Apple launches iTunes Movie Rentals service

Apple today launched its new iTunes Movie Rentals service, which will offer films in both DVD and HD quality which can be transferred between, and played on, Mac and PC computers, the Apple TV, all video-enabled iPods and the iPhone. The service features films from all six major studios, including 20th Century Fox, Universal, Sony Pictures, Disney, Warner Bros., and Paramount. Rentals will cost $2.99 for library releases and $3.99 for new releases in DVD quality; HD versions of the films will run $3.99 and $4.99, respectively. The films will be available for viewing for 30 days, and will remain active for 24 hours once the user has begun watching the film. In addition, HD versions of films will offer 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound; however, HD movie rentals can only be purchased and viewed on the Apple TV. “iTunes Movie Rentals instantly brings great movies from all the major studios directly to your iPod, iPhone, TV or computer — without having to drive to the video store or wait for DVDs to arrive in the mail,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Movie lovers can now discover and enjoy movies as simply and easily as music lovers discover and enjoy music today on iTunes.” Apple has said that it hopes to offer 1000 films by February, and plans to launch the service internationally later this year. iTunes Movie Rentals require iTunes 7.6, which is a free update for all iTunes users, and is available now from iTunes.com.

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