iTunes UK TV Shows. Is Apple Kidding?

The Apple UK iTunes Store started offering television shows and boy, what a rip-off. First, the price is too high. Second, you get lower quality, third, it’s locked to your Apple hardware.

In the US. The price for series 1 of Lost is $34.99. That’s about £18 including tax at the current exchange rate. So what is Apple charging for the same thing in the UK? £34.99. That’s about $70. Nice profit margin for someone, but I’m sure not going to pay it.

Even leaving out the UK/US price comparison, you can buy the series one DVD box set from Amazon UK for £32.97. That’s the total price with free shipping and look at what you get for money:

* A higher resolution picture (720×576 for PAL vs. 640×480 for iTunes video)
* Dolby Digital 5.1
* Lost Flashbacks All New Unaired Flashbacks
* Welcome To Oahu The Making Of The Pilot Behind The Scenes Featurette
* The Genesis Of Lost
* The Art Of Matthew Fox
* Audio Commentaries
* Before They Were Lost Audition Tapes And Personal Stories From The Cast
* Deleted Scenes

So, not only is it slightly over two pounds cheaper, but you get 5.1 audio, a higher resolution and a bunch of extra scenes and content.

But surely you get something unique in the iTunes version right? Yup, here’s what:

* Available to watch within a few hours
* Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to prevent you from playing back your purchase on anything other than Apple’s devices

So why in the world would I buy the iTunes version when I can have the DVD version for the same price? And if I want to watch it on my iPod or AppleTV, there’s always [Handbrake](http://handbrake.m0k.org/).

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