Sunday, March 22nd 2009

Apple Adds High Definition (HD) Movies to iTunes

Apple today announced that iTunes customers can purchase and rent box office favorites including “Quantum of Solace” and “Twilight” in stunning HD on the iTunes Store. Starting today, movie fans can purchase box office blockbusters for download in HD for $19.99 from iTunes, and films will be available as iTunes Movie Rentals in HD for $4.99 within 30 days after release. Customers can enjoy these films in HD on their Mac or PC and on their widescreen TV with Apple TV, as well as in standard definition on their iPhone or iPod with video. The iTunes Store is the world’s most popular online TV and movie store, with over 250 million TV episodes purchased and over 33 million movies purchased and rented.

“Movie fans are going to love being able to buy and rent films including ‘Quantum of Solace’ and ‘Twilight’ in stunning HD from the iTunes Store,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services. “Customers have made HD content on iTunes a hit, with over 50 percent of TV programming being purchased in HD when available.”

Starting today, iTunes customers can pre-order “Quantum of Solace” which will be downloaded to their computer on March 24, and the smash hit thriller “Twilight” will be available on March 21. iTunes customers can purchase “Transporter 3,” “Punisher: War Zone” and other select titles in HD today, and the action/comedy “The Spirit” will be available on April 14. The iTunes Movie Store will be adding more HD movies soon and customers can view the latest offerings at www.itunes.com/movies/hd.

The iTunes Store is the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of over 10 million songs, over 40,000 TV episodes, and over 5,000 movies including over 1,200 in stunning high definition video for rent. With Apple’s legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as iTunes Movie Rentals, integrated podcasting support, the ability to turn previously purchased tracks into complete albums at a reduced price, and seamless integration with iPod and iPhone, the iTunes Store is the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online.

Pricing & Availability
iTunes 8.1 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Store and is available as a free download from (www.itunes.com). Purchase and download of songs and videos from the iTunes Store requires a valid credit card from a financial institution in the country of purchase. Video availability varies by country. iTunes Movie Rentals are $2.99 (US) for library titles and $3.99 (US) for new releases, and high definition versions are priced just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 (US) and new releases at $4.99 (US).Source: Apple
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31 Comments on Apple Adds High Definition (HD) Movies to iTunes

#1
Weer
The selection is currently terribly limited, mostly to new movies. But there's almost not even a single good one at that. And while Amazon is selling great classic in HD-DVD for down to 5$, this would have to grow quite substantially to be worth browsing. But a needed step, in any frame of thought.
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#2
Triprift
Apart from the Bond one theres bugger all and considering i got that on Blue Ray i think ill give these i miss.
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#3
EastCoasthandle
Interesting, yet another outlet for HD content to be streamed. So we have:
-Apple
-NetFlicks
-Xbox Live
-CBS
and a few others. And yet some thought this would never happen...;)
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#4
freaksavior
To infinity ... and beyond!
iTunes is one of the most popular program for downloading music legally. This is a good move for apple.
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#5
DaveK
Shame the Irish/EU stores are absolute shite in comparison to the US one. So many TV shows on the US Store that I want :S
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#6
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Are theses just 720p though? I don't consider that "HD".
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#7
h3llb3nd4
+1 on that... I would like it to be 1080p
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#8
freaksavior
To infinity ... and beyond!
by: newtekie1
Are theses just 720p though? I don't consider that "HD".
yeah.. they are 720. it is HD but not full obviously.

720p still looks a lot better than sdtv or 480
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#9
DaveK
Yeah, 720p looks incredible, but probably wouldn't look as nice on a larger 1080p TV, it might look ok on a 24" monitor I dunno lol, I've only ever seen 720p on my 19"
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#10
EastCoasthandle
As the demand for HD streaming has dictated so far; 720P is "good enough" to warrant other companies to invest into it. Remember the masses so far are happy with 480i content. The "laser disc" argument just doesn't have enough steam behind it to make any difference for the masses (apparently neither did laser disc :slap:). Furthermore, lets not forget that 720p content does provide enough noticeable difference from 480i to warrant the term HD. Going from 720p to 1080p has not convince the masses (from what I've seen). Specially when price, download speeds, etc are factored in.
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#11
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: DaveK
Yeah, 720p looks incredible, but probably wouldn't look as nice on a larger 1080p TV, it might look ok on a 24" monitor I dunno lol, I've only ever seen 720p on my 19"
720p definitely looks better on a monitor than 480p, but 1080p looks even better than that, especially on higher resolution monitors.

