99 for a HD movie rental and that's only after it's been out on DVD for 3 months.

fluidedge
Jan 7, 2008, 11:34 AM
a) It may stay on your ipod until you sync, but how long are you going to be able to go without syncing? Also, if the ipods have date/time built in, they may expire even without syncing.
b) DRM works at they system level - you can't even open an unauthorized music file in the finder.
c) You can back up the file, but again, the player checks the media to see if it is authorized to play on that computer.
d) Somebody may hack it, same as all the other DRM out there. But most people don't go to the trouble and abide by the DRM restrictions.

Sounds reasonable, cheers.

I still don't like the sound of files disappearing or 'expiring' - couldn't some malicious code apply a DRM type thing on system files that could then expire?

Yuppi
Jan 7, 2008, 11:35 AM
Wow, I am impressed. This sucks in so many ways.. Let's hope this rumor is a fake.

milo
Jan 7, 2008, 11:38 AM
14.99 for a compressed to death crappy hollywood movie??
a DVD costs that and at least in's not a lossy file

FYI, dvd's DO use lossy compression. They're generally better quality/resolution than the current iTunes movies, but they're still compressed. And there's nothing inherently worse about the quality of a downloaded movie, it can be whatever resolution and data rate the provider chooses.

I don't believe there has never been a consumer video format that has used uncompressed digital video, at least not a mainstream one.

Look at it this way - Apple is saving folks the effort of ripping the DVD in "MactheRipper" and then compressing it using VisualHub.

If you watch all your DVDs on a DVD player, this option is not meant for you.

It is meant for folks who rip their DVDs to their computer or :apple:tv.

Problem is, it gives a result of lower quality, and with less features than buying the DVD and ripping it. If they want to replace the DVD they need to be competitive with it (and better yet, competitive with HD dvds).

GQB
Jan 7, 2008, 11:39 AM
I'm not good with networking at all and hooking up and synching my aTV took 3 minutes. If you can't handle that, then you need to seriously reexamine yourself.

The software needs an upgrade, not the hardware.

Oh, I totally agree. (I've had a Squeezebox 2 for a couple of years, and I'm the only one in the family who can use it. That alone almost got me to get an AppleTV v1.)

My point was just that the critical factor is the AppleTV in a LOT of living rooms, not the initial posturing over content pricing. That will shake itself out, but the company that has the right living room solution will win (or do really well.)

I'm just not sure if forcing the user to have a computer in the mix will ultimately be the winning formula. I think that the box is going to have to be able to download content directly, and in that sense you're right that this could probably be done with software mods to the AppleTV.

kbmb
Jan 7, 2008, 11:41 AM
Good god, listen to some of you people. Whining and crying about "only 24 hours" for the rental.

Here's an idea. I know this is going to shake some of you to the core, disturb your entire life's outlook and belief in god, but...

How about not purchasing the movie until you're ready to watch it? *GASP*

Times are changing. No longer do you have to go to Blockbuster and stock up on 3 or 4 movies and plan your weeknights watching them before they have to be returned. If you suddenly say "I'd like to watch Goodfellas tonight," you go to your computer and download it, then watch it. If on the other hand, you don't want to watch your movie until the weekend, then you (*warning: brilliant idea follows*) don't download it until the weekend!

Sure, Redbox is cheaper. Not as easy, but cheaper. If you want to go that route, nobody's stopping you.

I see nothing wrong with the proposed rental services iTunes will (hopefully) offer.

It's not about downloading the movie. All these services allow you to download whenever. The 24 hour clock doesn't start until you begin watching it.

Why is it that just because I download a movie, not pick it up in DVD form, I HAVE to watch a movie from beginning to end within 24 hours? I'm not at the theater. I'm in my own home. So what if I want to watch half 1 night and the end the next. Or even.... *GASP* ..... take a few days to watch a movie?!?!

I have 2 small kids, which means that I can usually only watch movies at night. So I go and download a movie and begin it at 8pm (when the kids are in bed). 24 hour rental means.....no way in hell I can watch some tonight and finish the next night....at 8pm, that movie is deleted. Why can't they at least give 48 hours? Is that so unreasonable?

-Kevin

pjarvi
Jan 7, 2008, 11:41 AM
$3.99 to rent a new movie released day&date with the DVD seems reasonable, assuming they are going to be charging more for the regular BUY option (most likely $19.99, as $17 sounds like what the studios want just for themselves). However the rental price would need to go down as the buying price goes down, so a $9.99 movie would have a $1.99 rental price.

A 24 hour rental viewing period is not very consumer friendly, but it's what Microsoft does with their Live Marketplace rentals, and I haven't run into any issues with it myself. At least for me, it just results in fewer rentals, as I only rent something when I know i'm going to have the time to sit through the whole movie in one go.

Peace
Jan 7, 2008, 11:43 AM
It's not about downloading the movie. All these services allow you to download whenever. The 24 hour clock doesn't start until you begin watching it.

Why is it that just because I download a movie, not pick it up in DVD form, I HAVE to watch a movie from beginning to end within 24 hours? I'm not at the theater. I'm in my own home. So what if I want to watch half 1 night and the end the next. Or even.... *GASP* ..... take a few days to watch a movie?!?!

I have 2 small kids, which means that I can usually only watch movies at night. So I go and download a movie and begin it at 8pm (when the kids are in bed). 24 hour rental means.....no way in hell I can watch some tonight and finish the next night....at 8pm, that movie is deleted. Why can't they at least give 48 hours? Is that so unreasonable?

-Kevin


I'm guessing the majority of people want to watch a movie from beginning to end at once.

EagerDragon
Jan 7, 2008, 11:45 AM
Apple should conduct an experiment. Let the studios price their digital downloads however they like, and let Apple show them the resulting sales losses (and track the increase in torrent activity at the same time).

Meanwhile, another studio could be convinced to price their digital downloads fairly -- and see their sales soar.

I refuse to pay even $15 for a digital download where just a few dollars more will give me a physical disc, higher resolution, DTS/DD 5.1 surround sound, cover art, featurettes and other extras, subtitles, multiple languages, etc, etc. Nowadays I buy my movies from the Previously Viewed bins, and pay only $5-10 each, which is far LESS than the cost of a digital download. Not to mention not having to download gigantic files and then figure out how to back them up.

Don't even talk to me about RAISING prices on downloads.

I am with you, I will not purchase a movie via iTunes as the quality is lower than DVD and it is missing all the other material and to make maters worse, I can not lend my movie to a friend, I have to lend him my computer or invite him to my home to watch.

With a physical DVD it is perfectly legal to mail the DVD to friends and for them to mail you theirs. You can not do that legaly with a digital version. On top of that when you get sick and tired of the movie, you can not exchange it or sell it like you could with a physical DVD.

**** To the guy who quoted $800 for a DVD player or VCR player, let me tell you I seen VHS players for $50, and DVD players for $75. Not sure where you are shopping. But I can sell you my old g4 mini for $800, since it has a dvd player build in, it is a great deal. I also have some nice VHS players for 500 brand new that I can purchase for 50. Let me know.

.

EagerDragon
Jan 7, 2008, 11:51 AM
[snip]
By contrast : Comcast Cable charges $5.99 for a HD movie rental and that's only after it's been out on DVD for 3 months.

I don't mind viewing a movie 12 months after it was released in the theater, specialy if cheaper the older it gets. As long as the pipe of movies is filled with movies I have not seen, it does not mater how old they are to me. I don't own an iPhone either, I am wayting for the next version.

I am happy today with DVD quality, HD is nice but for me not if I have to pay a premioum.

Have you seen the price of gas?
Gas is up 150%, food is up 15%, salaries are up 2 to 5% nation wide, why would I pay a premioun on anything if I have a choice like RedBook for rentals or wait to purchase a movie until it comes down in price?

stealthboy
Jan 7, 2008, 11:53 AM
This has FAIL written all over it.

1) I don't want to pay $10+ for something I can only play on my laptop. Someone wants to borrow the movie that I "bought" like they can with my DVDs now? No luck.

2) Renting for more than $1/day is not going to work. Right now I can get a DVD from Red box for $1.

Sorry Apple, but video DRM is why I'm not buying to Blu-ray or HD-DVD. I don't need more media that is restricted.

