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Apple Releases HD Movie Purchases in iTunes

The word has gone out: Apple is now allowing you to do more than just rent movies in HD, they're letting you buy them. You're looking at spending a bit extra for the HD version - $19.99 to be precise. They're pushing preorders for a few movies (Quantum of Solace and Twilight) but there are also a few you can buy right now (Saw V, for example. Sadists rejoice!).

The movies also come with an SD version bundled in for your iPhone and iPod. Which is great and all, but how's-about Apple provide us with an iPhone that doesn't need such primitive down-scaled resolutions. iPhone HD looking more likely to anyone? If it comes, we're still doubting it would be the 720p that these videos come in (our money's on iPhone HD with 480p), but it would be a sight better. We're still hoping against hope here, but maybe 2009 could be the true "Year of HD," ...4 years late, but still very welcome.

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

frog says:

I see zero need for HD on a mobile device.

sting7k says:

$20 for an HD movie that is stuck on my computer, no thanks.

Tone says:

Sting7k u are absolutely right! Torrent anyone?

ParishYoung says:

Or you buy the Blu-Ray for home, and get the Digital Copy (suitable for iPhone) free :-)

striatic says:

"iPhone HD looking more likely to anyone?"
GRRRR! no!
any of the current, non-HD video clips that apple pushes out would still have more than enough resolution to satisfy a "480p" screen, which apple couldn't market as "HD" because it ISN'T HD!
also comment #1 has it .. zero need for HD on a mobile device, at least when it comes to viewing video. for reading text it might help, a little, but for movies it is practically irrelevant at the physical dimensions of the iPhone.

striatic says:

oh yeah and storing an HD video clip on a device that can't display HD video [480p is not HD] is wasteful, inefficient and stupid.

Rene Ritchie says:

Valid points, but I think you guys are missing something: HD doesn't mean 720p, and it isn't just for video. It's screen density and it's screen real-estate. If you go back and check out our post on resolution independence, we go over the Nano already being 202dpi, the BlackBerry Bold already hitting 217dpi, and HTC already putting out 480x800px screens.
That's a lot of space for writing, for surfacing the web, for using XLS sheets, and if it's resolution independent, it's a lot of depth for zooming out and getting bigger views.
And it's clear like crystal.
HD is just a marketing term. TV is going HD. Cameras are going HD. iTunes is going HD. Maybe Apple will use that term, maybe not.
But as component prices fall and batteries get better, Apple will pull the switch on higher density (HD) iPhones.
I for one can't wait. I want more on Mobile Safari, never mind iPod!

Rene Ritchie says:


Omari James says:

Erm. iPhone HD this summer : maybe.
me buying a 20 dollar file : Maybe not.
I'll stick to what already works for me !! ^_^

sharonpeters11 says:

I think the iPhone HD looks more like a possibility, and likely will be announced in the summer but do I see any need for it? No.

striatic says:

"HD doesn’t mean 720p, and it isn’t just for video."
HD doesn't mean 720p but it DOES mean at higher than standard definition which 480p really isn't. that is, essentially, "standard definition". and in my comment i did mention it'd help with text rendering but text already renders very well at small sizes on the current screen.
okay so spreadsheets will look better but this post isn't about spreadsheets. it's about video and putting HD video on a standard definition 480p device is silly and ridiculously inefficient.
of course higher resolution is going to happen eventually but you don't see the Blackberry or HTC people calling their screens HD - because they aren't HD.

Daniel A Johansson says:

And here in sweden we are still waiting to be able to rent or buy any movies from iTunes. :(

Paul says:

Hd on a handheld screen. LOL. Not to mention the monsterous file sizes...

Geoff says:

HD is actually a defined family of standards, not just a marketing term.
It comprises two possible screen resolutions: 1920x1080 or 1280x720. It also supports three frame rates: 24, 29.97 and 60 fps. And interlaced or progressive scan modes.