Apple premieres iTunes Movie Rentals with all major studios; rent HD movies directly from your TV

Apple StoreApple today announced iTunes Movie Rentals featuring movies from all the major movie studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate and New Line Cinema. Users can rent movies for as low as $2.99 and watch them on their Macs or PCs, all current generation iPods, iPhone and Apple TV. iTunes Movie Rentals launches today and will offer over 1,000 titles by the end of February, including over 100 titles in stunning high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound which users can rent directly from their widescreen TV using Apple TV. iTunes Movie Rentals are priced at $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 and new releases at $4.99.

“iTunes Movie Rentals instantly brings great movies from all the major studios directly to your iPod, iPhone, TV or computer — without having to drive to the video store or wait for DVDs to arrive in the mail,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “Movie lovers can now discover and enjoy movies as simply and easily as music lovers discover and enjoy music today on iTunes.”

“Apple has created an incredibly easy and innovative way to rent and enjoy movies,” said Jim Gianopulos, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment. “Millions of movie lovers will be able to watch wonderful movies from Fox and the other major studios whenever and wherever they want, be it on their computer, TV, iPod or iPhone.”

iTunes Movie Rentals feature iTunes’ legendary ease of use, which makes discovering and enjoying movie rentals as simple and easy as buying music on iTunes has always been. Once a movie is rented, it starts downloading from the iTunes Store directly to iTunes or 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.

The all new Apple TV software delivers an entirely new user experience centered around iTunes Movie Rentals, allowing movie fans to rent and watch movies right from their widescreen TV, with no computer required. Users can also view photos from their computers, Flickr and .Mac Web Galleries on their widescreen TV as slideshows or screen savers, and anytime photos are updated on Flickr or .Mac they are automatically updated on Apple TV. Apple TV users can now browse and enjoy the iTunes Store podcast directory of over 125,000 video and audio podcasts, view over 50 million originally created videos from YouTube, or choose from a selection of six million songs, over 600 TV shows and 10,000 music videos to purchase directly from their Apple TV. Purchases downloaded to Apple TV are automatically synced back to iTunes on the user’s computer for enjoyment on their computer, iPod or iPhone.

Apple TV easily connects to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports. Using high-speed AirPort 802.11 wireless networking, Apple TV now automatically plays all of your iTunes content without setup or management.

Movie rentals from the iTunes Store for Mac or Windows require iTunes 7.6, available as a free download immediately. iTunes Movie Rentals require a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. iTunes Movie Rentals are available in the US only and are $2.99 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 and new releases at $4.99.

The new Apple TV software will be available as a free automatic download to all Apple TV customers later this month. Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, is available from the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price US$229 for the 40GB model, and for $329 for the 160GB model. Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV. iPod games will not play on Apple TV.

34 Comments

  1. Watching a movie twice in 24 hours isn’t viable during the week and not a great way to spend a day during the weekend. This is the worst part of the deal. Unfortunately I’m pretty sure all the Apple fanatics will eat this shit right up and make it look like a viable strategy. Oh well, I’ll just have to hope the terms change soon.

  2. I know you guys think Apple can do no wrong, but you honestly want to rent a movie for 2.99 only for 24 hours. That is rediculous Blockbuster and others are way cheaper considering the length of time you can view the movie. Thanks but no thanks.

  3. your not renting it for 24 hours, it is a 30day rental. you have 30days to start watching it and 24hours to finish once you start watching. it is also not a ticking clock, it is 24hours of viewing time. so when you stop the movie, you can lick it up again until your 24hours are finished.

  4. If the terms do not bring in the customers, the studios always have the option to redo the deal to make it more attractive to renters. It will prove SJ’s warning that they must provide good customer value to get them to rent. The pricing and terms can easily change to guarantee success.

  5. People who say its “too expensive” don’t get it..Many people are willing to pay a little more for CONVENIENCE…ie, instant downloads from the couch 5 minutes before watching. I use netflix and have been very happy with the service…but how many times have you gotten your flick(s) in the mail…lets say some obscure documentary you’ve been wanting to see…and suddenly a friend wants to come over, hang out and watch movies. And he/she DOESN’T want to watch an obscure documentary. Sucks, doesn’t it?? Wouldn’t it be nice to just wait till the last minute and order exactly what you want when you want it?

    Not bad, if you ask me….

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