iTunes TV: is it worth the money?

I've just downloaded the latest version of iTunes (7.4.1) in anticipation of buying a new iPod, and discovered you can (finally) buy full-length TV shows on the UK iTunes store, writes Andy Clough.

You probably knew this already, but it had passed me by in all the excitement of the recent iPhone/iPod launches.

There isn't a massive choice of TV series on offer (around 30), but at least it's an improvement on the few Pixar shorts we had before.

A quick browse got me thinking: would I actually pay to download a TV programme (or even an entire series) from iTunes?

Well, there's Grey's Anatomy season 2 (mmm, maybe, as I missed it all on TV) and Ugly Betty season 1 (definitely, I'm a huge fan). Oh, and I'd probably find it hard to resist South Park.

Then I started looking at the prices: £32.99 for an entire series. On the face of it that isn't too bad – a quick Google search found the DVD boxset of Grey's Anatomy series 2 on Amazon for a similar amount.

Alternatively you can download a single episode for £1.89, but what's the point of that? I'd want to see them all.

However, what really worries me is this: what will the picture quality be like on my 40in Sony Bravia LCD TV? I know what I'm getting with a DVD, but from what I've seen of iTunes movies in the US, the picture quality ain't that great.

Sure, it may be fine for watching on an iPod or laptop, but on a big-screen TV, any picture flaws will be ruthlessly revealed. And there won't be any surround sound.

Looks like I'll have to borrow the Apple TV from our stock room and start downloading... has anyone else out there tried out iTunes TV yet?

If so, let me know what you think.

Technorati Tags: Apple TV, iPod, iTunes, MP3, MP4

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.