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iTunes Store Introduces HD Downloads for Purchase with "Quantum Solace" and "Twilight"

Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2009 4:16 PM

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Apple announced last week that iTunes Store customers are now able to purchase high definition movies in addition to renting them. The first movies made available are the latest James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, and the vampire action/romance movie Twilight.

Screenshot of iTunes Store's HD page

You can purchase box office blockbusters for download in HD for $19.99 from iTunes, and movies will be available as iTunes Movie Rentals in HD for $4.99 within 30 days after release. The HD versions can be enjoyed Macs, PCs, and on their widescreen TV with an Apple TV connected. The standard definition version is playable on the iPhone and iPods with video.

"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."[Starting March 19th], iTunes customers can pre-order "Quantum of Solace" which will be downloaded to their computer on March 24, and the smash hit thriller "Twilight" will be available on March 21. iTunes customers can purchase "Transporter 3," "Punisher: War Zone" and other select titles in HD today, and the action/comedy "The Spirit" will be available on April 14.

Apple started renting HD movies back in January 2008, and one wonders what has taken so long to get purchases added to their featureset. Given the fact that most people do not wish to watch full-length movies on their computers (unless they're traveling and watching on a laptop) and that the Apple TV has not taken the world by storm, perhaps there isn't a very big market for HD movies via iTunes. However, if they have the videos converted already, I guess it's probably just a matter of adding the necessary rights clauses to Apple's contracts with the studios. With the recent announcements from services like Vudu, Netflix, Hulu, TiVo, and Amazon Video on Demand, I suppose there might have been some egos bruised on the Apple campus, so this announcement brings them back on par, so long as you've bought into the iTunes universe.

If this announcement interests you, head on over to our iTunes Store page in the Gift Shop and start shopping!

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