Renting Movies online

While I was away I rented a couple of movies via iTunes…and it worked quite well…With one movie i never got to finish it…I was watching it on the plane on my iPad and had to stop watching at one point, by the time i could get back to it the damn thing had expired.

There is an underlying crappiness with the experience as David Pogue has noticed.

For all of the apparent convenience of renting a movie via the Web, there are a surprising number of drawbacks. For example, when you rent the digital version, you often have only 24 hours to finish watching it, which makes no sense. Do these companies really expect us to rent the same movie again tomorrow night if we can’t finish it tonight? In the DVD days, a Blockbuster rental was three days. Why should online rentals be any different?

When you rent online, you don’t get any of the DVD extras—deleted scenes, alternative endings, subtitles—even though you’re paying as much as you would have paid to rent a DVD.

Yet perhaps most important, there’s the availability problem. New movies aren’t available online until months after they are finished in the theaters, thanks to the “windowing” system—a long-established obligation that makes each movie available, say, first to hotels, then to pay-per-view systems, then to HBO and, only after that, to you for online rental.

Worse, some movies never become available. Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, A Beautiful Mind, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Saving Private Ryan, Meet the Fockers, and so on, are not available to rent from the major online distributors.

the same goes for TV Shows…some of them we can;t even get here like American Hoggers and Duck Dynasty…pretty much the only way we can get these shows is to pirate them…

I do wonder when


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  • Horace the Grump

    I think you can thank the movie studios for that one and their crappy licensing arrangements… I imagine that Apple would prefer that you can as much content as you could manage but them movie studios… they hate people.

  • Andrew

    You are not correct in respect of the availability of on line. The release pattern is cinema first then approx 120 days films are available to rent or buy in either digital or physical formats. Following that there is a five month window to pay subscription service on Sky and then 12 months after that free television. Film are also made available to international hotels and airlines about the same time as their cinema release. In respect of iTunes you have 48 hours to view and not 24 hours. Most video stores are still just overnight for brand new release films not 3 days. The lack of TV shows is more about the likes of iTunes not offering the service here rather than a lack of willingness by studios to licence product. Studios are only content providers they do not own cinemas, DVD stores or digital delivery services. NZ could do with more providers of digital delivery services and if they were to come content would follow.

  • Mark

    Check out movieroof or quickflix. Far better value for the iPad.

  • Anon

    Was trying to get Bambi for my 3 year old yesterday. If we were in the US it would be available in iTunes – but not here. Tried for an exorbitant amount of time to try and get legitimately; in fact long enough that the torrent had finished half an hour before I gave up and watched that instead.

    Easy answer to the studios – stop trying to enforce bollocks (and vaguely illegal under WTO agreements) regional differences and watch the revenue increase!