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can I watch rented movies on multiple devices?

35251 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: May 12, 2013 2:20 AM by simoneronald RSS
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MKB1234 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Sep 29, 2012 7:44 AM

Is it possible to rent a movie thru iTunes and watch on multiple authorized devices. There was a Apple TV update and hoping this is included. I have Apple TV and various laptops.

Boot Camp, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)
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    Sep 29, 2012 7:55 AM (in response to MKB1234)

    iTunes Store Movie Rental FAQ. -

  • Mike Johnson12 Level 5 Level 5 (6,300 points)
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    Sep 29, 2012 9:32 AM (in response to MKB1234)

    The rental can only be viewed from the device it is currently on. If it is on your iPad another authorized device let's say your iPhone cannot play the content unless the content is transferred to that device.


    Once you start viewing you have 24-48 hours to watch the content before it deletes. The 24-48 hours is dependent from which iTS you purchased the rental from.



  • Mike Johnson12 Level 5 Level 5 (6,300 points)
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    Oct 6, 2012 7:57 PM (in response to MKB1234)

    The rental can be only on ONE device at a time.


    You transfer via iTunes.


    Once you start to watch you have 24-48 hours - depending upon which iTS you purchased from. After the time limit the item is auto-deleted.



  • Mike Johnson12 Level 5 Level 5 (6,300 points)
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    Oct 7, 2012 7:02 AM (in response to MKB1234)
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)
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    Oct 7, 2012 8:35 AM (in response to MKB1234)

    It would be good to see the actual web page link with the claim you state Apple makes.  Are you sure it is with reference to rentals?  In addition, "seamless" has no absolute meaning.  You can seamlessly go from Chicago to Los Angeles these days.   You still have to go to the airport, wait in line, maybe transfer somewhere in between, pick up your luggage, get from LAX to wherever you are going, essentially taking a whole day.  That is seamless -- compared to taking train and stage coach 200 years ago.


    The FAQ I linked earlier says, "If you download a rented movie on your computer: You can transfer it to a device such as your Apple TV (1st generation), iPhone, iPad, or iPod if it’s a standard-definition film (movies in HD can only be watched on your computer, iPad, iPhone 4 or later, iPod touch (4th generation or later), or Apple TV). Once you move the movie from your computer to a device, the movie will disappear from your computer's iTunes library. You can move the movie between devices as many times as you wish during the rental period, but the movie can only exist on one device at a time."


    A movie isn't stored a file in your personal space in the Cloud like, say, a personal photo.  If you wish to download  a rental or music purchase from the Cloud it is using a central master copy.  If you want to "transfer" using the Cloud it would really involve deleting the item on the first device, and downloading it a second time from the central reference file on the Cloud.  However, I don't think rentals can be downloaded twice (vs. purchases, in some countries).  In transferring movies using iTunes all the exchange is being done with the original download file where it is being copied from the device drive to the computer drive to the other device drive. I guess in doing so it is also transferring the actual play information.  If you started watching a movie on your iPod cut off from the Internet, then wanted to continue to watch it on your iPad and it had to use a fresh download, it would have no way to keep track of where you were in the movie, nor if you had gone outside your 24 or 48 hour permitted time.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)
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    Oct 7, 2012 9:41 AM (in response to MKB1234)

    Paragraph 2:


    "To see the movies you've already purchased that qualify:"


    With Apple (as in pretty much any company) you have to read each statement carefully and analyze it word for word.  That includes does it specifically allow something?  The only mention I can see of rentals is, "For owners of Apple TV (2nd generation and later), it also means your movie selection has just substantially increased: you can now browse movies for purchase as well as rental."  That to me just says you can now also make purchases through AppleTV.  Nowhere does it specifically say you can download rentals twice and that is what would be required to get them onto a mobile device without using iTunes.


    There is an Apple document  on re-downloading but it only mentions purchases:


    Downloading (using iOS or computer) past purchases from the App Store, iBookstore, and iTunes Store - - enabled with iTunes 10.3 and newer; not all media formats are available in all countries (see: iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match Availability by Country -; apps, books (not audiobooks), music, t.v. shows, and movies (some - not all studios have permitted this).  Downloading previously purchased movies and TV shows requires iTunes 10.6 or later.  Discontinued items not available. For items not included in the iCloud list (e.g., ringtones, audiobooks), or locations or computer systems where iCloud is not (yet?) available, you only get one download per fee paid.

  • Mike Johnson12 Level 5 Level 5 (6,300 points)
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    Oct 8, 2012 6:58 AM (in response to MKB1234)

    I would suggest that what you have been referring to are the pre-release notes of iTunes 11.


    As iTunes 10.7 is the highest version then those additional features that Tim Cook mentioned are not yet available.



  • zeugmatis Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 8:07 PM (in response to MKB1234)

    It's true - this is coming off to many people as deceptive and disingenuous because when you rent a movie you *purchase* the rental.  A rental is still a purchase.  If this applies only to movies purchased *to own* and specifically not to rentals, then this should be clearly mentioned everywhere.  Also, if you paid for the rental then I don't see what the problem is if you decide to watch it on one of your other itunes registered devices.  What difference does it make?  You paid in good faith to see the movie; you should be able to view it on any one of your itunes registered devices you choose. 


    We were bit by this today too:


    Rented movie via AppleTV.

    Taking a flight tomorrow, hey lets download it to the iPad and start it so we can watch it on the plane. 

    Does not show up on iPad for download or even as rented. 

    Plug into Macbook, does not show up as rented or available  there either.

    Throw up hands in defeat and try to rent it again over iPad. 

    "You have already rented this movie - are you sure you want to rent it again?" itunes *does know* we rented the move?!?!  

    ...give up, say yes and get double ganked on the rental fee. 


    Maybe we missed something but could see no way to view the media anywhere but on AppleTV we purchased it on. 


    It's to the point we are just buying regular old books now.  At least we know we can read them wherever we want, whenever we want. 

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