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HD glitch for Apple TV punters

A lawyer has just rung Cupertino

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HBO isn't giving up its box seat for anybody – not even Apple.

The premium cable channel, which won a global reputation by investing in quality shows for intelligent grown-ups, including The Wire and The Sopranos, is also a distribution channel for other people's stuff – that's how it made its revenue before diversifying into original content. But these pre-existing deals with other studios mean Apple TV owners won't be able to re-download HD movies such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes to the devices, even if they've already purchased them. The existing agreements don't extend to the 1080 HD format, for which HBO retains the exclusive 'window'.

It's a temporary blip, HBO tells AllThingsD, with the fine print getting sorted to encompass formats.

So it's a small story but one that illustrates a bigger one. There's no shortage of 'digital media innovation' (stop retching, please) taking place at the moment, but most of it is beginning to pass the internet by. It's all taking place on established platforms.

For years, we assumed IP networks would challenge old dinosaurs. But these old dinosaurs are proving much better at giving punters on-demand stuff they want at a decent price.

And I can't think of a webtastic innovation that would seriously inconvenience an HBO or Sky subscriber. Can you? ®

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