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MacRumors
Jan 9, 2008, 01:53 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Bloomberg reports (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=asfuyhaPNAGc&refer=home) that Warner Brothers, Paramount, Walt Disney Co., Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, and Fox will begin renting movies through Apple's iTunes Store in an announcement scheduled for January 15th at Macworld.

Bloomberg states that both new releases and older titles will rent for $3.99 for 24 hours, consistent with recent rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/07/apple-compromising-on-itunes-movie-terms/). Fox was the first (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/26/apple-in-online-film-rental-deal-with-fox-studio/) studio to have signed onto the iTunes rental deal.

Steve Jobs is expected to make these announcements at his keynote address at Macworld San Francisco 2008. MacRumors.com will provide live keynote coverage with web, sms, and iPhone-compatible updates.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/09/warner-paramount-disney-fox-lions-gate-to-join-itunes-rentals/)



mainstreetmark
Jan 9, 2008, 01:54 PM
24 hours?

Why not "once"?

Will the 'set clock forward when you rent' trick work?

InkMaster
Jan 9, 2008, 01:54 PM
The more the merrier :)

dashiel
Jan 9, 2008, 01:56 PM
fingers crossed

hybrid mac-mini/appleTV w/blu-ray support
upgrade all video content available at itunes including rentals to 720p
"remote" control widget for the iphone (w/api to control other devices)

Morky
Jan 9, 2008, 01:56 PM
As the parent of a young child, I fall asleep halfway through movies pretty often, even if they are good. Why can't I get it for 2-3 days, like I could in the old days when we rented physical media?

FoxyKaye
Jan 9, 2008, 01:56 PM
I wonder if this will bring NBC/Universal back to the bargaining table?

maxp1
Jan 9, 2008, 01:57 PM
I know, I know. Renting digital movies is stupid. But I might just do it if they can make it convenient enough. Frankly I'm too lazy to go to the video rental place and I don't really watch enough movies to make Netflicks worth it. Bittorrent? Count me as one of those people who doesn't believe in content theft.

mca7
Jan 9, 2008, 01:57 PM
I really hope the 24 hours starts when you first play it, not once you download it. Lame if its the latter.

macdim
Jan 9, 2008, 01:58 PM
How about some love for Canada?

miketcool
Jan 9, 2008, 01:58 PM
24 hours?

Why not "once"?

Will the 'set clock forward when you rent' trick work?

I am sure it will be once. You have X many days to start it. Once you do, unlimited plays, rewinding, and reviewing within a 24 hr period. I am excited, so should all of you.

And to all the presumed future whiners in here: Listen, hear that, it's the sound of violins playing. :(

slicecom
Jan 9, 2008, 01:59 PM
How about some love for Canada?

Don't worry, I'm sure we'll get it in 2 or 3 years time.

zedsdead
Jan 9, 2008, 01:59 PM
All this about the rentals is great news (outside of the price), however where is the HD rumors! I imagine we are going to get let down in that department for now.

MarlboroLite
Jan 9, 2008, 01:59 PM
24 hours is ridiculous and I can't think people would be stupid enough to pay 4 bucks for a movie rental that is probably gonna take 3 hours alone to download and only last 1 day! It takes less time and less money to go to the Blockbuster in my town and I can keep the movie for a few days and watch it on a big TV.

Forced Perfect
Jan 9, 2008, 01:59 PM
24 hours?

Why not "once"?

Will the 'set clock forward when you rent' trick work?

I suspect part of the authentication/playback process is verifying with a time server rather than your local time.

But who knows... Maybe you can change your time zone and trick it. :P

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 02:00 PM
Sigh. $4 for a single day is Way Too High.

I hate to join the historically incorrect ranks of Apple nay-sayers here, but IMHO this can not succeed. Certainly, I can't envision ever taking advantage of this. I'd rather rent a real disk at the corner, rent it via mail, or just plain buy it. Offering a less-frills option at the same cost as the mid-range-frills options with no convenience benefits is just plain stupid.

I am seriously disappointed in Apple here, should these reports prove true. Jobs should have walked away if this is what the studios were demanding, let them fail at their over-priced schemes, then come back six months later to save the day. Worked well with music!

TimothyG
Jan 9, 2008, 02:00 PM
24 hours?

Why not "once"?

Will the 'set clock forward when you rent' trick work?

That is highly, highly doubtful. It'll be a timestamp from the server.

MrT8064
Jan 9, 2008, 02:03 PM
Apple, please show some reasonably priced rental love in the UK,

$3.99 / 2 = £1.99

HOWEVER, this is apple - my guess £2.99

donga
Jan 9, 2008, 02:04 PM
anyone know why the price point is $4?

e-coli
Jan 9, 2008, 02:04 PM
$4.00?

Pretty steep. I don't see a lot of people biting on this with Netflix and Blockbuster around. Those services are cheaper, and you can keep the movies forever if you want.

mambodancer
Jan 9, 2008, 02:04 PM
This will be hugh!

I mentioned it to several of my clients and they all think the $4 price tag is fantastic. Several of them have commented that it may be enough to have them discontinue their netflix service.

numbsafari
Jan 9, 2008, 02:06 PM
Sigh. $4 for a single day is Way Too High.

I hate to join the historically incorrect ranks of Apple nay-sayers here, but IMHO this can not succeed. Certainly, I can't envision ever taking advantage of this. I'd rather rent a real disk at the corner, rent it via mail, or just plain buy it. Offering a less-frills option at the same cost as the mid-range-frills options with no convenience benefits is just plain stupid.

I am seriously disappointed in Apple here, should these reports prove true. Jobs should have walked away if this is what the studios were demanding, let them fail at their over-priced schemes, then come back six months later to save the day. Worked well with music!


I agree... I think this is stupid pricing... especially considering that Verizon FiOS offer video on demand services, as does comcast high speed internet. The rates are much better and the pipes are bigger so you can start watching right away.

Using iTunes only makes sense for purchasing.

Oh... and really only for HD quality.

!¡ V ¡!
Jan 9, 2008, 02:06 PM
By the sound of this 24 hour rental is seems the clock starts ticking when you hit the "Play" button.

Apple and Company figure that once you start a movie 24 hours is ample time to watch the remainder.

JINX
Jan 9, 2008, 02:07 PM
they probably settled on these parameters because they are identical to most video on demand (VOD) settings. You get the movie for 24 hours from the minute you purchase it, regardless of when you start watching it and its $3.99 a movie. The truth is that we use it all the time and the only limitation is the number of movies available (maybe 50 total at a time). If I had blockbuster selection, I would happily do all my movie watching this way. Of course, I'd rather have the option of 1 complete view rather than a time limit (although I've only re-rented a movie because time ran out once), but its mostly fine this way.

The big questions are (a) what will the selection be like, (b) how long with the download process take (c) what will the resolution of the movies be and (d) do you have to wait until the end of the download to start watching. If the answer to 'd' is yes, then the 24 hours might be much more annoying. With VOD, you can start watching right away as it downloads.

All in all, its pretty exciting. I like owning music which I listen to repeatedly, but there are virtually no movies that I need to see more than once.

Eduardo1971
Jan 9, 2008, 02:08 PM
24 hours is ridiculous and I can't think people would be stupid enough to pay 4 bucks for a movie rental that is probably gonna take 3 hours alone to download and only last 1 day! It takes less time and less money to go to the Blockbuster in my town and I can keep the movie for a few days and watch it on a big TV.

When I first read about this rumour, I too, thought about this. Seems like a bigger effort to download than going to your local store.

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 02:08 PM
I am sure it will be once. You have X many days to start it. Once you do, unlimited plays, rewinding, and reviewing within a 24 hr period. I am excited, so should all of you.


Why are you excited about this? What does it give you that you do not already have at the same price? Are you unfortunate enough to not have a video rental store less than five minutes from your house? If so, where do you live? And, again, if so, is your DSL/Cable connection fast enough that downloading a movie will work for you?

Will this work when not connected to the internet to verify your rental has not timed out? I expect it will either go off your internal clock (which is subject to time spoofing) or will require a check-in every time you hit "play" (which will make it impossible to use on, for instance, a plane, or to watch a movie while out hiking or ...)

I rarely fail to finish a movie once I start it, but I still don't like the 24-hours to finish time limit. It happens enough that I'd hit this limit and it would grate on me.

In any case, the above questions stand. You say you are excited, and "we" should be too. Why?

Thataboy
Jan 9, 2008, 02:09 PM
This simply will not do while Netflix is around.

The ONLY time this would be better is if you absolutely HAD to watch a low resolution movie on your iPhone IMMEDIATELY instead of getting the DVD the next day. Which is how often... never?

Super mega lame, in line with all of Apple's forays into digital video thus far. Let's hope they have a Netflix style unlimited option for a monthly fee. I won't hold my breath though.

gugy
Jan 9, 2008, 02:10 PM
Netflix looks a better alternative.
Higher resolution movies, more titles and better price.

I like the convenience of iTunes but $4 for a low res movie and 24 hours doesn't seem as good. Sorry Apple.

Popeye206
Jan 9, 2008, 02:10 PM
This is great news except for the 24 hour deal. I would guess that the studios are the ones that are mandating that... hopefully this part is off and we'll at least get 72 hours of play time. Even if we don't... like with many things, if we let our voice heard, things will change.

Either way... this is cool and a step in the right direction... if 5.1 sound and HiDef make it for Apple TV... it will be time to pull out the credit card! :-)

I wonder if Steve or the movie studio people reads these posts?

HiRez
Jan 9, 2008, 02:10 PM
Don't mind the $4, I'd probably even pay up to $7, but only if:

-- new release, simultaneous with DVD release, older releases $2-$5
-- 30+ hours rental (2 nights viewing time)
-- at least 720p hi-def transfer, good compression
-- real 5.1 audio
-- apply rental cost to later purchase of either physical DVD or digital download if desired

Until you can give me that, you're not getting a cent of my money, :apple:. And I desperately want to give it to you.

Popeye206
Jan 9, 2008, 02:13 PM
-- apply rental cost to later purchase of either physical DVD or digital download if desired


Now I like this thought! That would be cool! Rent it, then buy it if you like it. Hummmm... Nice!

tcoleman
Jan 9, 2008, 02:13 PM
By the sound of this 24 hour rental is seems the clock starts ticking when you hit the "Play" button.

Apple and Company figure that once you start a movie 24 hours is ample time to watch the remainder.

If that's the case, then they figure wrong.

levitynyc
Jan 9, 2008, 02:13 PM
4 bucks is a good deal.....if you provide the movie in HD 720P, if not, its a rip off.

unconcious
Jan 9, 2008, 02:15 PM
I don't understand why people complain so much!!! :eek: how many days do you need to watch a movie. downloading on itunes takes no more than 30 minutes. Its simple enough if you want to watch a movie right away and have a group of friends at home all you have to do is just download it and watch it period.

smiddlehurst
Jan 9, 2008, 02:15 PM
24 hours is ridiculous and I can't think people would be stupid enough to pay 4 bucks for a movie rental that is probably gonna take 3 hours alone to download and only last 1 day! It takes less time and less money to go to the Blockbuster in my town and I can keep the movie for a few days and watch it on a big TV.

*sigh*

You haven't been keeping up with this topic in the last few years have you? This model is already well proven and works because people ARE willing to pay for convenience. Example: Sky Box Office in the UK allows users to watch movies on their satellite TV box on-demand. When you pay for a movie you either watch it once or can watch as many times as you like in a day (day is considered as 6am to 6am) depending on the movie. It's pretty popular with customers prefering the convenience of being able to suddenly decide they want to watch a movie, browsing the alternatives and being able to watch more-or-less instantly (you have to wait for a scheduled start time of course, it's not an on-demand service).

And the cost for this service? £3.95. That's almost $8! And people DO pay this . Couple an iTunes rental service at a decent rate (let's say £3 for example) with a nice cheap device to watch not only rented movies but TV shows, purchased movies, podcasts etc and you have something that has a very good chance of gaining favour with the public. Whether it will or not is of course down to marketing and pricing and that we'll have to wait and see. But the cost of the movie itself? Very competitive and a model that's proven to work elsewhere.

Thanatoast
Jan 9, 2008, 02:16 PM
24 hours is weak. 72 is much more reasonable.

And I want to sync it to my iPhone. :network exec has anuerism:

japasneezemonk
Jan 9, 2008, 02:16 PM
24 hours is ridiculous and I can't think people would be stupid enough to pay 4 bucks for a movie rental that is probably gonna take 3 hours alone to download and only last 1 day! It takes less time and less money to go to the Blockbuster in my town and I can keep the movie for a few days and watch it on a big TV.

If your internet connection is that slow, then you shouldn't even be watching movies online. I enjoy using the XBOX Live movie rental service, it usually downloads the entire movie in about 30-40 minutes. The quality of the video is good enough to watch on a 32" Samsung LCD, and the convenience is unbeatable. I'm sure itunes movie rentals will work similarly.

slffl
Jan 9, 2008, 02:17 PM
If the 24hr deal is true, then this totally sucks. I rented a movie off of Xbox Live once and forgot to watch it. That's the last time I rent a movie that only give you 24hrs to watch. Netflix is keeping me happy.

GeoffShoulders
Jan 9, 2008, 02:17 PM
You can already rent digital movies on services like BT Vision IPTV in the UK and the new release price is £2.99. You get 24 hours from the point of order to watch it as may times as you like.

Can't imagine this will be too different, but with a load more users.

crazedbytheheat
Jan 9, 2008, 02:18 PM
I'd be willing to use this if a) it works from my AppleTV on my Bravia and b) it's HD (720p is OK, but prefer 1080i/p). The problem with NetFlix is that you have to decide in advance what movies you want to watch. The problem with Blockbuster is that I hate going to Blockbuster just to find out that the movie I wanted isn't available. The problem w/ VOD from Comcast is that the selection is really limited and doesn't refresh all that quickly. Digital download means everyone can have the same movie out at the same time.

Anyway - my thoughts.

slffl
Jan 9, 2008, 02:19 PM
I don't understand why people complain so much!!! :eek: how many days do you need to watch a movie. downloading on itunes takes no more than 30 minutes. Its simple enough if you want to watch a movie right away and have a group of friends at home all you have to do is just download it and watch it period.

I assume because those people have lives?

Jetson
Jan 9, 2008, 02:19 PM
I agree with the feelings of most in here.

$4 is expensive, especially with no physical media costs.

24 hours rental is ridiculous and runs counter to customer expectations of 2-3 days for Blockbuster or "unlimited" for NetFlix.

Low resolution video and slow downloading makes this turkey dead on arrival.

This is a great development with Apple getting major studio support and all, but the product/service design as it stands loses big time.

We shall see...

shiseiryu1
Jan 9, 2008, 02:20 PM
I definitely agree that 24 hours is way too short especially if you have to download the entire movie first. I hope that they update the AppleTV so you can order directly through it; and while they're at it they need to add Internet radio to it. Anyways I think that I'll support this because if it does well Apple will have more leverage to bargain w/ the media companies. Also I think digital is the way of the future and Apple can help get us there.

mobilehavoc
Jan 9, 2008, 02:21 PM
This will flop as hard, maybe even harder than AppleTV IMHO.

One of the biggest problems with digital delivery of movie rentals and the like is most people would like to watch movies on their home theater system with their expensive big screen HDTV, surround sound system, etc. etc.

How in god's name, APART from spending an additional $300 on AppleTV, can people do this with iTunes Rentals? I'm no way in hell paying $4 to rent a movie I can watch on my laptop/PC monitor...that's as lame as can be.

One of the reasons Xbox Video Marketplace has taken off as it has is because the Xbox360 is already hooked up to your home theater in high-def with 5.1 audio so you can download a movie rental and watch it, no additional cost.

Also brings into question for someone who has nothing, they can spend $300 on an AppleTV or $400 on an Xbox 360 that will do more than just play movies/music.

I'm sure the Apple faitful and all 10 AppleTV owners will jump at this but I think for most people this will be Apple's 2008 mistake.

Anders1666
Jan 9, 2008, 02:21 PM
I agree with the feelings of most in here.

$4 is expensive, especially with no physical media costs.



In Norway the rental prices are at 16 to 20$ that is expensive, but 4dollars my God stop your damn whining....

bigmc6000
Jan 9, 2008, 02:23 PM
I think some people on here are really comparing this to the wrong service. This is NOT a service to compete with NetFlix or Blockbuster Total Access or Brick and Morter stores. This is the compete with VOD services from your Cable/Satellite provider. What most people tend to miss is that there are litterally millions of people out there who don't have the DVR's from the cable company to buy a movie and with DirecTV/Dish you have to wait until the movie starts, ranging from every half hour to every 2 hours. If you have an Apple TV and a decent internet connection (assuming Apple TV will let you buy from the convience of your couch) and prefer not to give cable/satellite your money this is a good solution. Only if it's HD tho - DirecTV PPV movies are in HD so if they even think anyone will do this instead they at least need 720p. Oh, and make it 24 hours from when you hit play, not when you start the download. That could be a HUGE killer. Anyway - make it HD, buyable from the couch w/ Apple TV and 24 hours from hitting Play and you might have made a customer out of me. Just for the record I already have Blockbuster Total Access (aka Netflix - Blockbuster Style) so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE understand these aren't competing services...

miketcool
Jan 9, 2008, 02:24 PM
Why are you excited about this? What does it give you that you do not already have at the same price? Are you unfortunate enough to not have a video rental store less than five minutes from your house? If so, where do you live? And, again, if so, is your DSL/Cable connection fast enough that downloading a movie will work for you?

It gives me the convenience of iTunes. As I do not have a car, and the nearest Blockbuster is a 35 min roundtrip BUS ride costing me money anyways, being able to use iTunes, and my laptop as the media player, makes this amazing. It is the connivence and the fact that these studios are boosting Apple, not snubbing them. There are many times late at night I wish I could watch movie, but cannot get to Blockbuster to rent it. This isn't necessarily to compete against brick and mortar stores, or netflix; it's to compete against internet DL's that snub a superior format and a superior media player. Go Apple!
Besides, what good is driving everywhere and spending Gas to get a scratched disc, or missing selections provided by people who would wish you dropped dead? Excuse me if you would rather get dressed, drive a car, potentially risk your life (worst case scenario) to deal with acne covered employees that shrug you off, wait in line, drive again, etc.
I'm not saying it's for everyone, but you'd be surprised how many people will love this!

EDIT: Crazy bigmc, we must be cosmic twins. Oh wait, MANY PEOPLE THINK LIKE I DO!

seashellz2
Jan 9, 2008, 02:24 PM
Those guys are dying out there-they can pretend, but Cable is eating into their marketshare. and the internet and games and DVD are eating into both
2 days would be better

NBC Vivendi will be back on their knees nervously saying to Apple-"We dont need you-but what the heck-we'll give you a second chance!"

levitynyc
Jan 9, 2008, 02:25 PM
If your internet connection is that slow, then you shouldn't even be watching movies online. I enjoy using the XBOX Live movie rental service, it usually downloads the entire movie in about 30-40 minutes. The quality of the video is good enough to watch on a 32" Samsung LCD, and the convenience is unbeatable. I'm sure itunes movie rentals will work similarly.

the 360 has movies available in 720P...itunes (as of yet) does not.

512ke
Jan 9, 2008, 02:25 PM
I have to agree that 24 hours is not long enough to rent a movie.

