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January 15, 2008

Apple TV Movie Rentals Will Be Great During Writers' Strike

With pretty much all of prime-time TV on hiatus for the foreseeable future, we only have a few options as far as our TV watching goes. We could stop watching (not going to happen), we could lower our standards in regards to which shows we watch, pick up new shows, or start using our TiVo and Apple TV to pick up movies.

Luckily for us, Apple made that decision much more clear today - with the company finally announcing movie rentals on iTunes, months after we recognized the market opportunity for Apple to crush Netflix. Making the announcement even better yet, the update is free, even for us "Version 1.0" Apple TV owners.

Steve Jobs said Apple had failed in bringing Web video to the big screen. As we'd said many times before, he said customers wanted movie rentals. We didn't want to buy our films. We wanted to watch them once, and throw them away. Today's announcement offers exactly that - and we can make our selections via Apple TV, without ever needing to download directly onto our computers.

Now, we've gone from having no good new content on our TV to a seeming infinite, near-instant repository for quality films. While we haven't yet updated our Apple TV to get there, we already recognize the benefits. And while Apple made many other announcements today, covering the iPhone, the iPod and new laptops, it's the addition of movie rentals to iTunes that will have immediate impact on the way we take in media.

In one day, the Apple TV went from the endangered list to the must-watch list. Boom.