So Apple finally released the software update for the Apple TV this week. It generated all kinds of excitement amongst the Apple nerd class. And yes, that kind of includes me.
When the movie rental thing was first announced — along with the Apple TV software update that would enable direct-download movie rentals, I was nonplussed. I haven’t rented a movie — or used Netflix — since we lived in Louisville, back in 2000. I’ve bought movies on DVD that I liked and that was that. We also rarely go to movies in the theater (why not buy the DVD and save money?). So movie rentals via iTunes and the Apple TV (or iPhone or Mac or PC) didn’t do anything for me.
But I may be changing my mind.
After downloading the software update to our Apple TV and messing around with it, I’m impressed. It’s a real update, not just tidying up a bit. And the rental feature is done so well that I’m rethinking my stance on rentals. It’s so easy to browse new releases and click a button to get started.
In browsing the initial collection of movies available (it’s a short list, I assure you!), there were a couple movies where I said to myself, “Hey — I’d pay $3 or $4 to watch that, but I wouldn’t want to own it on DVD.” And I think that’s the catch. I’m something of a DVD collector, but even I have my limits — I don’t want everything. Indeed, I don’t even want to keep everything I have! So rentals that are quick, easy, don’t require a trip to a brick-and-mortar store and don’t involve a subscription make a lot of sense to me all of a sudden.
Plus, you can get HD copies of movie rentals that look better than digital HD cable or satellite (though not as good as Blu-ray) if you really want to.
I have yet to rent a movie. But I think I might just do that this weekend. We’ll see if it seals the deal.