I fall asleep watching movies. There are lots of 2 and 1/2 hour movies. "Lust Caution". Liked it but dozed. "Atonement". Liked it but fell asleep 90 minutes into it. "There Will Be Blood." The movie came on 2 different DVDs it was so long. It took me 2 nights.

Short funny movies could be 24 hours but long winded ones need at least 48 hours.

Or maybe I just need to get more sleep. zzzzz

512ke

ju5tin81
Jan 9, 2008, 02:26 PM
In an ideal world, couldn't we download a film (start watching as downloading) and save for 24 hours.

Then have the option to buy (minus the rental price e.g £9.99 minus the £2.99) or delete the file.

When you click the £7 buy now option ;-) it allows you to BURN it to a DVD, just like the music tracks...

(And delete the original so as to free up lap top hard drive space.)

I wish!

bacaramac
Jan 9, 2008, 02:28 PM
I would use this as most of the time we decide to watch movies at the last minute (actually my wife does). ATV is great for the kids as they don't have to mess with DVD players and disc menus, etc.

I think there are two things for me:
1. The digtal copy of iTunes compatible movie on DVD's is a big hit. Buy the movie and get it on ATV without Handbrake.
2. Movie rentals just sweetens the deal for last minute decisions or a movie that I know I wouldn't buy just want to see once.

I hope ATV really takes off and they continue to improve the little guy.

twoodcc
Jan 9, 2008, 02:31 PM
glad to see these guys joining on with apple, but 24 hours?

Ryn01599
Jan 9, 2008, 02:31 PM
The price is $4 for a good reason... Convenience. Netflix, you will have to wait a couple of days before you even get your movie, blockbuster, you will have to drive to and later return. This way, you can sit at home browse a movie, DL it (which only takes about 20 min *based on Xbox DL Times* and then instantly play it when you want it. I like Netflix and use it all the time, but I have to wait for the movies to arrive and if I have guests over, the iTunes Movie Rental will offer immediate satisfaction!!! $4 for 2 hours of enjoyment with friends/family with immediate satisfaction is a reasonable price. However, I still think the movie should offer at least 3+ playbacks with over 1 week rental *again based from Xbox movie rentals.*

spazzcat
Jan 9, 2008, 02:32 PM
$3.99 each movie is way too much...and only 24 hours...I don't think they want the :apple:tv to be successful

MacTheSpoon
Jan 9, 2008, 02:33 PM
I think they should offer some sort of subscription service; $20 a month for unlimited downloads. Sort of a digital-only Netflix.

nagromme
Jan 9, 2008, 02:34 PM
The 24-hour limit (if true, and if it counts from time-of-purchase rather than when you first click Play) is ridiculous, and certainly driven by the content owners rather than by Apple.

Still, I've wanted online rentals for a long time, and you have to start somewhere.

Question: I've never used Pay Per View. When you buy a PPV show, can you watch it more than 24 hours later?

I think they should offer some sort of subscription service; $20 a month for unlimited downloads. Sort of a digital-only Netflix.

That would be a great option for some. But for me, I prefer rental: I want to pay less for months when I watch less, and more when I occasionally watch a lot. I wish Netflix had a per-movie rental plan. Their selection can't be beat, but my movie habits vary and the subscription system was a poor fit for me.

And Netflix is never unlimited (if you read the fine print or Google "netflix throttling"), so I expect a $20 download plan would not be either. There would be some limit--and if I wanted to exceed that limit in a given month, then I'd be wishing again for per-movie rentals.

naroola
Jan 9, 2008, 02:35 PM
Does anybody here realize that you can start watching any movie you download from iTunes within 30 seconds to 1 minute after the download has commenced, i.e. while the download is going on in the background? So as far as "time of download" is concerned, it's only for the people who have slow internet connections. For those folks, the digital copy should be available on a physical DVDs (per the rumors). At least, that's the idea Steve is pushing for... I think.

saxman
Jan 9, 2008, 02:35 PM
This is a decent start. But I agree that 24 hours is too short. But if no one uses the service, then they will change it or drop it. I'm unlikely to use it anyway as my 12" PB screen is just a little small to have the family watch a movie

Xfujinon
Jan 9, 2008, 02:36 PM
Everyone must watch more movies than me. That, or people's patience is considerably thinner, and they want everything instantly regardless of the cost. Four dollars is way too expensive for me, but I accept that I am a borderline obsessive cheapskate.

I have seen *eleven* good movies from the time span of 2002 to today. Eleven. Maybe I am picky, but I have to wonder how many movies does the AVERAGE person watch per year in the US, Canada, Europe, etc. Then, how many of those do they feel compelled to outright purchase, presumably for watching over and over again. I rent movies from the local library (for free) only very rarely. When I purchase, I wait a couple of years and get them sporadically as I see them marked way down (recently picked up Gladiator from an estate sale for a buck, condition was essentially mint). Something about my monetary value system does not have space to spend twenty plus dollars on something I might realistically only watch a dozen times or less.

I guess I am out of this loop. I have no desire to participate in this marketplace when I can Handbrake the few media titles I do purchase. While the appeal of HD is real (for a few things like Planet Earth, etc.), I can't see the point for about 90% of media content being in HD. It is an attempt to plug merchandise when in reality not much of substance is being offered.

For instance: look at a film like the Simpsons Movie. Is this experience REALLY better in HD compared to regular DVD 720x480 experience? Is it the giant screens that seduce people, or the technological specifications of the boxes they buy to play the discs? I haven't noticed much difference, although as I previously mentioned, with rare exceptions such as Planet Earth I would want it no other way.

For what it's worth, I must be old-fashioned and insane. I PREFER above all else to physically possess that which I pay for. I don't like the idea of iTunes selling me phantom data bits; I want a physical disc I can place in a player. Now, I do eventually upload these onto my computer for convenience and consolidation, but somewhere in my home I know I have the solid item somewhere. I'll probably never escape this mentality, but the world marches on.

As for movies and media content available streaming over the internet, I do not deny that this is the future. However, based on the current state of things, I will probably sit this one out until the prices match my conceptualization of the value of the service being offered to me.

bacaramac
Jan 9, 2008, 02:37 PM
I liked the idea of netflix when I first got it, but no longer enjoy it. I have to wait for two weeks before I get new releases sometimes as there is always a long wait or a very long wait. The only way to ensure you get a new release when it comes out is to have it in your queue before everyone else and then plan when your going to return the DVD's to ensure they get it on the day you want the new release. Pathetic I think.

I know this is not Netflix competion, but fills the gaps.

bonforte
Jan 9, 2008, 02:37 PM
a) of course it will start playing almost immediately. This already works in iTunes for buying a movie.

b) having a bigger catalog than VoD with cable is a giant step forward. You could imagine that every piece of content in the video part of iTunes could be rented.

c) When you have multi-million dollar deals with people like Comcast, the studios are not ones to give Apple a better deal than others have. So, that is why Apple will likely have to do 24 hours from purchase (just like Comcast), but as it can start playing immediately, that is not as big a deal.

d) resolution, I would think, would be HD lite for some stuff. (720p). Apple likely would prefer not to pay bandwidth for 1080p, and it would make experience for many users very bad (it would have to really buffer to start the show).

e) VoD has a TERRIBLE time getting movies in a timely fashion. So, same time as DVD release may be something that Apple can get that Comcast didn't. It could be a technical limitation for Comcast, who knows. But for rental to be crazy popular, I am sure the area that Apple would hammer on the studios is for simul-release for DVDs and rental. Not sure why Comcast can't get this.

f) Wonder about pricing for TV shows. When you rent a season disc from a store, you get 5 episodes on one disk. This is too much to watch in 24 hours, but $3.99 per episode would be way too much. So I would think that $0.99/episode would be more appropriate.


just my 2¢. The biggest issue with dealing with content from big guys is that they put ridiculous rules on the content until a huge percentage of users are basically forced into breaking those rules. Only then do they wise up. Silly.

mactogo
Jan 9, 2008, 02:37 PM
Well its nice to have movie rentals on itunes but $3.99 for 24 hours? No, thanks. Each movie is like 1gb in size and its gonna take you two hours just to download it on your computer and you got 22 hours left. Blockbuster is still a better choice then.

crazedbytheheat
Jan 9, 2008, 02:39 PM
Question: I've never used Pay Per View. When you buy a PPV show, can you watch it more than 24 hours later?


Comcast limits me to 24 hours, plus I've had problems dropping from their servers and still losing the $4 with no movie. :mad: I would have called but every time we call about VOD the response is not very helpful.

!¡ V ¡!
Jan 9, 2008, 02:40 PM
In Norway the rental prices are at 16 to 20$ that is expensive, but 4dollars my God stop your damn whining....

People here always whine about something that they do not have the entire details on.

We don't even know if the movies will be streamed considering a lot of work has been done to make sure streaming HD content on QT is possible, plus with the release of a new version of iTunes it will support streaming and play as soon as it does.

Downloading a movie to a computer is stupid IMHO, however if you have an iTunes virtual account with the Web Space that .Mac has and add streaming with a 24 hour "web-ticket" then you can watch the movie anywhere and on many devices as you please.

Example:

Say you rent an iTunes movie and you are in LA and your family is in NY and have access to iTunes well either you or them can order the movie and view the movie in a 24 hour span as many times as you want from your iTunes account.

Unlike NetFlix you are limited to one workstation.

Apple has put a lot of work into the iPhone, iTouch, mobile system and streaming HD to phones etc.... gee I wonder why?

chicagostars
Jan 9, 2008, 02:40 PM
If the scheme isn't attractive, the choice is yours to not rent movies via iTunes. I agree that the price seems high compared to other sources, especially without any extras, etc. I do wonder though: how many people who rent NEW movies via a physical Blockbuster or similar source have/take the time to view the DVD extras within their alloted rental period? Even with Netflix, I often don't take time for the extra material, opting to return films to receive more. If I like the movie enough and am really interested in immersing myself in the extras, I purchase the DVD. (I don't own a lot of DVDs.)

What are the viewing habits of other people out there? What's most important to you in a movie rental service? Selection? (both number of movies and studios) DVD extras? SD vs HD? Rental period length? Price point?

porky
Jan 9, 2008, 02:41 PM
What's the fuzz about?? In Belgium we have digital tv, we order movies, series, etc true our Digital decorder and it starts in 5 seconds! Don't they have that in the US? And it's also only for 24 hours, what i think is reasonable.

!¡ V ¡!
Jan 9, 2008, 02:41 PM
Comcast limits me to 24 hours, plus I've had problems dropping from their servers and still losing the $4 with no movie. :mad: I would have called but every time we call about VOD the response is not very helpful.

What if the movie is only downloaded to your iTunes account and not your physical computer, then you lose nothing if your connection times out and you can play it in real-time. :)

bonforte
Jan 9, 2008, 02:43 PM
If you want to see the deal that Apple will offer, I am sure that Vudu.com basically got the same deal. This is what they offer:

VuDu's offer:
1) $0.99 to $4.99 per rental, TV shows are $1.99 (steep)
2) HD for some releases
3) "Thousands of movies"
4) When you hit "rent" movie is downloaded and can start playing immediately (if you have 3Mbs or better). The movie is stored on your machine for 30 days. When you hit "play", you have 24 hours to finish the movie.
5) We offer HD content when the studios give it to us.

ju5tin81
Jan 9, 2008, 02:43 PM
Everyone is rather assuming that Apple will go down the 'Download and keep' route, rather than the pay to access time restricted "BBC iPlayer": a 'Youtube type' flash style movie web page... That would solve the time waiting and DRM issue wouldn't it?

pjarvi
Jan 9, 2008, 02:44 PM
Well its nice to have movie rentals on itunes but $3.99 for 24 hours? No, thanks. Each movie is like 1gb in size and its gonna take you two hours just to download it on your computer and you got 22 hours left. Blockbuster is still a better choice then.

You do not lose 2 hours to downloading the movie. You can start watching the movie once it has buffered a portion of it (i'm not sure exactly what the amount is). This typically takes 5-10 minutes. So, you will only have to wait no more than 5-10 minutes before you can begin watching the movie. Assuming you have at least a 1.5-3Mb, reliable, internet connection.

The pricing is equal to market prices for rentals elsewhere. It is only shocking since it's 40% of the price Apple charges to buy a movie.

Leaving only 2 big questions: Will all of the movies available to rent, also be avilable to buy, and at what price?

drater
Jan 9, 2008, 02:44 PM
I'm sorry, I love you Apple, but $4? For a movie I can get on-demand and watch on my big screen, in HD. I don't know, they ARE taking a step in the right direction, and I can only assume that there was an AWESOME meeting with the movie studios, who were not trying to capitalize on this like crazy. We'll see how it works out.

nagromme
Jan 9, 2008, 02:45 PM
Well its nice to have movie rentals on itunes but $3.99 for 24 hours? No, thanks. Each movie is like 1gb in size and its gonna take you two hours just to download it on your computer and you got 22 hours left. Blockbuster is still a better choice then.

This doesn't need to replace Blockbuster or Netflix or anything else: it's a NEW option, with benefits those options don't have. Home delivery with a wait of seconds/minutes/hours rather than days in the postal system. And no gas/hassle of going to the physical store (which may or may not have a copy left of what you want). And iTunes' easy searching, of course. People will still use libraries/rental stores/Netflix--those have their own advantages. But people will use this too.

I want online rentals. But that doesn't mean I am compelled to give up all other video sources. I'll enjoy it all.

As for 2 hour download waits--you're forgetting streaming. If a movie can be downloaded in less time than it takes to watch it, then you can start immediately. If it downloads a little slower than it takes to watch, then you can start a little later--but it need not be a full 2 hours later. iTunes can tell you when it's ready.

(Online movie rentals are obviously not practical for most people with slow/dialup Internet.)

As for the price... $4 is about my average from Netflix (plans and habits vary), and about average for my local stores too. If I must trade quality and special features for convenience, then that will reduce my number of iTunes rentals. But there will still be times when I have $4 of desire to see a movie without getting in the car, and I'll be glad to have the option.

I really don't care that much about HD quality for rentals. I want HD for the (VERY rare) titles I would own. And for certain "special" movies or planned movie events with lots of friends or something. But for a casual night of viewing on the spur of the moment? Near-DVD (as iTunes TV shows now are) is fine. Anything better is icing on the cake. I watch TV all the time at lower res than iTunes.

Meanwhile, it's all just a FIRST step, not a LAST step. HD and special features and more selection will all come one day. Apple can only push the content owners so fast.

kjr39
Jan 9, 2008, 02:45 PM
*YAWN*

Netflix, Blockbuster, Microsoft, & every cable provider in the world does this already.

And if it is not in HD and 5.1 sound, who cares...

Another "service" from Apple that I won't be using.

!¡ V ¡!
Jan 9, 2008, 02:46 PM
If you want to see the deal that Apple will offer, I am sure that Vudu.com basically got the same deal. This is what they offer:

VuDu's offer:
1) $0.99 to $4.99 per rental, TV shows are $1.99 (steep)
2) HD for some releases
3) "Thousands of movies"
4) When you hit "rent" movie is downloaded and can start playing immediately (if you have 3Mbs or better). The movie is stored on your machine for 30 days. When you hit "play", you have 24 hours to finish the movie.
5) We offer HD content when the studios give it to us.

Pointless to download a movie to your computer when you are limited to the number of workstations you can view it on, everyone does not want an AppleTV.

Plus why download it when there is the risk of time-outs and streaming content is available NOW.

Why would Apple focus its AirPort Extreme for streaming and AppleTV when they don't plan on utilizing streaming HD content, while also releasing the iPhone and iTouch that has a wider-screen for guess what movies. :)

pedz
Jan 9, 2008, 02:47 PM
This is all speculation. Everyone labeling it a failure already are really making predictions on very little info. We will see next week. Everyone has their own view on it and it will work for some and not others, but remember, apples target is not the tech geeks, it is the general population (though they wouldn't mind word of mounth from the tech geeks). The general population is not as picky as the tech geeks are and will always welcome convenience. The one thing I am not sure about is if people will be willing to buy an apple tv just to get this since watching it on a computer screen is not going to sell it to the general population.

I am keen on it for the following reasons:
- I already have an apple tv and would buy one if I didn't (i am assuming this will work with it).
- I hate going to the video store, never have what I want.
- I enjoy netflix but surprisingly find that there are many days where I want to watch something, but not one of the three I have from netflix.
- Don't mind $4 as VOD and other rentals (outside of subscriptions) are the same.
- I don't like the 24 hour rule but can live with it.
- As long as I can start watching it in a half hour or less that is real-time enough for me.
- I would like HD, but DVD quality would suffice (unfortunately they are not even at that yet). So some improvement is required here.

I will keep netflix for the independent movies and other missing movies. But love the idea of picking a movie and watching it that same evening.

Apple is good at building products that meet the most important needs of the customer but fall short in areas that end up not being deal breakers for the average consumer. Let's see if they got it right here.

!¡ V ¡!
Jan 9, 2008, 02:49 PM
Everyone is rather assuming that Apple will go down the 'Download and keep' route, rather than the pay to access time restricted "BBC iPlayer": a 'Youtube type' flash style movie web page... That would solve the time waiting and DRM issue wouldn't it?

iTMS is that webpage, this is pretty much what I have been saying. Why download when you can access it via the server and the content will be streamed to as many devices you have and anywhere in the world. That could also explain why Apple is inviting the Euro-Press to this event.

Streaming movies and music, cut the red tape and you have access that is local to the US and can be accessed worldwide.

bommai
Jan 9, 2008, 02:49 PM
This will flop as hard, maybe even harder than AppleTV IMHO.

One of the biggest problems with digital delivery of movie rentals and the like is most people would like to watch movies on their home theater system with their expensive big screen HDTV, surround sound system, etc. etc.

How in god's name, APART from spending an additional $300 on AppleTV, can people do this with iTunes Rentals? I'm no way in hell paying $4 to rent a movie I can watch on my laptop/PC monitor...that's as lame as can be.

One of the reasons Xbox Video Marketplace has taken off as it has is because the Xbox360 is already hooked up to your home theater in high-def with 5.1 audio so you can download a movie rental and watch it, no additional cost.

Also brings into question for someone who has nothing, they can spend $300 on an AppleTV or $400 on an Xbox 360 that will do more than just play movies/music.

I'm sure the Apple faitful and all 10 AppleTV owners will jump at this but I think for most people this will be Apple's 2008 mistake.

You keep complaining about the limitation of watching on a small computer screen and about Apple TV. AppleTV allows you to watch it on your big screen. While, Apple has not sold millions of AppleTVs, I believe they have sold about 400,000 of them (me included :)

Rentals will succeed if the following happens

1) Big selection
2) Reasonable price ($2.99 is better than $3.99)
3) Fast downloads with no ISP throttling!!
4) At least 720x480, True 5.1 surround. This is what most people watch.
5) 24 hours to watch after starting to watch, not after downloading.
6) Ability to buy it directly from AppleTV, no need to go to computer. No need to even own a computer.

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 02:50 PM
anyone know why the price point is $4?

Because that's what the cost from the studios dictates. Amazon is $4 for new releases. On demand as well. Is anyone else offering downloaded movies for much cheaper than that?

When I first read about this rumour, I too, thought about this. Seems like a bigger effort to download than going to your local store.

Bigger effort? Nah. Sure, it may take longer depending on your connection, but the "effort" is just a couple clicks, then sync your iPod or aTV. Is downloading iTunes music more effort than driving to the store?

