Apple iTunes Movies
Download the latest flicks from your couch
- Great picture quality, HD options offered, incredibly simple to use
- Might strain download limits, rentals only last two days once played, Apple TV needed for HD options
If you've got a large enough download limit and enough disposable income, Apple's iTunes Movies service provides the option to rent and purchase movies in standard or high definition. It's easy to use and has only minor drawbacks.
The Australian iTunes Store has recently been updated to include a variety of movie downloads, a service previously only available in the US, the UK and Canada. Available as rentals and purchases, these movies are offered at sensible prices and at surprisingly reasonable quality levels. Overall the system works well — especially if you’re using an Apple TV.
Techworld: How to get free iTunes music
There’s a decent selection of movies on offer — around 700 according to Apple, although this will constantly swell with new additions. Titles are released with rough parity to DVD releases, with the teen comedy Juno available on the iTunes Store only a week after the film’s DVD release.
Videos can be rented at prices ranging from $3.99 for older titles to $5.99 for newer releases. Movies are also available for outright purchase, with prices starting from $9.99 and ranging up to $24.99 for new titles.
Although rental copies can be downloaded up to 30 days after payment, there is a catch — once the movie has started playing for the first time, it’s only valid for the next 48 hours. We can foresee this being an issue if you’ve got a slow Internet connection and accidentally start streaming the file as the download begins. This is a far-fetched scenario, however, and one that’s unlikely to affect most users.
File sizes for standard-definition movies at 640x480 pixel resolution — the typical format available on a PC or Mac — range from around 1 to 1.5 gigabytes. On an ADSL2+ connection these downloaded at fantastic speeds, with three feature-length films completing within half an hour. It’s important to take note of the fact that this service will chew through your download limit if you’re not careful — Australian ISPs are notoriously stingy.
Another upside to the integrated purchasing and viewing platform is that once the movie has been purchased and starts downloading, it’s unnecessary to wait for the complete movie to download. This effectively meant we were able to purchase a movie and, after a few minutes’ wait, watch it through completely while downloading proceeded in the background.
Apple TV owners are in luck: when browsing via one of these media streamers — conceivably from the comfort of your couch — the option is available to download movies in 720p high definition for a mere $1 extra. There are around 100 of these movies available on the service. Unfortunately, you can't download HD content if you aren't using an Apple TV.
The jump to HD content obviously means download sizes are larger, but there’s an appreciable jump in quality as well, making the service fantastic for users who want high-definition content but lack a Blu-ray player.
Overall, picture quality is surprisingly good. There are no compression artefacts visible, which is usually our main gripe with downloadable video content.
Especially when you’re using an Apple TV, the system works well. Download speeds are fast — assuming you’ve got a decent Internet connection and a large enough download limit — and the picture and sound quality are great. Apple’s latest foray is a great option if you’re happy to pay the price for conveniently delivered content.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 2 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 3 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 4 Ford Focus ST (2015) review: Absolutely mental styling, engine, handling
- 5 LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
Deals on Good Gear Guide
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft’s Sydney store will open its doors on 12 November
- Microsoft's Office 2016 intro guides are here, a week late and short on useful details
- Netflix's ho-hum virtual reality debut needs some refinement
- Microsoft's Office 2016 update launches with renewed focus on collaboration
- Google Play Games, Photos updates offer hints at upcoming features
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTDigital ManagerNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW