High Definition

May 10 2012

News - Warner Bros. Offering 1080p Movies on iTunes

When Apple announced the third-generation Apple TV back in early March, the company also announced that iTunes would begin offering 1080p movies and TV shows. A number of big studios were quick to begin hawking their even more high-definition wares, but two conspicuously absent studios were Warner Bros. and Fox. Fortunately, Warner Bros. has finally decided to get on-board the 1080p bandwagon, and evidently with both feet as some big titles are already available including The Lord of the Rings and Sherlock Holmes. I know that a lot of folks aren't quite ready to give up Blu-ray in favor of digital downloads, but at least the iTunes offerings have become a bit more varied.

Warner Bros.

 Right now it seems that Warner's 1080p titles are only available in the US, and the UK and Canada are yet to offer 1080p videos at all. This will come as good news to owners of the updated Apple TV, as it broadens the range of content easily accessible from the 1080p-capable device, and films are $14.99 to buy or $3.99 to rent. 

The Verge


Sep 03 2011

News - DirecTV Doubles Down on HD

One company, two stories. DirecTV has been making waves in the land of HD over the last 24 hours. The first bit of news I found exciting, or at least I would if I were a DirecTV subscriber; the second bit of news I found perplexing.

The exciting news for DirecTV subscribers is that DirecTV is finally adding AMD-HD to their line-up.

After slowing its pace of adding HD channels dramatically as of late, DirecTV has finally satisfied one of the loudest and longest running customer requests by announcing AMC-HD will come to its satellites starting September 9th. 


I have often found AMC's name to be diametrically opposed to the quality of most of the movies that it runs, but I have to admit that they have demonstrated a knack for making compelling television shows. Watching The Walking Dead in HD would be a gruesome treat.

The second bit of DirecTV news, the news I found perplexing, is that DirecTV is pushing out an HD UI to beta testers for the company's HD DVRs.

 It's the HD UI that was mentioned during the last earnings call, and brings not only fully 16x9 formatted graphics but also, according to testers, a serious performance boost to satellite receivers. 


I realize that there are still people out there who do not have HD TVs, but a big part of DirecTV's marketing pitch is that they have more HD channels than any other content service provider. Content service provider set-top boxes rarely provide pretty UIs, but at this point the idea that DirecTV is charging subscribers for DRVs with an interface that doesn't even have an option for graphic elements formatted for a 16x9 display is more than a little surprising. 

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