So the iTunes store in the UK is finally getting some films worth watching. There’s all sorts, including Full Metal Jacket, which that naughty More4 Kubrick season chose to ignore, for example.
Coupled with an Apple TV connected to your high-def TV and a broadband connection, that’s quite a powerful combo – no heading off down to the video/DVD store to see what they’ve got in, when all you have to do is search, press buy, and it’s ready to watch in a couple of minutes. If you buy a movie outright rather than rent it, you can take it with you on your iPod or iPhone to watch whenever it takes your fancy, too. And if you rent or buy one of the high def movies, you don’t even need to bother with saving up for that BluRay player any more. Marvellous.
However, be warned that not all films in the store are created equal. For your inspection, take a look at that screenshot of the opening titles for The Hunt For Red October above (you can click on it to make it bigger). Note the moth-eaten edges, the poor colours and general fuzziness of picture – and the fact it’s offset from the centre of the window. And it carries on like that, too.
So, my general advice if you’re thinking of buying or renting a film from the store would therefore be to always plump for a film that’s in the high def section, no matter what you’re going to watch it on. Odds are that it’ll have been cleared up and transferred properly, rather than dumped off an old print. Note you probably won’t need to rent or buy the HD version, only know that it’s available: the transfer will have been from the same print, just converted into a small file for the standard def buyers.
That’ll save you a pound or two.