Tom Hanks is supposedly signed for the highest sum ever paid an actor to reprise his role as Robert Langdon in the film adaptation of Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. I shuddered as I read that news the other day. You see, I've never walked out in the middle of a movie, but The DaVinci Code is about as close as I have come. The new prequel having the same star and director ensures that I won't see it. It's not even that the movie was necessarily horrific. The main problem was that having really enjoyed the book, I had very high expectations for the movie. As I have come to realize is so often the case, I had set myself up for disappointment by expecting something more or different than what was delivered.
A similar, though less intense experience was last year's Macworld keynote. As an avid follower of Apple news and technology I was looking forward to announcements that just didn't pan out. The event turned out to be almost all iPhone, no new Macs, no super surprise features for Leopard, not even a Beatles music distribution deal. Sure the iPhone looked cool, but it was six months away and more money than I could afford. The things I was looking forward to didn't materialize.
Staying down to earth I will start with what is already known. The iTunes store will get movie rentals. The details to be filled in include how many movies will be available, how much will they cost, and how long will the rental period be. Related to this is a likely update to AppleTV. While it was announced as a mere hobby it's possible for this simple set-top box to start making inroads into the American living room. The key factors to address are price and content. Price is easy enough to take care of. With a year of Moore's law since its introduction I expect that AppleTV will be repriced in the $199-$250 range. Content, on the other hand, is a bigger question. Certainly being able to browse, buy, or rent movies directly from the unit should be fairly trivial to add. Hopefully enough studios are on board to make the selection worthwhile. If Apple could deliver TV shows on demand (maybe a 24 hour window) for say 50 cents to a dollar, plus movie rentals for $2-3, many people could virtually replace their cable service with on demand programming for less money.