Forbes says “Apple needs to watch its back” citing recent stats from Screen Digest which put Walmart in a deadlock with Amazon — both in third place with 750,000 online movie transactions in the last quarter of 2010. Leading the market, of course, is Apple with a 64% share, followed by Microsoft with just 8%. But Vudu, which was purchased by Walmart in February of 2010, has only to gain with the retail giant doing $3.5 billion worth of DVD business per year.
In celebration of Earth Day the BBC is offering a free download of episode 1 of the Planet Earth series in HD on iTunes. Titled “From Pole to Pole,” the episode presents some of the greatest mass migrations on the planet and focuses on the dependence of both animals and plants on sun and water. The download is apparently only available until Monday, April 26 so get on it quick. Here is the download link which should automatically open iTunes. (Be patient, the 1.43 GB download takes a while.) NOTE: The freebie has expired.
Last week Comcast won a big victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals that threatens the F.C.C.’s ability to regulate the Internet (in this case, keeping it wide open via the guiding principal of network neutrality).
Apple’s iTunes has added a bunch of new HD content including Disney hit titles Bolt, Hannah Montana: The Movie, and the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. With the HD movie purchase you also get smaller iPhone and iPod versions in standard definition.
“Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series” is now available for download on iTunes, Amazon Video on Demand, Xbox Live and the Sony PlayStation Network. The series uses real time computer animation from the “Terminator Salvation” videogame as a platform for the original story written by Andy Shapiro.
Apple TV announced new HD content in the iTunes library today. ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC shows are now all available in high definition. As expected, HD episodes are a dollar more than standard-def episodes at $2.99 each.
Maybe this is why Apple’s Steve Jobs deflected the MacBook Blu-ray integration question at this week’s keynote address by saying “the licensing of the tech is so complex.” It seems they have their own HD thing going on.
Apple iTunes just added NBC shows to its library again, and has also added high definition downloads. Shows include Heroes (Season 2), The Office (Season 4), Battlestar Galactica (Season 4), and 30 Rock (Season 2). Standard definition downloads are $1.99, high definition downloads $2.99, and for a limited time you can download a free episode of each show in either SD or HD.