Why are you excited about this? What does it give you that you do not already have at the same price? Are you unfortunate enough to not have a video rental store less than five minutes from your house? If so, where do you live? And, again, if so, is your DSL/Cable connection fast enough that downloading a movie will work for you?

You answered your own question. It gives you the convenience of not leaving your house. It gives you the availability of movies that your local shop may not have in store. And it provides an option to netflix users whose dvd's are in transit or get the impulse to watch something that wasn't at the top of the queue.

If you really want to see movie X, and the iTunes store carries it while your local store doesn't, what's so bad about having this option?

The ONLY time this would be better is if you absolutely HAD to watch a low resolution movie on your iPhone IMMEDIATELY instead of getting the DVD the next day.

You can watch content on a TV instead of just an ipod...and who knows if the resolution won't get upped when they release this?

kjr39
Jan 9, 2008, 02:50 PM
This is all speculation. Everyone labeling it a failure already are really making predictions on very little info.

Welcome to Macrumors...

dizastor
Jan 9, 2008, 02:52 PM
I hope there's also a subscription model.

That would make it a rental by mail killer for me.

Cooknn
Jan 9, 2008, 02:52 PM
To compete with Netflix and Blockbuster they need to come up with reasonable monthly subscriptions. $4 per movie is too steep. I don't do VOD from Comcast for that very reason.

elcid
Jan 9, 2008, 02:52 PM
I would like to see how this will be implemented. We have seen time and time before that even if something is streaming that if you are watching it on your computer someone will be bound to turn it into a regular file that you can save (myTunes, ourTunes, ripping off Pandora.com)

Personally I don't find a problem other than the fact I have to watch it on TV. 4 bucks doesnt bother me and I am 100% sure that the 24 hours begins after you begin the movie. I really dont know how many people really want to watch a movie mulitple times in 3 days but I know I pop it out and send it back when I am done.

zedsdead
Jan 9, 2008, 02:53 PM
Considering the recent iPods and iPhone now support 720x480 at high bit rates Apple may at least up the resolution on their "near DVD quality" to "dvd quality." Still would like to get 720p content or even 540p.

nagromme
Jan 9, 2008, 02:54 PM
My Mac IS my TV. No need for AppleTV. I ditched my TV when I got my 24" iMac, added EyeTV, and never looked back :) I will never own a dedicated TV again. (Though I may get some kind of big screen/projector to use with my Mac, for video and gaming.)

paquetja
Jan 9, 2008, 02:54 PM
they probably settled on these parameters because they are identical to most video on demand (VOD) settings. You get the movie for 24 hours from the minute you purchase it, regardless of when you start watching it and its $3.99 a movie. The truth is that we use it all the time and the only limitation is the number of movies available (maybe 50 total at a time). If I had blockbuster selection, I would happily do all my movie watching this way. Of course, I'd rather have the option of 1 complete view rather than a time limit (although I've only re-rented a movie because time ran out once), but its mostly fine this way.

The big questions are (a) what will the selection be like, (b) how long with the download process take (c) what will the resolution of the movies be and (d) do you have to wait until the end of the download to start watching. If the answer to 'd' is yes, then the 24 hours might be much more annoying. With VOD, you can start watching right away as it downloads.

All in all, its pretty exciting. I like owning music which I listen to repeatedly, but there are virtually no movies that I need to see more than once.[/QUOTE]

I completely agree. VOD is popular here in the good ol' north, and movies cost 3-6$ for a 24 hour viewing period. It's DVD quality and you can watch it right away. So at a 4$ price point, it's reasonable ONLY if it's DVD quality and the 24 hour period starts after the download is complete.

Seems reasonable to me. But if it's below DVD quality and the 24 hour period isn't really 24 hours, then no one will use this service.

But it's a step in the right direction, and hopefully will come to Canada before global warming melts all the ice up here ;)

b1wils1
Jan 9, 2008, 02:55 PM
i think it's a good thing. even if the conditions don't meet all of the expectations of the masses now, they should activate the thing, and let it find it's way much like the music store has.

EagerDragon
Jan 9, 2008, 02:56 PM
As the parent of a young child, I fall asleep halfway through movies pretty often, even if they are good. Why can't I get it for 2-3 days, like I could in the old days when we rented physical media?

100% with you, now days is difficult to get the entire family to sit an watch a movie from begining to end, something always comes up.

Some member of this site do think that is a personnal problem, I guess they don't have a family.

HyperZboy
Jan 9, 2008, 02:56 PM
RedBox at McDonalds is $1 a day. RedBox is even at many grocery stores and Walmart locations.

I seriously doubt I'll consider spending $3 MORE for 24 hours considering the McDonald's is walking distance from my house!

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, geez, what a rip-off.
This idea is gonna sink like a rock.

JasonElise1983
Jan 9, 2008, 02:57 PM
"Atonement". Liked it but fell asleep 90 minutes into it. "There Will Be Blood." The movie came on 2 different DVDs it was so long. It took me 2 nights.
512ke


Where exactly did you get these DVDs? They aren't released yet....hmmmm....

-JE

jackc
Jan 9, 2008, 02:59 PM
The 24 hours doesn't bother me too much, but unless Apple TV comes down in price significantly I don't see how it can really take off.

But what do I know?

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 03:02 PM
How in god's name, APART from spending an additional $300 on AppleTV, can people do this with iTunes Rentals?

iPod to TV via cable. I've been doing this for months, and it works great.

EagerDragon
Jan 9, 2008, 03:02 PM
Sigh. $4 for a single day is Way Too High.

I hate to join the historically incorrect ranks of Apple nay-sayers here, but IMHO this can not succeed. Certainly, I can't envision ever taking advantage of this. I'd rather rent a real disk at the corner, rent it via mail, or just plain buy it. Offering a less-frills option at the same cost as the mid-range-frills options with no convenience benefits is just plain stupid.

I am seriously disappointed in Apple here, should these reports prove true. Jobs should have walked away if this is what the studios were demanding, let them fail at their over-priced schemes, then come back six months later to save the day. Worked well with music!

I may rent once via this service just to try it, but I rather go to RebBook and get a DVD for $0.99 per day. Some of us don't have our behind glued to the couch and don't mind picking a physical disk with all the extras from the store on the way home.

Agreed, $3.99 for a day is way too expensive.

freeny
Jan 9, 2008, 03:03 PM
No need to return the videos and no late fees.

sounds good to me :)

bommai
Jan 9, 2008, 03:05 PM
My Mac IS my TV. No need for AppleTV. I ditched my TV when I got my 24" iMac, added EyeTV, and never looked back :) I will never own a dedicated TV again. (Though I may get some kind of big screen/projector to use with my Mac, for video and gaming.)

I have a 24" 2.8 GHz iMac too, but 24" is not big enough for me (even though it is full 1920x1200 resolution). I have my computer just to the side of my entertainment system. I have a DVI to HDMI cable connecting my mac to my 61" 1080p TV. I also have a mini toslink to toslink optical cable connecting my mac to my receiver. So, I have a 61" Mac screen for Front Row, eyeTV, hulu.com, etc. Very convenient. I also have a PS3 for Bluray.

bonforte
Jan 9, 2008, 03:05 PM
It has to download. It will "stream" when it has enough to start, but it will certainly download. Here is why:

1) Apple doesn't want to pay to download files 4x, etc. In efficient
2) Streaming is much more expensive (you have to send all the content to Akami servers and Akami bandwidth is 5x more than just standard stuff.
3) What if I want it on my iPod? have to have it downloaded
4) Apple TV is not needed. Just iTunes. These movies can work on anything you can use with iTunes (iphone, Mac, ipod, appleTV)
5) Also, 30 days with 24 hours from moment of start means you can "take it with you" on your iPod or iPhone. That is a no brainer.

Jetson
Jan 9, 2008, 03:05 PM
In Norway the rental prices are at 16 to 20$ that is expensive, but 4dollars my God stop your damn whining....
I hope you are kidding.

Otherwise calling my reasonable opinion "whining" and your needless, emotional cursing shows you to be 2 fries short of a Happy Meal.

:rolleyes:

freeny
Jan 9, 2008, 03:05 PM
iPod to TV via cable. I've been doing this for months, and it works great.

I agree.

jeremy.king
Jan 9, 2008, 03:07 PM
So nobody uses Unbox (http://www.amazon.com/unbox)? These rumored terms are exactly the same as Amazon's (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=atv_dp_cs_use?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200026970).

Good to see competition.

bonforte
Jan 9, 2008, 03:08 PM
The reason redbox is cheaper is because the selection is so bad. You can rent movies for $0.99 (like older releases at Hollywood Video), but the selection is limited. The newest releases accont for 80-90% of rentals at a Blockbuster). At NetFlix, it is more like 40%. So for Apple, they will have a great selection (not as good as NetFlix, but better than VoD by an order of magnitude).

And you can put it on your iPhone, etc. And you can have 10 ready to go, on your mac. No problem, just need to watch it within 30 days of renting...and 24 hours from "playing".

Porchland
Jan 9, 2008, 03:08 PM
Sigh. $4 for a single day is Way Too High.

I hate to join the historically incorrect ranks of Apple nay-sayers here, but IMHO this can not succeed. Certainly, I can't envision ever taking advantage of this. I'd rather rent a real disk at the corner, rent it via mail, or just plain buy it. Offering a less-frills option at the same cost as the mid-range-frills options with no convenience benefits is just plain stupid.

I am seriously disappointed in Apple here, should these reports prove true. Jobs should have walked away if this is what the studios were demanding, let them fail at their over-priced schemes, then come back six months later to save the day. Worked well with music!

$3.99 for 24 hours is exactly what Comcast charges for on-demand movies -- and Comcast actually charges more ($5.99, I think) for HD movies. Is it too much to ask for you to actually watch a two-hour movie with the first 24 hours after you sit down and press play?

I have not seen any rumors or reports of movies being available in HD, but that would make a nice little surprise.

freeny
Jan 9, 2008, 03:08 PM
5) Also, 30 days with 24 hours from moment of start means you can "take it with you" on your iPod or iPhone. That is a no brainer.

I watch movies during my commute to and from work. I have about a half hour+ to watch. At times it will take me a few days to get through a whole movie. 24 hours is no good.

Im not buying the "24 hour time limit" rumor
waiting to see next week...

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 03:10 PM
RedBox at McDonalds is $1 a day.

And they have a selection that is way more limited than anything else. How many titles are available at any given time? Just looking at redbox.com gives me a headache, seriously, no way to just type in a movie title?

Some of us want more options than just the latest releases. iTunes rental isn't really competing with redbox, but then again, it doesn't really need to.

crackermac
Jan 9, 2008, 03:11 PM
This is all a ploy to get everyone hyped up and pissed off so they can make it look so much better at MacWorld with 720 and $0.99/day rentals. :)

kaos
Jan 9, 2008, 03:12 PM
For anything > 1 movie a month, Netflix absolutely kills Apple here. I'm pretty sure for $4.99 a month Netflix gives you 2 DVDs (i.e. far better quality than iTunes) plus 5 hours of downloaded film.

So, Netflix offers vastly greater selection, much higher quality via DVD if you deal with the mail transport, and even more downloaded film time.

brad.c
Jan 9, 2008, 03:12 PM
Another vote against the 24HR limit, but should Apple fail to think different on this one, my vote will be with my money. It's not whining, its reality for a lot of people. You either have kids or time, rarely both.

hayesk
Jan 9, 2008, 03:14 PM
As the parent of a young child, I fall asleep halfway through movies pretty often, even if they are good. Why can't I get it for 2-3 days, like I could in the old days when we rented physical media?

Hmm... you either have a medical condition or scheduling issues. I too have a young child, but I can stay awake for more than two hours after he has gone to bed. Heck, that's when I get things done! Watching movies is one of them.

MacHipster
Jan 9, 2008, 03:15 PM
With my local rental chains offereing two films for 99 cents for several day rentals or Netflix offering $17.99 per month for a couple dozen rentals, $3.99 is too steep for me, I'm afraid.

hayesk
Jan 9, 2008, 03:15 PM
By the sound of this 24 hour rental is seems the clock starts ticking when you hit the "Play" button.

Apple and Company figure that once you start a movie 24 hours is ample time to watch the remainder.

Typically it takes no more than the length of a movie to watch it. And who really wants to watch a movie in pieces - they typically aren't episodic like TV shows.

tarkeybear
Jan 9, 2008, 03:16 PM
I'm cheap and agree with most everybody else here.
I would rather spend 20 minutes picking up a DVD at Hollywood video, then waiting 3 hours for a download, BUT...

What drives me nuts about the brick & mortar video stores is their limited inventory.
New releases are always checked out AND
Classic obscure titles aren't stocked because the turn over is too slow to pay for shelf space.

I don't subscribe to Netflix, but I would assume Netflix can handle the obscure titles, but they can't provide "instant gratification"

If iTunes movie rentals can play as they download and sync up to Apple TV, then maybe this may not be so painful (except for price).

I would happily pay $2 for 24hrs, but $4; well, the library offering better be pretty rich...

andy721
Jan 9, 2008, 03:16 PM
This is so pointless, when everyone gets movies b4 it hits to DVD for the consumers, people take them off the production line & make torrents out of them for people to burn to dvd.
Stop it apple its not happening.

Lone Deranger
Jan 9, 2008, 03:17 PM
If it's indeed $3.99 for 24hrs then this better not be the 'One more thing...' Wouldn't want to end the keynote with a collective groan from the audience. :eek:

Now where's that ultra thin MBP!? :D

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 03:18 PM
It gives me the convenience of iTunes. As I do not have a car, and the nearest Blockbuster is a 35 min roundtrip BUS ride costing me money anyways, being able to use iTunes, and my laptop as the media player, makes this amazing. It is the connivence and the fact that these studios are boosting Apple, not snubbing them. There are many times late at night I wish I could watch movie, but cannot get to Blockbuster to rent it. This isn't necessarily to compete against brick and mortar stores, or netflix; it's to compete against internet DL's that snub a superior format and a superior media player. Go Apple!

Hmm. Not having a car sucks. I can see that being a compelling argument in major downtown areas (NYC, downtown Boston or Chicago, etc), and in college dorms. And I suppose the impulsive-viewing insomniac crowd isn't left with many options.

Is that the sole market here? Because, I can tell you, there's the whole rest of the US which has access to vehicles and corner video stores (which at least in my area pretty much never run out of videos). There, the competition is cheap, convenient access to physical media, and $4 for a very short-term rental just does not compete.

And, again, how will it compete in a world where the price is the same as VOD, the selection is presumably the same (I don't use cable's VOD services either so I can't say there), and the convenience is no better? PLUS it requires a separately-purchased device (:apple:TV) to view on something besides your computer screen?

What is the consumer need this meets?

hayesk
Jan 9, 2008, 03:20 PM
The attitudes here are incredible. "It doesn't meet my needs so it is doomed to fail." How arrogant people must be to believe everyone else's habits must match their own.

- many people can watch a movie in less than 24 hours.
- many people find going to the video store inconvenient, no matter how close it is
- many people don't like the waiting required by Netflix, and that is if they want to rent two movies in a month
- many people don't have HD DVDs so don't require HD movies

This service is not for everyone, granted. But to say it is doomed is a bit premature.

mobilehavoc
Jan 9, 2008, 03:21 PM
I have a 24" 2.8 GHz iMac too, but 24" is not big enough for me (even though it is full 1920x1200 resolution). I have my computer just to the side of my entertainment system. I have a DVI to HDMI cable connecting my mac to my 61" 1080p TV. I also have a mini toslink to toslink optical cable connecting my mac to my receiver. So, I have a 61" Mac screen for Front Row, eyeTV, hulu.com, etc. Very convenient. I also have a PS3 for Bluray.

My Mac IS my TV. No need for AppleTV. I ditched my TV when I got my 24" iMac, added EyeTV, and never looked back :) I will never own a dedicated TV again. (Though I may get some kind of big screen/projector to use with my Mac, for video and gaming.)

I personally believe you are both exceptions and that a majority of people don't have their Macs hooked up to their home theater (audio/video) nor do they use their Macs as their only TV.

The way I see it, why should I spend $4 for an iTunes rental when I can get VOD from my cable company, through Xbox Live, Netflix, Blockbuster that will all easily work on my HDTV, 7.1 surround system???

If you own an AppleTV this is an option but I think for people like me, there are too many hurdles to overcome in order to use this iTunes rental service.

Also I believe it's 24 hours after you first start the movie...

levitynyc
Jan 9, 2008, 03:21 PM
If it's indeed $3.99 for 24hrs then this better not be the 'One more thing...' Wouldn't want to end the keynote with a collective groan from the audience. :eek:

Now where's that ultra thin MBP!? :D

I would love to see someone throw a tomato or something on stage after the 3.99 announcement.

riverfreak
Jan 9, 2008, 03:21 PM
First, there is no substantive proof that the cost will be $4/rental and that the rental period will be 24 hours. It's a moot point until the details are known.

Second, there are many comparisons to Blockbuster/Netflix/VOD, etc. But has anyone heard what Comcast is up to? Comcast with 25 million subscribers is already connected to people's TVs. And now they have fancast.com, a website that offers (currently) limited TV shows and movies. They plan to expand these offerings to include essentially *any* content that they can get their hands on. It should be noted that Comcast is the largest purchaser of content worldwide.

What's more, the fancast.com site promises to interact with your DVR. Let's say you are traveling and want to set a show to record. You'll be able to do it directly through the website. Further, Comcast has higher speed broadband in the works that they are rolling out to millions of homes this year that will make it actually feasible to download, say, a movie in a reasonable time.

I'd love to see Apple succeed at this venture. But more so, I'd like to see the technology become better AND cheaper. There are many players rushing into the game. I'm not certain shoehorning movie rentals into iTunes is going to be a wonder hit unless there is some other catch.

Note: I'm not affiliated with Comcast but I've been reading about them a bit recently. Seems Wall Street is skeptical of them since they're subscriber share isn't really growing much anymore. IE people are looking for innovation...

mobilehavoc
Jan 9, 2008, 03:24 PM
$3.99 for 24 hours is exactly what Comcast charges for on-demand movies -- and Comcast actually charges more ($5.99, I think) for HD movies. Is it too much to ask for you to actually watch a two-hour movie with the first 24 hours after you sit down and press play?

I have not seen any rumors or reports of movies being available in HD, but that would make a nice little surprise.

True but Comcast and cable companies also offer premium channels on demand in HD. i.e. If you have HBO/MAX/SHO/STRZ already you can watch any movies/content from them on demand and quite a few of it is in HD.

We have Netflix for new movies and for impulse moments, we just browse the premium channel catalog on Comcast and watch something FOR FREE! (not including the monthly cable bill I pay anyway).

nagromme
Jan 9, 2008, 03:28 PM
RedBox at McDonalds is $1 a day. RedBox is even at many grocery stores and Walmart locations.

I seriously doubt I'll consider spending $3 MORE for 24 hours considering the McDonald's is walking distance from my house!

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, geez, what a rip-off.
This idea is gonna sink like a rock.

Are you suggesting that most of the population lives in walking distance from a RedBox, doesn't care about weather, and doesn't mind RedBox's minimal selection? :) I live in a major city, and would sometimes use RedBox if there was one really close. But there isn't.

I watch movies during my commute to and from work. I have about a half hour+ to watch. At times it will take me a few days to get through a whole movie. 24 hours is no good.

Im not buying the "24 hour time limit" rumor
waiting to see next week...

