Rentals vs. Purchasing - Apple changed the Game

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by santabarbaramac, May 12, 2008.

  1. santabarbaramac macrumors newbie

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    Santa Barbara, CA
    #1
    Over the last few weeks has anyone else noticed that the choices in aTV have changed? As an example one could rent the movie SuperBad in regular or HD. It was like that for several weeks. Now you can only buy SuperBad. Renting is not an option.

    Has anyone read about Apple having trouble with some of the studios? Seems that there are a bunch of movies to "Buy" on aTV and the rentable ones are getting fewer.
     
  2. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #2
    I bought my Apple TV in order to rent HD movies. Over time I have done that less and less and have, instead, started converting my movie DVDs to MP4 with Handbrake. That's given my Apple TV a lot more utility.

    I notice that I can now buy the SD version of No Country for Old Men on my Apple TV but that its price is $14.99. That’s less than two dollars cheaper than I paid for the DVD at Best Buy, which makes the DVD a way better value, it seems to me.

    I will probably do some online movie buying from Apple if Apple ever makes it possible to buy HD movies that way because I don’t have a Blu-Ray player. Apparently you still can’t buy HD movies via Apple TV. Only SD versions seem to be for sale there.
     
  3. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #3
    Holy crap, you're right!

    I hope this isn't indicative of some trend. I myself rent far more often than I buy (so far, I've only bought kids movies), that's what I bought the Apple TV for!

    As far as I'm concerned, the new release prices for the digital downloads are a bit of a rip off. I mean, you have 0 packaging, negligible distribution costs no physical store with rent and salespeople to pay, yet the iTunes purchase price if often higher than the price of a DVD!

    If the studios are hoping to move away from rentals and more into only purchases, then that would absolutely ruin Apple TV.

    I haven't used a file-trading system since Apple TV got as good of a music selection as it has, but the movie companies really do everything they can to make you want to download BitTorrent and not deal with all the irritating restrictions/rental delays!
     
  4. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #4
    I agree that the severe restrictions on rentals is a pain in the rear. For example, the 24 hour time limit on completing watching a rented movie is ridiculously short. That’s one of the reason’s I don’t rent many movies these days. The absence of a subtitle option bugs me, too. Although I have normal hearing, thank God, I think that subtitles are a help on many movies, particularly films in which there are strong accents and a lot of local jargon.

    These are pretty serious failings when you consider that you have to pay $4.99 a pop to rent just one HD movie.
     
  5. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #5
    I agree. The 24-hour restriction really sucks. I've had about three times I've had to re-rent a movie just to see the whole thing. I rent movies ALL THE TIME, though. I've probably paid over about $100 for rentals in the past few months, and love every bit of it with the Apple TV. That's why I bought the thing!

    That's why the issue the OP brought up is particularly concerning to me.

    Oh, and I'm with you on the subtitle thing. It didn't bother me until I realized that it may mean iTunes will never have "Pan's Labyrinth" or "The Orphanage" which are two fantastic movies which happen to be in Spanish with English subtitles. I'd really like to buy those for permanent download for use with my Apple TV some day.
     
  6. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

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    #6
    I refuse to *EVER* buy a movie on iTunes, until you can buy in HD.

    Renting HD is good. However, I would buy, if you could buy the HD files.
     
  7. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    Nov 18, 2007
    #7
    Well I wouldn't agree but *Ever* hmm should it it be *Never* LoL.

    Yh Apple & M$ (Movie $tudios, Also looks like MicroShaft LoL) are trying to screw us over, with all this Buying crap not enough rentals now:mad:
     
  8. jeff16years macrumors newbie

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    Feb 26, 2008
    #8


    me too.
    I will buy movies via itunes when they are full HD quality.

    sorry that my post has nothing to do with the original post, but i read this and want to say that I am in the same boat.
     
  9. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #9
    I have noticed a few rentals changing to buy only. Probably has to do with licensing agreements with the studio.
    I have seen an amazing increase in rental titles both HD and SD.
    I agree though that until I can buy HD, I will not buy.
     
  10. Resist macrumors 68030

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #10
    It is for this reason I won't buy an Apple TV until this policy changes. There are many times when I would have to stop a movie and not be able to watch it again within the 24 hour restriction.
     
  11. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    It's still totally worth it. I've probably rented about 30 movies through Apple TV, but I only haven't finished about two within the 24 hour period. I think everyone hopes this will change (stupid movie industry!), but it's more workable than you think.
     
  12. Resist macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Not for me it isn't! Especially since I can use Netflix or Blockbuster and have total freedom to stop and watch it later, not being limited to the 30 days and 24 hour fleecing.

    Don't get me wrong I love the concept of Apple TV and would totally be onboard with it if only they changed the rental policy. I can live with the 30 day viewing period but the 24 hour part is a deal breaker for me.
     
  13. cms2 macrumors 6502

    cms2

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    Texas
    #13
    I agree completely with this. I can't see the benefit when I can drive two blocks to blockbuster or just fill out a cue on 'Flix, and enjoy my movie for as long as I want for the same (blockbuster) or considerably cheaper (netflix). If Blockbuster can now carry enough physical copies of new movies to eliminate late fees, then surely something can be done to let one keep the digital copy for more than one 24 hour cycle.
     
  14. Resist macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Oh it can be, they just don't want to. In this way you must re-rent the movie if you miss the time limits. It's all about the money for Apple.
     
  15. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Well, what's worse: having only a day to watch the movie, or having to wait a month for Netflix to finally fulfill your queue request? I've had movies sit at the number one spot in my Netflix queue for literally months (though I have a generally favorable view of the service). I cancelled my subscription after buying an Apple TV, though.

