Who is there right mind would buy TV Shows from Apple?

I went cableless just over a month ago, so as you’d expect, I’m looking for new ways to get content. Now we all know there’s no way I’m going to watch SD, so besides OTA HD and Blu-ray Discs via Netflix, I’m looking to fill some gaps.

One of those gaps is a few shows on HD cable that I actually enjoy like Battlestar Galactica and Burn Notice. So like any Apple TV owner I figured I might as well check out the HD show selection. But man, what a rip! I mean $2.99 a show or like over $40 a season. That is a total ripoff. It’s not like I’m going to watch them more than once. No way I’m paying that much, even for one show. Seriously, how backwards is it that you can only rent HD movies and buy HD shows?

The unbelievable part to me is that not only do some actually buy ’em, but some of the same shows are available for free — and in better quality — via OTA HD. I just don’t get it.

You’ll have to excuse me now while I go load up my favorite torrent program. I figure it’s either that, or wait another 6 months until I can rent the Blu-ray versions on Netflix.

10 Responses to “Who is there right mind would buy TV Shows from Apple?”

  1. Thank you for saying it because the prices and the DRM really are obscene. My proposal is that consumers pay 1 per hour of content for high def mkv files. That way if a “half an hour show” is really only 22 minutes, you’d still get to see two more episodes. I don’t really understand the whole rationale behind gouging consumers for the HD content. In any other business, you’d expect people to always put their best efforts forward, but for some reasons, Hollywood goes out of their way to put out an inferior product just so they can charge more for something they should have been delivering to begin with.

  2. Ross says:

    I agree, it’s very frustrating. One of my goals this year is to cancel our cable – without incurring the wrath of my better half though. That means finding what she watches somewhere else!

    Have you tried Boxee on your AppleTV yet? I’ve read the ATV doesn’t handle HD very well though.

    But I’m not happy with the torrent solution (apart from OTA content). But they sure aren’t making it easy.

    PlayOn is another potential solution I’ve heard about.

    I’m interested to hear how you get on.

    If Apple release a new Mac Mini soon that may well tip me over the edge. Boxee should run well, hook up to Hulu, Netflix, ABC.com, NBC.com, etc, and the mini will be a heck of a lot quieter than my 360 (even with the new fans you got – I installed them too and it helped, but not enough). It’s a stinkin’ expensive set-top-box though!

    Is there much TV content on Netflix WatchNow?

  3. rothgar says:

    The same people who buy Apple products. They can lock you into itunes first, then it is just easier to buy from them.
    The PSN is even more expensive but until someone offers monthly or yearly fees for streaming there is no way I am buying it. I am keeping with Boxee/MythTV/torrents for now.

  4. Rey Luca says:

    I agree! There is no way that I would pay 3dlrs for an episode. I don’t no man, In the end you’re right and I feel you on the B.Torrent way. C’mon people(industry) lower the per episode price or even better reward consumers of season pass with an significant discount to say, 20 dlrs HD. C’mon mannn!

  5. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    I’ve tried Boxee, but like I said I’m a PQ snob so nothing on there is worth watching. The ATV can play 720p24 fine, but not flash in HD.

    WatchNow isn’t much better, but the Blu-ray selection is fantastic, so I mostly watch Blu-ray movies from there.

  6. Bruce says:

    I have a hard time worrying too much about dl’ing shows (and not bittorrent, there are far better solutions out there, faster and more reliable). I’m going cableless pretty soon, but to Ross’ point, a key factor is wife approval factor. Still working that one out. 😉

  7. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    I guess I kind of lucked out in that department. My wife mostly watches shows on ABC, NBC, Fox, or CBS. So I just said to her, is it worth $60/month to watch the one or two shows you watch on cable? She agreed and I was actually the hold out as I was I have a weakness for college football and when it comes to it, there is no substitute for ESPN HD.

  8. aaron rodriguez says:

    same could be said for any of the purchasing tv shows devices (xbox live, playstation, amazon, etc). the only shows ive bought on my 360 are the free ones they release from time to time.

    netflix kind of eliminates the need for all of those services. just wish they had more network’s shows. hulu serves most of the rest for me but like others there is no replacement for espnhd.

  9. JaxChris says:


    The WatchNow selection for New TV that you can view through the X360 is mostly HD, and the same quality as the BluRay selection in WatchNow. This fixes the missed CBS shows for your wife.

    Also, I believe Darren posted up a Boxee for MCE article. The only thing this is good for is Hulu which can get you Fox, NBC, SciFi, USA shows (still waiting for Eureka to come back).

    I haven’t had trouble pulling down the high quality versions in Hulu, but I will say that the additional steps required make it very annoying for me just to pull up a show. I guess my ‘simplicity’ bug is equal to your ‘picture quality’ bug.

    Also, anyone here have a line on a good HDMI autoswitch? Every autoswitch I’ve tried will not switch back to the primary source after turning off the secondary that took over. It’s annoying. GF likes having her X360 on the main TV, which is fine, but I want the MediaCenter to pop back up as soon as she turns it off.

    Glad I have my extenders in the other rooms so I can watch my show while she does it.

    I’m also cableless on MediaCenter and have been for quite some time. But I may go back to a monthly bill with Dish’s TurboHD is the Draco thing actually makes it to market as soon as Win7 goes RTM. I will settle for a 35$/month bill to have all my shows, in HD, on my MediaCenter.

  10. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    It’s funny you mentioned Watch Now, because with my HD failure I tried to download the latest in Office in HD, and it wasn’t on Watch Now.

    As for Hulu, even at the higher quality, it’s still worse than torrents, and as you put it, not simple enough.

    No clue on an HDMI switch, I prefer component anyways and only use HDMI when I have to.

    Yes the Dish/MC connection combined with the HD only package will probably have me picking up Dish as well.