I mean, if iTunes is charging $20 for the movie in 720p, I might as well go to Amazon and buy it on Blu-Ray for $25 and not only get it in 1080p, but also get all the bonus material that comes on the disc also.
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#12
DaveK
by: newtekie1
720p definitely looks better on a monitor than 480p, but 1080p looks even better than that, especially on higher resolution monitors.

I mean, if iTunes is charging $20 for the movie in 720p, I might as well go to Amazon and buy it on Blu-Ray for $25 and not only get it in 1080p, but also get all the bonus material that comes on the disc also.
Not forgetting you get a physical copy of it and a nice case, also a higher bitrate.

Yeah, I'd still buy them off the net, They're about €25 on an online store I shop at which isn't too bad, but they always have some deal on or lots for as low as €13 and 2 for €25 and all that.
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#13
Ravenas
Don't underestimate Apple on video distribution.

Apple has already made itself the number one music retailer worldwide, I see no reason why Apple doesn't plan to do the same with videos.
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#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: DaveK
Not forgetting you get a physical copy of it and a nice case, also a higher bitrate.

Yeah, I'd still buy them off the net, They're about €25 on an online store I shop at which isn't too bad, but they always have some deal on or lots for as low as €13 and 2 for €25 and all that.
And not to mention that a good 720p movie is going to be well over 4GB to download, that is a long time downloading, for some it would probably be faster to just have the movie shipped to them from Amazon. Even though I live in a residential area, a lot of people still only have 768Kb/384Kb DSL connections. Downloading a 4GB movie on a 768K connection would take ages, hell downloading one on my 6Mb connection still takes a good half a day or more, depending on what else I am doing on the internet
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#15
Ravenas
by: newtekie1
And not to mention that a good 720p movie is going to be well over 4GB to download, that is a long time downloading, for some it would probably be faster to just have the movie shipped to them from Amazon. Even though I live in a residential area, a lot of people still only have 768Kb/384Kb DSL connections. Downloading a 4GB movie on a 768K connection would take ages, hell downloading one on my 6Mb connection still takes a good half a day or more, depending on what else I am doing on the internet
On iTunes, movies start before they are actually finished. Once the movie reaches around 20%, the movie will start, and there will be no stutters or buffering.

You're confusing this to be something that you have to wait on the whole download...


Sure it's not quite as fast as streaming, but it's not that slow either.
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#16
DaveK
They still won't beat physical copies, I buy my CDs from stores or online shops instead of digital downloads, only digital downloads I buy is hardstyle and hardcore techno from the Q-Dance Music Store because they have a better collection than iTunes at the same price for single songs and cheaper on DJ mixes and compilation albums.
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#17
h3llb3nd4
^YEP!
It's Faster to buy phisical copies (or pirating your friends :D[not recommended])
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#18
Ravenas
by: DaveK
They still won't beat physical copies, I buy my CDs from stores or online shops instead of digital downloads, only digital downloads I buy is hardstyle and hardcore techno from the Q-Dance Music Store because they have a better collection than iTunes at the same price for single songs and cheaper on DJ mixes and compilation albums.
You're like the majority of people in the world, despite what others say on this forum...

People buy music via digital download because they have a portable player to carry it around on. However, this isn't the same when it comes to movies. People will rent movies without question via digital distribution, however, when someone wants to own the movie they would rather have it on physical forms.

Furthermore, the quality isn't as good as on Blu-Ray...
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#19
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Ravenas
On iTunes, movies start before they are actually finished. Once the movie reaches around 20%, the movie will start, and there will be no stutters or buffering.

You're confusing this to be something that you have to wait on the whole download...


Sure it's not quite as fast as streaming, but it's not that slow either.
On slower connections, you will have to wait until the movie is almost entirely downloaded. A 768Kb/s is not fast enough to keep up with the movie. You aren't going to download 80% of a 4GB+ movie in an hour and a half(the time it takes to watch the movie), even on a faster connection this isn't possible.

We can just use my DSL as an example. I can download at about 600KB/s, and that is probably the max I will see from my 6Mb DSL, and that is the faster DSL package available in my area. Now if we assume the 720p movie is ~4GB, and I'll say it starts at 25% downloaded, that means it still has 3GB left to download. That is 3,145,728KB, and on my connect maxed out, it would take just under a hour and half(~1.45 Hours) to finish the download. And that is the best case senerio, assuming I don't use the internet at all, and I'm actually download at the max possible, which is very rare. People with slower connections simply won't go for this.

