Rentals vs Purchases

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ipedro, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    With the introduction of tv2, Apple did away with the biggest media management problem: storage.

    How much time do you spend ripping, labelling, organizing and storing your media? If you spend more time doing the above than actually enjoying your media, then the answer is: too much time.

    I'm a big proponent of miniaturizing one's life, being able to fit all your critical possessions into one suitcase. The digital world has made that easier and practical than in the era of CD's and DVD's but many people -- a lot of you on this forum -- still occupy a lot of space, in your minds, with the task of maintaining all your multimedia.

    I'm also the type of person who doesn't mind paying to watch a movie every time I watch it, as long as the price is reasonable. A lighter load on my mind and the time returned to me from not having to maintain a large movie library is worth the price. If I pay $5 to watch a movie today, and 2 years down the road, pay $5 when I feel like watching it again, that's completely acceptable.

    Now the one Achilles Heal is that of availability. If a movie is available for rental today and gone in a few months, then this whole model falls apart. People horde movies because they like the idea that they can watch them whenever the appetite to watch it arises. If there's an uncertainty about if you'll be able to watch it in the future, the rental model won't work.

    What I'd like to see tv do is enable users to build a virtual library of their favourite titles and have Apple ensure that they'll be available for future rentals. This can be done by having a warning system. If a title is going to be de-listed from the iTunes store, it would be flagged in your library and you'd have the opportunity to go purchase it before it's gone.

    How many of you support the Rental model and who insists on purchases?
  2. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I like both.. But I guess I prefer purchase as you get to watch it over and over without paying again.. But that's just me.
  3. tac22 macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2009
    it depends on what, 80% of the time i prefer rentals. That includes all tv shows and most movies. But yes occasionally i prefer buying a movie i like becuase it doesn't make sense to rent it multiple times.
  4. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    My preference:
    • Rental for movies and tv shows (I rarely watch anything twice)
    • Purchase for music (repeat listening is another matter)

    The 99 cent tv show rentals and $99 Apple tv will take off. Apple have nailed the pricing model (IMHO, of course)
  5. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I'm interested in digger further on that statement.

    What is the real cost of ownership? Does it make sense to purchase? We might be surprised by the reality.

    Factor in the price of your average HD movie purchase, the one time cost of an AppleTV with an HDD, the price of storage of your growing library -- how many HDD's are you going to buy to mantain that library into perpetuity?... and multiply that by 2 because you need backups -- and don't forget to add your time (how much are you worth per hour?).

    Add that up and you'll have the real cost of ownership minus your stress level because that can't be calculated. Oh, and don't forget that every 10 years you will be compelled to buy your collection again as resolution and formats improve.

    Is it worth it?
  6. SteveAbootman macrumors 6502a


    May 12, 2008
    Rental is the way to go. I think you nailed it on the head - when you spend more time ripping, encoding, organizing, transferring, your media, there is a problem. I have about 50+ DVD's of mainstream titles from 2000-2007. I don't think I saw a return on investment of ANY of the 50+ movies I bought.

    The only time I could see where media storage would be of a concern is for family movies that you've created in iMovie, or if you are into indie flicks that are not available through iTunes. In these cases, I see the necessity of media storage on the new ATV.
  7. SCLlama macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2008
    Rental is fine for downloads. If I want to keep something, I would invest in the Blu-Ray.

    However, I think Apple needs to get closer to the Redbox pricing for HD Movies. $5 is just too much when you can get a better quality blu-ray for $1.50. 99cents for an HD episode is not bad though.
  8. CyberBob859 macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2007
    If you are buying music, or storing photos, you have to invest in a hard drive, setup (and stick to) a backup strategy, and go through the process of tagging and organizing your media anyway. Such is life in the digital world.

    Movies and TV shows are just other forms of media to manage. Isn't that what iTunes provides today?

    The difficulty comes with DVD and Blu-Ray movies and TV shows where you want to convert to file(s) to play on your iDevices or :apple:TV. There's no quick, easy, and standard way to do that, and the quality can vary.

    Your storage requirements go up a lot with video, but hard drive capacities are always increasing while prices drop.

    So, I don't think a rental model on the new :apple:TV saves any time or other costs for somebody who already has a digital media collection to manage. However, for somebody who doesn't have a media collection, the new :apple:TV will be appealing.

    I have a gen 1 :apple:TV. There are times when I want to purchase a show or movie, and other times I would like to just rent. The new version does not offer a balance between renting and purchasing, but heavily favors renting. I can still buy on my Mac, but lose the instant viewing feature on the TV. I really think the best approach would've been a second ":apple:TV Pro" model for those of us who would also like to occasionally purchase content and are willing to manage it.
  9. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Music is a completely different situation all together. You listen to an individual song 200, 500, thousands of times in its life. Renting a song would not be cost effective. Renting a movie that you'll watch a few times is still cheaper than buying it straight out.

    Once you factor in your time and trouble and the prices of HDDs and backups, you're going to have to watch that movie many times to make it cost effective.

    Comparing music file sizes to those of HD video is not a good analogy. I can easily fill a 1TB HDD in a year's worth of tv and movie viewing. 1TB of music would take me several lifetimes to listen to once. Storage concerns for digital music were resolved permanently once HDD's reached into the hundreds of GB's. Until petabyte drives become viable and affordable, you're not going to reach the critical point where storage isn't a problem.

