Apple has a great movie rental service available that can stream all the latest blockbuster hits direct on your iPad, iPhone, Mac or even television (via Apple TV). With fewer rental stores existing these days it's a great way to get the latest blockbuster movies direct to your television.
Apple first started doing movie rentals back in 2008. But many people aren't aware of Apple's movie rental system. Our guide to renting movies from Apple has all the answers you need.
Renting iTunes movies on an Apple device
You can rent movies from the iTunes Store using a Mac/PC or any iOS device (including the Apple TV). Renting a movie is pretty simple, simply click on the movie and click the Rent button. Enter your iTunes password and you're good to go.
Some movies can be purchased in either HD or SD quality. HD is obviously higher quality, but typically these rentals cost more.
How much do Apple iTunes movie rentals cost?
The price for rentals varies depending on how recent the movie is, and whether it's in HD (High Definition) or SD (Standard Definition).
- New HD Movie Rental - £4.49
- New SD Movie Rental - £3.49
- Classic HD Movie Rental - £3.49
- Classic SD Movie Rental - £2.49
How long do I have to wait before I can watch an iTunes movie rental?
Thanks to iTunes In The Cloud you no longer have to wait for a movie to download. A movie that you have rented can be streamed almost immediately from iTunes to your computer, iOS device or Apple TV. Each device also remembers the point in the movie you are watching, so you can watch and one device and carry on using another device.
Read more: iTunes in the cloud
How long does the rental last for?
You can start watching the movie up to 30 days after you first rented it. Once you start watching it you can watch the movie for 48 hours (24 hours in the US) from the point where you first started playing it. Once the rental period has expired the movie is removed from your iTunes library.
Can I watch Apple movie rentals more than once?
Yes. You can watch a movie as often as you want within 48 hours of first playing the movie.
How to play Apple movie rentals on a television
Renting a movie from your Mac, iPhone or iPad is all well and good. But you probably want to watch it on a television.
There are two main options here. You can connect your iOS device directly to a HDMI television using the Apple HDMI cable, or you can invest in an Apple TV. The Apple TV is a great device that enables you to beam video from any Mac or iOS device to your television using AirPlay technology.
Read more: Apple TV review
If I rent a movie and I buy it do I have to pay full price?
Yes. If you rent a movie and decide you want to buy it you'll have to pay the full price for it. We think the movie industry is missing out on a trick here, and should offer the chance to upsell people from renting to buying.
What alternatives to iTunes movie rental exist?
Although iTunes is a great movie service there are lots of other ways you can download and watch movies on your television via an Apple TV or iOS device. Here are
- Sky Movies & Sky Go. These are paid-for apps that compliment Sky's television service.
- Crackle. Free movie service. Limited selection.
- YouTube. It's free and there are more full movies on it than you'd imagine.
- Netflix. Costs £5.99 per month but has a great selection of movies and television.
- Lovefilm. Costs £4.99 per month. Great selection of movies but fewer television shows than Netflix.
Apple has a detailed Movie Rentals FAQ on its support page for more information.