I take ALL of these details--even the very existence of rentals--until they are official. But meanwhile, many people make the mistake of assuming that THEIR needs/wants are exactly the same as everyone else's. For example, while I do hope Apple persuades the content owners to ditch the 24-hour limit, I still think the venture can succeed even if they lose the half-hour-a-day commuter movie market.

I don't want subscriptions (neither online nor Netflix-style). But that doesn't mean subscriptions shouldn't exist and are doomed. I don't speak for the whole market. Why do people who don't want iTunes rentals (which I DO want) assume that they speak for the whole market?

For anything > 1 movie a month, Netflix absolutely kills Apple here. I'm pretty sure for $4.99 a month Netflix gives you 2 DVDs (i.e. far better quality than iTunes) plus 5 hours of downloaded film.

So, Netflix offers vastly greater selection, much higher quality via DVD if you deal with the mail transport, and even more downloaded film time.

I look forward to Netflix's download service improving one day. That, or per-movie rentals, might bring me back to Netflix. In the meantime, though, Netflix's selection for downloads is limited (as iTunes will likely also be for the timing being). It's nowhere near their whole library. And it's Microsoft-based and incompatible with Macs. (I'm aware that may change, and I hope it does.)

And again, don't assume your wants are the same as everyone's. Some people, sometimes, want to watch a movie NOW. Mail doesn't provide that.

Netflix is a great option. So is RedBox. So are local video stores and libraries. So are PPV and VOD. So are Microsoft-based download services. So are street jugglers.

We don't have to give those up--and Apple doesn't have to drive them out of business--in order for iTunes downloads to be a nice option that many people WILL appreciate having.

page3
Jan 9, 2008, 03:28 PM
Apple, please show some reasonably priced rental love in the UK,

$3.99 / 2 = £1.99

HOWEVER, this is apple - my guess £2.99

+VAT = £2.35

I guess £2.79!

DotComCTO
Jan 9, 2008, 03:30 PM
...appears to be the exact same thing as Amazon's Unbox:

"When you choose to rent an Amazon Unbox video, your access to view the file is limited by the rental license agreement in our Unbox Video: Terms of Use. After you rent and download an Amazon Unbox Video to a compatible computer or TiVo DVR, you will have a limited period of time in which to begin viewing it. That period is 30 days unless otherwise specified on the product detail page for the Unbox Video rental. After you begin playing an Amazon Unbox Video, you will have 24 hours to complete viewing it. After these expiration times, the Amazon Unbox Video will automatically be deleted from your computer or TiVo DVR. Rented Unbox videos are not available for re-download from Your Media Library."

What is the difference between renting and purchasing Unbox videos? (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=3748&#renting)

Amazon's pricing is generally $3.99 per movie (some are $2.99).

So, it's no surprise that Apple is following this approach.

:cool:

--DotComCTO

Jetson
Jan 9, 2008, 03:30 PM
I think this is a good thing too.

However the proposed service as I understand the description it doesn't bode well for all the reasons many in here have pointed out.

At least it's a start and knowing Apple, they will make it work really well over time, unless the plug gets pulled for some reason. iTunes is an excellent way to shop for movies - better than Blockbuster because you can watch a trailer or clip before you buy.

I would love to be able to simply rent a high definition movie (not sub-DVD resolution) and keep it for a few days. I'd also like the option to buy the movie. And I'd like a competitive price and not have to wait 5 hours for it to download.

This service as it is isn't ready for prime time. But it's promising.

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 03:30 PM
Hmm. Not having a car sucks. I can see that being a compelling argument in major downtown areas (NYC, downtown Boston or Chicago, etc), and in college dorms. And I suppose the impulsive-viewing insomniac crowd isn't left with many options.

Is that the sole market here? Because, I can tell you, there's the whole rest of the US which has access to vehicles and corner video stores (which at least in my area pretty much never run out of videos). There, the competition is cheap, convenient access to physical media, and $4 for a very short-term rental just does not compete.

The sole market? Nah. What about if you want a title that iTunes has but none of your local stores have in stock?

And, again, how will it compete in a world where the price is the same as VOD, the selection is presumably the same (I don't use cable's VOD services either so I can't say there), and the convenience is no better? PLUS it requires a separately-purchased device (:apple:TV) to view on something besides your computer screen?

Because the selection has the potential to be better, and you can't get VOD if you don't have cable. And while it does require another device to watch on a TV, that device can be an iPod. Apple sold a few of those, didn't they?

The way I see it, why should I spend $4 for an iTunes rental when I can get VOD from my cable company, through Xbox Live, Netflix, Blockbuster that will all easily work on my HDTV, 7.1 surround system???


The way I see it, why should I spend $$$ every month on cable when I can get a rental from iTunes for $4? Just playing devil's advocate. And as for aTV, see the iPod mention above...

nagromme
Jan 9, 2008, 03:32 PM
I personally believe you are both exceptions and that a majority of people don't have their Macs hooked up to their home theater (audio/video) nor do they use their Macs as their only TV.

The way I see it, why should I spend $4 for an iTunes rental when I can get VOD from my cable company, through Xbox Live, Netflix, Blockbuster that will all easily work on my HDTV, 7.1 surround system???

If you own an AppleTV this is an option but I think for people like me, there are too many hurdles to overcome in order to use this iTunes rental service.

Also I believe it's 24 hours after you first start the movie...

Yes, we're the exception (I don't even have cable--it's a rip-off). As are you, with your Xbox Live movie habits and 7.1 surround. We who are discussing this rumor have all kinds of setups and habits that are not "majority." But for people who are NOT like you (or me for that matter), there will often be an answer for "why should I spend $4 for an iTunes rental." Convenience. Which means getting it now, or getting it on their laptop, or getting it on their iPod, or getting it with Apple-style quick-search ease, or getting it on their Mac and free of Microsoft, or getting it at ALL, if they don't have those other options you enjoy. You don't need or want this service. Others do. Nothing wrong with either group :)

I hope your 24-hours-after-start guess is correct. That makes good sense to me.

And since this is the FIRST step, not the last, it doesn't have to appeal to everyone, nor the majority of people. (iTunes music downloads sure didn't, and that was a success.) It just has to provide a useful enough option to enough people to be worth the offering. With Apple ease of use and the iPod link, that sounds easy to achieve, to me. And it will improve from there.

!¡ V ¡!
Jan 9, 2008, 03:34 PM
The attitudes here are incredible. "It doesn't meet my needs so it is doomed to fail." How arrogant people must be to believe everyone else's habits must match their own.

- many people can watch a movie in less than 24 hours.
- many people find going to the video store inconvenient, no matter how close it is
- many people don't like the waiting required by Netflix, and that is if they want to rent two movies in a month
- many people don't have HD DVDs so don't require HD movies

This service is not for everyone, granted. But to say it is doomed is a bit premature.

Some of these people said the same thing about the "iPod" before it was even released. :eek:

And then also said who needs WiFi, internet access and movies, tv shows on an iPod. :eek:

Same people said that a shuffle without a screen would spell doom for Apple. :eek:

People always overreact. :D

mobilehavoc
Jan 9, 2008, 03:35 PM
The sole market? Nah. What about if you want a title that iTunes has but none of your local stores have in stock?



Because the selection has the potential to be better, and you can't get VOD if you don't have cable. And while it does require another device to watch on a TV, that device can be an iPod. Apple sold a few of those, didn't they?



The way I see it, why should I spend $$$ every month on cable when I can get a rental from iTunes for $4? Just playing devil's advocate. And as for aTV, see the iPod mention above...

Wait, wait a sec. You're suggesting using an iPod to watch iTunes Rentals on your home theater in lieu of AppleTV??? That'll be great, why didn't I think of that? After iTunes finishes compressing the movie down to fit the iPod screen and then your iPod outputs it at 480i or 480p with stereo audio!!! Totally worth it. :rolleyes:

From Apple's site: http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?productLearnMore=MB128LL/A


"Note: Component video output to television is supported by iPod nano (third generation) and iPod classic at 480p or 576p resolution, and by iPod touch and iPhone at 480i or 576i resolution."

nagromme
Jan 9, 2008, 03:36 PM
Some of these people said the same thing about the "iPod" before it was even released. :eek:

And then also said who needs WiFi, internet access and movies, tv shows on an iPod. :eek:

Same people also said that a shuffle without a screen would spell doom for Apple. :eek:

People always overreact. :D

Don't make me do it :)
Thread 500: http://www.google.com/search?q=thread+500

pagansoul
Jan 9, 2008, 03:37 PM
24 hours is ridiculous and I can't think people would be stupid enough to pay 4 bucks for a movie rental that is probably gonna take 3 hours alone to download and only last 1 day! It takes less time and less money to go to the Blockbuster in my town and I can keep the movie for a few days and watch it on a big TV.

Right now it would take 15-20 min to download a 2 hour movie for me in iTunes. I have purchased one for $10 as a test (Kinky Boots). I already have several 1 hr TV shows for $2. I don't know if I would rent for $4. I may test one or two but I don't think it would become a regular thing but I'm sure Apple would be happy if people do it only once a week and that doesn't seem too bad when you think about the cost of theater or even buying used for something that you will not watch often.

Luis
Jan 9, 2008, 03:37 PM
The real question here is who will make an app to record the movie while it plays. When that happens, i'll bite.


Joking.. say no to pirating

dante@sisna.com
Jan 9, 2008, 03:38 PM
24 hours?

Why not "once"?

Will the 'set clock forward when you rent' trick work?

Please, Let's NOT go there.

Just plan your viewing and pay the $3.99.

sananda
Jan 9, 2008, 03:38 PM
24 hours is weak.

no mate, it's a day.


ha ha. no? tough forum.

Yvan256
Jan 9, 2008, 03:38 PM
In my small town, there's only two majors places to rent movies:
- Videotron (4$ for 24 hours for new movies)
- I-can't-remember-the-name-of-the-place (3.50$ for 24 hours for new movies)

I don't have cable or satellite, so VOD services are out, no matter how lousy/good, expensive/cheap they are.

Yesterday I went to rent "Sunshine" at that 3.50$ place. They were all out, of course. Driving to Videotron was too much of a hassle given the weather (streets are covered with melting ice patches, i.e. very dangerous).

If the movies are 4$ CAD, count me in. There's no such thing as "out of stock" for digital downloads, and I don't have to go out two times to rent and return a plastic disc.

In fact, my cable modem could probably been done downloading the whole thing by the time I get to the rental store and back (pre-heat the car, de-ice the windows, get dressed with the boots and the winter coat, get there, try to find the last DVD that's not scratched to hell, hoping there's still a widescreen version left, etc).

othersongs
Jan 9, 2008, 03:39 PM
Don't worry, I'm sure we'll get it in 2 or 3 years time.

RE: COMING TO CANADA?

YES! In 2-3 years time.. we will get Johnny 5, Road to Avenlee, Due South - the Movie, The Trudeau Story, Anne of Green Gables.

damn it.

xenotaku
Jan 9, 2008, 03:39 PM
It's a step in the right direction, however for me, I would rather pay my 14 bucks a month at Netflix, and get unlimited DVDs, two at a time, and rip them all to my harddrive as they come. It ends up being about 12-15 movies a month, which would be 60 bucks doing the same thing through iTunes.

They need to create an online version of netflix. 19.99 a month, you have 3 slots, and can fill them in with whatever you want, and keep them as long as you want. If you only watch 3 movies, its still 19.99, and if you want 20 movies, it still 19.99. The logic works, Netflix makes good money, AND they have to pay for postage.

dante@sisna.com
Jan 9, 2008, 03:42 PM
I agree with the feelings of most in here.

$4 is expensive, especially with no physical media costs.


Physical Media (ie disk and packaging) adds about 37¢ to the cost of a title.

I am sure of this: I broker a lot of printing and packaging of CD and DVD titles.

It costs this much to serve the data up in terms of 1) Hardware, 2) Staff to Maintain, 3) Electricity.

$4 is a good deal.

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 03:43 PM
If the scheme isn't attractive, the choice is yours to not rent movies via iTunes. I agree that the price seems high compared to other sources, especially without any extras, etc. I do wonder though: how many people who rent NEW movies via a physical Blockbuster or similar source have/take the time to view the DVD extras within their alloted rental period? Even with Netflix, I often don't take time for the extra material, opting to return films to receive more. If I like the movie enough and am really interested in immersing myself in the extras, I purchase the DVD. (I don't own a lot of DVDs.)

What are the viewing habits of other people out there? What's most important to you in a movie rental service? Selection? (both number of movies and studios) DVD extras? SD vs HD? Rental period length? Price point?

As for viewing the "extras" ... it depends on which. I never, ever, even in films I own on DVD, listen to the commentary tracks. That just seems pointless to me (of course, others get a big kick from them, which is why they are a sales draw). Alternate endings, deleted scenes, etc: I almost always watch these if the movie was good. It's kinda like a "cool down" from the movie. Out-of-band documentaries, making-ofs, etc: rarely I will watch these, but not very often. Movie trailers: I always watch these on new releases; on old releases and especially DVDs which make viewing trailers mandatory, they are an annoyance.

In any case, I don't ever sit down a second time to watch DVD extras. They are viewed immediately following the movie, or not at all. They do offer value to me, though.

As for important factors for me:


Price. I want to view movies cheaply. I'm a cheapskate. :) This includes any pre-requisite equipment.
Resolution. Higher resolution lives in a completely different world from lower resolution, and this trumps all else aside from price. Granted, this doesn't matter on all movies, and I generally know if it will matter on a particular movie well in advance of watching that movie.
Convenience. This includes how easy it is to rent (which is already really easy with all the options discussed here), how easy it is to view on my screen (and, yes, having to click three menu items with delays between them just to start the damned movie is an inconvenience which nearly all physical DVD force on us), and how easy it is to schedule it into my life (where I strongly prefer a full 2-hour time block to enjoy a movie and relax afterwards, but on occasion have to make due with a couple 1-hour windows spread throughout the week instead).
Selection Guidance. This is one area where, for instance, Blockbuster's online service sucks. There is no guidance (as in, these are the recent releases, and these are the movies people like you have enjoyed). I expect Apple will do well here, although perhaps not stellar (their ITMS reviews and popularity ratings are unmatched by Amazon, for instance).
Selection. I want to be able to view the movie a co-worker mentioned. This goes hand-in-hand with time to release; you have very poor selection if you get every movie ever made, but six months after it came out on DVD.

skellener
Jan 9, 2008, 03:44 PM
Any HD rentals?

dante@sisna.com
Jan 9, 2008, 03:44 PM
RedBox at McDonalds is $1 a day. RedBox is even at many grocery stores and Walmart locations.

I seriously doubt I'll consider spending $3 MORE for 24 hours considering the McDonald's is walking distance from my house!

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, geez, what a rip-off.
This idea is gonna sink like a rock.

I live in a major metro area. The closest Redbox is a 1.7 miles roundtrip from my house. The cost of starting the car on a cold night and driving in city traffic in a Jeep Grand Cherokee or similar mid-size vehicle is at LEAST a dollar in terms of wear and tear, gas and time.

I would gladly pay $4 for the convenience and lessoned environmental / vehicle impact.

Oneness
Jan 9, 2008, 03:47 PM
RE: COMING TO CANADA?

YES! In 2-3 years time.. we will get Johnny 5, Road to Avenlee, Due South - the Movie, The Trudeau Story, Anne of Green Gables.

damn it.

Hey, don't be lumping 'Anne of Green Gables' in with that other trash. 'Anne' is a classic. - 'He called me carrots!!!.

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 03:47 PM
Physical Media (ie disk and packaging) adds about 37¢ to the cost of a title.

I am sure of this: I broker a lot of printing and packaging of CD and DVD titles.

It costs this much to serve the data up in terms of 1) Hardware, 2) Staff to Maintain, 3) Electricity.

$4 is a good deal.

Add in warehousing and logistics required to keep physical media and that $0.37 quickly gets dwarfed by operating costs.

Still, looking at it from a cost-of-production perspective is silly. If it's a good deal, that good deal should be apparent to the consumer. Otherwise, by definition, it is not a good deal.

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 9, 2008, 03:48 PM
I would love to see someone throw a tomato or something on stage after the 3.99 announcement.

I will cheerfully throw any object (animal, vegetable, mineral, or artificial) at Steve Jobs if someone buys me an MWSF or WWDC ticket.

Seriously: let's make an Official MacRumors Project™ out of this. What we'll do is get me a ticket and inform me in advance of what announcements are worthy of bombardment (ie: "We are switching to the MIPS processor family", "iTunes now rents Xbox 360 games for download: only $129.99", "We are here to announce the next Mac operating system: Amiga OS 4", etc), and I'll go in armed.

I will sit at the keynote, biding my time, until the conditions are matched.

There will, of course, be a recall protocol. I will check the Forum Spy and if a lot of posts are in a thread called "DON'T DO IT, STHRNCMFRTR!" then I will assume that the keynote was acceptable overall and abort my bombardment. If that thread does not receive a sufficient post count, though, or (on the other hand, a "OMG KILL THE BASTARD NOW" thread appears) I will immediately leave my seat quietly and discretely, make my way to the aisle, and then charge up toward the stage, lobbing excrement/rotten fruit/beanie babies/etc as rapidly and accurately as I can.

Disclaimer: I don't particularly care if I get arrested. Just once, I'd like to make a dent in the RDF. Without, you know, ending up like Burrell Smith.

Because Burrell probably paid his own way.

dante@sisna.com
Jan 9, 2008, 03:48 PM
The reason redbox is cheaper is because the selection is so bad. You can rent movies for $0.99 (like older releases at Hollywood Video), but the selection is limited. The newest releases accont for 80-90% of rentals at a Blockbuster). At NetFlix, it is more like 40%. So for Apple, they will have a great selection (not as good as NetFlix, but better than VoD by an order of magnitude).

And you can put it on your iPhone, etc. And you can have 10 ready to go, on your mac. No problem, just need to watch it within 30 days of renting...and 24 hours from "playing".

Amen, I tried renting at the REDBOX closest to my house for the last 3 nights -- not a title I was interested in or had not seen. Redbox sucks for the long haul -- many a night I spent half hour on a computer finding a title at various redbox locations, or worse, spent time driving from Redbox to redbox, wasting gas and arguing with my girlfriend.

No thanks. $4 is a bargain.

Tucson Boy
Jan 9, 2008, 03:50 PM
Can i buy them or I can only rent ?

bacaramac
Jan 9, 2008, 03:52 PM
Can i buy them or I can only rent ?

You can buy movies today. Need more detail.

Jetson
Jan 9, 2008, 03:52 PM
I haven't seen anybody "whining" or overracting in here - except for a few who don't like to read anything that seems to criticize Apple.

People are simply stating their opinions about a proposed service in an online forum.

Why is it that people get so hyped up if everything isn't rah! rah! Apple?

Is it fanboyism?

When you send out a survey you expect to hear constructive criticism - it helps you improve your product or service. Losers only want to hear "good news" and Apple is not a loser.

miketcool
Jan 9, 2008, 03:53 PM
Hmm. Not having a car sucks. I can see that being a compelling argument in major downtown areas (NYC, downtown Boston or Chicago, etc), and in college dorms. And I suppose the impulsive-viewing insomniac crowd isn't left with many options.

Is that the sole market here? Because, I can tell you, there's the whole rest of the US which has access to vehicles and corner video stores (which at least in my area pretty much never run out of videos). There, the competition is cheap, convenient access to physical media, and $4 for a very short-term rental just does not compete.

