Film studios seemingly poured praise on Apple and its iTunes/iPod ecosystem at a special session at CES this week.

The love-in emerges as rumours claiming Apple plans to introduce a film rental service through iTunes next week continue to intensify.

One report claims that in one case a customer who had pre-ordered the DVD of a not-yet available film from Paramount found a file on the DVD which could be exported – legitimately – into iTunes. However, this feature requires iTunes 7.6, which isn’t yet available, suggesting a major update to the service, perhaps as soon as next week.

Signs of conciliation between Apple and the film studios were clear in statements made by members of the CES panel.

Panelist the new president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Thomas Gewecke, described Apple as a great partner to Warner, saying the company had helped take the download-to-own marketplace from a “nascent technology to the position of an important and competitive one,” BetaNews informs.

Albert Cheng, executive vice president of digital media for Disney/ABC TV group called Apple "the best partner we have to legitimize product and make it available."

The panel also seemed to agree that ad-supported content was the most likely outcome for online film and television distribution. It also emerged that iTunes generates more money for older catalogue releases than do DVD sales.