    To be fair, as I've mentioned above, renting will not reliably defeat the purpose of purchasing until Apple can guarantee that movies will always be available to rent. At this point, I don't think that's the case but I'd rather deal with the unavailability of a title than a crapload of files and its maintenance and storage nightmare.
  10. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    I do a little of each. If it's a kid's movie (those get watched a lot) or a movie I especially like, I'll buy it, otherwise I'll rent.

    I don't particularly mind that there isn't any onboard storage on the new Apple TV since I just streamed my more than 500GB of media from my computer's Drobo anyway, which is still supported, but I think the thing I'd miss most about the new model is being able to browse and purchase content straight from the device.

    I can go to my computer easily enough for the content I know I want to buy (or I can buy the Blu Ray that comes with a digital copy), but I don't check iTunes as much as the Apple TV interface for bargains.

    At any rate, I think the purchase model is something Apple absolutely needs to maintain and support with Apple TV, even if indirectly as they do now. Ecosystem is key to Apple's strength. I want to watch purchased movies on my iPhone on an airplane, train, or at random times where my kids are going nuts and I need to keep them occupied. Moving to a purely streaming format would be a big mistake since some movies get watched repeatedly and/or are watched in a place with no internet connection (airplane).
  11. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I had heard that Drobo would have this solution. So it runs iTunes? How does this work exactly?
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    it includes an onboard CPU etc and can run the iTunes services and connect ot iTunes libraries. it virtually is iTunes on a drobo.

    i personally prefer purchases, i have a 50GB limit per month of downloads (australia) and i would kick myself if i downloaded a movie for a few days then lost it - imagine if i wanted to watch it again!!! :eek:
  13. ascender macrumors 68020

    Dec 8, 2005
    I prefer the purchase route tbh. That way I can watch the content when I want, where I want and on whatever device I want.

    Whether you buy media online and download it, or buy it in a physical form and rip it, once the bulk of your collection is done, there's very little overhead involved. Storage really isn't an issue now with the cost of drives and the ease of replacing them in units like the Drobo.

    I can see why they've changed things, but personally its not for me.
  14. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    As I understand it, you can still stream purchases from your computer. For the rare cases where I might want to watch something again (hasn't happened yet) that is enough for me.
  15. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    I'll move to a hybrid model once more studios are onboard with renting. There are some shows I only need to see once, and wouldn't have bought a season set on DVD/Bluray anyways -- these I'll rent. For the shows that I will watch repeatedly and would have otherwise picked up the DVD/Bluray set when it was released, I'll buy a season pass.

    Movies will follow a similar pattern... if I think I'll ever really want to watch the movie more than three times, I'll buy it. Otherwise, it'll be a rental.
  16. mdgolom macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2006
    the more I think about it, I actually like the idea of renting a TV show. So far, I've only bought TV shows from iTunes and never movies. I've done this to watch episodes I've missed or if I can't get the season from the library. Since I'm only going to watch the show once, why pay $1.99-2.99 when I can pay $0.99.

    I'm not sure I'm going start renting more since it's cheaper, but I won't feel as bad doing it to watch missed episodes.
  17. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Once other networks come on board, this could finally be a true replacement for cable. $2.99 still makes you hesitate but you justify it by knowing that you'r e no longer paying $100 per month in cable. At 99¢ you're completely relaxed at buying whatever shows you want to watch, without thinking twice.
  18. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    For me, I want to rent movies, buy TV shows, and buy music.

    Now everyone is different, but for me when I download an episode of a TV show, I'm almost certainly going to watch it multiple times. For example - I bought seasons 1-5 of The Office and I watch old episodes all the time. Since I bought them I can do that whenever I want, as often as I want. Had I rented them, I'd have to pay $0.99 every time I wanted to watch.

    $2.99 is an impulse buy for me to keep a show forever and watch it as many times as I want. Heck, it's not much more than a single ride MetroCard here. ;)

    I rent movies because I typically don't want a movie more than once, or at least if I do it's not enough to justify paying $9.99+ to buy it. Rent vs purchase for movies is $2.99-$4.99 vs $9.99+. Rent vs purchase for TV shows is $0.99 vs $2.99.
  19. CyberBob859 macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2007
    But the point is - you still have to manage anything digital. Whether its a 500 GB hard drive with nothing but a music library and/or photos, or a 6TB Drobo cluster with everything - music, photos, TV shows, movies, apps, audiobooks, and ebooks, you still have to take the time and eat the cost of keeping everything around, backing them up, and developing your playlists, etc. And the more you have, the more time it will take to manage, and the more expensive this becomes.

    If you want to pull out the cost to manage the movie and tv shows to say that it isn't cost effective, then pay $10/month or so with Rhapsody and do the same thing with audio. You won't have to deal with audio files, it's maintenance and storage.
  20. Truffy macrumors 6502a


    May 9, 2005
    somewhere outside your window...
    Heh, the Swiss iTS doesn't offer films/episodes, and if they did they'd probably be in German. More 'meh' than 'heh', come to think of it!

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