Monday, November 16, 2009

Picking BR or iTunes HD Movie

Is $20 for a 720p HD movie from iTunes worth it?  Last week, I got the Blu-Ray version of Pixar's "Up" (it'll always be Pixar for me) last week for $24 after taxes at Target.  It also includes extras as well as a digital copy, and a travel journal.

Later that day, I downloaded the HD version of "Up" from iTunes, I paid $20.  A few weeks ago, it was something I would not imagine myself doing.  Today, in addition to the HD movie, I also get iTunes Extras which includes a couple of shorts, chapter selection, alternative scenes, and other “extras”.  For a long time, I did not think getting a digital movie from iTunes is worth it since you get so much more with a physical copy, whether is a DVD or Blu-Ray disc.

What you do get from iTunes is the convenience of a digital copy so that you don’t have to rip a copy of it yourself, which in the past, doesn’t always work for me.  Still, we are talking about $20 for a digital copy versus a $24 physical copy that sometimes comes with a digital copy.  I said “sometimes” because not all digital copies work with iTunes or the iPhone (I bought Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen that came with a Windows Media digital copy).  Plus, a BR copy offers 1080p while Apple’s HD version goes up only to 720p.

However, iTunes offers convenience once more.  You don’t need to go to your local stores to buy the movie.  No driving the 10 or 15 minutes to the store.  Just click and download with iTunes.  And you can watch the movie while you’re downloading if your Internet bandwidth is fast enough (mine isn’t).

Well, I have had a change of heart after watching “Up” in HD.  Wow.  Simply amazing even at 720p.

So, is it worth it?  The convenience is definitely worth it – no driving to get the movie or waiting for the UPS guy to deliver your movie from Amazon, no ripping, works with my Macs, iPhone, and iPods, and now has iTunes Extras.  And I think in the near future, Apple will offer 1080p version for the same price, possibly forgoing the standard version altogether.  But you’ll have to see for yourself if you want to sastify your HD appetite from iTunes or not.

So, it comes down to a couple of bucks and whether you really must have 1080p or not.

Note:  I bought my BR copy of “Up” as a Christmas gift for my nephew.  It’s always cheaper to get it during the first week of release.

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