Watching movies on your computer has long been a convenient option that comes at the cost of quality. But as Hulu’s video player gets a size upgrade and iTunes launches 1080p videos, digital media is looking better and better. After the jump:

  • Hulu unveils a shinier, cleaner new UI
  • Cablevision subscribers can now sign up for HBO Go and Max Go
  • Discovery Communications brings 3,000 more titles to Amazon
  • The difference between 1080p and Blu-ray may be smaller than you think

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The Criterion Collection Hits iTunes

You can already access the Criterion Collection on DVD, on Blu-ray, or through Hulu — and now, as of this month, you can also get some of its titles through iTunes. With very little hype, the Criterion Collection has quietly started to appear on the iTunes movie page, as you can see in the image above. The initial offering is comprised of just a few dozen of the hundreds of films from their library, but it’s a decent start. Besides, I’d imagine that enough consumers seem interested, the selection will begin to expand. More details after the jump.

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This week marked the launch of UltraViolet, a new digital locker system that would allow users to purchase content in one physical or digital format and access it across all platforms via a cloud-based system. The service came about through years of negotiation and collaboration between major studios, manufacturers, and retailers, but not everyone in the industry was on board — Apple and Disney were among the two biggest holdouts.

We’ve now learned why Apple declined to participate, and it’s pretty much the same reason Disney did. Apple has quietly been working on its own cloud service, expected to launch in late 2011 or early 2012, and has been working out deals with studios to allow videos purchased through iTunes to be streamed on any Apple device including iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV.

The good news for UltraViolet is that Apple is reportedly considering allowing UltraViolet users to access their libraries via apps on their Apple products. As the company accounts for a whopping 66% of digital movie sales and rentals — not to mention a sizable share of the market for both tablets and smartphones — this could be a big help to UltraViolet. However, in an effort to encourage customers to continue buying Apple electronics, iTunes purchases would only be playable on other Apple devices. [LA Times]

After the jump, read about a new deal between Netflix and The CW to bring all the Gossip Girl and Supernatural you could possibly want to your streaming account.

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New iTunes Movies Features Attempt to One Up DVD

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is testing new features in iTunes with an eye on the digital distribution of a film becoming its primary one. As it stands now, iTunes movies are generally just that – the movie, with the majority of the special features relegated to a Blu-ray or DVD. But with a few new releases, Sony is “quietly testing” features that will be exclusive to people who purchase a movie on iTunes, such as the ability to clip scenes from their movies to share on social networks as well the ability to search for certain words in the script. It’s their hope that features like this will entice people to purchase on iTunes instead of DVD while simultaneously acting as an experiment to what’s possible within the digital medium. Read More »

Terry Gilliam is the greatest film director in the history of cinema.  I’m glad I got that of my chest so early in my /Filming career.  Now we’ve covered it, we can move on… to a Gilliam-centric news piece.

iTunes are now offering the Monty Python back catalogue, including Holy Grail, Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life and Live at the Hollywood Bowl, alongside the entire run of Flying Circus.  The movies can be purchased for a cent under $10 or rented for a cent under $3, the shows purchased for a cent under $2.  Grab the lot and put the saved cent in a jar each time and by the time you’re over-Pythoned you’ll have enough for a second hand DVD copy of Gilliam’s first non-Python work, Jabberwocky.  Too tight for even that?  Then you’re in luck: there’s a link to something free after the break. Read More »

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