I am in no way stating that I am an advocate of the enviromentalist/sustainability movement, but:

Many studies now conclude (whether the people are educated or not) that consumers do identify environmentally friendly decisions when purchasing products. The current trend at least is for people to think about what impact they or their products are having on the enviroment.
http://www.environmentalleader.com/2008/01/08/50-of-consumers-consider-sustainability-when-shopping/
Downloading data instead of creating a disk, packaging, shipping, waste, fuel usage, etc, can be weighed in many of those decisions. Count a large percentage of people to think about that as well when making decisions.
"Environmentally Conscious Consumers"

Besides this is not competition were talking about. This is Steve Jobs' war on piracy. Billions of $ are lost to pirate films. Apple's direction is to boost their media dominance by reshaping the media field to their advantage. They did it with music and had wild success. Perhaps they will repeat the reversal on piracy with new movie rental and purchasing options.
"Online Movie Pirates"

Want me to keep going with other markets? Or have you gotten the point now?

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 9, 2008, 03:54 PM
The real question here is who will make an app to record the movie while it plays. When that happens, i'll bite.


Joking.. say no to pirating

Interesting question, actually. I think the only way to do it cheap and relatively efficiently would be a DVI/HDMI input on a TV card/device ... I don't figure we're likely to see those on Elgato offerings any time soon.

Anyone else have ideas? Purely theoretical, of course, since I haven't bought anything from iTunes and wouldn't even if I thought that this would be the cheapest way to steal a movie.

ChrisA
Jan 9, 2008, 03:55 PM
If this is true then there is also a very good chance we will see a second generation Apple TV device too. I would likely never rent a movei with this service but I really do want a better 1080p ATV device. I expect Apple will have worked out the whole thing end to end, that is "modem to living room".

morespce54
Jan 9, 2008, 03:55 PM
How about some love for Canada?

Rumors are that the service will be available in Canada in February... 2018! ;)

Oh, and there's also rumours about the first gen iPhone being available in March of the same year! :) ;)
/rant

mambodancer
Jan 9, 2008, 03:56 PM
The real question here is who will make an app to record the movie while it plays. When that happens, i'll bite.


Joking.. say no to pirating

Snapz Pro could do it.

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 03:57 PM
I live in a major metro area. The closest Redbox is a 1.7 miles roundtrip from my house. The cost of starting the car on a cold night and driving in city traffic in a Jeep Grand Cherokee or similar mid-size vehicle is at LEAST a dollar in terms of wear and tear, gas and time.

I would gladly pay $4 for the convenience and lessoned environmental / vehicle impact.

In other words, if not forced to leave the comfy confines of your home to rent a movie, you are a complete shut-in?

Yeah, I suppose that for you at-home delivery is the only reasonable option.

The idea of Redbox is that you are going places on a daily basis anyway, so the incremental cost is [walk from checkout at your local grocery store to the Redbox terminal], which is substantially less than [start car, drive to video store, walk around video store to locate appetizing entertainment, stand in line, start car again, drive home]. Since you can rent from one redbox and return at another, so long as you are venturing out into the big scary world on a semi-daily basis you're pretty much always at $0 additional cost to use their service. Even if you're not going to a McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Raleys, SaveMart, FoodMaxx, etc: you're likely already at least driving past one, if not already stopping at a store in the same parking lot, at least once a day.

Edit: the above having been said, Redbox's selection is atrocious. At least you can see how bad it is and make your decisions before standing in front of the machine at the store, but physical delivery and every-corner-store convenience and outstanding selection are somewhat akin to on-time, on-budget, and fully-featured: you can pick any two.

gvegastiger
Jan 9, 2008, 03:57 PM
This doesnt make sense on so many levels. There's already a great solution for watching movies immediately without leaving your home. Its called On Demand and most cable companies carry it. It costs slightly less or the same and its for 24 hours once you start it and its higher quality.

What in the world about this announcement provides people with an incentive to switch from using On Demand to going out and purchasing an Apple TV and getting less quality for the same price from iTunes and waiting for it to download before you watch it.

Jobs has to know that this is going to fail. This has to got to be a trial run so there will be more bargaining leverage with the studios.

nielsen
Jan 9, 2008, 03:59 PM
Can't wait for MacWorld!!

ChrisA
Jan 9, 2008, 03:59 PM
Interesting question, actually. I think the only way to do it cheap and relatively efficiently would be a DVI/HDMI input on a TV card/device ... I don't figure we're likely to see those on Elgato offerings any time soon.


Cheaper and eassier to read the data out of video VRAM as the movie plays on the computer.

So the user would play the movie using iTunes which knows how to read through the DRM but iTunes is at some point going to have to send the data to the video card. Some process running on the mac could read the data back from the video card and write it to disk.

KingYaba
Jan 9, 2008, 04:00 PM
$4.00 is worth the price say we are renting High Definition material. :cool:

gattaca
Jan 9, 2008, 04:02 PM
When I first read this I thought that it was a bit expensive. But then I thought about it and realized it isn't too bad.
When I want to watch a movie, I go get one and come home and watch it. The whole experience of doing that is probably about 3 hours (give or take).
If I wanted to watch it again, I could do that 8 more times.
But who really needs to do that??
I really like this convenience. I have VOD but don't like that they don't have releases timed with when the new movies come out. It usually takes a few weeks before it's on there.
If Apple gets new releases the day they come out then it'd be flippin awesome!

As for quality, I could give or take really. I don't want to by an HD movie when I haven't seen the film yet. Who knows, I may not like the film. Why would I want to buy it in HD before I see it?

I'm not a big fan on monthly agreements for places like Netflix. For me, it makes me feel pressured and feel like I HAVE to watch something. I like just randomly deciding on a whim that I want to rent a movie.
I have a Blockbuster somewhat close to me. I have the problem that lots of other people have. Going there and them not having the movie you want. I also don't have a car, so I'd have to walk there. This is the coldest month of winter........I don't want to walk through the snow or through the freezing wind just to pick up a film.
I can stand to wait to download the movie. While I wait for it to download, just make some food or drinks and get everything ready to watch the film.
If you don't want to watch on your computer monitor and have an HD Tv....plug your computer into the VGA port on your TV. Just make it another monitor.
That's what I have set up right now. :) It works beautifully for all the TV shows I've downloaded from iTunes.

Plus, we don't know what the upgrades are to the new iTunes. It probably won't be much, but we still don't know.

This is still the first round of this new service. I think alot will change with it as time goes on. I don't think they'll get rid of it. It's a great idea!

Just have to wait and see.

ashawley
Jan 9, 2008, 04:02 PM
iPod to TV via cable. I've been doing this for months, and it works great.

Finally! Someone else that does this. I've was thinking I was the only one or something.

This is why I'm excited about this. Don't have a video store nearby, don't do VOD and whenever I do get the inkling to watch a flick, it's always a spontaneous thing. With kids, you just rarely find the time. So, I'm all over this!

yg17
Jan 9, 2008, 04:04 PM
I'll stick with Netflix. It just seems to be a better deal. 15 bucks a month, 2 at a time and however many I can manage to get a month (so if I get 4 movies a month, which I do, I've already come out ahead compared to this).

Plus, I get 5.1 on DVDs (well, most of them), and once I eventually get an HDTV and a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player, I'll get hi-def movies as well. I don't think the iTunes rentals will ever be able to provide full 1080p hi-def. The 1080p movie trailers on iTunes are around 200 megabits for a couple minutes of video. Now imagine how big a 2 hour movie would be, it simply isn't practical. Why spend the money on an HDTV and watch low-def videos on it?

This iTunes thing seems very similar to the VOD I get through Charter.....which I never use for the exact same reasons. Too expensive and too restricted. It might be a little better if it were a 3 day rental, which is something more along the lines of what you'd get from a brick and mortar store

donnydjr
Jan 9, 2008, 04:08 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0) BlackBerry8820/4.2.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/179)

Sorry naysayers, but:
- the pricing is competitive with cable + satellite on-demand pricing
- Apple can only offer what the studios will negotiate with them
- Movies are harder to rip than CDs for the average user, and the DVD business isn't sharply declining like CD business was when iTunes took-off
- we don't have all of the details just yet
- broadband speeds are continuing to grow
- Apple is sure to make it all pretty seemless, so hopefully no harder than ordering on-demand via cable or satellite

In summary, we'll see for sure next week and all will see how it goes from there.

iSee
Jan 9, 2008, 04:08 PM
no mate, it's a day.


ha ha. no? tough forum.

*groan* :( Now that's something to complain about

citi
Jan 9, 2008, 04:09 PM
iPod to TV via cable. I've been doing this for months, and it works great.

I disagree, I tried it and will never do it again. I would rather watch the dvd. It is nowhere near the quality of an upscaled DVD player on my HDTV.

GravityEyes
Jan 9, 2008, 04:10 PM
Forgive me if this has been covered - but how does this translate to iPods and iPhones? So i 'rent' a flick, want to take it on a trip, and the wifey wants to watch it while i'm away ... how would that work?

I have doubts about the 24 hr deal .... there will be flexibility to match all their hardware and user needs, otherwise - this will fail, and it is not in line with their Core Business values (content sells hardware).

citi
Jan 9, 2008, 04:11 PM
Please, Let's NOT go there.

Just plan your viewing and pay the $3.99.

again...people with no kids

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 04:11 PM
...appears to be the exact same thing as Amazon's Unbox:

"When you choose to rent an Amazon Unbox video, your access to view the file is limited by the rental license agreement in our Unbox Video: Terms of Use. After you rent and download an Amazon Unbox Video to a compatible computer or TiVo DVR, you will have a limited period of time in which to begin viewing it. That period is 30 days unless otherwise specified on the product detail page for the Unbox Video rental. After you begin playing an Amazon Unbox Video, you will have 24 hours to complete viewing it. After these expiration times, the Amazon Unbox Video will automatically be deleted from your computer or TiVo DVR. Rented Unbox videos are not available for re-download from Your Media Library."

What is the difference between renting and purchasing Unbox videos? (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=3748&#renting)

Amazon's pricing is generally $3.99 per movie (some are $2.99).

So, it's no surprise that Apple is following this approach.

:cool:

--DotComCTO

Ah, yes. And Unbox is setting the market on fire, too!

Potus
Jan 9, 2008, 04:12 PM
24 hour limit sucks.

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 9, 2008, 04:14 PM
Besides this is not competition were talking about. This is Steve Jobs' war on piracy. Billions of $ are lost to pirate films. Apple's direction is to boost their media dominance by reshaping the media field to their advantage. They did it with music and had wild success. Perhaps they will repeat the reversal on piracy with new movie rental and purchasing options.
"Online Movie Pirates"


There's been a reversal on piracy? I'm not aware of it if there has been, but maybe a source would convince me.

Let's have a hypothetical situation. A massive number of people believe that the price asked for a product through legitimate avenues is unreasonable. The product is available elsewhere for free, with a statistically negligible chance of having to pay a fine amounting to a couple grand to settle the case (ie, the cost of about 150-200 movies or CDs). A large number of people, therefore, decide to go with the lowest cost method of acquiring the product, despite its warts.

Let's add a hypothetical modification. A company provides another way of getting that product. However, it doesn't offer many cost advantages over the legitimate avenues mentioned above, and actually has some noticeable quality issues. The product can still be found in roughly equivalent quality (and often in better quality) for free.

What countereconomics says is that the pirates will (statistically) continue to pirate. People who stuck to legitimate means of acquisition will be most of the adopters of the new technology, in this case iTunes.

In order to provide sufficient value to lure pirates away from piracy, iTunes must continue doing what it has been doing -- adding value, by removing DRM, increasing bitrate, and so forth, until it is functionally equivalent to the primary legitimate avenue but lower its price sufficiently that it seems fair. At that point, pirates will cease to pirate. Not many people enjoy pirating, I should mention -- the files are of unknown quality and sometimes don't work right because of any of a dozen different conflicts, they are usually tagged poorly and of uncertain lineage, and the ability to acquire a given product in suitable quality is often iffy.

The problem is that most pirates do not perceive the stated prices as fair. The companies, however, are unwilling to lose revenue by lowering prices or allowing operations like iTunes to lower prices. Thus it will continue -- companies losing billions, and people having crappy media libraries -- because the prices are perceived as being unsuitable.

You can argue piracy is unethical, and I won't really argue that. I will, however, state that it's a fact of life and a fact of modern business. Statistically: Few pirates will pay $10 for a sub-DVD quality download if he wouldn't pay $5-10 for the real thing used on Amazon. Few pirates will pay $1 for a DRM'ed 128K song when they can download the whole album in FLAC for free. And I seriously doubt any pirates will pay $4 to rent a film for 24 hours. To own it, legitimately, and in high quality, maybe. But not to rent it. Except, of course, out of curiosity.

iTunes is caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock being the studios' iron-hard price demands, and the hard place being their relatively tech-savvy users -- the people who are most likely to rent or buy music or movies online, and, statistically, the people most likely to pirate. As more people mature and become tech-savvy, iTunes' marketshare will grow, as it has now for a few years. But a large number of people are pirating and will continue to pirate unless an immense compromise in price and quality is made.

If anyone has a solution, I'm sure sjobs@apple.com would love to hear it.

/Jesus, that went off-topic

Keebler
Jan 9, 2008, 04:15 PM
fingers crossed that this is a fly for Canada too.

it would be neat to dload and watch a movie without having to drive anywhere occasionally.

saves on gas and time.

hope the quality of the encodes is solid and not too small.
interesting.
can't wait.

zedsdead
Jan 9, 2008, 04:17 PM
Wait, wait a sec. You're suggesting using an iPod to watch iTunes Rentals on your home theater in lieu of AppleTV??? That'll be great, why didn't I think of that? After iTunes finishes compressing the movie down to fit the iPod screen and then your iPod outputs it at 480i or 480p with stereo audio!!! Totally worth it. :rolleyes:

From Apple's site: http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?productLearnMore=MB128LL/A


"Note: Component video output to television is supported by iPod nano (third generation) and iPod classic at 480p or 576p resolution, and by iPod touch and iPhone at 480i or 576i resolution."

Itunes does not reduce the quality of video when copying to the iPod or iPhone. The devices merely scale the content down on the fly, no transcoding is done as it would take forever to transfer movie files over. The output from the new iPods looks great as I have tested it with the component cable.

However, an iPod/iPhone with video out is hardly a replacement for the apple tv.

Bonte
Jan 9, 2008, 04:18 PM
It's a first step i guess, $4 for old movies is way to high. Apple didn't get a good deal for us unless its HD. I can get top quality rentals over the cable at €4 (=$4 in the US) but its not a big success at all despite being available for years. DVD rentals are €3 and most older movies cost about €5 to €10.

stephen =D
Jan 9, 2008, 04:20 PM
I know this might be a bit off topic but
in teh first post it says there will be iPhone coverage of the event?

what will this entail?

Thanks

iSee
Jan 9, 2008, 04:22 PM
FYI to all who don't know:

Currently on iTunes you can start watching a movie or TV show *while* it is downloading. If you have a pretty decent internet connection, the movie downloads faster than it plays back. So for those people, there is no long wait before watching the movie.

Basically, with a fast internet connection, this is equivalent to a typical video-on-demand plan in terms of price and terms.

If the selection is better than VOD, it's an interesting proposition to me.

citi
Jan 9, 2008, 04:23 PM
I love apple, but this is doomed to fail, unless you have an apple tv. I have an XBOX 360, a PS3, Blockbuster Online, and Time Warner on Demand HD Service. Let's look at this.

I can download HD movies from Xbox Live for the same price as a standard resolution movie from apple? They are a little slow at releasing contect but are improving.

I can order blueray and HD DVD movies from Blockbuster ONline or go into the store and pick one of for free? It takes 1 day to get to my house plus I can go into the store for that got to have movie.

I can order ondemand through Time Warner for the Same Price as Apple in just as real time? They worked deals with the movie companies too and now they are available on demand the same time as they are released on DVD

I can purchase movies via my PS3. Haven't tried yet so I won;t comment.

Why would I use apple? Unless I had an Apple TV? And as I said before, I have and HD display, why I go back to 480p outputing from my Ipod when I can watch a movie in all it's 1080p glory?

Marvy
Jan 9, 2008, 04:24 PM
In Norway the rental prices are at 16 to 20$ that is expensive, but 4dollars my God stop your damn whining....

Well, in that case I'm glad I live in Germany! Here you can get most movies for $16 to $20. Heck, the *bad* movies usually start at $4 here... Sorry, but I'll pass on this. In my opinion, just waaaay to expensive.

Dorfdad
Jan 9, 2008, 04:25 PM
This will be hugh!

I mentioned it to several of my clients and they all think the $4 price tag is fantastic. Several of them have commented that it may be enough to have them discontinue their netflix service.

Not to be mean but your friends might be stupid...

Netflix has a 4.99 a month plan UNLIMTED RENTALS keep for as long as you want. You do not have to leave your house. Can GET BLU-RAY, or DVD releases and Have an instant return policy for shipping.

SO now Im to pay 3.99 for a digital download (thats not 1080p) watch it within 24 hours and than rent 5 more making my rental fee's be about 15-20.00 a Month for a far less superior technology all for the connivence of instant gratification? I know where they got the price point from Comcast and other TV providers are asking for 3.99-4.99 per rental with 24 hours, but were not looking for another version of them. We expected Apple to deliver and GROW the market of movies on Itunes.

This will not grow the install base in my opinion..

Plus Now I need another set top box to watch them, lets see Cable Box, DVD, Apple TV, and TV my entertainment center is going to look a horrible mess... Well your's not mine :) Im keeping Netflix..

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 04:29 PM
The sole market? Nah. What about if you want a title that iTunes has but none of your local stores have in stock?


Hmm. Well, if iTunes indeed has a great catalogue of movies available for rental, then that will make sense. However, right now, looking at the ITMS movies section is about as depressing as looking at the handful of titles available via Redbox.

I don't think it's likely that iTunes will have an enormous collection of movies available day one. The movie industry is convinced that Apple wants to make the studios obsolete, and so is unlikely to be more open to Apple's endeavors than, say, Amazon's. They also believe that they could realistically get just as much money from Apple rentals as the brick-and-mortar rental stores get, but without the overhead of stock and warehousing and such.

So, looking at things again, I suppose much of my doom-saying rests on the supposition that Apple will not have enthusiastic industry support, huge back-catalog access, and day/date DVD release availability of "hot" movies.


Because the selection has the potential to be better, and you can't get VOD if you don't have cable. And while it does require another device to watch on a TV, that device can be an iPod. Apple sold a few of those, didn't they?


You can get VOD or PayPerView with pretty much any subscription television service (ie, cable or satellite). You are correct that you need one of these two to get VOD, but that condition excludes, what, 0.5% of the population? Less?

As for an iPod: I'll go out on a limb here and say that approximately no one in their right mind would see an iPod hooked up to their TV as a route to convenient online video delivery. No streaming (so you do have to wait for the whole thing to download before watching), compression artifacts, poor control scheme, etc.


The way I see it, why should I spend $$$ every month on cable when I can get a rental from iTunes for $4? Just playing devil's advocate. And as for aTV, see the iPod mention above...

Primarily, people spend $$$ every month on cable or satellite so that they can watch television series when they are aired. Aside from BitTorrent, there's not much of an alternative way to satisfy that "need". Again, that's the vast, vast, vast majority of the population.

If you take the portion of the population for whom in-house delivery is a benefit, and multiply that by the fraction of people who don't already have a relatively free access to on-demand video through their television provider, I think your market is vanishingly small.

