Renting Movies from iTunes Store for Airplane Mode?

ehzool

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 5, 2014
80
1
When I'm traveling on an airplane without internet connection, I was thinking of renting a movie from the iTunes Store.

Will that work? Can I watch a rented movie without internet connection - offline mode?

If not, will buying work?

And also if not, are there any other websites where i can buy/rent a movie for offline viewing?
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,833
1,755
DE
You can rent the movie before you depart for the airport and let it download locally to your device (I'd suggest renting it the night prior). Once you're in the air, you should be able to access the movie via the 'TV' app on your iDevice. You won't need an internet connection to play it as long as it fully downloaded.
 
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Longkeg

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2014
405
165
S. Florida
You can rent the movie before you depart for the airport and let it download locally to your device (I'd suggest renting it the night prior). Once you're in the air, you should be able to access the movie via the 'TV' app on your iDevice. You won't need an internet connection to play it as long as it fully downloaded.
I agree. It SHOULD work but I would test this before flying. The only hitch would be if the rented movie needed to "phone home" for DRM authorization. Without an internet connection the device wouldn't be able to contact the iTunes database to verify that you are the legit owner/renter of the content. Without verification the movie won't play. I'm not sure how often it does this or even IF it does it anymore. Rent the cheapest movie you can find and experiment with playback in airplane mode. See what happens.
 
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nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,833
1,755
DE
I agree. It SHOULD work but I would test this before flying. The only hitch would be if the rented movie needed to "phone home" for DRM authorization. Without an internet connection the device wouldn't be able to contact the iTunes database to verify that you are the legit owner/renter of the content. Without verification the movie won't play. I'm not sure how often it does this or even IF it does it anymore. Rent the cheapest movie you can find and experiment with playback in airplane mode. See what happens.
Great point. My fiancée had that happen to her once on a flight. Since we were in the air, she didn't have an internet connection and the movie wouldn't play because it couldn't find DRM authorization. Once we were on the ground, she was able to play it (at the time she thought it was an issue with the download).
 

CTHarrryH

macrumors 68020
Jul 4, 2012
2,243
872
Haven't rented recently but you used to have 24 hours from the time you start watching until you can't. So I'd start (titles only maybe) while having an internet connection then stop and continue once in air. I never had a problem with watching in air but if concerned about DRM try starting early
 

jetsam

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2015
565
309
When I'm traveling on an airplane without internet connection, I was thinking of renting a movie from the iTunes Store.

Will that work? Can I watch a rented movie without internet connection - offline mode?

If not, will buying work?

And also if not, are there any other websites where i can buy/rent a movie for offline viewing?
I've been renting movies from the iTunes store for years to watch on an iPad in airplane mode, on an airplane. Download before flight, enjoy during!
 

EDH667

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
996
234
Northern California
I have rented and downloaded movies from iTunes for several overseas trips. You just have to remember to start it briefly, while you have an internet connection, within the 24 hrs you are going to complete watching the movie. You will then be able to watch the movie without connecting to the internet while on the airplane.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,535
9,080
Ventura County
I have rented and downloaded movies from iTunes for several overseas trips. You just have to remember to start it briefly, while you have an internet connection, within the 24 hrs you are going to complete watching the movie. You will then be able to watch the movie without connecting to the internet while on the airplane.
So essentially start and then pause right before you take off?
 

Longkeg

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2014
405
165
S. Florida
Yes. That should do it. You should even be able to scrub back to the very beginning so you won't have to miss a second of the opening logos and titles. Here's what's going on in the background:

You rent/buy a show from iTunes using your AppleID. All apple videos are embedded with DRM code (Digital Rights Management). This is a scheme that, among other things, checks that the video you are trying to watch is legit and something you are in fact authorized to play. When you press "Play" to start the video your device automatically logs in to Apple iTunes servers and compares the AppleID used to buy the video with the AppleID that the device is logged in to. If they agree the video plays. If they don't agree or if the device can't get to the servers, like because you have no internet at 39,000 feet, then it won't play. You won't see any of this but trust me it's happening.

In the case of rented content you have 24 hours to finish watching from the time the video started. So consider this time restraint when you first start the video. In the case of bought content the device will periodically check authorization so don't assume that a show that you started watching last month is good to go. Always start the video and pause just before you board to play it safe.
 

jetsam

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2015
565
309
I have rented numerous movies from the iTunes store to play offline on an airplane. I have been doing this since the iPad 1. I have never had to start a movie online in order to get it to play.

The Apple support article about renting movies says:
Watch your movie rental offline
To watch your movie when you're offline, like on an airline flight where Wi-Fi is not available:

  • Download the entire movie before you go offline.
  • Press play to start watching. The 24-hour timer starts even if you're offline.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201611
 
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