It’s official. HBO and Apple have signed a deal that will bring six of HBO’s most popular shows to the iTunes store, which means they’re also available on your Apple TV..
The series are: Sex in the City: $1.99 per episode; The Wire: $1.99; Deadwood: $2.99; Flight of the Conchords: $1.99; Rome: $2.99; and The Sopranos: $2.99. This is both the first time HBO has made individual episodes available for buyers and it’s also the first time that Apple is set different prices for television episodes of the same length.
While I’ll miss the simplicity of Apple’s $1.99 per episode pricing, if this is what it takes to make Deadwood, Rome, and The Sopranos available on my Apple TV, I’ll deal with it. You can also buy full seasons of the shows off iTunes.
What you can’t do yet though is get the full run of the shows, except for Sex and the City. For example, only season one of The Wire and Rome are currently available and only seasons one and part two of season six of The Sopranos can now be downloaded. The other episodes will be added, but I’ve seen no time-line for their availability.
HBO also isn’t, for now, offering episodes of series like Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm that are still being produced. Presumably, if things go well, these and other older series like Six Feet Under will be made available on iTunes.
As I’ve said before the Apple TV with NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices is going to replace the DVD player, and this is helping to bring that day closer. After all, with this combination I can store hundreds of movies and dozens of TV series in a space no bigger than a pizza box.
With visuals ever bit as good as a high-end DVD, the ability to order shows at the spur of the moment from my couch, and affordable prices, the Apple TV continues to become the way to rent, buy, and watch movies and television episodes.