As you said above, if Apple can compete with VOD et al on selection, that might be an angle to work. But you've got to work it pretty hard to make $300 up-front equipment cost make sense.

Remember when satellite TV was new? You could get three times as many channels as cable, for half the monthly cost, so long as you paid $500 up front for equipment and installation. It didn't do very well at market penetration, not really even becoming a viable competitor to cable until the satellite providers started underwriting the equipment and installation costs (by increasing the per-month subscription fees). Perceived up-front cost is a killer.

pgwalsh
Jan 9, 2008, 04:32 PM
Rentals will succeed if the following happens

1) Big selection
2) Reasonable price ($2.99 is better than $3.99)
3) Fast downloads with no ISP throttling!!
4) At least 720x480, True 5.1 surround. This is what most people watch.
5) 24 hours to watch after starting to watch, not after downloading.
6) Ability to buy it directly from AppleTV, no need to go to computer. No need to even own a computer.
I'd never do it with 720x480. I think you need to have 720P which is 720 x 1280. It should also be NTSC at 60Hz. Of course you need surround sound and preferably in a Dolby or DTS format.

I think 24 hours is silly when you can rent a movie from a video store and have it for a week or keep it for a long long time with Netflix. I think it should be 7 days or so, but that depends on what the average download time is.

I think they should be selling the movies at this price. Let people burn them on DVD or Blu-ray at home.

gvegastiger
Jan 9, 2008, 04:33 PM
Apple has to have something up their sleeve with this to lure people away from On Demand. With the information we have no, it doesnt give any advantages over what is currently available while offering the disadvantage of having poorer quality and requiring an investment in equipment.

dubhe
Jan 9, 2008, 04:35 PM
This doesnt make sense on so many levels. There's already a great solution for watching movies immediately without leaving your home. Its called On Demand and most cable companies carry it. It costs slightly less or the same and its for 24 hours once you start it and its higher quality.

What in the world about this announcement provides people with an incentive to switch from using On Demand to going out and purchasing an Apple TV and getting less quality for the same price from iTunes and waiting for it to download before you watch it.

Jobs has to know that this is going to fail. This has to got to be a trial run so there will be more bargaining leverage with the studios.

I agree with your point, as a Sky digital customer I have access to movies on demand 24-7, however it doesn't come cheap and you have to watch it at set times. If you could download to your appletv or mac, and watch it at your leisure it might be more appealing. Being able to take it on the road would also be a bonus as I travel a lot, maybe download a movie to a iPod touch for the flight or train? Still, this wouldn't be every day.

I'm sure Jobs has a different angle on this, he generally knows what he is doing.

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 04:38 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0) BlackBerry8820/4.2.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/179)

Sorry naysayers, but:
- the pricing is competitive with cable + satellite on-demand pricing
- Apple can only offer what the studios will negotiate with them


A key skill in negotiating is knowing when to leave the table. You let your prediction be known, refuse the poor terms, and let them know that you wish them the best with the next sucker who comes in and sits down. Then, you come back in six months after they've found their pyramid schemes and arbitration designs were all fundamentally flawed, and you have their complete attention. Then you offer them a new deal, more heavily slanted in your interests than what they'd refused previously, and tell them they can take it or leave it.

Apple used to be good at this. Insanely, obnoxiously, scarily good at this. I wonder why they would settle for the deal described here, if indeed they did?

sminman
Jan 9, 2008, 04:40 PM
Maybe you will get a total of 24 hours to have it.

So...

Thirty minutes here, and hour there and then once the video reaches a total of 24 hours then it gets deleted or inactive.

Or after watching it, you get rid of it allowing you to get another movie on your list. This would be a nice subscription service plan.

kkat69
Jan 9, 2008, 04:43 PM
I really like this convenience. I have VOD but don't like that they don't have releases timed with when the new movies come out. It usually takes a few weeks before it's on there.
If Apple gets new releases the day they come out then it'd be flippin awesome!


I only snipped a bit of your post but you put the point in place. I am on similar thinking levels.

I do however think people are going overboard. 24hrs is the same price COX, Comcast, Adelphia, Charter all charge for VOD for 95% of their recent movies. This iTunes deal is NO DIFFERENT! Quality you say? We're not even sure what the quality will be so people are getting worked up for nothing. To short? B!tch at those cable companies and not just Apple then.

I'm no fanboi but did anyone ever stop to think this IS NOT Apple's idea? Seeing as how Apple had to give in to overpricing movies because the big name companies want to make up for lost DVD sales, this is probably the same scenario. "We'll let you rent out our movies but we don't like your pricing scheme, here's what we suggest and this is what we're willing to live with" and the 2 come to a deal and the 3.99/24 was the only thing that would bring everyone on board.
Look at it this way, if THIS was the case, at least Apple is trying to make it happen and pave the way for cheaper later down the road. Someone has to get the party started and at least they are doing it. Your other alternative is Apple saying "Sorry iTunes users, we're not gonna do it" then people would be complaining yet again and blaming Apple "why won't you do it, everyone else is."
Give and take people. I for one don't have the need to use this service but I'm happy to see it happen. These companies will realize that the world IS in fact going digital and physical media, though it will be around for a while still, is becoming less in demand. Personally I like owning the dvd's if it's something I want to hang onto. Otherwise, 3.99 for a family of 4 is pretty cheap.

Break it down:

3.99 for a movie
.79 for popcorn
.50ea or less for drinks
ability to pause for bathroom breaks
we can all watch in our pj's (can't do that in a theatre, well ok you can but some people be pretty upset)

Sounds good to me. if you don't like or agree with the service, I must have missed the fine print that says we're all obligated to use it. This service is an option. I love options. Option to watch/rent on iTunes, option to get a digital copy when I buy the movie so I'm not handbraking a copy, option to rent at BB or Netflix, option to hit up WalMart to buy the movie or option to not use any of the above and just read a book.

zioxide
Jan 9, 2008, 04:43 PM
These better be at least 720p with 5.1 AC3 surround sound... otherwise it's pointless and I'll stick to a regular dvd/blu-ray or a torrent.

48 hours would be better.. that way if you started it one night but didn't finish, you'd be able to finish it the next night. 24 hours would be cutting that close.

If not, then this is a ****ing joke and I hope it flops like the AppleTV has (partially because it requires an HDTV but then all the content is SD.. worst idea ever)

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 04:50 PM
I'd never do it with 720x480. I think you need to have 720P which is 720 x 1280. It should also be NTSC at 60Hz. Of course you need surround sound and preferably in a Dolby or DTS format.


Close. Generally, horizontal resolution (aka "vertical lines of resolution") is conventionally listed first: 1280x720 is "720p". 720x480 is "480p" (I'm assuming progressive), and is DVD resolution.

Note that current iTunes video is, last I checked, capped at 640 horizontal (640x480 for full-frame, 640x360 for 16:9 format movies, 640x220 or so for super-widescreen 1:2.88 format movies). This is significantly less resolution than DVD (by a factor of 1.25 or so), and a whole lot less than 720p HD.

More important than the physical number of pixels on the screen, though, is the compression used to achieve that number of pixels. A highly compressed 1080p signal can look substantially worse than an uncompressed 480p signal!

That particular bit is really hard to quantify until we do a head-to-head comparison.

Good points on audio. Surround sound is critical in properly enjoying many movies. Apple would need to include a 5.1 or larger mix into their audio to compete there.

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 04:56 PM
I do however think people are going overboard. 24hrs is the same price COX, Comcast, Adelphia, Charter all charge for VOD for 95% of their recent movies. This iTunes deal is NO DIFFERENT! Quality you say? We're not even sure what the quality will be so people are getting worked up for nothing. To short? B!tch at those cable companies and not just Apple then.


To put it quite simply: we expect better of Apple than of Comcast, COX, and Charter.

AppleTV is widely (and crushingly to my heart) regarded as a failure of a device so far. This is not because it hasn't sold well, nor because it hasn't offered something just as good as the competition. It is because it has not lived up to Apple's standards. Fairly or not, that is the bar by which Apple is judged.

Apple is capable of transforming whole industries. It has in the past, and we expect it will do the same again. Being just another vendor with a sorta-adequate device or service is perfectly acceptable for COX. With a name like that you couldn't hope for much more. But, for Apple, that is abject failure.

manu chao
Jan 9, 2008, 04:58 PM
24 hours?

Why not "once"?

Will the 'set clock forward when you rent' trick work?

Apple could force a time synchronizing during a download. You still could disconnect from the net and set the clock backwards after downloading.

kironin
Jan 9, 2008, 04:59 PM
So let me get this straight. I am expected to pay to watch a movie download for $4 ? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .....

For $9/month I can watch 9 hours of movies a month on Netflix and rent as many DVD's as I can watch one at a time. Just watching 1-2 DVD's a week puts me way ahead on this one.

Not in a million years am I going to pay half of what it costs to watch on the big screen in a movie theatre and only be given a 24 hour window to do it.

pgwalsh
Jan 9, 2008, 05:01 PM
That particular bit is really hard to quantify until we do a head-to-head comparison.

I'm going to assume if they start doing movies for things other than the iPod or iPhone then they'll use H.264 and it would only make sense to offer HD in 720P or 1080P. If not, then I'd probably stick to regular DVD rentals and continue to use my Oppo player until I buy a Blu-ray/HD-DVD player.

I'm hoping Apple beefs up the AppleTV and gives it some much needed improvement including the ability to rent Movies in HD and DVR capabilities as well as the ability to surf the web etc.

chasemac
Jan 9, 2008, 05:01 PM
We will find out soon enough about this rental thing, but the 24 hour $3.99 is just not worth it to me. The DVD is the best option for me.

tjcampbell
Jan 9, 2008, 05:03 PM
Too expensive.

DaveTheRave
Jan 9, 2008, 05:05 PM
Any idea how of how big the download would be? This would be good to have when you're stuck on an airplane for a few hours. They show the worst movies. It would be nice to have an alternative on an iPod. The problem is it might be too big for my 4 gig Nano...

Elbon
Jan 9, 2008, 05:11 PM
The possibility of an iTunes movie rental service is appealing to me. Here's why:

- I don't want to subscribe to Netflix. I don't watch enough movies, and I don't want to wait for delivery.

- I don't currently have a Blockbuster (or any other video store) close by, and I live fairly close to a major metropolitan area. Thanks to options such as Netflix and VOD, video stores are on the decline. I had pretty much stopped renting videos before the stores closed, anyways, thanks to the ridiculous late fees.

- Standard-def DVDs look just fine on my 720p HDTV. HD content would be nice, but it is certainly not necessary. I also have a 5.1 surround sound stereo, but I only have the front speakers hooked up. The sound is good enough for me.

- The selection will most likely be better than cable VOD and will hopefully be more persistent. Also, rent-to-own is not an option for VOD but could be for an iTunes service.

- AppleTV has other uses (photo slideshows, music library streaming, etc.). I want access to this via my entertainment system in my living room. None of the other options provide this.

- Renters will presumably be able to watch content on iPods, not just AppleTV. This is either cumbersome or simply impossible with the other options.

stompy
Jan 9, 2008, 05:12 PM
...appears to be the exact same thing as Amazon's Unbox:

"...you will have a limited period of time in which to begin viewing it. That period is 30 days unless otherwise specified .... After you begin playing an Amazon Unbox Video, you will have 24 hours to complete viewing it. After these expiration times, the Amazon Unbox Video will automatically be deleted from your computer or TiVo DVR. ."

Amazon's pricing is generally $3.99 per movie (some are $2.99).

So, it's no surprise that Apple is following this approach.

:cool:

--DotComCTO

I think you've pinpointed the exact terms. Assuming this is how it plays out, will it be because Apple follows Amazon's lead, or because the studios dictate the prices (can't give Apple better terms than Amazon or they'll ruin us :eek:)

bommai
Jan 9, 2008, 05:14 PM
I'd never do it with 720x480. I think you need to have 720P which is 720 x 1280. It should also be NTSC at 60Hz. Of course you need surround sound and preferably in a Dolby or DTS format.

I think 24 hours is silly when you can rent a movie from a video store and have it for a week or keep it for a long long time with Netflix. I think it should be 7 days or so, but that depends on what the average download time is.

I think they should be selling the movies at this price. Let people burn them on DVD or Blu-ray at home.

You do know that NTSC is an analog format not digital. You also know that it is 480i (640x480i). Once you go 1280x720p it is digital, not NTSC. That is why Bluray and HD-DVD have not NTSC or PAL. It is just pure 1080p24.

Most people don't rent HD movies yet. There are a total of about 2 million HD capable players right now connected to HDTVs. How many people do you think have a setup that is capable of displaying HD movies. The only way to watch will be through AppleTV or using a Media Center PC/Mac. How many of these do you think is hooked up to a HDTV. May be 2 million. However, there are millions of people that may be interested in renting. Apple is generally not going cutting edge immediately. They don't want to cater to a small niche.

I know AppleTV sold about 400k units. Even if Apple starts the rentals with 720x480 (I hope it is not stuck at 640 for horizontal resolution), it might satisfy those people that are buying movies right now. I just hope true surround sound comes out soon. However, even quicktime cannot play it by default. So, unless Apple comes out with a big Quicktime update and iTunes update, I don't even see DD 5.1 available yet.

isoS
Jan 9, 2008, 05:17 PM
Amazon Unbox and Tivo have been doing what this service will probably do, but they have variable pricing -- some stuff is $2.99, and they have deals on certain releases (some new) that offer 99¢ rentals. You get 30 days to watch, but only 24 hours once you start watching.

The big downside: it's not HD. No big deal if you're watching on your laptop, but if you're watching on an HDTV, that kind of sucks. I rented "Hairspray" for 99¢ just to test the service out, and it was okay -- on my 42" LCD HDTV I would say it looked worse than a DVD but better than a VHS tape. For a movie I didn't care much about, it was fine. But if you're watching action, something epic, or something where the cinematography is a big part of the experience, this is no way to watch a movie. I love Apple, and would love an easy way to rent movies instantly from the couch, but this system/service won't work until it's comparable to the discs you can get from Netflix or Blockbuster and the on demand content you can get from your cable operator. I don't think people want to watch features on their computers (I know I don't), and I don't think people will buy an AppleTV just for this -- sadly, XBox already has the clear edge here, given their game library and their 720p Live Video offerings.

Solution: Apple buys Nintendo and merges the AppleTV with the Wii (they already look like cousins!).

elppa
Jan 9, 2008, 05:18 PM
Apple, please show some reasonably priced rental love in the UK,

$3.99 / 2 = £1.99

HOWEVER, this is apple - my guess £2.99

UK? We'll 8 movies to download… in two years time.

I bet those all-american TV shows at DVD prices are flying of the (virtual) shelves of the iTunes Store.

A lot of it is not Apple's fault though. Legally wrangling, economics and human greed all play a part in this whole mess.

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 05:19 PM
Wait, wait a sec. You're suggesting using an iPod to watch iTunes Rentals on your home theater in lieu of AppleTV??? That'll be great, why didn't I think of that? After iTunes finishes compressing the movie down to fit the iPod screen and then your iPod outputs it at 480i or 480p with stereo audio!!! Totally worth it. :rolleyes:

My point is merely disputing all the "you can't watch on TV without aTV" comments. I'm sure aTV would be great to have, but all the people insisting it's absolutely necessary are wrong.

Considering that's the current resolution available from the iTunes store (iTunes doesn't have to rerender the movie), and that the aTV only puts out stereo audio, I don't see why the suggestion is so outlandish.

And I do this all the time. While real 5.1 would be nice, on old fashioned NTSC the picture quality isn't visibly worse than DVD.

What in the world about this announcement provides people with an incentive to switch from using On Demand to going out and purchasing an Apple TV and getting less quality for the same price from iTunes and waiting for it to download before you watch it.

I don't know if it's an incentive for people with VOD to switch, but VOD doesn't appeal to me because I can only get it with cable, which has a monthly fee. Even if I bought an aTV (which I don't even need to do), it wouldn't take long for the cable costs to exceed what the aTV cost. Also, VOD doesn't have the selection of the average download company, does it?

Don't get me wrong, there are definitely advantages to VOD. But there are disadvantages as well.

People need to realize that not everyone has the same needs, just because it doesn't appeal to you doesn't mean it won't appeal to someone else. All the "but XYZ is cheaper, so it has to fail!" arguments are like saying that it's stupid for the grocery store to sell a 16 ounce jar of mayo because the gallon jug at Costco is a better deal.

Ah, yes. And Unbox is setting the market on fire, too!

I don't think that's really the point...if apple is charging the same as Amazon, that means that it's probably because that's where they can both afford to set the price based on what the studios charge, right? Apple can't charge $1.99 per rental if the studios demand $2.75 per viewing, right?

And one thing that hasn't been mentioned is that companies renting actual plastic DVDs have the option of buying a copy for $15 and making pure profit once they've got $15 worth of rentals out of it. Unless the studios are willing to take a tiny royalty, it's impossible for a download service to compete with that.

citi
Jan 9, 2008, 05:25 PM
Most people don't rent HD movies yet. There are a total of about 2 million HD capable players right now connected to HDTVs. How many people do you think have a setup that is capable of displaying HD movies. The only way to watch will be through AppleTV or using a Media Center PC/Mac. How many of these do you think is hooked up to a HDTV. May be 2 million. However, there are millions of people that may be interested in renting. Apple is generally not going cutting edge immediately. They don't want to cater to a small niche.



I'm trying to follow you but your statements make no sense. Sure there may be only 2 million or so HD capable stand alone units sold, which I think is a little low. I would like to know your source for that, you haven't considered your PS3 Player which is BluRay by default and Xbox with the very inexpensive HDDVD add on drive. This alone places HD higher on the food chain the your analyst. Which is why XBOX Live HD rentals are doing so well. Why would people rent them if they didn't have HD TVs?

Also, the average household is more likely to have HD displays because HD content was avaible over the air for free via traditional top of the house antennas and of course then came satelites and cable tv before HDDVD and BluRay became common terms. Your facts may be a little outdated.

ro2nie
Jan 9, 2008, 05:27 PM
Apple could force a time synchronizing during a download. You still could disconnect from the net and set the clock backwards after downloading.

Why not record your mac's screen with SnapzProX or iShowU and save it as a mov file that you can play whenever you like :D

kkat69
Jan 9, 2008, 05:29 PM
To put it quite simply: we expect better of Apple than of Comcast, COX, and Charter.

AppleTV is widely (and crushingly to my heart) regarded as a failure of a device so far. This is not because it hasn't sold well, nor because it hasn't offered something just as good as the competition. It is because it has not lived up to Apple's standards. Fairly or not, that is the bar by which Apple is judged.

Apple is capable of transforming whole industries. It has in the past, and we expect it will do the same again. Being just another vendor with a sorta-adequate device or service is perfectly acceptable for COX. With a name like that you couldn't hope for much more. But, for Apple, that is abject failure.

So what your saying is if all those companies won't give the videos the way Apple wants them, Apple should abandon the idea? Say Apple says "We'll need these video's in XXX format for this to work", Fox-"No, if the users want it in XXX format they can pay more or go buy the dvd" we should expect Apple to say "well then we won't do this and we're gong to abandon the idea"

I for one would rather suck it up with 'reasonable' quality at first until the idea catches on. No need to invest to much in something that may or may not take off or be overrun by another service.

It's all about the all mighty dollar and Apple has and is investing some but the real people to stand to loose or gain are the movie companies that count on certain sales.

