Long the [out-of-wedlock] stepchildren of the iTunes experience, Canada and the UK got some small measure of love a while back with the addition of TV shows, albeit primarily local and cable fare, like CBC and BBC respectively. But where were our movies? What about our (pricey) Apple Take 2 rentals?
Today Apple finally bestowed cinema on her Majesties loyal subjects, home and commonwealth alike:
Your favourite Hollywood movies are now available to download from the iTunes Store and watch instantly. Rent new releases for just $4.99 and other library titles for just $3.99, or buy movies and own them forever. Sit back and enjoy the show on your computer, take it on the road with your iPod—or view movies in stunning high definition with Apple TV.
In Canada, purchased movies seem to range from $9.99 to an expensive $19.99 for new releases (hey, studios, seen the power of le loonie lately?) while in the UK, rentals will fetch a premium £2.49 to £3.49, and purchases, £6.99 and £10.99.
Like the US, HD Movies are reserved exclusively for direct-to-Apple TV rental (thanks Big Media!), but it seems we might just get to enjoy them for 48 hrs. instead of the miserly 24 in the US.
One drawback? Canada already has steep data rates and stingy data caps (low end accounts offer a paltry 1-2GB a month, with high overage charges). Unlimited accounts can also be slower (low end toping out at 1.5 Mbps). Add to that the potential for cable and telecos to throttle what might seem to them to be competing offerings (to Rogers and Bell on-demand or PPV services, for example), and it will make for some interesting politics.
While the telcos may argue that the post office doesn't deliver Netflix for free, it's not like end users see the shipping charges either. It may end up that Apple has to deal with the Big Pipe devils same way they do with Hollywood and the carriers...
UPDATE: I had to reset the settings (not restore to factory, just reset) on the Apple TV in order to get it to offer up some movies, which meant reconnecting it to sync and stream from iTunes.