At MacWorld, Steve Jobs has unveiled a new version of Apple TV, as well as confirming the introduction of iTunes Movie Rental. US viewers now can choose from a catalogue of 1,000 titles and rent them for $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases. It is anticipated the service will be made available in Europe later this year. About 100 movies are available in HD, with Dolby 5.1, which costs a dollar more to view. All the major studios are part of the deal: Touchstone, Miramax, LionsGate, Fox, Warners Bros, Walt Disney, Paramount, Universal and Sony. The rental movies can be viewed on any Mac, PC or on the iPhone or iPod Touch. Using an Apple TV, there is no need for a computer. However, there’s one catch: no date & date release yet for iTunes as there is a 30-day window between DVD release and iTunes availability.Apple TV has also had a make-over, with a software update that allows for wireless networking and a price drop from $299 to $229, as well as enabling the video rental store. “With the new Apple TV and iTunes Movie Rentals, movie lovers can rent DVD-quality or stunning HD movies from their couch with just a click of a button,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.Once a movie is rented, it starts downloading from the iTunes Store directly to Apple TV, and users with a fast Internet connection can start viewing the movie in seconds. Customers have up to 30 days to start watching it, and once a movie has been started customers have 24 hours to finish it – or watch it multiple times.During his announcement, Jobs was forthcoming about the disappointing results from the first generation of Apple TV: “I’d like to say all of us have tried. We have. Microsoft, Amazon, TiVo, VuDu, Netflix, Blockbuster – we’ve all tried to figure out how to get movies over the Net [and] onto the TV. We’ve all missed. No one’s succeeded yet. We tried with AppleTV. It was designed to be an accessory for iTunes and your computer. But that’s not what people wanted.”(photo courtesy Apple)
About Robert Briel
Arnhem-based Robert covers the Benelux, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as IPTV, web TV, connected TV and OTT. Email Robert at [email protected].