PlaceofDis
Jan 7, 2008, 11:56 AM
compromises are going to be made. they have to. otherwise it won't work.

the key though, is getting them perfected so that it still works for the consumer in the end.

Xenious
Jan 7, 2008, 12:05 PM
So I wonder what happens if you just change the time on your computer. Granted it isn't a pretty workaround, but it would let you watch longer than 24 hours.

Personally I prefer the netflix like model. The one thing I could see myself doing is taking advantage of this if I was traveling or didn't have a movie and wanted to watch one. Maybe putting it on my iPhone for a plane ride or something. I've tried the streaming video from netflix but the movies they offer are b-grade garbage.

JGowan
Jan 7, 2008, 12:05 PM
Online rentals should be cheaper, not more expensive. There's no physical media, no store, no people to pay, no mail. But they insist on trying to choke money out of customers when they finally offer what customers want.I agree with your post. Good work. This last sentence is quite right, but in the minds of the Hollywood executive is that iTunes is the "Convenience Store" of the Internet. "Why should I pay $5 for a gallon of milk at the corner store when I could drive into town and get it for $3…?" Well… convenience of course. You want to get there, get the milk and get back to your cereal. It's the same here. EXCEPT there are a lot of alternatives for movies these days. Wal-Mart is selling some fairly decent (albeit reasonably old) DVDs for just $5 that I have seen on iTunes for $9.99 to buy. Netflix and Blockbuster sends the discs right to your home. Speaking of Blockbuster… they don't charge late fees anymore so you can rent a movie and keep it for up to a month before deciding to buy it or return it. Netflix lets you keep the movie indefinitely as long as you're paying their monthly fee. And as some point out: there's REDBOX for a $1. Apple can't put this on their store at $3.99 for 24HRs -- that might've flown about 3 years ago, but not today.

Of course, Newsweek doesn't have all the answers. "Sources say" and "The Buzz is heavy" and "Possible pricing" all boomarang back to the fact that they don't really know. They're selling papers and ad space so I take this article with a grain of salt.

sfhc21
Jan 7, 2008, 12:11 PM
$4 for 24 hours will flop bigtime.

Agreed. I hope the keynote attendees "boo" and "hiss" once this is announced.

timon
Jan 7, 2008, 12:13 PM
Before I buy an online movie I have to get the following:
The same content as the DVD including all of the special features.
Must be the HD version.
I MUST be able to re-download them any time I want so if I loose the file I can get it back without paying for it again.
Must be priced less that the B&M stores sell the physical DVD for.


Until then I'll by my DVD and rip them with Handbrake.

Peace
Jan 7, 2008, 12:17 PM
Before I buy an online movie I have to get the following:


The same content as the DVD including all of the special features.


That's a possibility



Must be the HD version.


Why? Do you have a HD Player ?



I MUST be able to re-download them any time I want so if I loose the file I can get it back without paying for it again.



If you lose a movie you bought you have to buy another one.



Must be priced less that the B&M stores sell the physical DVD for.


A HD movie has better quality than DVD. Moot point.



Until then I'll by my DVD and rip them with Handbrake.


You're still not getting HD video.

fluidedge
Jan 7, 2008, 12:20 PM
Agreed. I hope the keynote attendees "boo" and "hiss" once this is announced.

I'd love to see what steve does if that happened. I love it when he pauses expecting applause and it doesn't quite happen, just a smattering of applause - sounds like a load of nudists sitting down on a bench together!

timon
Jan 7, 2008, 12:32 PM
If you lose a movie you bought you have to buy another one.
You're still not getting HD video.


Totally different.

First it's much easier to loose a file on your hard drive than a physical DVD.

Second you may not have room on your hard drive for all of the movies so you should always be able to re-download what you OWN. I could accept a $0.25 fee to re-download just to pay for the bandwidth use but that's it. Apple should do the same for music. Since much less bandwidth is used I'd say $0.05 would be about right.

HD is not the issue as you should be able to get either if it's available

gvegastiger
Jan 7, 2008, 12:38 PM
Even if its 24 hours from the time you start watching it, thats not enough. If start a movie at 5:00 and stop at 6:00, I have to finish that movie by 5 the next day or its gone. That's still not going to work for the masses.

I dont understand why the studios want to kill digital downloads and they obviously do. This isn't an Apple issue, its the studios refusing to budge the the physical medium.

milo
Jan 7, 2008, 12:39 PM
This has FAIL written all over it.

1) I don't want to pay $10+ for something I can only play on my laptop. Someone wants to borrow the movie that I "bought" like they can with my DVDs now? No luck.

2) Renting for more than $1/day is not going to work. Right now I can get a DVD from Red box for $1.

This probably won't be big at these prices, but at least apple can get the deals set up with studios and get the ball rolling.

Then when the studios see they're not selling/renting many titles at those prices, they'll feel some pressure to set them more reasonably. Until proven otherwise, the studios will continue to live in their fantasy that people are willing to pay that much for their content.

I think both the buying and renting have the potential to do well in the future, it's just the matter of finding the optimal quality/features versus price. People will go for a lower resolution and less features if the price is low enough. And people may be willing to pay more if the quality is high enough and features are included. The first step is getting the content and setting up the store. Once that is established, pricing can always change in the future, and it likely will if the studios see sales/rentals going down and piracy going up.

So I wonder what happens if you just change the time on your computer. Granted it isn't a pretty workaround, but it would let you watch longer than 24 hours.

Time/date based copy protection has been around for years, generally you can't get around it that easily.

theBB
Jan 7, 2008, 12:48 PM
Because you first need to pay $300 just to be able to watch it on your tv.
Well, I believe around here Comcast just increased the price to $5 a movie. Besides, Comcast does not provide pay per view unless you already pay for a substantial monthly subscription. If you have just the basic cable, that's not enough. Of course if you already want to pay that amount for other reasons, it may not matter, but I don't want to spend another $20 or $40 a month just for the privilege to pay another $5 per movie.

SPUY767
Jan 7, 2008, 12:51 PM
Just another instance of old media living in fear of a new paradigm. When so many other companies are happy to take it in the pooper from the studios, Apple didn't really have a choice. With luck, the studios will see that this isn't going to work and will decide that lowering prices is the only option. I won't say that i sympathize with them, but I understand their fear. To them, digital= piracy.

Stewie
Jan 7, 2008, 12:53 PM
Knowing Apple, I would think they asked for the following:
- the 24 hours limit doesn't apply until you've seen the movie once, for those "I have to stop watching the movie" moments.


This will never happen as all you have to do is pause and rewind the movie before you reach the end.

mdntcallr
Jan 7, 2008, 12:59 PM
This is great news. More movie selection. No more war with the film studios? excellent news.

also, ppv's on a 24 hr window? excellent! my bet is people will be able to download movies, but have a week or two to activate the 24 hour window to view it. so it is a win-win scenario.

glad they are making progress. now only if they would play ball with the record labels.

Thataboy
Jan 7, 2008, 01:03 PM
I can only imagine 100 people have said this already, but why would I spend $4 on a rental when I get almost 20 DVDs a month from Netflix for $17, plus 17 hours of instant viewing on Crap Explorer in Parallels?

Have an unlimited rental subscription for $19.99 that includes iPhone/iPod playback, and I'm there. Otherwise, I will continue to ignore Apple's sad foray into digital distribution of movies.

Buran
Jan 7, 2008, 01:10 PM
I've found quite a few movies & TV shows where they're missing quite a few scenes from the DVD. (...) Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (...) In the DVD version, there's a really great scene (probably the best scene in the whole movie) where Kirk & Spock are on a bus w/ a punk rocker type & Spock gives him the Vulcan nerve pinch. That whole scene is missing in the iTunes version.

I'm guessing that that may be missing because it has an obscene gesture in it. I don't agree with that kind of pandering to people who don't have a thick skin, but that's my guess. Do definitely take it up with them though.

For those that haven't seen the movie, without explaining the Trek-specific stuff, two guys riding on a bus wind up sitting next to a teenaged punk rocker with crazy makeup, blaring stereo, etc. etc. They ask him to turn it off, he turns it up instead. They ask again. He flips them off. The two guys look at each other with annoyed expressions. One of the guys responds by knocking the punk out cold. The punk falls facefirst onto his radio, hitting the stop button on the tape (anyone remember those?) in the process. The rest of the bus passengers applaud. Cut to next scene.