Hey I'm just being objective here and trying to see what could be a potential reason rather than be a h8r and doing the "It's Apple's fault" thing. It may or may not be them. At least it's happening and again, no one is forcing anyones arm to partake in the service.

While I leave this thread I must reiterate, To anyone who takes offense to anything I say I only have one thing to say - "if what I say offends you then it probably applies to you."

currentinterest
Jan 9, 2008, 05:30 PM
Here is what I think it will be:

1a. 720p, view while downloading (won't have to wait)
1b. $3.99 good for 24 hours from download start because of #1a.
2. Lower quality iPod/iPhone size videos for purchase at $3.99, DRM like music; same as comes on DVD. (Perhaps lower quality videos, for rent for less, but doubt it.)
3. New Blue Ray Apple TV.
4. Software update for old Apple TVs.

A massive hit.

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 05:34 PM
Not to be mean but your friends might be stupid...

Netflix has a 4.99 a month plan UNLIMTED RENTALS keep for as long as you want.

Um, you might want to check your facts before you start calling people stupid. Their $4.99 plan is only up to two rentals a month. 1 at a time unlimited is $8.99.

Hmm. Well, if iTunes indeed has a great catalogue of movies available for rental, then that will make sense. However, right now, looking at the ITMS movies section is about as depressing as looking at the handful of titles available via Redbox.

Looking right now doesn't tell you much since it looks like a number of new studios will be joining when they release this - this very thread mentions Warner, Paramount, Disney, Fox, Lions Gate for day one. And while it will start small, it will continue to grow. If it doesn't start with a better selection than redbox right away, it probably will before long.

You can get VOD or PayPerView with pretty much any subscription television service (ie, cable or satellite). You are correct that you need one of these two to get VOD, but that condition excludes, what, 0.5% of the population? Less?

You seriously think 99.5 percent or more of the population has either cable or dish? Really? I'd love to see a stat backing that claim up.

As for an iPod: I'll go out on a limb here and say that approximately no one in their right mind would see an iPod hooked up to their TV as a route to convenient online video delivery. No streaming (so you do have to wait for the whole thing to download before watching), compression artifacts, poor control scheme, etc.

Call me crazy, but I do it all the time. Sure, it's not the most convenient, but it's easy enough for me. And compression artifacts aren't visibly worse than DVD watching on a conventional TV. Have you seen it? It works surprisingly well.

Primarily, people spend $$$ every month on cable or satellite so that they can watch television series when they are aired.

Sure. But for those of us who don't, VOD simply isn't an option.

citi
Jan 9, 2008, 05:35 PM
Why not record your mac's screen with SnapzProX or iShowU and save it as a mov file that you can play whenever you like :D

OR, why not just give the people what they want so they don't have to illegally use the product. If netflix and blockbuster let you keep the video as long as you want, why can't the same apply to digital downloads? Limit it to one unit and maybe a lower res ipod version, the renter decides which player is the player they want to watch it on, whether it be your mac or your appletv, and let them watch it unlimited times on that unit. It can't be moved or backed up and wam, everybody is happy.

As I said before, this whole model only really works if you have an appletv.

synth3tik
Jan 9, 2008, 05:38 PM
I think $4 is too high for a 1 day rental. Way to high.

milo
Jan 9, 2008, 05:40 PM
Why not record your mac's screen with SnapzProX or iShowU and save it as a mov file that you can play whenever you like :D

If you're going to pirate it, why not pay nothing and just torrent the damn thing?

OR, why not just give the people what they want so they don't have to illegally use the product. If netflix and blockbuster let you keep the video as long as you want, why can't the same apply to digital downloads?

Because you're paying a monthly fee with netflix. They let you keep a dvd for six months because that means they're making six months subscription fees on the same disk. There's no way to do that with an individual rental, it has to expire at some point.

citi
Jan 9, 2008, 05:50 PM
If you're going to pirate it, why not pay nothing and just torrent the damn thing?



Because you're paying a monthly fee with netflix. They let you keep a dvd for six months because that means they're making six months subscription fees on the same disk. There's no way to do that with an individual rental, it has to expire at some point.


Good call on that one. You are right, however, I think having a rental with a longer time frame (like 48-72 hours) would give apple the "look what we can do and the others can't" argument. I think the whole 24 hour rental model came from hotels rentals where you were likely to only stay in the hotel for 24 hours. It just doesn't make sense at home.

EagerDragon
Jan 9, 2008, 05:52 PM
The attitudes here are incredible. "It doesn't meet my needs so it is doomed to fail." How arrogant people must be to believe everyone else's habits must match their own.

- many people can watch a movie in less than 24 hours.
- many people find going to the video store inconvenient, no matter how close it is
- many people don't like the waiting required by Netflix, and that is if they want to rent two movies in a month
- many people don't have HD DVDs so don't require HD movies

This service is not for everyone, granted. But to say it is doomed is a bit premature.

Would be nice to have a poll on this. I read the entire thread and so far the too expensive and the 24 hour sucks groups are winning. Count them.

meagain
Jan 9, 2008, 05:58 PM
I've no issues with the 24-hour period (if true) because I see it as an introduction, a baby-step and it'll change. Just like we know the current iPhone is capable of so much more and can be turned on with a firmware update.
I'm patient.

Stike
Jan 9, 2008, 06:01 PM
My local video store offers 12-hour-rentals for 1 Euro and 24 hours for 2 Euro... if they are really shooting for anything over 2,49 Euro, I am OUT.

toomuchrock
Jan 9, 2008, 06:08 PM
I have no idea why you guys are dissing this. Sounds great to me. I often think 'Hey I'd like to see this.' and if I could see it for $4? Hell yeah I'd do that. Complaining about size? Get an AppleTV or a bigger monitor.

Stike
Jan 9, 2008, 06:13 PM
I have no idea why you guys are dissing this. Sounds great to me. I often think 'Hey I'd like to see this.' and if I could see it for $4? Hell yeah I'd do that. Complaining about size? Get an AppleTV or a bigger monitor.

Ah, true, another nail in the coffin :P

Not only is renting a DVD around here cheaper, I can even put it into my PS3 and enjoy it upscaled in great quality on my HDTV.
Beat this, Apple :P

nixfu
Jan 9, 2008, 06:19 PM
Well, you have to take this into consideration.



a) Most likely this pricing is due to the bonehead mgmt of the media companies based on previous history

b) People pay nearly similar prices under almost identical conditions for CableTV on-demand or Satellite TV pay-per-view.


DirectTV Pay Per View - $3.99 regular/$4.99 for HD, and you don't get to keep it, but watch it the next time it being shown, and sometimes for as much as you want up to 24 hours.


Dish Network - $3.99 regular / $4.99 for HD. Same as DirectTV, that just buys you access to the channel the program is being shown for either the next showing, or in some cases for 24 hours.


Comcast On-Demand - $3.99 regular / $5.99 for HD. With their PVR you get to keep it and watch it as long as you want until you delete it I think.





So....think again, the prices mentioned here for Apple are NOT OUT OF LINE at all with existing market prices. Sure, they suck compared to NetFlix but, thats a different kind of service.

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 06:23 PM
I don't think that's really the point...if apple is charging the same as Amazon, that means that it's probably because that's where they can both afford to set the price based on what the studios charge, right? Apple can't charge $1.99 per rental if the studios demand $2.75 per viewing, right?


By this argument, iTunes Music Store should have started off selling songs for $2.99 a piece with no CD-burning rights and only playable on one system.

Just because the studios are getting a particular deal from one (not exactly wildly popular) service doesn't mean you stick with that deal.

The studios would demand $20 per rental if they thought Apple would go for it. There is no ceiling to their greed, which is good because that's what keeps the whole system turning. Again, though, just because that is what they are willing to negotiate doesn't mean that is what Apple should accept. Apple could have and IMHO should have walked away.

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 06:31 PM
So....think again, the prices mentioned here for Apple are NOT OUT OF LINE at all with existing market prices. Sure, they suck compared to NetFlix but, thats a different kind of service.

So, tell me: what is compelling about the 20th entry into a particular market, with no distinguishing features?

The only presumed distinguishing feature I've seen here is an assumed large library. Which seems odd: all the companies mentioned so far are in the purchasable iTMS video store, and the selection there sucks. But, assuming that Apple is able to bring in every single movie ever made. That's a distinguishing feature, but needs to be balanced against the $300 entry fee to buy an :apple:TV.

I don't see how Apple will make inroads into the industry this way. It would be like putting out a cell phone that looks and behaves just like a Treo, except it has an Apple logo instead of a Palm logo, and costs more up front. There has to be a significant positive feature for Apple.

Apple is not a company which thrives in the clone wars. Their primary corporate image is based on innovation. Being just like the rest wastes that brand name.

512ke
Jan 9, 2008, 06:32 PM
Where exactly did you get these DVDs? They aren't released yet....hmmmm....

-JE

They're Academy screeners. I didn't download or upload 'em. :) In fact they have some kind of embedded security codes to make sure you don't share them.

I was just using them as examples of good but long movies that may take a couple of nights to watch (48 rather than 24 hours).

Elbon
Jan 9, 2008, 06:39 PM
Ah, true, another nail in the coffin :P

Not only is renting a DVD around here cheaper, I can even put it into my PS3 and enjoy it upscaled in great quality on my HDTV.
Beat this, Apple :P

AFAIK, a PS3 is still more expensive than an AppleTV, and, unless you're a gamer (I'm not), you probably don't have one. Same applies to those advocating the use of an XBox 360 as a media center. IMO, these devices simply don't appeal to the general public. However, something that lets you watch movies, display photo slideshows, and play music through your home entertainment system may.

mandoman
Jan 9, 2008, 06:43 PM
I'm ok with $3.99/24-hour. That's what comcast offers
for 4:3 pan and scan standard def rentals. Comcast HD VOD
movies are $5.99/24-hour. Only downside is selection
is limited and new releases come out way after the DVD
release (although I think Comcast will now offer VOD same
day as DVD release now).

We rent Comcast VOD all of the time - much more convenient
than going to the video store.

The rental deal will be a good way to drive AppleTV sales.
They really need to revamp that product though.
If they get this new rental service to work standalone
on an AppleTV, than I might be tempted to buy one.

Give me:
1) Stand-alone AppleTV movie-rentals
2) 480p DVD quality or better
3) Original theatrical aspect ratios (no pan and scan 4:3)
4) Really good up-conversion to 720p when needed
5) 5.1 sound
6) Good selection of movies
7) Same day as DVD release.

Really need all of the above to occur to justify a $300
apple movie rental box (yes, I know it plays your itunes
collection too, I just have little need for that).

I mean, we've already got Comcast and it's getting better and better by the day. Apple really needs to improve the AppleTV
and services if they want to gain traction against their competitors.

nimbuscloud
Jan 9, 2008, 06:45 PM
By this argument, iTunes Music Store should have started off selling songs for $2.99 a piece with no CD-burning rights and only playable on one system.

Just because the studios are getting a particular deal from one (not exactly wildly popular) service doesn't mean you stick with that deal.

The studios would demand $20 per rental if they thought Apple would go for it. There is no ceiling to their greed, which is good because that's what keeps the whole system turning. Again, though, just because that is what they are willing to negotiate doesn't mean that is what Apple should accept. Apple could have and IMHO should have walked away.

If Apple just "walked away", there wouldn't be rentals and there would probably be less movies. I will trust Apple on this. After all, I don't see YOU making software that over 300 million people use.

$4 for 24 hours is ok. Really, think about it. It's NOT going to be ONCE IT'S DOWNLOADED. It's going to be once you start watching it. Why can't most of you get that through your heads?

Also, I'd rather rent a movie through iTunes for $4 than drive to Blockbuster for a new movie that's ALL GONE, and having to settle for some other crap. And if Blockbuster DOES have it, it's $4.75 at least. Then you have to bring it back.

I mean, just how many damn times do you watch a movie that you rent? Everyone has been BEGGING for iTunes rentals, saying that "I don't want to buy a movie on iTunes, since I'm only going to watch it once or twice MAX." Remember that? Yet it's the same people crying that "Apple has screwed the pooch." Get over it.

I can't believe that most of you Mac people keep complaining about everything that Apple does that happens to makes them a greater more RELEVANT company. Remember the iPod complaints? How about the iPhone complaints? I do, and I'm sick of it.

How about waiting until Macworld before you burn your shares.

:apple:

Elbon
Jan 9, 2008, 06:46 PM
Give me:
1) Stand-alone AppleTV movie-rentals
2) 480p DVD quality or better
3) Original theatrical aspect ratios (no pan and scan 4:3)
4) Really good up-conversion to 720p when needed
5) 5.1 sound
6) Good selection of movies
7) Same day as DVD release.


Agreed with all of the above, though I can live with standard Dolby Surround, which is what we're likely to get.

EagerDragon
Jan 9, 2008, 06:49 PM
If Apple wants to compete with the other services, then it needs to give people a compelling reason to switch.

To be successful, they need a significant majority.

While I love a lot of Apple products, I need a compelling reason to switch, some here only care it is an Apple product so "lets get it". Some here are kids that rent their own movie and some are adult with no families and as such they can sit uninterupted to watch the movie and without having to deal with the schedule of the rest of their non-existing family.

I call on MacRumors to create a poll for HD quality, 24 hour rental and cost.

Lets see what the people in the forum really think with no whine and no bull.

megfilmworks
Jan 9, 2008, 06:50 PM
I think a lot of people rent so they can watch a movie over a couple of nights.
Since most people work for a living 24 hour rentals will not work.
If I start my movie at 7pm and want to finish the next evening after work then it will expire before I can finish it.
Also HD and 5.1 is a necessity. Especially 5.1.
And an upgraded Apple TV that will allow me to project the movie or I'll just use Netfilx and Blockbuster both of which will be moving to downloadable content this year.
I'm hoping these rumors are not fully flushed out yet.
Come on Apple, lead the way, don't wimp out!

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 06:54 PM
So what your saying is if all those companies won't give the videos the way Apple wants them, Apple should abandon the idea? Say Apple says "We'll need these video's in XXX format for this to work", Fox-"No, if the users want it in XXX format they can pay more or go buy the dvd" we should expect Apple to say "well then we won't do this and we're gong to abandon the idea"


Not precisely, but close, yes.

Apple has a realm of possible scenarios to take to market which it believes will benefit them. Fox has a realm of acceptable scenarios which it believes will benefit them. Aside from scenarios which heavily favor one of these two over the other (such as, Apple takes a huge loss per rental, or Fox takes no profit per rental), where they do not overlap either Apple is wrong, or Fox is wrong. Because, if a scenario is "fair" (benefiting both parties roughly equally) and does not benefit one party, then it does not benefit the other party either. QED.

Now, if Apple comes to the table and after fleshing everything out, the best they can do is an offer from Fox which they do not believe will substantially benefit them, then either they are wrong to believe that, or Fox is wrong to believe that this will be a profitable approach. If Apple sticks to its guns, then Fox goes to other companies with similar deals. If Apple was right, either no one takes the deal, or someone takes the deal and both that company and Fox fail in their venture.

This gets complicated when larger strategies come into play, which I suspect is likely the case here (Apple's negotiators are far too smart to take a deal which they believe is not in their best interest). Still, yes, from a consumer's perspective, I'd much rather they walk away from the table, let the unrealistic plan fail, and come back to the table a year later to get a much better deal.


I for one would rather suck it up with 'reasonable' quality at first until the idea catches on. No need to invest to much in something that may or may not take off or be overrun by another service.


I'm not sure what you're getting at here, but I see no indication that Apple will be able to come back around a year or two later and renegotiate. If anything, renegotiations will tend to favor the studios, not Apple.


It's all about the all mighty dollar and Apple has and is investing some but the real people to stand to loose or gain are the movie companies that count on certain sales.

Hey I'm just being objective here and trying to see what could be a potential reason rather than be a h8r and doing the "It's Apple's fault" thing. It may or may not be them. At least it's happening and again, no one is forcing anyones arm to partake in the service.


First, I wouldn't say "it's Apple's fault". However, Apple isn't acting in the best interests of the consumer when they roll over for the studios' unrealistic demands. There is likely a larger issue at play behind the scenes, and it isn't altogether assured that that is in the consumer's interest either.

Second, "at least it's happening". Was there an unfillable void in your soul when Apple wasn't schlocking the same warez as Amazon and Netflix? I don't see any reason to rejoice over Yet Another Distributor vending movies with no better terms, no better selection, no better price.

Finally, obviously, no one is forcing any of us to partake in the service. I don't think anyone has claimed that here at all. We are, however, claiming that this stinks of a failure of a venture for Apple. We are perfectly within our rights to claim that. And, yes, we claim that precisely because no one is forcing us to use this service. There is no compelling reason for us to use it. That's why it's likely to fail!

Dorfdad
Jan 9, 2008, 07:04 PM
Um, you might want to check your facts before you start calling people stupid. Their $4.99 plan is only up to two rentals a month. 1 at a time unlimited is $8.99.

You are correct. It's 8.99 for unlimted one at a time. STILL A HELL OF A BETTER DEAL for the average consumer.

8.99 NETFLIX for the WIN!

Dorfdad
Jan 9, 2008, 07:09 PM
$4 for 24 hours is ok. Really, think about it. It's NOT going to be ONCE IT'S DOWNLOADED. It's going to be once you start watching it. Why can't most of you get that through your heads?


Spoken like a man who has no children.. I can not tell you how many time we started watching movie A and the kids need us. So we pause or stop the movie and than it's too late so we decide to finish it tomorrow of the next day. In this scenario I would have to re-purchase it. which is plain ******.

haw-i-ya
Jan 9, 2008, 07:14 PM
So couldn't you just use a screen capturing app and record the movie, then put it on a DVD (Or possibly Blu-Ray if they introduce the drive)? I am okay with this... $3.99 DVDs!!!:D

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 07:15 PM
If Apple just "walked away", there wouldn't be rentals and there would probably be less movies. I will trust Apple on this. After all, I don't see YOU making software that over 300 million people use.


Quite true. I am not Apple. Users of software I had a hand in writing number in the hundreds of thousands, not hundreds of millions :)

More importantly, though, I don't have a brand based around innovation and leadership.

Still, just because I'm not the President of the US doesn't mean I can't criticize his policies and occasionally call him a schmuck!


$4 for 24 hours is ok. Really, think about it. It's NOT going to be ONCE IT'S DOWNLOADED. It's going to be once you start watching it. Why can't most of you get that through your heads?


I agree this is most likely. Although, as nothing has been announced yet, and the published rumors leave this detail out so far as I've seen, I think people are correct in stating that it might not be so. Relax.


I mean, just how many damn times do you watch a movie that you rent?


Me, personally? Pretty much always once. Sometimes, I'll watch it one night and my wife the next. Also sometimes, we'll start watching it one night, and finish watching it a few nights later. Every once in a while, we'll watch it one night, then tell a friend about it and they'll watch it with us again another night, all on the same rental dime.


Everyone has been BEGGING for iTunes rentals, saying that "I don't want to buy a movie on iTunes, since I'm only going to watch it once or twice MAX." Remember that? Yet it's the same people crying that "Apple has screwed the pooch." Get over it.


I don't see why the above is a contradiction. A short 24-hour time window definitely affects those who only watch movies once as well.