    It's all about convenience.

    I guess you could've said the same thing about purchasing music: why deal with iTunes DRM when you can drive to the store and just buy the CD or mail order it?

    For one thing, I don't want to drive to the store because I'm lazy and I don't want to wait a week for the media I want to have now! Besides, try fitting five DVD rentals into your pocket for a plane ride. With iTunes rentals those five rentals would occupy an iPod-sized space (plus have a player for all your music and TV shows)!
     
  16. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

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    California
    #16
    For cripes sake! It's not Apple that makes these decisions. The same policy is active for the Xbox360 and now DirecTV has the same limitation.

    I've convinced myself that an AppleTV is right for me because I want one device for all my movies. I don't want to change discs, I don't want to worry about scratches, and I want something expandable. It's clear Apple is dedicated to the AppleTV. I do wish there was HD options to buy, however, neither my 360 nor DirecTV have that option either. Hopefully, Apple will go toward this in the future.
     
  17. cms2 macrumors 6502

    cms2

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    #17
    I dunno, I can't imagine paying the same price for a CD on iTunes only to be able to listen to it for 24 hours. In general iTunes is cheaper, and I've never wanted to burn more than five copies of a song.

    This really makes sense. I still can't imagine being too lazy to drive to the store (but maybe that's b/c there's a blockbuster fairly close by) but maybe, just maybe, I'd be willing to rent a couple for a flight.

    On the other hand, this thread seems to have shifted subtly away from the OP's question. :)
     
  18. Resist macrumors 68030

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    #18
    I will say it now then! But I'd rather buy my music from Amazon.com because it has no DRM and most of their music prices are 89 cents.
     
  19. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #19
    That’s right. Apple and the other digital media vendors don’t have a say in the matter. The horribly inconvenient, not to mention unfair, 24 hour rule is the benighted policy of the motion picture industry.

    I agree. I have a TiVo Series3 and get my TV programming from Cox OKC. Nevertheless, I am on the cusp of dropping both my HBO and Showtime subscriptions and signing up for one of Blockbuster’s combination mail order and in store services. The price for the Blockbuster plan would be a little less than I am paying Cox and would give me access to exponentially more movies I am interested in seeing than HBO and Showtime offer. There is only one HBO and one Showtime channel in HD via Cox OKC. I don’t watch movies in 4:3 SD, so I am having to pay $19 a month, plus tax, for two movie channels.

    I have found that the PQ of upconverted DVDs is outstanding, not quite as good as HD but definitely the next best thing. Better yet, the PQ of the movies I own on DVD that I have converted to MP4 with Handbrake has been just as good to my eyes as the PQ of the originals. Further, the Apple TV is significantly easier to use than is my old Momitsu upconverting DVD player. These benefits make giving up HBO and Showtime, and their uncut HD movies, in favor of Apple TV and virtually unlimited DVDs seem worthwhile.
     
  20. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Um, no.

    The movie studios imposed the 30-day/24-hour limit on :apple:TV movie rentals. The same limitations have been imposed on other rental services such as DirecTV and cable PPV and Video On Demand.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  21. Resist macrumors 68030

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #21
    Apple didn't have to agree to it. And if we didn't purchase the movies this way the industry wouldn't believe it to be a success. They can only get what the consumer is willing to pay. You may be willing to pay for this but I am not.
     
  22. TexasAg macrumors member

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    Apr 28, 2008
    #22
    Then you can go use a different download rental service with different terms. Oh wait...there aren't any.
     
  23. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #23
    True. But if Apple had not agreed there would be no movie rentals at all from the iTunes Store, and there probably would not even be purchases. Same goes for PPV and VOD on services like DirecTV and cable. If they don't agree to the terms they don't get the content.

    If you choose not to rent or buy video or audio content from the iTunes Store that is your prerogative. It doesn't bother me any. I was merely correcting your incorrect assertion that the 30-day/24-hour limitations on rentals is "all about the money for Apple."

    I will continue to patronize the iTunes Store in the hope that the video offerings get better over time (to possibly include Hi Def sales, I hope).

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  24. santabarbaramac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 26, 2008
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    Santa Barbara, CA
    #24
    Restating the Forum Topic

    When I posted my question to the group it was not my intention to turn it into a debate about how long the rentals should be live or how long they should start after I begin one. Nor was it to be a discussion about how to use Handbrake, etc.

    Again - I'll ask the question. Does anyone know news about why movies that one used to be able to rent are now only available as purchase?

    I like my AppleTV like you all do. For christ sake it is only $250 - who cares if it isn't perfect. Point is whether the rental business is going to become more challenging due to power struggles in the rental market and the studios. I love the concept of clicking on my couch for a movie to rent. It just doesn't seem like Apple is making a success of it.

    What worries me is that the experience of doing so is similar to the first Mac, iPod and iPhone and Apple is not pushing it in advertising, print or anywhere else. All of you and anyone I speak to has the same reaction and statement - "They bought it so they don't have to go to the store to get a movie and they love it". I don't feel that I'm getting ripped off or anything negative. I simply don't want to lose the best thing to happen to my movie viewing habits since the VCR and the rental store.

    So again - has anyone read an article talking about the future of Apple TV, the studios reaction, trends, etc. I am curious to see if the best thing on my HD TV will continue to flourish.
     
  25. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #25
    I've read a lot of articles talking about the future of :apple:TV, and trends. :)

    However, my opinion is that the service hasn't been available for long enough to even make educated guesses as to how well it will do. I'm sure Apple does report to the studios what the metrics are, and of course the studios look at their payments very carefully.

    But for now we just have to wait and see. If you want the service to flourish then you should use the service. That's what I'm doing.

    Regards,
    Michael
     

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