Archive for February, 2008

My Friends by John McCain

File removed

Apple TV is now an HD Movie delivery system

One of Apple’s less famous products in the last couple of years has been the Apple TV. I bought one myself when it first came out about a year ago and have enjoyed it mostly because I can watch movies from my computer and iPod on my large screen TV.

Most people, however, were kind of disappointed that it didn’t allow viewing High Definition movies, even though it is only usable on an HDTV and comes with an HDMI connection.

Now that has all changed.

Apple has updated the software for the Apple TV to 2.0. This is a rare example wherein a product purchased can be upgraded for free (no cost at all) so that it is almost like having an entirely new AppleTV in my home.

You can now rent HDTV movies from iTunes directly from the Apple TV. You have a month to view the movie, although once you start watching it you have to finish within 24 hours. During that 24 hour period you can watch the movie as much as you want, but once the time passes it is automatically deleted.

I tried it out last night. First I updated the software, which took perhaps an hour to download and install. Then I went to iTunes and downloaded a copy of Ratatoille. The price was $3.99 for standard definition and $4.99 for HDTV. By comparison, you can rent it from Comcast’s On Demand for $4.99 in standard definition (I believe).

The downloaded movie is about 1.5 gigabytes in size and takes about an hour and a half to completely download. You can actually start watching it in about 45 minutes if you want, although after about an hour I had to stop for a few minutes to let the download catch up. That was no big deal. I took a break and then returned to finish watching the movie.

Being as how I downloaded an animation, I can’t really tell how good the High-Def was. It was a wide-screened letter-boxed picture and the picture seemed to be High-Def and the audio was really awesome. Comparable to surround sound on a DVD.

My first thought was that I probably would never need to buy a High-Def DVD player if I could download all the movies I wanted in High-Def. Of course, if you prefer to collect DVD’s than this would not be a good option for you. Plus you don’t get all the extras that you get with a DVD, especially a High-DEf DVD. Myself, I very rarely watch a DVD more than once or twice, and losing the extras isn’t that big a deal.

I feel like I have seen the future and I love it!

I may never leave my house again.