Now that post-keynote reality is starting to sink in, it's occurring to me that Apple's HD movie rental announcement has a big string attached named Apple TV. In order to rent HD-quality iTunes movies, it seems that you'll have to buy an Apple TV. People who just want to rent HD iTunes movies to watch on their PCs (or send to their TVs using non-Apple hardware) are left out, and will instead need to buy an Apple TV and then transfer the content to their laptop or iPod. While it makes sense that most users will only … Read more
Among the new product announcements at the Macworld 2008 keynote, iTunes received a brand new feature: movie rentals! With the latest version of iTunes for both Windows and Mac, you will be able to rent movies from all the major studios including Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lions Gate, Fox, WB, Walt Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Sony. Apple was able to strike a deal with studios which allowed iTunes to receive new releases 30 days after the DVD release. The first wave of movie rentals will launch by the end of February with over 1,000 titles.
Once you find a movie … Read more
At CES on Monday, I was invited over to the Blu-ray booth to speak with top executives at the major Hollywood studios supporting Blu-ray. And while I didn't have the chance to speak with every studio, I did get to speak with the president and chief operating officer at LionsGate, Steve Beeks.
And while Beeks seemed like he had solid command over the finer points of the movie industry, I was interested to see why his studio chose Blu-ray over the alternative.
Expecting the canned answer like, "Well, we thought it was the superior format and I'm happy to say that we were right," you could imagine my surprise when the very first reason he gave was Blu-ray's piracy controls.
For those of you who don't know, Blu-ray's piracy controls--largely based on AACS, BD+, and BD-ROM Mark--are easily the most stringent format to date and have only partially been circumvented to this point.
Regardless, I was utterly appalled at the thought that with all of its benefits--high-capacity, interesting new features to employ while playing movies, major industry backing--Beeks chose piracy as the first talking point.
Of course, I had to find out more.… Read more
While the Writers Guild of America is on strike, Hollywood is giving us plenty of opportunities to catch up on content that we haven't seen. Fancast features full episodes of TV shows, TV listings, and news on TV, movies, and celebrities. Comcast's Fancast may look like the latest entrant into the web video scene, but the truth is that it packs a much bigger punch.
Starting next week, a DVD you buy off the shelf could end up coming with a free or markedly discounted digital copy from the iTunes Media Store. The Unofficial Apple Weblog got the scoop from a reader who got an early delivery of the upcoming Family Guy DVD, which comes bundled with a digital download that can be transferred to your iTunes library. When a copy of the digital file to iTunes was attempted, the user got an error message noting that the process requires version 7.6 of iTunes, which is currently at 7.5.
Like movies purchased on … Read more
Ladies and gentlemen, start your salivating. Those of us silly enough to go to Detroit in the middle of January to look at cars will be able to gawk at the super-cool Mach 5 from the Wachowski brothers' remake of the classic 1960's 'toon. The car is slated to be on display at Cobo Hall in Detroit during the 2008 North American Auto Show, beginning Jan. 13 for press and Jan. 19 for the public.
Although, like most Hollywood prop cars (and more than a few Hollywood people), it will probably be just an empty shell.
The real-life version … Read more
You too can own your own pair of free-standing speakers that look just like the kind we used to wedge into the fog-shrouded windows oif our misspent youth. All that's missing are the beat-up station wagon, decaying intermission hot dogs, and a cheap date.
The long-anticipated set-top box from Netflix is headed toward your living room this summer, according to several major news providers including the Associated Press, The New York Times, and Reuters. The good news is that unlike the optical supremacy battle going on between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, the capability to tap into Netflix's movies-on-demand service could become a standard option on many upcoming consumer-level DVD players and set-top boxes as an added feature--not the sole purpose. Boxes equipped with the Netflix service (including the purported next revision of LG's flagship BH series of dual HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players) will … Read more
Good news for those hard-working city types who've just received their massive yearly bonuses. But they won't be able to waste it all on champagne and fast cars--they'll need to spend a few grand pimping out their trendy loft apartment living rooms. Enter the Arcam Solo Movie 2.1, a high-end upscaling DVD player and audio system for people with more than a few quid to spend.
It would be easy to mock the price (1,500 pounds, or about $2,960), because it's a shedload more than most people would spend on even a high-end … Read more
Many people erroneously assume that an HDTV automatically makes everything look better: TV, movies, their living rooms. The reality, of course, is that without high-definition video sources, images can look rather disappointing. A typical DVD player, for instance, produces only 480 horizontal lines of video; HDTVs are optimized for 720 or 1080 lines, which is why your DVD of The Matrix looks like poop.
One option is to spring for an HD DVD or Blu-ray player, but they're expensive, and there's that whole format-war thing. Bleh. A better option, at least short term, is an upconverting DVD player, … Read more