MacTheSpoon
Jan 7, 2008, 01:10 PM
Argh, these idiotic greedy movie studios. If they're not screwing over their writers, they're screwing over their customers. And shooting themselves in the foot.

This had so much potential to blow the doors off online movie distribution, and all the movie studios are doing is just encouraging people to use torrents instead. $2.99 max, and a week to watch it, at full HD/surround sound if you want it. That would be the way to go.

NightStorm
Jan 7, 2008, 01:22 PM
14.99 for a compressed to death crappy hollywood movie??
a DVD costs that and at least in's not a lossy file

720x480 is far from HD, it only SD, HD is 1920x1080 60fps, that means in h264 about 2,2 GB/42 minutes
Yes, I'm well aware that 720x480 is far from HD. I was pointing out the fact that a HD file (1280x720 or higher is considered HD) would not be compatible with the current iPod/iPhone products, requiring users to choose between two files, or Apple somehow making the larger resolution files compatible.

MacTheSpoon
Jan 7, 2008, 01:23 PM
The one thing I could see myself doing is taking advantage of this if I was traveling or didn't have a movie and wanted to watch one. Maybe putting it on my iPhone for a plane ride or something. I've tried the streaming video from netflix but the movies they offer are b-grade garbage.

Yeah. It looks like this will be an option if you want to rent a movie to watch on your commute, or while traveling. But why oh why not $1.99, or $2.99.

It's hard to see them making a big inroads with home video viewing. Although they will be a presence, I have to admit. Even at this lackluster price, it's easier than getting off your butt and going to Blockbuster, or waiting a couple days for Netflix. Potentially they could offer a larger selection than a physical store, too. And I guess with all the iTunes installations out there, they'll instantly have greater visibility and market penetration than everyone else.

But it could have been so much more than this...

danny_w
Jan 7, 2008, 01:26 PM
How much did Circuit City price their DivX movie rentals (unrelated to DivX compression AFAIK) for back in the day? Wasn't if $3.99 for 24 hours after you broke the seal? It was a miserable failure back then and in won't be any better if Apple tries it.

NightStorm
Jan 7, 2008, 01:32 PM
Before I buy an online movie I have to get the following:
The same content as the DVD including all of the special features.
Must be the HD version.
I MUST be able to re-download them any time I want so if I loose the file I can get it back without paying for it again.
Must be priced less that the B&M stores sell the physical DVD for.


Until then I'll by my DVD and rip them with Handbrake.
Why must it be the HD version, when the process you just stated is clearly not in HD (i.e. its sourced from a DVD)?

I agree with your other points, but I really don't understand why everyone says "DVD is fine" when talking about HD-DVD/Bluray, but complain when digital downloads aren't in HD (especially 1080p, as the majority of HDTVs currently in homes cannot display this). If upconverting DVDs is fine, what would be wrong with having the AppleTV (or similar device) upconvert a 480p file?

DakotaGuy
Jan 7, 2008, 01:34 PM
14.99 for a compressed to death crappy hollywood movie??
a DVD costs that and at least in's not a lossy file

720x480 is far from HD, it only SD, HD is 1920x1080 60fps, that means in h264 about 2,2 GB/42 minutes

Actually HD is considered anything that has 720 vertical lines of resolution or more. HD not not just 1920x1080 60fps. I would imagine however even 720p/1080i content would still make quite large file sizes.

wordmunger
Jan 7, 2008, 01:37 PM
How much did Circuit City price their DivX movie rentals (unrelated to DivX compression AFAIK) for back in the day? Wasn't if $3.99 for 24 hours after you broke the seal? It was a miserable failure back then and in won't be any better if Apple tries it.

That got you practically nothing you don't get by going to blockbuster. You still had to go to Circuit City to buy the thing. There aren't as many CCs as Blockbuster's so you probably had to drive farther. Plus CC is a giant store with a huge parking lot, so you probably had to walk 2 football fields just to get to the movies.

By contrast, Apple's offering a seamless operation you can access from the comfort of your own home -- hopefully using just your apple remote.

But I definitely agree with people who say 30 hours would be better -- that way if you don't finish watching on one night you can finish the next night.

I also like the idea of the 24 hours starting when you *finish* watching the first time.

I imagine Apple will offer something like paying an extra buck for a week rental. That might allay some concerns.

CRAZYBUBBA
Jan 7, 2008, 01:41 PM
I only paid $480 for my DVD player.

In 1998.


I payed $2000 in 1996

rockosmodurnlif
Jan 7, 2008, 01:43 PM
Businessweek's sources also claim Apple's movie rental service will be priced at $3.99 for a 24 hour rental, which is consistent with recent rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/29/fox-and-disney-itunes-movie-rentals-24-hours-only/).


I'd love to see what steve does if that happened. I love it when he pauses expecting applause and it doesn't quite happen, just a smattering of applause - sounds like a load of nudists sitting down on a bench together!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Both of these were absolutely hilarious. Of course, I don't think the $3.99 is true, it just doesn't make sense. Geez, you do Netflix at $9.99, you can at least two DVDs a month (4.99 per movie) and you can watch them for as long as you want throughout the month. It just doesn't sound competitive. But its still good for a laugh.

wscapital
Jan 7, 2008, 01:44 PM
In agreement with wordmunger.

3.99 a day with better selection is an improvement, although not being able to record it with a DVR is a minus.

levitynyc
Jan 7, 2008, 01:45 PM
Yes, I'm well aware that 720x480 is far from HD. I was pointing out the fact that a HD file (1280x720 or higher is considered HD) would not be compatible with the current iPod/iPhone products, requiring users to choose between two files, or Apple somehow making the larger resolution files compatible.

a SOFTWARE update? possible?

BobVB
Jan 7, 2008, 01:49 PM
I dont understand why the studios want to kill digital downloads and they obviously do. This isn't an Apple issue, its the studios refusing to budge the the physical medium.

Hopefully its just that they are scared of 'giving away the farm' again as some feel they did with DVDs. This is a test to see if they can once again get you to fall for 'renting' and not owning a digital version of the movie, and if you do own it it is calculated to BE inferior.

But this will have hurdles that even DIVX didn't have - massively inferior sound and picture quality, ties up home internet (mine for hours) and confusing selections.

Same price for inferior product? Sounds like a question on the Darwinian IQ test. Count me in as one who will be going for physical DVDs and Blu-rays for the foreseeable future.

milo
Jan 7, 2008, 01:53 PM
a SOFTWARE update? possible?

Some improvement could definitely be a possibility, although full 480p is more likely than HD from an iPod, at least from the 5g and 5.5g. It's pretty close to those already.

I don't know if people remember, but the 5G ipod only did 320x240 resolution when it shipped...when the 5.5 came out they released firmware to enable 640x480. I'd love to see at least 720x480 and better anamorphic support for existing iPods, but full HD is probably unlikely.

One possibility is giving buyers a choice of resolution or including an iPod version along with the HD version, although that doesn't really help those wanting to watch on an HDTV from an iPod output.

NightStorm
Jan 7, 2008, 02:00 PM
Some improvement could definitely be a possibility, although full 480p is more likely than HD from an iPod, at least from the 5g and 5.5g. It's pretty close to those already.

I don't know if people remember, but the 5G ipod only did 320x240 resolution when it shipped...when the 5.5 came out they released firmware to enable 640x480. I'd love to see at least 720x480 and better anamorphic support for existing iPods, but full HD is probably unlikely.

One possibility is giving buyers a choice of resolution or including an iPod version along with the HD version, although that doesn't really help those wanting to watch on an HDTV from an iPod output.
I agree... they could try and tackle it via a software update, but full HD playback (even 720p) is unlikely (and would take up a lot of space on limited devices like the iPhone/iPod Touch). Including 2 versions of the movie would work, but would likely cause confusion and make downloads even bigger. If I were to make a prediction, I'd say that the videos will see a resolution bump, and hopefully the devices will be updated to include proper handling of anamorphic encodes.

lemonpeazy11
Jan 7, 2008, 02:17 PM
The word "its" is not equivalent to "it's". "Its" is possessive, and "it's" is a conjunction of "it is". I wish people knew how to use proper grammar. :o

Are you sure you know what a conjunction is?
"It's" is a contraction buddy.
And, but, & or are conjunctions.
Don't jump on someones grammar w/o a dictionary.

jettredmont
Jan 7, 2008, 02:19 PM
Hmmph.

