19 Comments

Summary:

Blu-ray took another today hit as Apple announced that it will be offering HD movies for sale (iTunes link), rather than just for rent. That means consumers can download HD quality movies directly into their iTunes library, for use on their computers or Apple TV, or […]

hditunesBlu-ray took another today hit as Apple announced that it will be offering HD movies for sale (iTunes link), rather than just for rent. That means consumers can download HD quality movies directly into their iTunes library, for use on their computers or Apple TV, or TV-connected Mac mini, if you happen to be me. This probably explains why Blu-ray support hasn’t been forthcoming in recent hardware updates coming out of Cupertino.

Don’t get too excited, though; you don’t get much of a price break for giving up physical media. HD movies on iTunes cost $19.99, which, barring new releases, isn’t that much of a discount from Blu-ray prices. And the file sizes are likely enormous, so plan on either upgrading your internal or moving that iTunes library to an external drive in order to accommodate them.

Launch titles for the service include “Punisher: War Zone,” “Bangkok Dangerous,” and some movies that are actually worth buying, like “Transporter 3.” A number of pre-orders are also available, including the wildly popular teen vampire love story, “Twilight,” and the latest Bond installment, “Quantum of Solace.” The movie files will play no problem on your Apple mobile devices, too, although in standard definition.

I should point out that HD movie purchases are not yet available in the Canadian or UK stores (the only two international stores that I checked so far), and Apple hasn’t released details as to when they might be made available. Currently in the Canadian iTunes store, you can only buy HD TV shows using Apple TV, though the UK store has them available for computer and Apple TV users. I really hope they don’t plan on running the same scheme for HD movies here in Canada as they do for TV shows, because I refuse to be bullied into buying an Apple TV when we don’t have access to most major American network content.

  1. I swear you’ve been able to purchase a few HD movies before now.

    Share
  2. Edit: Ah yes Apple TV vs iTunes Store, I have to remember that there is a difference.

    Share
  3. Not yet available in the Australian store either.

    Share
  4. No mention of the sound though, do these come with HD sound quality too, 5.1, 7.1 what? If there is no HD sound then Blu-ray is still the better option. A movie without it’s not much better than standard def.

    Share
  5. I’m waiting to see what upgrades they make to the apple tv.
    Hopefully online storage that will allow you to stream your owned content from apple and not have to store it locally.

    Share
  6. I assume that these are essentially the same as the AppleTV HD Rentals which have been available for some time now (@Richard – that is what you were thinking of – HD rentals). Those have 5.1 surround sound. The video quality is decent, but still not as good as a disc on a good player.

    Share
  7. [...] in iTunes, HD movies are now available for sales and rental too. It’s great that we can reap all the benefits of HD via download, however the price [...]

    Share
  8. I just love the idea of watching Quantum of Solace or any other movie on my iPhone 3G on the way to work, that’s awsome

    Share
  9. How can backup the movies I have bought from iTunes,and I want to burn these movies to DVD ,so I can watch them on TV.

    Share
  10. Phil: as far as audio format, yes, they do include 5.1 surround. However, I can’t find any info about the quality of the audio.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post