macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

After launching their movie download service in February, Wal-Mart has quietly shut down the service after HP decided to discontinue the download service that powered it:
HP spokesman Hector Marinez said the company decided to discontinue its video download-only merchant store services because the market for paid video downloads did not perform "as expected." He noted that the Internet video business remains uncertain and is changing rapidly.
Wal-Mart's entry into the movie and TV download business was described as a "game changer" due to partnerships with all the major Hollywood movie studios. Wal-Mart's movies, however, were only offered in Windows Media format, which is not compatible with Apple's iPods.

This news comes amidst rumors that Apple was planning on expanding its online movie offerings to include rentals.

Article Link


macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
Great. Another wannabe hits the dust. We should start making a list of these companies.

It shows that NO ONE wants Microsoft's DRM (which MS may abandon at any time)


macrumors member
Jan 23, 2002
rentals are the way to go. why do I want to pay 14.99 to buy a movie that I'll watch once. Bring on the rental service!


macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
No Surprise....

I think this comes down too the fact that consumers don't want to own movies digitally, but want to rent. Plus there has to be an easy way for the movies to get from your PC to your TV. Otherwise, this is too complex for most people.

If Apple can enhance AppleTV and give us a good rental service, I think we'll finally have something to get excited about.


macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2007
Shanghai, China
rentals are the way to go. why do I want to pay 14.99 to buy a movie that I'll watch once. Bring on the rental service!

Just wait until MacWorld 2008, Steve will surely please you. And BTW, another sucess of "iPod + iTunes", this means you have to have both amazing hardware and software to win the game. A good selling system don't mean everything


macrumors 68000
Aug 21, 2007
Good. Maybe now that Walmart has a clue, the rest, including iTunes, will follow.

No one wants to pay full price for "near DVD" quality when you can get the whole box and disc for the same, if not, close-to the same price. I watch movies once. If it's worth watching more than once, it's worth owning the DVD. So why pay $12.99 and up for a sub-par digital download? It makes me wonder if any of these corporate fat cats actually buy movies or music. Sure, to them $13 for a movies is like 10 cents to the average joe, so I think a reality check is in order.


macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2001

I watched a friend of mine for 30 minutes try to buy a movie through amazon and play it on their windows media center pc.. went home and rented my movie through my cable service, 10 seconds. until apple or any company makes it easier and cheaper with more selection, you just won't win.

if the cable company made it hook up with the iPod, now that would be the killer app.


Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
I think that the best solution is a combination of rent and own. This way you can purchase a movie outright if you want it. Or you can rent the movie for a cheaper price for a limited viewing time.

But here is what would really a nice addition. To have the option of purchasing movie outright after you have rented it. You would only need to pay the difference between the rental fee and the purchase fee. So if the movie costs $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to own, you would pay the rental fee of $5.99 up front, and then if you decide to purchase the movie you would be charged an additional $9.00 to cover the difference.


macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2006
The only way to win this game is to have the majority of Studios on your side and offer cross platform files, be they DRM or not.

However for that to happen the rival companies (Apple, Microsoft, Sony etc) need to get together and agree on a standard file format, which is not very likely to happen.

Once the standard format is agreed then its down to the marketing and service provided that will prove the winner.

Simple in theory! :D

At the moment all these 'rivals' cant really be classed as rivals because they are operating in different classes of the same market.

Also I feel eventually the studios will go it alone and not use third party vendors. Doesnt make sense really does it. Why pay someone to sell your own products?


macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
When a company expects to succeed and fails to offer movies (and music) in a format suitable for all players/OSs then it is bound to fail. Their music store won't do well either because you can't get to their music download site on a Mac.


macrumors newbie
Dec 28, 2007
Washington DC
5 Things for APPLE TV to take over the market.

1. Needs to be a cheaper Apple TV express thats only 99$ (with out the bells and whisles about to be mentioned) for people not sure what it is, but want to move to into the digital movie world (299$ and 399$ is too much for these people) Apple will make money from rentals and the next time the buy an apple product because they loved this one.

