Apple TV Redux

So, the big news from Macworld Expo ‘08 is the revamped Apple TV with HD movie rentals. At least, that was the big news for me – the MacBook Air is cool, and I’m sure it will be a huge seller, but I don’t consider it “Big News”.

I’ll probably end up buying an Apple TV now that it has the rental service.  Eventually.  (There are other things that I need/want before this – it’s really just a toy, after all.) But, in the short term, I hope it gives a kick in the pants to Comcast and their “OnDemand” service – especially in the realm of HD.  If you don’t have OnDemand, or haven’t used it for HD content, it’s greatly lacking (but has been slowly getting better).  With the “new” movies that come out, the selection that’s available in HD is lacking (again, it has been slowly getting better).  One thing I haven’t been able to understand is some of the choices for movies that are available in HD.  Most of the time the big, “spectacular” movies – the ones that should be visual cinematic treats – aren’t always available in HD, and movies that I could care less to watch in HD are, of course, available in HD.

Like I said, Comcast has been getting better with this, and hopefully the Apple TV will force them to improve their HD selection.  Also, this will hopefully force them to lower their pricing for both HD and standard def movie rentals, since Apple is coming in lower than them in both categories. 

I should mention, by the way, that Comcast does have quite a bit of free content available in HD (not to mention standard def) – older movies and current TV shows from various network – so that’s a huge plus.  I certainly don’t mean to bash Comcast’s OnDemand service, I just sincerely hope that the competition forces them to improve an already decent service.