So, just who the hell are the people who are renting a movie for 24 hours for $4?

Compare/contrast the options.

$4/24-hour download:

Pro:

Time window likely starts when you start watching it



Cons:

Likely sparse catalog (certainly compared to physical buy or rent for a while, which is astounding)
Somewhat unpredictable start time (could start any time between half an hour after ordered to a day after ordering, depending on your net connection at the moment)
Highly limited time window to enjoy movie
You provide the bandwidth
No extra features
No physical pamphlet, etc
Requires separately-purchased, expensive, physical device to enjoy movies fully


$4/7-day rental:

Pro:

Rather large catalog available around the corner
Start time relatively predictable (piggy-backs on other errand drive time)
Large window to enjoy movie and share with a few groups of friends
Extra features often available
Physical box cover


Cons:

Second disk extra features often missing
Time window starts when you pick it up from the store, which is per errand convenience time, not when you want to watch it.
Media or holder may be misplaced, resulting in benefit-less mandatory purchase.


$20/month for all you can view Netflix/Blockbuster

Pro:

Cheapest option for more than 5 movies per month
Queue management ability
See DVD Rentals


Cons:

More expensive for <5 movies per month
Long lead time for impulse movies
Even less physical artwork than DVD Rentals


$10-20/buy:

Pro:

All physical media available
All extras available
Can start, stop, rewatch whenever and wherever one pleases


Cons:

Most expensive option
Need to deal with DVD box clutter


It seems like the download rental falls far beyond the $4 physical rental in terms of cons (the only possible advantage being that one need not leave the house, which makes it great for shut-ins), and also of the rent-by-mail option. It seems roughly the same step-down in service as between the "buy" and "physical rental" steps, which is a 3x-5x price differential.

Thus, IMHO, it seems about right for a one-day rental to be more along the lines of $1 - $2. Certainly, $4 is way too high, a there it is competing against an equivalent price and having many significant disadvantages.

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 02:23 PM
Problem is, it gives a result of lower quality, and with less features than buying the DVD and ripping it. If they want to replace the DVD they need to be competitive with it (and better yet, competitive with HD dvds).

Yes, but we here on the forums are the technical Illuminati. We are not the target market for this service because we're willing to take the time and effort to keep tweaking to get that last .00000000000000001%. :cool:

Apple and the studios are just starting to test the waters. They're hoping just the idea of being able to download a movie rental is interesting enough that they'll give it a shot. Some will try it and go "Eh." and never come back. Others will go "Not bad. It was pretty easy. Won't use it every day, but when I don't want to go to the store." And still others will go "Cool! I'm going to use this all the time now."

Look at :apple:tv. As a product, it's pretty mediocre. No discrete digital audio. No DVD functionality so it requires such content to be copied to a computer first and then converted to a compatible format. It can only play a handful of video and audio formats out of the box (others require hacking the hardware).

And yet, the AppleTV forum on this board is filled with users who love it. They download most - in some cases, all - of their audio and video content from the iTunes store and they can't wait for the movie rentals and expansion of sales many of us in this thread are disparaging. They understand the limitations, but they're willing to live with them because they believe and support in the idea behind the device.

Before the service even launches is a bit too early to write a eulogy for it in my opinion. :D

diamond.g
Jan 7, 2008, 02:24 PM
Including 2 versions of the movie would work, but would likely cause confusion and make downloads even bigger.

iTunes Plus for Movies!!!

iStefmac
Jan 7, 2008, 02:36 PM
jettredmont,

Very well laid out. It makes a clear case against $4/24 hrs.

To me, the only reason for purchasing iTunes movies in the past has been simple: Impulse. Thats what Apple counts on, they make media/content readily available for impulse purchases, down to one-click buy/download/watch.

They are probably going to continue that trend as they have sold billions of songs due to the impulsive nature of iTunes shopping.

------------

I also don't think $4 for 7 days would appeal any more though. Its the price thats the issue, not the duration. I would be much more inclined to rent movies frequently from iTunes if they had:

1. New Releases
2. $2 for 24 hours
3. Option to buy for additional 7.99

iStefmac
Jan 7, 2008, 02:39 PM
And yet, the AppleTV forum on this board is filled with users who love it. They download most - in some cases, all - of their audio and video content from the iTunes store and they can't wait for the movie rentals and expansion of sales many of us in this thread are disparaging. They understand the limitations, but they're willing to live with them because they believe and support in the idea behind the device.


I really can't imagine who these people are. Who would spend countless dollars of the their own money just to support the idea of another company's products?

wordmunger
Jan 7, 2008, 02:39 PM
Hmmph.

So, just who the hell are the people who are renting a movie for 24 hours for $4?

Compare/contrast the options.

$4/24-hour download:

Pro:

Time window likely starts when you start watching it



You forgot the most important one: INSTANT GRATIFICATION. Also, there will likely be a better selection than the biggest competitor to this service, pay-per-view movies.

Cons:

Likely sparse catalog (certainly compared to physical buy or rent for a while, which is astounding)
Somewhat unpredictable start time (could start any time between half an hour after ordered to a day after ordering, depending on your net connection at the moment)
Highly limited time window to enjoy movie
You provide the bandwidth
No extra features
No physical pamphlet, etc
Requires separately-purchased, expensive, physical device to enjoy movies fully


None of these cons are specific to a 24-hour rental. They can apply equally to any rental plan.

$4/7-day rental:

Pro:

Rather large catalog available around the corner
Start time relatively predictable (piggy-backs on other errand drive time)
Large window to enjoy movie and share with a few groups of friends
Extra features often available
Physical box cover


What are you talking about here? An apple rental system? Why would a 4-7 day rental have all these things when a 24-hour system would not? Or are you attempting to compare an Apple rental system to blockbuster/netflix?

Cons:

Second disk extra features often missing
Time window starts when you pick it up from the store, which is per errand convenience time, not when you want to watch it.
Media or holder may be misplaced, resulting in benefit-less mandatory purchase.

Ah, yes, it appears you're comparing Apple to Blockbuster.

Let me add to the cons:


Late fees
Cost of transportation to/from store
Inconvenience of travel to store
Media may be defective, requiring an additional trip to store



$20/month for all you can view Netflix/Blockbuster

Pro:

Cheapest option for more than 5 movies per month
Queue management ability
See DVD Rentals


Queue management is a con, not a pro. With an Apple download system, there is no queue. You get the movies you want, when you want them. Queue management is a pain. Since movies are shipped automatically when a movie is returned, you must constantly manage your queue to make sure you get the movies you want when you want them.

Cons:

More expensive for <5 movies per month
Long lead time for impulse movies
Even less physical artwork than DVD Rentals


Let me add to that list:


Movies may get lost in the mail
DVDs may be defective, requiring a return, and resulting in not having the movie when you want it
You pay every month whether or not you watch the movies
Many movies now require you to sit through ads/previews, whether you want to see them or not



It seems like the download rental falls far beyond the $4 physical rental in terms of cons (the only possible advantage being that one need not leave the house, which makes it great for shut-ins), and also of the rent-by-mail option. It seems roughly the same step-down in service as between the "buy" and "physical rental" steps, which is a 3x-5x price differential.

Thus, IMHO, it seems about right for a one-day rental to be more along the lines of $1 - $2. Certainly, $4 is way too high, a there it is competing against an equivalent price and having many significant disadvantages.

$4 is only way too high if you don't want to pay it. I already pay that much for an inferior product (pay-per-view satellite movies).

milo
Jan 7, 2008, 02:45 PM
Including 2 versions of the movie would work, but would likely cause confusion and make downloads even bigger.

It would make downloads bigger, but that might not be a big deal, especially if they gave the user a choice of which to download first. Once you have the first version and are watching it, it doesn't really matter that your computer is still downloading the second version.

And the confusion would only happen if it wasn't implemented well - iTunes could link together two versions of a video and display them to the user as one, and automatically send the proper format to each device.


Look at :apple:tv. As a product, it's pretty mediocre. No discrete digital audio. No DVD functionality so it requires such content to be copied to a computer first and then converted to a compatible format. It can only play a handful of video and audio formats out of the box (others require hacking the hardware).