2. Apple needs to partner with Netflix, even if its just to allow use of brand name. The name Netflix is trusted and will instantly show consumers what apple is trying to do. Apple can ditch Netflix 2 years later after everyone has bought an apple tv.

3. Have a DVD drive built into apple tv, with a click and rip system that auto rips any dvd from your collection to the hard drive.

4. Have a Tivo type system built in so that is can rip live programs (tuff considering most have DVR w/ Comcast or w/e now)

5. Apple should BUY the company that makes Slingbox.... and use it to allow iPhone owners to watch TV or any movie from there Apple TV even if they are not home. Sending the signal to Apple only products like my Powerbook G4 when Im at (not starbucks) a strip club lol.


macrumors regular
May 17, 2006
Maryland, USA
NetFlix DVDs will continue to earn my business. For me, I haven't truly "experienced" the movie until I've watched the special features like behind-the-scenes, outtakes, and director's commentary.


macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2004
London, England
Online Movies

Was this any surprise? Did many Americans even know Wal-Mart has an online movie store? I guess the main problem was that it used Windows Media. Most people would ask, "can I play this on my iPod?" As soon as the answer is, "no" they won't even take a second look at the site. Same with able to play the movie on TV. I'm not sure there was a way with Wal-Mart's movies, but with the :apple:tv, there is a way with iTunes Store. I still don't understand why the movie studios are fighting with Apple. Some money is better than none, no?

Of course, for :apple:tv to really take off, content needs to be there, but HD quality (DVD quality at worst) and surround sound needs to be there, too.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2005
Springfield Ohio
this feature is standard for Mac users and we embrace most of what iTunes offers and only use iTunes for it.

when there is already iTunes for its users why go anywhere else but iTunes. this is what walmarts is finally understanding and pulled it before they was humiliated further (like we didn't already know when this originally happened)

the market is just over saturated with this type of service with people and companies that think they can compete with iTunes and or other well known service like this. but they finally realize its not possible to do so and pull the plug.

this is just proof in the pudding.

i have allot of movies on my HDD, but most of them are in DVD form. i like to own the actual media that i can hold in my hands. which i can put the movies to CD or DVD just as well.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2003
Also I feel eventually the studios will go it alone and not use third party vendors. Doesnt make sense really does it. Why pay someone to sell your own products?
Because they have proven again and again that they are incapable of doing so, either due to technical incompetence, or due to unchecked user hostile DRM restrictions -- in other words they offer a product they want to sell, not one their customers want to buy.

I think this plus the Fox deal is strong evidence of one thing: every store that isn't iTunes is failing miserably, and (some of) the studios are beginning to realize that if they actually want to sell stuff on line they need iTunes (more than Apple needs them -- those iPods/iPhones/Macs continue to fly off the shelves with or without Hollywood's cooperation).


macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
Moorestown, NJ
Doesn't affect me one way or the other, I don't use download services for movies and the few i have on my iPod i ripped straight from DVD and converted. Watching movies on off the computer just doesn't appeal to me, and I rarely use my iPod for anything other than music, just have some video in case i'm at an airport or something... It is nice to see a Wal-Mart venture fail though :)


macrumors 6502
Jul 23, 2007
Maybe they shut it down because their tech staff tried to unionize?

I didn't actually know they had a download service, but if I did, I would have assumed three things about it;

1. That the downloads would have some mysterious flaw that would cause them to develop glitches after six months and need to be replaced, like my wife's sandals that disintegrated after three days.

2. That the files were encoded in China at a bit rate so low as to render the file garbage

3. That no matter how many claims they made about their service being cheaper, it would actually be the same or more expensive - or alternately, it would be 1 cent cheaper and they'd be touting that like it was a fire sale. Like that dumb ad they had before xmas where the guy goes to Walmart for an iPod, but when I checked their prices were a whole 3 cents cheaper than the Apple Store.

Anyways, I don't know whether any of those points are true or not, but they reflect my experience with Walmart purchases. So I wouldn't buy downloads from them either.


macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2007
The reason Wal-Mart's video download service failed is because no one wants to buy the devices the videos work on. Have you walked into a Wal-Mart and went to the MP3 player case right beside the iPods? The MP3 players are absolute crap.
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