HD movies now sold in iTunes Store, iPod versions included

Apple has announced that it is now offering high-definition films for purchase and rent on the iTunes Store. HD movies will be priced at $19.99 and can be viewed on a Mac, PC, or Apple TV; according to the announcement, HD films will also include standard-definition copies for viewing on an iPod or iPhone. Starting today, iTunes users can pre-order HD versions of Quantum of Solace which will be available for download on March 24, and Twilight, which will be available on March 21, and can purchase HD versions of films including Transporter 3 and Punisher: War Zone, both of which are available immediately. Apple claims the iTunes Store is the “world’s most popular online TV and movie store,” with over 250 million TV episodes purchased and over 33 million movies purchased and rented.

“Movie fans are going to love being able to buy and rent films including ‘Quantum of Solace’ and ‘Twilight’ in stunning HD from the iTunes Store,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services. “Customers have made HD content on iTunes a hit, with over 50 percent of TV programming being purchased in HD when available.”

Rental prices for HD films through iTunes remain the same as they were via Apple TV: $3.99 for older titles, $4.99 for new releases. In our brief initial testing, we found that Punisher: War Zone consists of one 3.09GB HD video file, and one 1.15GB SD iPod/iPhone compatible file.

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