And yet, the AppleTV forum on this board is filled with users who love it. They download most - in some cases, all - of their audio and video content from the iTunes store and they can't wait for the movie rentals and expansion of sales many of us in this thread are disparaging. They understand the limitations, but they're willing to live with them because they believe and support in the idea behind the device.

A few people posting online saying that they like a product isn't what makes it successful. Overall, the media and general public seem to consider the aTV a failure. I don't doubt that ANY product can attract a few customers who are willing to give anything a try just for the hell of it. But I assume apple is aspiring to mainstream success, not just a niche of a few happy users. Apple isn't going to make a real splash until the product is competitive on a features/quality versus price basis.

Before the service even launches is a bit too early to write a eulogy for it in my opinion. :D

I don't think it's dead...it's just going to be stagnant until they improve the quality or drop the price. Or both.

swagi
Jan 7, 2008, 02:49 PM
And in other news, Microsoft announced that they stroke a deal with British Telecom to use the XBox 360 as IPTV device.

Maybe Apple should really stop being the Media provider but open up their iTunes store to other big players! Bring on the (insert telco company here) Apple TV IPTV exclusive deal!

Oh, btw, according to this article (http://www.gamespot.com/news/6184330.html) the pricing scheme doesn't look that bad. Though there still is some unlimited deal/monthly rate to be announced.

Rot'nApple
Jan 7, 2008, 03:14 PM
If these are going to be the terms, I'll just stick with renting Blu-ray movies from my local Blockbuster. At least I have a full week to watch those and they're 1080p HD.

I don't blame Apple though at all, the studios are just too greedy to give them decent terms it appears.

Hey the studios need that money to pay for the new contracts with the striking WGA for new movies and tv shows. How else are they going to pay them?:D

gvegastiger
Jan 7, 2008, 03:15 PM
Queue management is a good thing, not a pain as described. What if you want to line up more than 3 movies so you don't have to write down all the movies you want to see?

The reason for the queue is so you dont have to update very often, and so you don't have to remember the movies or write them down. If you are surfing the net or watching tv and suddenly see something you want to watch, you put it in your queue and forget about it.

takao
Jan 7, 2008, 03:27 PM
if they want this to take off big time then 4 is too much ..... i pay 5-10 bucks for my dvds ... (sure not new releases but perhaps 6-10 months old)

a local retailer has 4 dvds for 24 bucks discount and change the lineup (30-50 different movies) every month with mostly newer releases so i'm never out of movies

heck i pay 5-6 bucks for watching a movie in theaters (a friend has discount card)... so 3.99 is quite on the steep side

the next rental store (actual movie rental vending machine) is within 150 meter distance and another one another 200 meters ... (and i don't pay 4 there either )


for 1,99 they wont have any problems with renting for 24 hours ... for 1,49 or less their servers very likely gonna melt down


personally i think the problem here on the pricing is that DVD sales etc. are despite piracy still on the rise and thus the companies not that hard pressed to compete

filmguy15
Jan 7, 2008, 03:48 PM
While I agree that $4 is too much to rent a movie for 24 hours at the current iTunes quality...why are we assuming the quality will stay the same? Everything points to Apple giving us a 720p option...or at least 480p. They wouldn't have bothered making the Apple TV support 720p unless they had future plans for it...

Speaking of the Apple TV...I have one and yes, it does exactly what I want it to. I just have to be realistic about what it is made for. It will NEVER have a DVR, and it probably won't have a DVD/Blu-ray player. (that would be like releasing an iPod with a CD drive....) The whole idea is to move away from physical media.

It has the hardware capability for true 5.1 surround...it just needs a quick software update. The current model supports everything I will need to do for the next 2-3 years, which is perfect. Back on topic.....

levitynyc
Jan 7, 2008, 03:58 PM
While I agree that $4 is too much to rent a movie for 24 hours at the current iTunes quality...why are we assuming the quality will stay the same? Everything points to Apple giving us a 720p option...or at least 480p. They wouldn't have bothered making the Apple TV support 720p unless they had future plans for it...

Speaking of the Apple TV...I have one and yes, it does exactly what I want it to. I just have to be realistic about what it is made for. It will NEVER have a DVR, and it probably won't have a DVD/Blu-ray player. (that would be like releasing an iPod with a CD drive....) The whole idea is to move away from physical media.

It has the hardware capability for true 5.1 surround...it just needs a quick software update. The current model supports everything I will need to do for the next 2-3 years, which is perfect. Back on topic.....

I've been saying that since it was released. No way it will EVER be a DVR and it wont be a Blu-ray / DVD player as the whole idea of it is to avoid physical media.

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 7, 2008, 03:59 PM
I really can't imagine who these people are. Who would spend countless dollars of the their own money just to support the idea of another company's products?

I dunno, and the idea creeps me out.

I have an Apple TV and, as of today, I've bought 0 movies, 0 TV show episodes, and 0 songs from iTunes. I think there are a lot more people like me than some non-Apple TV owners would suspect.

$300 might seem a bit steep for a box to play video files on a TV, but that is precisely what many of us want.

zedsdead
Jan 7, 2008, 04:00 PM
While I agree that $4 is too much to rent a movie for 24 hours at the current iTunes quality...why are we assuming the quality will stay the same? Everything points to Apple giving us a 720p option...or at least 480p. They wouldn't have bothered making the Apple TV support 720p unless they had future plans for it...

Speaking of the Apple TV...I have one and yes, it does exactly what I want it to. I just have to be realistic about what it is made for. It will NEVER have a DVR, and it probably won't have a DVD/Blu-ray player. (that would be like releasing an iPod with a CD drive....) The whole idea is to move away from physical media.

It has the hardware capability for true 5.1 surround...it just needs a quick software update. The current model supports everything I will need to do for the next 2-3 years, which is perfect. Back on topic.....

Apple put 720p in the Apple TV right away because of the pictures which look amazing. I agree though about Apple's future plans, because the audio chip has the ability to even support 7.1, so at some point at least 5.1 and 720p will make it to iTunes...the real question is when...I am hoping Macworld.

wordmunger
Jan 7, 2008, 04:06 PM
Queue management is a good thing, not a pain as described. What if you want to line up more than 3 movies so you don't have to write down all the movies you want to see?

The reason for the queue is so you dont have to update very often, and so you don't have to remember the movies or write them down. If you are surfing the net or watching tv and suddenly see something you want to watch, you put it in your queue and forget about it.

Itunes has the same feature. If you don't want to buy / rent a movie right away, you can put it in a playlist, still unpurchased (you could call it "wishlist"). Then you have a list of all the movies you're interested in, in one place. This isn't a unique advantage of Netflix, and Apple's implementation is better because you can request the movie exactly when you want instead of waiting for it to arrive. I've found that by the time movies on my Netflix queue arrive, half the time I'm not in the mood to watch them.

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 04:18 PM
I really can't imagine who these people are. Who would spend countless dollars of the their own money just to support the idea of another company's products?

You must not own any Apple products. ;)


I don't doubt that ANY product can attract a few customers who are willing to give anything a try just for the hell of it. But I assume apple is aspiring to mainstream success, not just a niche of a few happy users. Apple isn't going to make a real splash until the product is competitive on a features/quality versus price basis.

True, but we need to remember Apple isn't solely driving this bus. They're sharing the wheel with the content providers. And those providers either view us as criminals (the RIAA) or as potential criminals (the MPAA). Apple wants maximum content available through the iTunes Store because it drives sales of their product (iPod, :apple:tv, Mac). They...tolerate...other sources of content because they help sell the product, as well, but it's pretty clear that the integration of iTunes, the iTuneStore, and Apple's hardware creates a very powerful synergy.

Apple would like to run things in the way that is most advantageous to Apple, yet the other parties wish to run things in the way that is most advantageous to themselves. So both sides have to give because neither side has sufficient clout to solely drive and control the entire thing.

chicagostars
Jan 7, 2008, 04:30 PM
A lot of spit and vinegar out there. Remember, this is still a rumor and if it does turn out to be true, folks can stick with their current method of getting movies if it works best for them. Do hope these aren't the final numbers as there doesn't seem be be an extraordinary amount of value in the speculated offerings at these price points. Yet another thing to listen for during the Keynote . . . how many lost hours of productivity will be lost because of Stevie J and Apple on the 15th? :D

KurtangleTN
Jan 7, 2008, 04:49 PM
Wow, no thanks. I'll continue paying $1 for a movie rental at a moviecube at my local grocery store.

