99 cents could get you TV rentals on new Apple TV

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RUMOUR MILL: A new Apple TV, which hasn’t met the expectations as a set-top-box as it only streams content from your iTunes library, could see an introduction of individual TV episodes rented and streamed to the device for only US$0.99 cents

That is compared to the US$1.99 price point for SD episodes and $2.99 for episodes in HD.

That’s if only the report on NewTeeVee is true.

Users will only have 30 days to start watching the video, and 24 hours to complete the video. That arrangement is similar to how it streams movie rentals on the iTunes Store. However, there will be some difference – it will stream the episodes from the cloud, similar to how Hulu and YouTube offer full episodes of content.

There is rumours that this plan is a direct response to Hulu Plus (Hulu is only limited to those living in the United States), the new paid service that would allow you to stream content on any device around your home and have access to whole seasons worth of content from many shows from NBC Universal, Fox and ABC – and that includes their back catalogues. The pricing is also not a per-episode charge, it is a monthly fixed cost of $9.99 a month.

Only problem: Hulu does not have the variety of channels that iTunes has – like CBS (it owns TV.com, after its acquisition of CNET Networks) and HBO. As well, it does not meet Hulu internationally – iTunes already has a presence in the UK and Australia – where local programming like Doctor Who and Rush are already on iTunes.

But while we can wait for Hulu, iTunes streaming might be a better option – especially when some ISPs in Australia already have deals to have downloads from iTunes (except podcasts) unmetered.