“With deals in place with all major movie studios and the promise of HD and standard-content options, Apple seemed poised to deliver a user-friendly device that could be used to rent high-quality movies over the Internet and deliver them to a TV rather than to a computer,” Ryan Faas reports for Computerworld.
“That promise has still not been realized. Despite a commitment of 1,000 movie titles as rentals by the end of February in Steve Jobs’ Macworld keynote, a recent inventory conducted by Christopher Breen at Macworld indicated that fewer than 400 were actually available. Many of those are not available in HD,” Faas reports.
“For those movies that are offered in HD, the quality is rather good, as is the Dolby surround sound support. It may not quite reach the level of Blu-ray, but it does come close enough that most viewers won’t see a noticeable difference. It also tends to exceed the quality of many HD video offerings from cable providers,” Faas reports.
“While there might not yet be that much in the way of selection of movie rentals through iTunes, the mechanism for renting and watching movies from the Apple TV is as simple as everything else about the device. It is, in fact, easier than most cable on-demand services and features similar pricing and time limits. Of the choice between an iTunes rental over the Apple TV and video on demand from my cable company, I would choose Apple TV,” Faas reports.
“After renting movies, buying music and TV shows, picking through podcasts, and browsing photos of friends and friends of friends, I have to say that the new Apple TV has more than lived up to my early expectations and truly blew away my previous experiences. The iTunes Store integration (even with its small selection of movies) has brought Apple TV where it should have been from the get-go and has transformed it into both a spectacular entertainment device in its own right as well as an even better nexus of technology and entertainment,” Faas reports.
Much more in the full review here.