Apple TV Lands Movie Extras (Again)

Dave Zatz —  July 13, 2014

After a several year hiatus, Apple once again brings supplemental movie content to Apple TV in the form of iTunes Extras. It’s the sort of DVD and Blu-ray goodies you’d expect in cut scenes, featurettes, and the like. Whereas initial Apple TV models sported hard drives, over the last few years this downloadable content was only available to desktop iTunes clients given Apple TV’s small form factor. But the new implementation is cloud-based (and high def) – so content can now be streamed down to aTV, you’re not eating up local storage, in the case of computers, and studios are able to update their offerings. Come this fall, Extras will also be streamed to iOS 8 devices.

While I ebayed my Apple TV, in favor of Amazon’s Fire and assuming an upcoming hardware refresh, our pal Tim loves his… and buys lots of movies from Apple (and the UltraViolet consortium). He shot the brief video above to demo iTunes Extra and show some funky launch bugs, in relation to previously purchased content (which, fortunately, cleared overnight without intervention).

12 responses to Apple TV Lands Movie Extras (Again)

  1. Isn’t the (very surprising to me) report that Roku outsold Apple TV 2 to 1 in the US last year worth a post?

    Heartening to me that hype and marketing doesn’t always win the race…

  2. @Chucky

    Except AppleTV hardware hasn’t been refreshed in years and I can’t think of anytime they’ve marketed or hyped it.

    I’m not surprised its not selling so well because its so limited in function. Now look at the resale value of the previous version of the AppleTV which can be jailbroken.

  3. Chucky, I’m generally reluctant to cite third party reports who release that information merely to promote those reports. I’ve reached out to both Google and Roku to confirm or otherwise shed light the numbers. IF they provide anything interesting, I’ll riff on it. Having said that, Chromecast and Roku can be had for much less money than Apple TV and is sold in far more locations – so greater sales wouldn’t surprise me. Raulr2 brings up a good point on resale… and why I unloaded my Apple TV for just about what I had paid (whereas my last Roku I wanted to retired ended up in my mom’s condo).

  4. “Chucky, I’m generally reluctant to cite third party reports who release that information merely to promote those reports.”

    Yeah. I also did have some questions about the reliability of that report.

    “Having said that, Chromecast and Roku can be had for much less money than Apple TV and is sold in far more locations – so greater sales wouldn’t surprise me.”

    Given the AirPlay exclusive, and the overall juggernaut of the Apple ecosystem and marketing machine, it sure did surprise me. (If true.) I would’ve guessed Apple outselling Roku 2 to 1, not the other way around.

  5. “Having said that, Chromecast and Roku can be had for much less money than Apple TV and is sold in far more locations – so greater sales wouldn’t surprise me.”

    The Chromecast numbers didn’t really surprise me, given the price point, the hype, and the Chrome mirroring exclusive. However, the idea of lots of Chromecast users ending up mothballing the thing didn’t surprise me either, given what I think of the product. (Again, all assuming the accuracy of the report.)

    But Roku? I thought civilians hadn’t even heard of Roku…

  6. Also: my hope is that the Apple move will prompt Amazon to follow suit, sooner rather than later. (Which seems a reasonably likely wish to come true.)

  7. Anecdotally, neither Mari nor I use our respective Chromecasts. I’d flip it, but keep it around for blog purposes. Gotta try this Android screen mirroring.

  8. Heard back from Roku… they reminded me that earlier this year they had announced 8 million commutative units moved in the US. Some Googling pegs that as late January 2014 and in mid April of 2013, they had mentioned selling 5 million cumulative US units with VideoNuze putting all of 2013 at “about 3 million” – based on a conversation. Chromecast was released late July, but initial online sales were pretty crazy and generally speaking most of retail is back heavy due to holidays. So the numbers could be good, but it’s still just one firm’s estimates.

  9. First, on the extras thing which I’ll note NOBODY is talking about, like others back when it was a new thing, I watched a lot of extras on DVD movies rented or purchased. But that was a long time ago. And mostly in hindsight seems like a big waste of time (the commentary tracks are sometimes interesting but far more often dull drivel). There are certainly movies where the extras can be interesting but they are few and far between. And the absence of extras from any purchase option anybody uses for this many years now has probably trained all of us not to think about them. Can’t imagine this will move the needle at all.

    On the Apple vs. Roku vs. Chrome thing, I’m an Apple TV user but I too think its W-A-Y too long in the tooth, and if Apple doesn’t move soon with substantial updates it might as well give up on the thing. Faster CPU/GPU. A better remote. Open APIs. A better UI. Etc. They’re being left behind.

  10. “like others back when it was a new thing, I watched a lot of extras on DVD movies rented or purchased. But that was a long time ago. And mostly in hindsight seems like a big waste of time (the commentary tracks are sometimes interesting but far more often dull drivel). There are certainly movies where the extras can be interesting but they are few and far between. And the absence of extras from any purchase option anybody uses for this many years now has probably trained all of us not to think about them. Can’t imagine this will move the needle at all.”

    You, sir, are not a film geek.

    I seek out interesting extras, especially director’s commentary tracks, and buy my physical discs accordingly.

    There may, for sure, be less of my kind than there are of your kind, but we buy lots more movies, and thus we count more. So, if Amazon doesn’t hop on the bandwagon in a reasonably speedy, but not necessarily abrupt manner, I’d start to reconsider my OTT supplier choice, despite being generally predisposed to Amazon.)

    (Also, Dave’s wife is officially excommunicated from film geekdom over Snowpiercer….)

  11. What does an Apple TV or a Roku need that they don’t have now. Most of the so called features that people speculate on are things the average user will never use. Keep it simple and affordable and people buy this stuff. Sometimes those people are not us.
    Maybe we’re not the market.(anymore). I have an Apple TV and a Roku I have left the war.

  12. What does an Apple TV need? Depends what you mean by need.

    But my perception is the Apple TV is S-L-O-W. Its remote is A-W-F-U-L, and that’s aside from the part where we lose it constantly so have bought several extras. The interface is becoming unusable as they add more services. A different interface or at the very least more customization is required. There is no global search. Apple should support DIAL – yes its different & better than AirPlay in many cases. There are lots of services missing — Vudu, Amazon Prime, etc. They should really just give up and open up the API and add an “App Store”.

    I could probably come up with more stuff wrong with it but that’s a good start.