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Sunday, June 26, 2011

So we ran into a drawback on Netflix last night. Lisa and I wanted to show my folks Jacob Tierney's adorable comedy THE TROTSKY, but the film kept buffering. I suspect the problem may be that we're on a cable modem, and we're sharing a pipe with too many other people in the neighborhood, so bandwidth goes down in the evening.

So we tried to watch THE KING'S SPEECH on iTunes. But it looks like you have to download the entire movie in order to watch it. We got an error message trying to watch it.

This morning, it seems to have downloaded [UPDATE: no, it didn't]. But ITunes has an annoying feature: once you start watching the movie, you have 24 hours to watch it. Then it goes away. Since I had to start watching it in order to see if it had downloaded all right, that means I have to watch it tonight. If I'd rented it from my video store, Boîte Noir, I'd have a week. If I had rented a disc from Zip or Netflix, I'd have as long as I like. So this is a step back in convenience. Apple could be a little more generous, considering $5 is quite a bit more than I'm used to paying to rent a movie.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to unravel a mystery. Apparently the second generation Apple TV's don't have hard drives, just a li'l 8GB flash drive for caching. So how can you download and queue multiple movies on iTunes? (You have 24 hours once you start watching, but you have 30 days from when you first ask to download, though it seems the first day is lost actually downloading.) Or rather, how many movies can you cache? Can anyone explain or point me to a link?

(UPDATE: Tried to watch it this evening. No go. It's saying it will be available to watch in 10 hours 18 minutes. Since it's also saying we can only watch the movie in the next 10 hours, that's probably not going to work for us. It does not seem to have cached or downloaded anything. That seems dumb. So much for iTunes on Apple TV.)

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4 Comments:

I have no trouble starting a movie on itunes before it's completely downloaded. I just let it go for a few minutes to build up a buffer, then it plays without issue. Not sure why you had that problem!

By Blogger The Screenwriting Screenwriter, at 9:28 AM  

Yeah, you got some bad mojo going on there brother. That's not normal.

By Blogger DMc, at 3:28 PM  

I too have read about similar problems on online forums. I avoid this problem by downloading the movie onto my computer and then streaming it to the Apple TV. Download time is much shorter that way. But I can't download a HD movie and stream it---it seems you have to download HD quality iTunes movies using Apple TV.

By Blogger Norlinda, at 3:21 PM  

I haven't had any major problems. We have the new disc-less AppleTV, and we've rented three movies from iTunes so far (48 hours, not 24, and you have 30 days to start watching). We had about a 2 minute lag once when renting Tangled, and about 30 seconds before it started King's Speech, but no problems. (Because we had Tangled for 48 hours, we watched it again that Sunday afternoon). We're with Bell Sympatico, medium speed plan.

By Blogger Gmajor, at 3:53 PM  

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