Of course I have to leave my home and leave a whole 10 minutes total, which probably takes less then the download. Which is still a lot less then what it takes to download a movie.

mambodancer
Jan 7, 2008, 04:56 PM
I agree... they could try and tackle it via a software update, but full HD playback (even 720p) is unlikely (and would take up a lot of space on limited devices like the iPhone/iPod Touch). Including 2 versions of the movie would work, but would likely cause confusion and make downloads even bigger. If I were to make a prediction, I'd say that the videos will see a resolution bump, and hopefully the devices will be updated to include proper handling of anamorphic encodes.

I thought videos were automatically downsized in resolution when copied to the iphone and ipod or am I wrong about that?

mambodancer
Jan 7, 2008, 05:01 PM
I dunno, and the idea creeps me out.

I have an Apple TV and, as of today, I've bought 0 movies, 0 TV show episodes, and 0 songs from iTunes. I think there are a lot more people like me than some non-Apple TV owners would suspect.

$300 might seem a bit steep for a box to play video files on a TV, but that is precisely what many of us want.

The last I recall Video Disc, Laser Discs, VCR's, DVD players and now HD and BlueRay players have all initially cost that much or a whole lot more.

gnasher729
Jan 7, 2008, 05:26 PM
Sounds reasonable, cheers.

I still don't like the sound of files disappearing or 'expiring' - couldn't some malicious code apply a DRM type thing on system files that could then expire?

Code that could do that could much easier just delete those files, so that is not something you need to worry about.

zedsdead
Jan 7, 2008, 05:31 PM
I thought videos were automatically downsized in resolution when copied to the iphone and ipod or am I wrong about that?

The files are copies over in their native format and resolution. The iphone/iPods scale down the content for playback. Currently there is a 720x480 max on the iPhone and recent iPod's, the bitrate can exceed 3500.

applehappy
Jan 7, 2008, 05:47 PM
The files are copies over in their native format and resolution. The iphone/iPods scale down the content for playback. Currently there is a 720x480 max on the iPhone and recent iPod's, the bitrate can exceed 3500.

Well, I'm no major league geek, but the current resolution of movies purchased looks great on my 46" LCD. Surprisingly good. Does Apple TV convert to 1080i? Looks like it does. I'm still pretty frustrated that I can't get HD content from iTunes though. If I could buy or rent HD content, I won't have any grip left with :apple:TV
The answer to the scaling HD content for iPhone/Ipod must be to have iTunes do it prior to transferring to the device. I'm frustrated it's not already doing that for me.

HiRez
Jan 7, 2008, 05:48 PM
The problem with 24 hours is that for most people it means you only get one shot at getting through your movie. Let's say you come home from work at 7pm (you DO work, right?). Let's assume you have already pre-downloaded the movie and further assume that the window doesn't start until you start watching. Well if for some reason you have to stop the movie (kids, whatever), you'll never be able to finish it because by the time you get home from work the next day and sit down to watch, your window has expired. That's why 30 hours vs. 24 hours makes a huge difference. You'd still have that opportunity the next evening to finish it up. In the physical rental world this is a problem because they need to get that disc back in the store to rent to someone else. But renting digitally it shouldn't be an issue.

milo
Jan 7, 2008, 05:57 PM
It has the hardware capability for true 5.1 surround...it just needs a quick software update. The current model supports everything I will need to do for the next 2-3 years, which is perfect. Back on topic.....

So does it do exactly what you want...or does it need an update to do 5.1 surround? Seems contradictory.

True, but we need to remember Apple isn't solely driving this bus. They're sharing the wheel with the content providers. And those providers either view us as criminals (the RIAA) or as potential criminals (the MPAA).

Apple has to share responsibility with the studios for content pricing and terms. And I've long argued that the studios are a big influence in the aTV's lack of a DVR. But I don't see how things like lack of 5.1 surround, lack of full HD support up to 1080p, no content sales direct from the tv, etc are the fault of anyone but apple.

The answer to the scaling HD content for iPhone/Ipod must be to have iTunes do it prior to transferring to the device. I'm frustrated it's not already doing that for me.

Not the best solution since converting the file can take hours depending on your machine. iTunes could do it in the background or when the machine is not being used, but you wouldn't be able to just plug in your iPod and pick a bunch of movies to load up.

filmguy15
Jan 7, 2008, 06:14 PM
So does it do exactly what you want...or does it need an update to do 5.1 surround? Seems contradictory.

Right now it does exactly what I want...mainly because I don't own a surround system, which is why the Apple TV's initial lack of surround didn't phase me. I knew when I bought it however, that this feature is most likely coming via update, and I am most likely getting a surround system in the near future.

Of course, I'm no fortune teller and I don't KNOW if surround is coming. Even if it doesn't...I am perfectly happy with ripping my movies in Pro Logic II. I don't really notice a huge difference day to day.

I am in the camp of people who haven't bought any video content on iTunes yet, but own an Apple TV. Right now, it's just too low quality. Even without iTunes purchases though, it offers a great way to get rid of shelves and shelves of DVDs.

mambodancer
Jan 7, 2008, 06:16 PM
Paying $4 for the convenience of watching it now versus packing up the car, driving to the theater, paying $8-12 per ticket? Sign me up!

Last I checked, when I buy a movie ticket I don't get the choice of coming in to the theater any time I want on any day I want.

zedsdead
Jan 7, 2008, 06:19 PM
Well, I'm no major league geek, but the current resolution of movies purchased looks great on my 46" LCD. Surprisingly good. Does Apple TV convert to 1080i? Looks like it does. I'm still pretty frustrated that I can't get HD content from iTunes though. If I could buy or rent HD content, I won't have any grip left with :apple:TV
The answer to the scaling HD content for iPhone/Ipod must be to have iTunes do it prior to transferring to the device. I'm frustrated it's not already doing that for me.

The current resolution on the iTunes store is 640x480 with a max bitrate of 1500. The new iPods and iPhone support higher, and the content when encoded with the new bitrates looks as good as DVD.

For iTunes to transcode a file before putting it on a iPod, it would have to spend at least 2x the length of the file for the encode (more of less depending on your machine). Most people do not have 8-Core Mac Pro's, and the encode time will take time, so while it will work, I don't think it is viable.

zedsdead
Jan 7, 2008, 06:21 PM
Right now it does exactly what I want...mainly because I don't own a surround system, which is why the Apple TV's initial lack of surround didn't phase me. I knew when I bought it however, that this feature is most likely coming via update, and I am most likely getting a surround system in the near future.

Of course, I'm no fortune teller and I don't KNOW if surround is coming. Even if it doesn't...I am perfectly happy with ripping my movies in Pro Logic II. I don't really notice a huge difference day to day.

I am in the camp of people who haven't bought any video content on iTunes yet, but own an Apple TV. Right now, it's just too low quality. Even without iTunes purchases though, it offers a great way to get rid of shelves and shelves of DVDs.

Dolby Pro Logic (4-channel) and Dolby Pro Logic II (5 channel) are surround sound. The Apple TV supports both, however it does not support 5.1 Surround Sound. As far as I am concerned, I will take Dolby Pro Logic II at this point if Apple can't figure out how to properly implement 5.1 because there is not a gigantic difference.

rstansby
Jan 7, 2008, 06:28 PM
At first I thought 24 hours wasn't long enough, but now I'm not sure.

With traditional movie rentals you go to Blockbuster, rent a few movies for the whole family and watch them over the next few days. With downloads you can just rent the movie you want a few minutes before you want to watch it. As long as you watch it straight through you wouldn't even need it for 4 hours. The next day you can rent the next movie you want to watch...

MacFly123
Jan 7, 2008, 06:31 PM
As opposed to buying a DVD player or VCR which cost like 800 bucks.

LOL are you serious??? Last time I checked you can find DVD players just about anywhere for as low as $29.99 :rolleyes:

drgardner
Jan 7, 2008, 06:39 PM
...the stony silence, the hostile glares from the crowd?

