Thursday, August 14, 2008

iTunes movie rentals in Australia - at last!

So happy to finally see iTunes movie rentals in Australia. I immediately jumped in and rented a movie through iTunes for AU$3.99.

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It took 65 minutes to download, then I had to transfer it to the Apple TV.

On Apple TV I chose the movie and pressed play, it went away and authorised, then... a black screen and no sound. The movie was playing, I could pause and play and see chapters. Hmm.

In the end I did a reset settings and it played.

Quality is ok, not HD but no annoying artefacts in the one I'm watching now. $4 is a reasonable deal (plus my internet bandwidth of course). The main problem is the small range (700 by some reports), compared to my current provider QuickFlix with 32,000.

Some movies are only available for sale which seems weird.

Once a movie is downloaded you have 30 days to start watching, once you start watching you have 24 hours to view it (which didn't impress me when I had a blank screen).

2 comments:

Alastair said...

We've rented some movies from the US store, and the experience is very good. The on-screen browsing and purchasing process is very painless and certainly superior to wandering down to the video library.

We rented an HD movie and the quality was very good, especially given the bitrate (IIRC approx 1GB for the 2hr movie). Not up to HD-DVD / Bluray quality, but certainly better than DVD, and worth the extra dollar.

We also had a couple of minor niggles. Firstly it took almost an hour from clicking the rent button until it was ready to play. This may be a function of our ludicrously low (~3Mbit) bandwidth. Once downloaded there was a minor glitch with authorisation which took a few days to sort out. I'm assuming it was a one-off.

Overall I think the iTunes movie rentals are a strong competitor to traditional businesses, and I look forward to taking advantage of the local store.

Peter B Marks said...

The 24 hour period to complete viewing of a rental is a bit stingy. I enjoyed "American Movie" and went and hired something else on the Apple TV itself. (For me it started playing within a few seconds (I have more bandwidth)).

Then my wife arrived home and I had to suspend viewing, now I'm watching the clock knowing that I must start watching soon after dinner this evening.

Surely two or three days would be a better match for the real world?