Skip to comments.NBC, Apple announced iTunes TV show deal
Posted on 12/06/2005 8:07:30 AM PST by Panerai
NBC Universal and Apple on Tuesday announced a deal that brings NBC television content to Apples iTunes Music Store. iTunes now offers more than 300 episodes of 16 shows, according to the statement.
Apple said that more than 3 million videos have been purchased and downloaded since the iTunes Music Store began selling them in October. Apple started with content including music videos, television shows from NBC competitor ABC and short subjects created by Pixar Animation Studios, Apple CEO Steve Jobs other company.
Like those other shows, the NBC programs are available for US$1.99. And like ABCs content, new NBC shows will be uploaded and available from iTunes the day after theyre broadcast.
The videos can be played back on any Mac or PC running the latest update to iTunes, and can also be downloaded and played back on Apples recently released video-capable iPods.
NBC TV content available on iTunes includes Law & Order, The Office, Surface, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan OBrien, Monk, the Sci-Fi Channels production of Battlestar Galactica, and classics like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Dragnet, Adam 12 and Knight Rider.
Well, not me, but a lot of people buy cable TV.
Actually, since the only show I like on cable is Battlestar Galactica (and even that is treading on thin ice with its weak 2nd season). And Comca$t has horrible picture quality for the SciFi channel, and is about to up their rates again (7% or so).
So, with this new legal option, I can pitch my cable TV! I'll save about $250 - $300 a year by downloading just the shows I like, rather than pay for the collosal wasteland of cable every month.
You can load your own content if it is encoded in the proper format.
Really? I had read that all video had to be bought from the iTunes store. If that isn't the a video iPod will be even harder to turn down.
The video iPod has a 320x240 display. Consider that in your choice.
I enjoy seeing old episodes of Cheers, the Andy Griffith Show, the Twilight Zone ('One for the Angels' was my favorite), the Outer Limits, Thriller, (Boris Karloff hosted), the Bob Newhart Show, Dragnet, Emergency (the show that got me interested in being a firefighter), and, of course, the original Bugs Bunny Show.
I guess I'm just a bourgeois kind of guy. I'm not sure I believe you though. I think you stay up late at night and watch the New Scooby Doo Mysteries (especially the ones with Sonny and Cher and the Harlem Globetrotters.) And I bet you watch them twice.
I don't have an iPod, but found a public domain copy of one of the old Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies in MPG format. iTunes took it right in, and played it just like it was made for it.
You know what I mean. You certainly don't pay for 'em in a pay-per-view situation. That's what this is closest to.
Let's not kid ourselves. This is Apple's entry into the porn industry. Look for iPorn at a junior high near you.
A couple of weeks ago, I missed "Lost", and my DVR screwed up and didn't record it (egads!) Then I found this service. Downloaded the episode the next day, hooked my laptop up to my big screen TV, and although it wasn't HD, it looked darn good for coming off a PC.
This is the age of miracle and wonder...
You can do that now - you just need a program to convert your DVD's to MP4 format. A number of them are available on the Internet for about $29.
Look at Amazon's best selling dvds, almost all of them are tv series. So a lot of people want to watch shows again and again. Right now 10 of the top 25 are shows. And that is a low number.
Battlestar Galactica, excellent. Now they just need to do something about the lousy 320x240 resolution. (Yeah, that's the size of the iPod display, but they should offer better resolution for watching on monitors and TVs).
A subscription model would work much better for TV shows. Is anyone really going to spend $40 a month just for the Tonight Show?
If they really want any download service to succeed, they need to make HD content available. $1.99 for a video in 720p h.264 that you could watch on your computer would work. H.264 high def content looks awesome, although it requires very fast computers.
When I watched my downloaded "Lost" episode, it looked great. And keep in mind I'm used to seeing it in HD. But there's no way they could encode it as HD, because even high-speed downloads would take hours.
Anyway, I was happy with it.
They do...Try it befer ya schtart bishing!
Crisp and clear digital 320x240 should equal a staticy 640x480 analog. A fly in the ointment maybe dark scenes, which frankly makes up a lot of BSG - either the H.264 algorithm isn't good at it, or the person overseeing encoding must do a better job on the examples I've seen.
The thing that I've noticed is that while picture quality is nice and isn't unimportant, the story is more the thing with TV shows.
I know I'm not the only one who is hanging onto cable just for a show or two, and maybe enough of us dropping will force them to upgrade picture quality AND drop rates and/or switch to an ala-carte program plan.
I was struck by the video clarity and near-perfect audio. It was a big improvement over the snowy black-and-white TV of my youth when I was constantly adjusting the TV antenna. I haven't watched Adam-12 in decades and it brought back a lot of good memories.
At $1.99 a show, I don't think I'll be collecting the entire series. But I think the price of these older shows will eventually come way down once the technology takes off.
Right now, this video downloading thing is still in the "early-adopter" phase. But I'm telling you, it's going to be huge. In a few years, most people will get their video content "a la carte" and TV as we know it today will be a relic of the past.
The networks know it too and this is why they are suddenly clamoring to get in on the ground floor with iTunes.