I'd expect a similar result if these are the terms...this just doesn't seem compelling for most people. You'll get some business from people who just have to have a movie at a particular moment (but, even with that, remember that downloading a high quality version of a film isn't going to be "instant" for most homes).

If this is what gets announced, I'd expect a poor reaction from the crowd. Maybe a few boos.

Movies studio execs must have to take lessons on being stupid before they can get the job.

filmguy15
Jan 7, 2008, 07:08 PM
Dolby Pro Logic (4-channel) and Dolby Pro Logic II (5 channel) are surround sound. The Apple TV supports both, however it does not support 5.1 Surround Sound. As far as I am concerned, I will take Dolby Pro Logic II at this point if Apple can't figure out how to properly implement 5.1 because there is not a gigantic difference.

Exactly....the only difference is that the audio doesn't have a separate Subwoofer channel, and it depends on the sound system's built in cross-over to separate the bass channel. I'm sure there are a few other technical differences, but nothing the average end-user would notice...

davede70
Jan 7, 2008, 09:01 PM
Just when you think Hollywood couldn't be dumber, they amaze you. They just can't accept that the consumer is back in control again. They're going to have to cut down charging their hooker and cocaine expenses to the studio if they want to see the same profits.

If you ever feel sorry for Hollywood, spend a year working out there. Watch how they waste money and enjoy how badly they treat their underlings. I was once yelled at for 5 full minutes because I didn't get the really soft chair, I mistakenly brought just the regular soft chair.

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 09:04 PM
But I don't see how things like lack of 5.1 surround, lack of full HD support up to 1080p, no content sales direct from the tv, etc are the fault of anyone but apple.

They are likely not, since I can't see the content providers denying it. So Apple should be castigated for these omissions.

gvegastiger
Jan 7, 2008, 09:07 PM
What quality is a non-HD DVD now? Does it compare to what is currently available from iTunes?

CWallace
Jan 7, 2008, 09:09 PM
What quality is a non-HD DVD now? Does it compare to what is currently available from iTunes?

720x480 for NTSC with a maximum bit-rate of around 9.8Mbps in MPEG-2 format.

rtdunham
Jan 7, 2008, 09:20 PM
Well, not like there's a logical rule or anything. It's a memorized exception.

Pretty much every possessive uses an apostrophe.

You mean like her's, our's, hi's and thei'rs? ::D

Bosunsfate
Jan 7, 2008, 09:49 PM
I really want to buy content online. I have totally crossed the divide of pretty much never buying a CD or for that matter a DVD. I just cannot see why I should pay $14 for so much packaging when it can come to my home with none of that.

Yes, the cost of the computer hardware has a cost. So does the electricity. But that pales in comparison to the life of those plastic disks.

What makes me sick is that we cannot get these media companies to wake up. I still hold out hope for Apple to change the game. But feel that the battle is changing enough that they are loosing what leverage they had.

All Steve Jobs is trying to do now is hold onto market share.

NightStorm
Jan 7, 2008, 10:02 PM
I thought videos were automatically downsized in resolution when copied to the iphone and ipod or am I wrong about that?
I believe it does this with photos, but doing it with a video file would take a long time (and noticeably affect the computer's performance while it worked on the conversion).

MacFly123
Jan 7, 2008, 11:22 PM
So with EVERYONE whining about HD content, how come NOBODY ever talks about Apple's new ProRes codec??? What do you all think about that? I mean isn't that something pretty amazing that they can encode HD at SD file sizes, and if they are going to do HD content wouldn't that be the ultimate way to go? What would it take for them to do that? Would they have to update QuickTime, iTunes, iPods, iPhone etc? Anyone know what kind of implementation that would take on the Mac and Windows? Is it possible? I'm really surprised more people don't talk about this. DISCUSS :)

MacFly123
Jan 7, 2008, 11:24 PM
I believe it does this with photos, but doing it with a video file would take a long time (and noticeably affect the computer's performance while it worked on the conversion).

I think with video if it is not the proper iPod resolution etc. it gives you a pop up message and tells you it could not copy those specific files to the iPod when you sync it.

MacFly123
Jan 7, 2008, 11:31 PM
What are the chances that we will be able to buy "Digital DVDs" like this soon?

http://www.flip4mac.com/drivein.htm

That is what I really want, a "Digital DVD" with all the menus, special features, etc. If they sold them like that in HD in iTunes, AMEN!

jaminthejar
Jan 8, 2008, 12:06 AM
I just don't think rentals on the home computer are going to take off. OnDemand and stuff like that work because you watch them on your TV at your leisure. Until there is 100% convenience to getting digital media on your TV, I can't see this taking off.

Peace
Jan 8, 2008, 12:10 AM
I just don't think rentals on the home computer are going to take off. OnDemand and stuff like that work because you watch them on your TV at your leisure. Until there is 100% convenience to getting digital media on your TV, I can't see this taking off.


Enter the :apple:TV

mrkramer
Jan 8, 2008, 12:13 AM
If Apple raises the price on movie downloads then they will lose a lot of customers who would have otherwise downloaded movies. They may be able to keep it about the same at that price if the movies are HD, but at the current resolution they will lose more customers from the price than they will gain by increased ammount of content.

celavato
Jan 8, 2008, 12:31 AM
Which parallel universe are you currently living in :confused:

I think you mean alternate universe, not parallel. :D

JohnHawkins
Jan 8, 2008, 02:39 AM
Boring

Crawn2003
Jan 8, 2008, 03:30 AM
My two cents about it:

I'm not paying Apple, i.e. the movie studio with Apple's b*lls in a vice, almost the wholesale price for a DVD on iTunes. That means you just get the movie and no special features or anything else. That's just ridiculous.

And for rentals, $4 for 24 hours? I have Netflix, that's 3 movies at a time unlimited a month. That's around $17 a month.

So:
Apple iTunes Rentals: for one month of content (to compare with Netflix) - about 4 movies a month for around $16

Netflix Rentals: for one month of content - over 20-25 a month for around $17

I'm sticking with Netflix.

~Crawn

ddrueckhammer
Jan 8, 2008, 04:02 AM
Wow. It seems so obvious from the consumer point of view that :apple:TV needs to be positioned as a slightly more convenient/expensive Netflix killer. Unfortunately, the movie industry are dinosaurs who don't understand the technology or what they have to lose by sticking to their same tired delivery systems. Also, they are very greedy expecting people to pay more for less when it obviously costs them far less to deliver the content digitally. For that matter, it has been obvious for years that releasing on-demand content on the same day as the theatrical release could be a winner too. People are moving away from going to actual theaters for movies because many of us have 50 inch or bigger HD home theaters sitting in our living rooms that offer better quality without the hassle and crowds. If movie theaters want to survive in the 21st century they need to offer a premium experience. For example, theaters that serve beer & wine, or dinner theaters etc. Right now, the couple of movies I see a year convince me more and more that the main appeal is that people use them as a low cost babysitting service so that they don't have to gasp :eek: spend time with their kids. Unfortunately, this leads to theaters having to hire off duty police and even deal with lawsuits associated with unsupervised minors.

For me, I will continue to use Netflix and occasionally rip a good movie to my iTunes collection (I know breaking copyright on DVDs is illegal but we all know this is only because we have greedy/corrupt politicians who were paid off by Hollywood lobbyists when authoring the digital millennium copyright act.) I'm sure others will continue to download from bit torrent until a more attractive online solution is offered.

The one question I have is: How is Apple ever going to compete with the cable companies in this market? I mean Verizon Fios already has $3.99 24hr rentals that I don't have to buy a $300 box to play. Also, what is to stop Verizon or Comcast etc. from throttling bandwidth for downloads from the iTMS if they see Apple as a threat to their on-demand business?

