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iCloud for Movies and the HBO Window Conundrum

Mar 12 2012, 10:19am CDT | by , in News | Apple

iCloud for Movies and the HBO Window Conundrum

Apple is now syncing Movies through the iCloud with all your iDevices. This is not a technical feat, but a business solution.

Apple announced last week that the iCloud is now also syncing movies that you bought on iTunes to all your iCloud enabled devices. This is great. The new feature also highlights now even more the inner workings of movie licensing. HBO has a monster deal with Hollywood that gives them a certain window when only HBO is allowed to deliver a movie through TV and online. The first HBO exclusive window is usually 6 month after the DVD release and lasts a year. During that time a movie is not on sale on iTunes, which is a total pain for consumers that love the simplicity of iTunes.

HBO has now made a small compromise where customers of iTunes can sync their purchased movies to their devices also during the HBO window. Just imagine you bought a movie on your iMac and 6 month later you want to watch it on your new Retina Display iPad and you would get a message: Sorry Access Denied, HBO is f@#$ing with you right now.

The Wall Street Journal reports that HBO is also letting Universal and Fox participate in the iCloud exception along with Lions Gate, Sony, Walt Disney, Viacom and Paramount.

The big problem is though still not solved. You cannot buy a movie in digital online stores during HBO windows, which cripples the consumer experience. So best bet is to watch movies as soon as they are released on DVD and hope that they also get a digital release right away.

I actually find myself now mostly renting movies on iTunes. The selection got better, but is still far from complete and not all movies have a rent option.

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