All posts in Rentals

Apple TV Glitch Makes Rentals Last Longer Than 24 Hours

Update: iLounge now reports that this may not work as the 24-hour rental trigger is automatically invoked when streaming to the Apple TV.

Even though the new Apple TV is a streaming-only device, you can still rent and watch TV shows and movies right from within iTunes. But, as MacRumors points out, Apple may not have thought this whole streaming-only plan out thoroughly because you can now rent shows and movies without abiding by the 24-hour rental policy that is standard in iTunes rentals.

Rentals used to work by actually moving the video files around to the different devices you wanted to watch them on within a 30-day period. Once you start watching these videos, however, the 24-hour countdown begins before you’ll no longer be able to watch the rented content. Because the Apple TV doesn’t have storage for moving videos over to, these rentals play directly from your iTunes library on your Home Sharing network.

This is where the bug comes in. By doing the following 3 steps, you can have 30-day rentals instead of 24-hour rentals:

1. Rent and download a TV show or movie from iTunes on your computer, but don’t open or play it as this will start the 24-hour counter

2. Start playing the video on your Apple TV. You’ll notice you get no warnings about the 24-hour rental.

3. When you check on iTunes, you will notice that you still have “29+ days remaining” on the video file.

MacRumors does note that because the Apple TV hasn’t been out for 30-days, it’s hard to test whether or not this bug will work long term, but you may still be able to watch your rentals multiple times over multiple days, just as long as you don’t trip the 24-hour counter in iTunes. Plus, there’s no doubt that Apple will soon issue an updates that resolves this issue in either iTunes or the Apple TV. So don’t expect it to work forever.


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.




Warner Brothers Opted Out of 99 Cents Show Rentals

If you’ve spent the last few weeks soaking your pillow to the core with tears shed over not being able to rent episodes of The Vampire Diaries and Smallville for 99 cents on Apple’s recently revealed Apple TV refresh, we’ve got some news for you. Despite what you’re feeling right now, Warner Brothers still loves you, just not enough to forgo the boatloads of cash they make off of iTunes episode sales.

The company has long sold their wares via iTunes, but recently decided to shy away from offering their television content for rent. According to a recent story filed by the American Press, Warner Brothers Chief Executive Barry Myer told a gathering of investors that his company opted out of providing  99 cent rentals to consumers because they felt the price point was too low and could potentially harm the sales of full seasons of their television fodder.

Fair enough. But with networks like ABC, BBC America and others quickly hopping on board Apple’s rental bandwagon,  a glut of low-priced rentals could soon lure money-minded viewers away from higher-priced television fodder. If that’s the case, we may yet see the currently stubborn Warner Brothers have no choice but to come around and rescind its refusal to rent.


Fox, ABC On Board for 99-Cent TV Show Rentals?

Yerba Buena prep for Sept. 1, 2010
(Image courtesy of MacRumors)

The rumor mill has been churning away for weeks on the possibility of 99-cent TV show rentals via iTunes, and a new last-minute report claims that Fox and ABC are both on board for the plan.

MacRumors is reporting
that Apple will indeed be launching 99-cent TV show rentals through the iTunes Store on Wednesday, presumably with an announcement at the media event taking place at 10 am PST. The confirmation comes at the eleventh hour from The Wall Street Journal, who claims that Walt Disney-owned ABC and News Corp.-owned Fox are both set as launch partners for the service.

“As part of the Apple event Wednesday, News Corp.’s Fox and Walt Disney’s ABC networks are slated to be announced as offering 99-cent rentals of television shows through the iTunes store, according to people familiar with the matter,” the report claimed.

It appears that Fox’s participation may be limited out of the gate mostly to shows for which it owns both the production and broadcasting rights, which includes Glee, Bones and Lie to Me.

News Corp. executives are reportedly “uneasy” about Apple’s new model for TV shows, “fearing a disruption of the traditional television business.” Since iTunes debuted TV shows, they have only been available as downloads, generally priced at either .99 per episode for SD or .99 per episode for HD.

“The company ultimately agreed to go along with Apple, however, as an experiment in alternative means for delivering content to consumers and in order to win goodwill with Apple to set stage for partnerships in other digital content ventures,” the MacRumors report concluded.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter