Last night I rented my first 1080P HD movie on the new iPad, the second movie I’ve ever rented from iTunes.
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol looked great in 1080P HD, even if the letterboxing left half the screen black. Even the 4GB download was faster than anticipated.
Overall renting movies on the iPad and Apple TV is a pleasant experience that works better than trying to find a disc at the local video store or waiting for Redbox to carry it.
Even though it is $1 to $2 more to rent a digital download than to rent Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol at a local video rental place.
Where the experience falls apart is the rental period. iTunes and Google Play currently limit the length of a rental to 24 hours. Using a one day rental period makes sense with a limited supply local video store, but when it comes to digital rentals I’m not preventing someone else from renting a video if I keep it an extra day.
I would rent vastly more iTunes movies if Apple and the studios allowed me to watch the rental for a 48 hour period, a 36 hour period or even 26 hours.
Why We Need Longer iTunes Rentals
I’m no longer a fan of staying up til 1 AM every night to watch a movie, and Netflix never has new releases streaming so I am left with committing to a full two-hour or two-and-a-half hour movie or not renting a movie at all. Most of the time I skip the rental, opting for a TV Show on Hulu or Netflix instead.
If i could start a movie knowing that I could finish it the next night, at the same starting time, I could return to the movie watching habits of my youth.
For $4-$5 I get one night with an iTunes Movie in HD, but for $6 I get the same movie for two nights at my local video store.
The last thing I want is for Apple to raise prices across the board, but I would pay extra for a ‘late fee’ if Apple allowed me to extend my digital rental for another day or a few hours. I’m not going to spend another $5, but $1 for a second night sounds like a fair price considering there is no additional cost to Apple.