Netflix and Apple have both dropped lines into the online movie rental market with two new products, both of which are kind of exciting, but also blow in their own special ways. Netflix’s offering is the simpler of the two—unlimited free rentals to all subscribers on or above its second-tier, $8.99/month plan. Sounds great, until you find out that there are only about 1,000 titles available in this format (though Netflix conveniently shows you which selections from your queue are among them). But even worse is the fact that you can only watch them on a PC using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Weak.Apple rolled out an actual rental service that allows you to rent movies through the iTunes online store…for $3.99 (or $4.99 for HD version) apiece. I’m sorry, but any mom-and-pop video store can match or beat that, and their margins are paying the bills for a brick-and-mortar store. Apple’s terms are acceptable (I get 30 days to watch the movie, but once I start it, I only have 24 hours to finish it), but $3.99 is too much for an online rental, especially when I can’t even play those movies on my DVD player. Apple’s rentals can be played on any computer with iTunes and a decent graphics card, and can also be shuffled around on Apple’s video-playing iPod and iPhone devices, but you’ll need Apple TV ($229-$329) to get it on your big-screen TV in HD with 5.1 surround sound. Am I tempted to drop $330 just so I can use Apple’s movie rental store? No, I’m not.

3 comments to Rentlefishing

  • admin

    Tivo has had a similar service with Amazon called Amazon Unbox on TiVo. The pricing is about the same. Unlike appleTV a Tivo can record tv shows and send them back to your computer. But also unlike appleTV there is a monthly service charge for just the Tivo.

  • Chris g

    Doesn’t Comcast and other digital cable providers offer on demand movies and PPV?

  • Очень интересные мысли, хорошо рассказано, все разложено по полкам :)

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