Think about it: why would studios demand a 24-hour window instead of a 14-day window which you effectively get with most Blockbuster rentals (speaking of 7-day rentals, where there is "no late charge" until you are 7 additional days late, at which point there is a $1.50 restocking fee or you buy it). There is no limited quantity of physical disks to manage here. A 14-day rental is still substantially separated from a disk purchase (if I purchase a DVD movie, it's because I want to be able to show it to someone a year or so later, not the next night or weekend).

They do this because a substantial portion of users will need to rent it twice to get the utility they would otherwise have gleaned from a 1-week rental. They would not demand such if there wasn't a significant portion of re-rentals in play.



I can't believe that most of you Mac people keep complaining about everything that Apple does that happens to makes them a greater more RELEVANT company. Remember the iPod complaints? How about the iPhone complaints? I do, and I'm sick of it.


I fail to see how making themselves indistinguishable from Charter and COX and Unbox makes Apple more relevant. It dilutes the brand, with no upside.

Elbon
Jan 9, 2008, 07:18 PM
I don't see any reason to rejoice over Yet Another Distributor vending movies with no better terms, no better selection, no better price.


I do. The current version of AppleTV does almost everything I want: it allows me to listen to my iTunes music library, view photos, and watch home movies via my home entertainment system. However, it doesn't let me (easily) watch production video content that I don't care to purchase but would still like to see - I still need a DVD player for that. An updated AppleTV that supports movie rentals would allow me to get rid of my DVD player entirely (in the same way that many of us eliminated the CD player from the entertainment system once MP3 players became prevalent).

jettredmont
Jan 9, 2008, 07:19 PM
So couldn't you just use a screen capturing app and record the movie, then put it on a DVD (Or possibly Blu-Ray if they introduce the drive)? I am okay with this... $3.99 DVDs!!!:D

Please. Just skip the purchase altogether, grow some balls, and infringe on copyright using BitTorrent like the other cool kids. You'll get better quality, likely faster, and certainly cheaper.

For the rest of us who care about laws and such, this is a crappy rental deal.

danny_w
Jan 9, 2008, 07:21 PM
...DirectTV Pay Per View - $3.99 regular/$4.99 for HD, and you don't get to keep it, but watch it the next time it being shown, and sometimes for as much as you want up to 24 hours...
So....think again, the prices mentioned here for Apple are NOT OUT OF LINE at all with existing market prices. Sure, they suck compared to NetFlix but, thats a different kind of service.
At least with a DirecTv DVR you can record the PPV for unlimited viewing later (at least non-HD, I don't have HD so I don't know if it is different). And if you have a VCR/DVD recorder you can make a backup copy.

djejrejk
Jan 9, 2008, 07:23 PM
24 hours is ridiculous and I can't think people would be stupid enough to pay 4 bucks for a movie rental that is probably gonna take 3 hours alone to download and only last 1 day! It takes less time and less money to go to the Blockbuster in my town and I can keep the movie for a few days and watch it on a big TV.

Im not sure that the download will take 3 hours.. an album on itunes takes 1-2 minutes on my modest connection vs. at least 30 mins over bit torrent. Even if the download takes an hour, not only are you saving the chore of going to the rental store and picking out a movie (usually at least 30-45 mins for me), you also save the hassle of getting it back on time and worrying about late fees.

The key for me is going to be quality- I would gladly play for 720p... less than 720p.. maybe not.

celavato
Jan 9, 2008, 07:32 PM
I mentioned it to several of my clients and they all think the $4 price tag is fantastic. Several of them have commented that it may be enough to have them discontinue their netflix service.

It really depends on the Netflix user. I watch 4 movies/month tops and will gladly pay a premium for a download ($16 versus $9 for Netflix) -- if Apple offers 720p, bundles extras like featurettes and commentary tracks, and starts the one day rental period from the time you play the movie. This way, you could download a movie earlier in the week so it's ready for the weekend.

BobVB
Jan 9, 2008, 07:34 PM
My fear is that this will be successful and we will have another DivX that actually succeeds. They are selling you an inferior product, both audio and video, for too high a price (industry standard or not) for an inconvenient time period (24 hours is too short to insure the customer has time to recoup their investment - 36 to 48 hours as a minimum).

If this is successful it will just cement the idea that the viewing public will take anything they decide to give us. Let it crash and burn and see if we can get them to give us things that cost them NOTHING but make the product better for us the consumers.

Elbon
Jan 9, 2008, 07:47 PM
My fear is that this will be successful and we will have another DivX that actually succeeds.

This isn't really an apt analogy. DivX competed with DVD in the same way that VHS competed with Betamax and HD-DVD is currently competing with Blu-Ray. These were "format wars" where one is meant to succeed at the expense of the other. iTunes movie rentals are not an either/or situation like this - if you don't like the quality, you have plenty of other (higher-quality) options: DVD, VOD, or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray.

BobVB
Jan 9, 2008, 07:59 PM
This isn't really an apt analogy.

Depends on what aspect you were referring to - I was just using it as accepting a low standard product when they could make a higher one, in the case by changing things that really cost them nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Less than DVD quality for DVD prices? Less than the quality of other delivery methods for the same cost and inconvenient time periods.

But as you pointed out since there are better quality and even cheaper alternatives maybe it would be best to give this venture into the market place a resounding 'NO' as presented and let them know we KNOW they can do better.

DakotaGuy
Jan 9, 2008, 08:03 PM
These days everything is about HD broadcasting and video or even up-converted SD DVD. This is going to fall flat on it's face if it does not offer at least 720p/1080i video quality. If you could hook it up to a tube SDTV then it might look fine, but on today's HDTV's it is not going to look good.

If Apple wants to be successful and take a chunk out of the disc renting market they need to offer a product that is at least as good as up-converted SD DVD or better with regards to image and sound quality. The other thing they need to look at is monthly rental subscriptions. If they can offer 720p content with 5.1 sound and a monthly rental package it could be wildly successful and might even become the future of movie rentals. They also should offer the same quality video for purchase and download if there is a movie that a person really wants to keep. I thought the whole idea behind Quicktime H246 was to allow for HD quality at smaller file sizes so I don't see why this should be an issue. Doesn't MS offer some HD downloads on their xBox 360? If they can do it so can Apple.

derrickearl
Jan 9, 2008, 08:06 PM
Can you say Red Box?

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 9, 2008, 08:33 PM
This isn't really an apt analogy. DivX competed with DVD in the same way that VHS competed with Betamax and HD-DVD is currently competing with Blu-Ray.

It's not apt at all ;) For the sake of young'uns who might be confused, Elbon and the poster he quoted are referring to the DIVX pay-per-view DVD system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX_%28Digital_Video_Express%29), not the DivX codec (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DivX).

chicagostars
Jan 9, 2008, 08:34 PM
The attitudes here are incredible. "It doesn't meet my needs so it is doomed to fail." How arrogant people must be to believe everyone else's habits must match their own.

- many people can watch a movie in less than 24 hours.
- many people find going to the video store inconvenient, no matter how close it is
- many people don't like the waiting required by Netflix, and that is if they want to rent two movies in a month
- many people don't have HD DVDs so don't require HD movies

This service is not for everyone, granted. But to say it is doomed is a bit premature.

A sober, sensible post. Thank you. :)

Project
Jan 9, 2008, 08:36 PM
Once again, whinge whinge whinge.

- Apple introduce films on iTunes. "too expensive!" "I only want to watch it once, give me rental!" "viewing films is different to listening to music!" the Mac Rumors faithful cried.

Now Apple is bringing rentals and its "too expensive!" "I can't watch a 90 minute film in 24 hours!"

- A long time passes, and Apple do not have many companies on board. "Steve is playing hardball" "Apple doesnt know how to do business" "Amazon has got way more content than iTunes, it sucks".

Now Apple is bringing new companies on board after presumably catering to their pricing demands and its "its too expensive!" "I can get cheaper on bit torrent/the local avon lady"


1. I have a reasonably fast broadband connection and am currently downloading a 720p movie from Xbox Live (Harry Potter if you must know), as a test to see how long it takes. Its been 6 hours so far and on 72% for what is a 7GB file. While i'd love a choice between 720p and SD on iTunes, I wouldn'tbe surprised if Apple kept it non-HD. There is no instant gratification for the vast majority of users at the moment.

2. People moaning about the price, well, its the standard for this type of thing. Look at Amazon for example. you can't compare the traditional Netflix model as its a completely different business model. For most people, the number of movies you can rent and how long you rent it on Netflix is not an issue as you are paying a subscription. They make their money on people who just watch a couple of movies a month, yet still pay their account in full. Apple are not in a position to do that for downloads, should there not be a subscription option. But sure, a lot of people will find Netflix to have a far better solution for them. But stop acting like they are the only type of customer. Many of us do not watch enough films to justify a subscription.

3. To the dude who said the 24 hours sucks and he would rather go the cinema and enjoy the big screen - good luck trying to watch 24 hours worth of screenings with your single ticket. And good luck getting them to play older titles.

whatever
Jan 9, 2008, 08:46 PM
I agree... I think this is stupid pricing... especially considering that Verizon FiOS offer video on demand services, as does comcast high speed internet. The rates are much better and the pipes are bigger so you can start watching right away.

Using iTunes only makes sense for purchasing.

Oh... and really only for HD quality.

Comcast is $4.99 for one viewing and they don't have many movies on the same day the DVD is released.

And as far as HD Content goes....

pomus
Jan 9, 2008, 09:15 PM
At least with a DirecTv DVR you can record the PPV for unlimited viewing later (at least non-HD, I don't have HD so I don't know if it is different). And if you have a VCR/DVD recorder you can make a backup copy.

Woah, some of you guys just don't get it. 1) I don't have satellite or cable because I refuse to pay many many moneys for crap that I don't watch. 2) Itunes = convenience and ease of use. 3) Its funny how people are whining for a rental system that we don't even know how its going to work. :rolleyes:

DakotaGuy
Jan 9, 2008, 09:26 PM
1. I have a reasonably fast broadband connection and am currently downloading a 720p movie from Xbox Live (Harry Potter if you must know), as a test to see how long it takes. Its been 6 hours so far and on 72% for what is a 7GB file. While i'd love a choice between 720p and SD on iTunes, I wouldn'tbe surprised if Apple kept it non-HD. There is no instant gratification for the vast majority of users at the moment.

What does it matter if they offer a choice? Don't people go to work in the day or sleep at night? Start your download and go to bed. When you get up it will be done.

JGowan
Jan 9, 2008, 09:27 PM
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Anything less sucks.

geerlingguy
Jan 9, 2008, 09:32 PM
Don't mind the $4, I'd probably even pay up to $7, but only if:

-- new release, simultaneous with DVD release, older releases $2-$5
-- 30+ hours rental (2 nights viewing time)
-- at least 720p hi-def transfer, good compression
-- real 5.1 audio
-- apply rental cost to later purchase of either physical DVD or digital download if desired

Until you can give me that, you're not getting a cent of my money, :apple:. And I desperately want to give it to you.

I think Apple may have this idea up their sleeve: HD resolution, 5.1 audio via QuickTime, and $4 for new releases, $3 for non-new releases. $4 for a one-day copy of a poor-quality video like they have now is ridiculous.

miketcool
Jan 9, 2008, 09:38 PM
There's been a reversal on piracy? I'm not aware of it if there has been, but maybe a source would convince me.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/services/2006-06-12-riaa_x.htm

I'm too lazy to dig up a bunch of articles. The gist of it was that trend of music piracy downloads slowed significantly, not a complete reversal, but a BIG change. Video piracy still increases in the double digits, and there should be seen a dip in that trend as well when a working instant access solution comes about.

HyperZboy
Jan 9, 2008, 10:34 PM
The reason redbox is cheaper is because the selection is so bad. You can rent movies for $0.99 (like older releases at Hollywood Video), but the selection is limited. The newest releases accont for 80-90% of rentals at a Blockbuster). At NetFlix, it is more like 40%. So for Apple, they will have a great selection (not as good as NetFlix, but better than VoD by an order of magnitude).

And you can put it on your iPhone, etc. And you can have 10 ready to go, on your mac. No problem, just need to watch it within 30 days of renting...and 24 hours from "playing".

You make some good points. But between Netflix and RedBox, it looks like I'll rarely need to use Apple's iTunes service for movies.

And guess what? I can put any movie on my iPhone RIGHT NOW!
All you need is the right software.
Why would I want to pay substantially more for something I can already do for less cost?

The reason the iTunes music store is so successful is because it makes no sense to go through all the trouble to steal music when you can have it for 99¢ I just don't see quite the same price motivation here with movies. My feeling is that unless the movie downloads are 1080i or at the very least 720p and with less restrictions than what's being rumored, why would I want this? As usual, the "corporate suits" just don't get it.

Unlike the iPhone and the iPod, where Apple has been competing against pretty crappy competition, the movie rental businesses have pretty much tried everything. Maybe Apple will surprise us with something no ones thought of before (that's my hope of course), but it's really hard for me to think of something at $3.99 for 24 hours only that I'd personally be interested in when there are so many other choices out there and many at less cost. Maybe the desperate lonely hotel traveller with a laptop in need of a quick porn fix? :D

dan-o-mac
Jan 9, 2008, 10:41 PM
So, tell me: what is compelling about the 20th entry into a particular market, with no distinguishing features?

The only presumed distinguishing feature I've seen here is an assumed large library. Which seems odd: all the companies mentioned so far are in the purchasable iTMS video store, and the selection there sucks. But, assuming that Apple is able to bring in every single movie ever made. That's a distinguishing feature, but needs to be balanced against the $300 entry fee to buy an :apple:TV.

I don't see how Apple will make inroads into the industry this way. It would be like putting out a cell phone that looks and behaves just like a Treo, except it has an Apple logo instead of a Palm logo, and costs more up front. There has to be a significant positive feature for Apple.

Apple is not a company which thrives in the clone wars. Their primary corporate image is based on innovation. Being just like the rest wastes that brand name.

Great post! While I do agree with your post, I see things in a different light. Unlike music where they kicked down the door, I think Apple is unsure how to go about it in an already established market and is just trying to get their foot in the door. The Mac community is too used Apple leapfrogging the competition, when we see a product that is on par with the competition we think of it as a flop. On another note I'm not sure what market this is for. This service is not going to make anyone want to go out and spend $300 on a AppleTV, which I'm sure is not selling well considering it was labeled a hobby, which brings us to how many sales will they actually get from current AppleTV users if their user base is so small? How many people that are not geeks actually have their home computer or laptop connected to their television, I'm going take a guess and say very little. Is the market that big for people to rent movies and watch on their computer or if permitted rent to watch on and iPod?

billabong
Jan 9, 2008, 10:46 PM
Don't worry, I'm sure we'll get it in 2 or 3 years time.

haha very true... We finally just got TV shows... But we can hope right? Movies are available on XBOX live in Canada. So you would think iTunes would want to get in on the action too.

msharp
Jan 9, 2008, 10:55 PM
I don't want to fight with someone, I'm just a little bit curious about your expectation for the pricing.

For those who think $4 is too high for 24 hrs, it's normal to spend $7-$10 to watch a movie in theater; it's fine to spend $10 on coffee and maybe another $10 on cookie when you are sitting in starbucks, which is usually less than 3 hours.

But when comes to movie rental, I guess once, not even 24 hours would be more than enough.

So back to my question, why are you guys complaining about the pricing?

P.S. Again, I'm not posting this for a fight, I just want to know what kind of pricing you were expecting.

mambodancer
Jan 9, 2008, 11:17 PM
This isn't really an apt analogy. DivX competed with DVD in the same way that VHS competed with Betamax and HD-DVD is currently competing with Blu-Ray. These were "format wars" where one is meant to succeed at the expense of the other. iTunes movie rentals are not an either/or situation like this - if you don't like the quality, you have plenty of other (higher-quality) options: DVD, VOD, or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray.

And, since the consumer decides, it is the consumers who win.

You can argue all you want about "quality" but that didn't help Betamax when it came to video tapes, it didn't help Laserdiscs when it came to DVD's, it won't help HD DVD when it comes to Blueray.

You vote with your dollars and if the iTunes movie rentals succeeds it is because the consumer wants it to succeed on whatever merits it has...probably convenience over whether it is HD or the length of time you have before it "expires" after purchase the rental.

mambodancer
Jan 9, 2008, 11:20 PM
I don't want to fight with someone, I'm just a little bit curious about your expectation for the pricing.

For those who think $4 is too high for 24 hrs, it's normal to spend $7-$10 to watch a movie in theater; it's fine to spend $10 on coffee and maybe another $10 on cookie when you are sitting in starbucks, which is usually less than 3 hours.

But when comes to movie rental, I guess once, not even 24 hours would be more than enough.

So back to my question, why are you guys complaining about the pricing?

P.S. Again, I'm not posting this for a fight, I just want to know what kind of pricing you were expecting.

I agree. $4 is a fantastic rental price. (Which is about the price I pay for that coffee at Starbucks-not $10. Is that a NYC price or something?)

mambodancer
Jan 9, 2008, 11:26 PM
Netflix Delivers DVD Rentals To You
With Netflix you can rent as many DVDs as you want and watch movies instantly on your PC for one low price. There are no late fees and no due dates, and DVD shipping is free both ways. Plans start from only $4.99 plus applicable tax. With our most popular plan, you can rent as many DVDs as you want (3 DVDs at-a-time) and watch 17 hours of movies instantly on your PC all for just $16.99 a month plus applicable tax. There are no additional charges. Click here to learn about other available plans.

Free DVD Shipping and Postage
Select your DVDs after sign-up and they should arrive in your mailbox in about 1 business day via U.S. mail. When you finish watching a movie, simply put it in its prepaid envelope and mail it back to us. After we receive your returned DVD, we'll send the next available DVD from your list. Shipping is always free both ways — no hidden charges. Plus, you can instantly watch movies and TV episodes instantly on your PC for no additional charge!

More Than 90,000 Movies
We have a wide selection of movies available. As a member, you'll be able to choose from any of our 90,000 DVD titles, including new releases, as well as over 6,000 movies and TV episodes such as The Matrix, Super Size Me, and The Office that you can watch instantly on your PC. Our web site is available 24 hours a day and makes finding movies simple and convenient.

Cost
Our most popular plan, 3 at-a-time (Unlimited)/17 hours instantly on your PC, is $16.99 plus any applicable tax per month. Click here to learn about other available plans. There are no additional charges. There are no late fees or due dates!

FREE TRIAL
New customers are eligible for a free trial. To avoid being charged after your trial, simply cancel your account before the trial ends. If you are enjoying Netflix, do nothing and your membership will automatically continue on the plan you have selected for as long as you choose to remain a member. See Terms of Use for complete membership and free trial details.

Getting Started
To get started with your FREE TRIAL, simply click the "Free Trial" button anywhere on the site and complete our sign-up process. Once signed up, use our web site to choose your movies.

Cancellation
You can easily cancel anytime, online, 24 hours a day. There are no cancellation fees.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world's largest online DVD rental service. In 2007, Netflix began offering members the ability to watch movies instantly on their PCs. Each month, Netflix provides movie entertainment to more than 7 million satisfied customers.

http://www.netflix.com/HowItWorks

-----

Anything less sucks.

Watch movies instantly on a Windows PC, not a Mac. Only a percentage of movies are even available for "Watch Now." Hopefully this will change. Also, the amount of time available for "Watch Now" is based on the plan you have. It is not unlimited.

You have to wait until the DVD is shipped.

Hope that your account isn't being throttled.

Netflix is great for what it is. An iTunes service would fill in the gaps for instant gratification.