If we take the same senario, and start watching the movie at 25% downloaded, but only have a 768Kb/s connection how do we end up? Even if we take the absolute best case senario and assume that they are able to max out their connection and get the full 768Kb/s download speed, thats only 96KB/s downloading. So to finish downloading that other 75%, its over 9 hours. How are they going to start watching the movie when it is only 20% downloaded and not have any stuttering or buffering?
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#20
Ravenas
by: newtekie1
On slower connections, you will have to wait until the movie is almost entirely downloaded. A 768Kb/s is not fast enough to keep up with the movie. You aren't going to download 80% of a 4GB+ movie in an hour and a half(the time it takes to watch the movie), even on a faster connection this isn't possible.
I download 5GB movies on PSN in less than an hour on cable... On iTunes the connection is even better, and you can finish them in 45 mins.

Furthermore, you're wrong about it keeping up. Everything on iTunes plays like that... I'm not sure about anything less than cable though.

What type of connection are you talking about? Because most people who use iTunes for purchasing or downloading are using fast access DSL or iTunes.
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#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Ravenas
I download 5GB movies on PSN in less than an hour on cable... On iTunes the connection is even better, and you can finish them in 45 mins.

Furthermore, you're wrong about it keeping up. Everything on iTunes plays like that... I'm not sure about anything less than cable though.

What type of connection are you talking about? Because most people who use iTunes for purchasing or downloading are using fast access DSL or iTunes.
No, I'm not wrong, see my explanation above. On faster connections it does work like you say. However, on the more popular slower connections, it doesn't.

Most people in my area use DSL, and they use the cheapest DSL package available, 768Kb/s down. Much slower than the Cable connections available, buy much cheaper also, and more reliable too.

I've already told you want type of connection I'm talking about, read the posts more carefully, and all the information you need is there. Just because you have a fast enough connection doesn't mean everyone does. And I just read a report taking in Aug of last year that said the average US connection was 2.3Mb/s, definitely not fast enough to handle streaming HD content acceptably.
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#22
Ravenas
by: newtekie1
No, I'm not wrong, see my explanation above. On faster connections it does work like you say. However, on the more popular slower connections, it doesn't.

Most people in my area use DSL, and they use the cheapest DSL package available, 768Kb/s down. Much slower than the Cable connections available, buy much cheaper also, and more reliable too.

I've already told you want type of connection I'm talking about, read the posts more carefully, and all the information you need is there. Just because you have a fast enough connection doesn't mean everyone does. And I just read a report taking in Aug of last year that said the average US connection was 2.3Mb/s, definitely not fast enough to handle streaming HD content acceptably.
All you said was slow connections... You didn't specify that the entire post was about slow connections.

Next time you want to say that be more clear and don't put it in the middle of your post.

Furthermore, digital downloads are pushing it on cable... Corporations are pushing for faster fiber optics right now... I don't know many people who stream or download movies on DSL regardless... I don't even play online games on DSL.

Therefore, I don't even know why you're bringing up slow connections in this conversation. Maybe just to win argument points?
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#23
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Ravenas
All you said was slow connections... You didn't specify that the entire post was about slow connections.

Next time you want to say that be more clear and don't put it in the middle of your post.

Furthermore, digital downloads are pushing it on cable... Corporations are pushing for faster fiber optics right now... I don't know many people who stream or download movies on DSL regardless... I don't even play online games on DSL.

Therefore, I don't even know why you're bringing up slow connections in this conversation. Maybe just to win argument points?
Actually, in my very first post about internet connections I specify what connection speeds I am talking about.

We can talk about what the future will bring all we want, but I prefer talking about the present, which is what I am doing here. It seems you don't know many people at all, a lot of people use DSL for various reasons. You wouldn't play games on DSL, as you have a Cable connection.

I'm bringing up slow connections because the majority of people have them, so a service like this does not appeal to the majority of people.
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#24
Triprift
by: newtekie1
720p definitely looks better on a monitor than 480p, but 1080p looks even better than that, especially on higher resolution monitors.

I mean, if iTunes is charging $20 for the movie in 720p, I might as well go to Amazon and buy it on Blu-Ray for $25 and not only get it in 1080p, but also get all the bonus material that comes on the disc also.
Exactly then again the average Blueray over here is 30 odd bucks a fair hit considering the better res.
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#25
Mussels
Moderprator
so these are 720P - is that streaming, or a (DRM locked) copy you can play locally as well?

if its streaming, this will never take off outside the USA.
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