Where's my movie?

Whitehill

Registered
On Saturday I rented a movie. It started downloading and then ... something came up, I turned off my TV and left. I forgot all about it until the receipt showed up in my email. But when I went back to the AppleTV, I couldn't find any indication that it had downloaded and was ready to play.

What did I do wrong? Is there any way to fix it?
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Movie rentals are good for 24 hours on the AppleTV. If it's been longer than 24 hours since you rented the movie, then you will need to rent it again to watch it.

For future reference, movies are not "downloaded" onto the AppleTV like a file is downloaded onto your computer via a web browser. The AppleTV has a smidgeon of on-board storage used for buffering the movie (and in most cases, an entire movie can fit in this buffer), but don't expect the AppleTV to work like a computer: when you rent a movie, consider it a "streaming" movie that must be consumed within 24 hours of renting it.

Outside of that 24 hour window, you can't expect to "browse" the AppleTV and find the movie "file."
 

Whitehill

Registered
On my AppleTV it says I can watch a movie once after renting it. I must start watching within 30 days of renting and, should I pause it, I must finish watching with 24 hours.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Did you, perchance, accidentally start the movie after renting it? Perhaps in the act of turning your TV off, accidentally hit "play"? Or maybe let the movie play for a handful of seconds, then pause it or turn the AppleTV off?

Rented movies should appear on your AppleTV (assuming you have the new, small, black AppleTV box) "Movies" screen in the upper-left corner.

You can see all the movies you have rented on the top shelf of the main menu when navigating to Movies. Rented Movies will also indicate when they are due to expire. Once expired, they will no longer be available in your Movies shelf.

If your download is interrupted, go to Setting > iTunes Store and select Check for Rentals. Apple TV will connect with the iTunes Store and will resume downloading.
From: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1498
 

Whitehill

Registered
Did you, perchance, accidentally start the movie after renting it?
Yes. Hitting "play" is the only way I have found to get its estimate of time remaining until it will really play. In the past when I did this, I then clicked "menu" and under the movie's icon on the main page appeared the phrase "loading...". When that had finished, I clicked "play" again to watch. I probably did turn it off while in play. *sigh*

With regard to load time and your earlier comments about streaming, it's been my experience that load time is roughly the same as playing time. It seems to want to swallow the entire movie before it will allow watching. This is counter to my idea of streaming or buffering. Is this normal?
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
How long a movie takes to buffer enough for you to watch it depends on your internet connection speed.

At my house, I've got an 18mbit connection, so movies only need to buffer for 15 to 30 seconds before I can play them. That allows enough data to reach my AppleTV to play the movie, and it can load the rest of the movie fast enough that I won't "catch up" to where it's last loaded.

On a slower connection, more of the movie needs to be buffered before it can play.

The AppleTV downloads the entire movie for you to watch -- but you can begin playing it before it's fully loaded. How quickly this happens depends on how much of the movie the AppleTV thinks it needs to load depending on your connection speed so that you can start the movie as early as possible, but watch it seamlessly without "catching up" to the buffering and causing the movie to stop while more movie is buffered.

How fast is your internet connection?
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
That may be why the movie must download a significant portion before you play it. Netflix recommends at least a 3 to 5mbit connection for streaming HD movies, so it stands to reason that HD movies rented through the AppleTV (which are higher quality than Netflix, and also include 5.1 sound channels as well) need a lot of bandwidth.

In the lack of adequate bandwidth, more of the movie must be downloaded before playing can start.
 
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