I think Apple might want to look into taking a loss on the hardware for this business as I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft or Sony would be willing to do this in the future just to control mindshare (of course cable companies already do). Look at the Xbox...M$ still loses tons on them just so they can control the living room for gamers. How long will it take them to put 2 & 2 together and do this for a movie box. After all, movies are still far more mass market than games. And before you say that they make up losses on hardware for Xboxes with game/accessory sales I already thought of that and I still think the mindshare/exclusive control of people's living rooms is worth a huge investment and possibly could be made up in some way with directed ad content, premium subscriptions, micro-transactions etc. It blows my mind that Google or one of the cell operators hasn't offered a discounted or free cell phone service that serves directed ads every time you make or receive a call on the screen. I know people hate ads but I bet they hate their large cellular bills more... The technology companies (Google, Apple, Microsoft) etc. are in a much better position to do something like this than the old-school entertainment/cable companies IMO...

diamond.g
Jan 8, 2008, 07:33 AM
So with EVERYONE whining about HD content, how come NOBODY ever talks about Apple's new ProRes codec??? What do you all think about that? I mean isn't that something pretty amazing that they can encode HD at SD file sizes, and if they are going to do HD content wouldn't that be the ultimate way to go? What would it take for them to do that? Would they have to update QuickTime, iTunes, iPods, iPhone etc? Anyone know what kind of implementation that would take on the Mac and Windows? Is it possible? I'm really surprised more people don't talk about this. DISCUSS :)
I am pretty sure ProRes is much bigger than H.264. I think when Apple means encode HD at SD file size I am pretty sure they are talking about HD compressed to uncompressed SD file sizes. Which is still a far higher bit rate than DVD, BD, and HD DVD offer.

PNW
Jan 8, 2008, 08:17 AM
Bottom Line: There is no way this kind of deal will attract me away from Netflix. At $4 a pop I doubt I'd even rent one just to 'check it out' let alone occasionally rent one to satisfy an instant urge to watch something.

If this is the deal hopefully Apple will go back to the studios after a while and say "how do you guys feel about pulling in half as much revenue per rental on 10 times more rentals?", and get them to agree to a more reasonable price point.

zedsdead
Jan 8, 2008, 08:36 AM
I am pretty sure ProRes is much bigger than H.264. I think when Apple means encode HD at SD file size I am pretty sure they are talking about HD compressed to uncompressed SD file sizes. Which is still a far higher bit rate than DVD, BD, and HD DVD offer.

Yes...the Pro Res is a Professional Codec like Avid DNxHD Codec...it is not for distribution.

Intarweb
Jan 8, 2008, 09:24 AM
$3.99 will fail miserably. Why do that when you can get a sub to Netflix and get movies the next day? Unless you live in the sticks. $16 and I get unlimited movies per month. With the amount of movies I watch a month, and using the Apple rental scheme, the price would be through the roof.

There is no way this will be a viable option. Doing a subscription service is something I would look at, not a per rental fee, especially a 24 hour restricted rental fee.

Give me a set-top box, that doesn't require a PC, and a monthly rental fee and I'm set. Netflix seems to be doing that (save using your PC to queue). If they do do it, Apple will feel the brunt of it.

Scarpad
Jan 9, 2008, 12:19 AM
Sony and Blu Ray are said to be offering a PSP Encoded version of the film on the Disks themselves soon, thats not a bad Idea either.

IHateUserNames
Jan 9, 2008, 01:29 AM
From what I've heard, the 24 hours starts when you first WATCH it, not when you download it.

I don't think so. For instance, if you sync the movie to 3 iPods and watch it today on iPod #1: How will the DRM-protected file on the other 2 iPods know when to expire or delete itself?
My guess is that the 24h period will start when the download is completed ...or when you sync the downloaded file to *any* device(s) for the first time.

CWallace
Jan 9, 2008, 09:34 AM
For instance, if you sync the movie to 3 iPods and watch it today on iPod #1: How will the DRM-protected file on the other 2 iPods know when to expire or delete itself?

They could update themselves the next time they sync with the system, auto-disabling if it's been more then 24 hours. You eventually will want to connect your iPod back with your computer, so it's not a very good "workaround" to keep a movie for weeks, months, or years - especially on a portable device which will be the least-desirable way to watch it, anyway, compared to a computer monitor or television.

mrsebastian
Jan 9, 2008, 12:47 PM
(a) even at the current prices, apple and the studios better be packaging the movies dvd style. as in a crap load of extras and commentary tracks, etc.
(b) $4 for a 24 hour rental?! who do you think you are, blockbuster and have you noticed their business going in the tank?!... you sir, are [bleeping] high if you think i'm gonna pay that on a regular basis. well maybe if you give away free apple tv hardware with a subscription or something.
(c) this article is pure speculation and the usual rumor mill running amok. i'll wait to see what apple and the studios have come up with. though i'm not very optimistic.

zedsdead
Jan 9, 2008, 01:32 PM
Warner Brothers might have signed on to the rentals according to engadget:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/09/itunes-movie-rentals-to-include-warner-bros/

SheriffParker
Jan 9, 2008, 01:40 PM
The word "its" is not equivalent to "it's". "Its" is possessive, and "it's" is a conjunction of "it is". I wish people knew how to use proper grammar. :o

High 5 dude! It's about time we cleaned this place up. Apostrophe errors drive me crazy! :D

MikeTheC
Jan 9, 2008, 07:35 PM
IF this is true it would be a huge deal, not just for Apple. The Writers Guild of America is striking right now because writers get nothing, or hardly anything, for content they wrote that's sold on the internet.

So far the studios are saying "we'd like to pay you, but wen don't know how much we should pay you, so here is nothing instead." If they suddenly make the same amount, or close to, on internet sales that they previously made on DVDs, that line won't fly anymore.

Not saying it won't happen, but it's a mighty weird time to do something like this, if you are a studio head because it would essentially give your opposition (WGA) even more reason to stay on strike.
To be honest, I don't think the Big 6 even really care at this point. If they are, they're sure not showing it in any way.

I'm waiting for the Studios to outsource the writing, acting, filming, and production ends of the business and just have it high-speed'd to them for stitching in of national commercials, and then re-broadcasting to the general public. I mean, if the rest of Corporate America can outsource their operations, why not the Entertainment Injusticetry?

Then, at that point, they'd have the perfect leverage to use against American writers. Basically, it'd be "You will gladly accept half or less of what you've been getting, or you're all permanently out of work here. Have a nice day."

You folks may scoff and laugh, but just wait. The day (sadly) is coming.

MikeTheC
Jan 9, 2008, 07:47 PM
For me, I will continue to use Netflix and occasionally rip a good movie to my iTunes collection (I know breaking copyright on DVDs is illegal but we all know this is only because we have greedy/corrupt politicians who were paid off by Hollywood lobbyists when authoring the digital millennium copyright act.) I'm sure others will continue to download from bit torrent until a more attractive online solution is offered.
It's only illegal because we've allowed greedy corporatists to hijack the Federal Government and use it as it's own private pit bull to enforce what should be no more than company policies.

As I don't agree to those terms, I don't rent or (normally, other than to show support) buy movies, and I haven't in an awfully long time. Anything I watch is normally via other means, and I'm perfectly willing to stand up for my right to do so. If I want to buy something, I'll do so. But I'll be d****d if I'm going to be forced by some *********g corporation to buy something just because they want me to.

NightStorm
Jan 10, 2008, 07:52 AM
It's only illegal because we've allowed greedy corporatists to hijack the Federal Government and use it as it's own private pit bull to enforce what should be no more than company policies.

As I don't agree to those terms, I don't rent or (normally, other than to show support) buy movies, and I haven't in an awfully long time. Anything I watch is normally via other means, and I'm perfectly willing to stand up for my right to do so. If I want to buy something, I'll do so. But I'll be d****d if I'm going to be forced by some *********g corporation to buy something just because they want me to.
You've got to be kidding me. Why does everyone seem to think they have a right to do whatever they want to? Buying/renting a movie is no different than buying groceries at the store, or a shirt from the mall. Just because you wouldn't buy/rent it anyways does not give you the right to "watch it via other means", unless its on TV/cable. It's because of people with this mentality (as well as the ripping from Netflix rentals mentioned before) that we have executives who are scared to death that everyone is stealing their content and thus force draconian DRM measures onto the rest of us.

Of the DRM out there, Apple's has, to date, been one of the more lenient schemes out there. I'm sure this will continue with rentals, even if they are only for 24 hours (i.e. don't press 'rent' unless you know you can watch it, just like cable/satellite/Amazon/etc).

Mercsadies
Jan 10, 2008, 10:14 AM
Heyyyyy ... I want a Redbox in my area!

Check out Vongo.com - supposedly online movies, however not compatible with Mac. They do ask if you want to be notified when there is a Mac-version. Sign up ... perhaps it will make them move faster.