Apple TV and the 24-hour limit

A few weeks ago I revealed that you could extend the iTunes Store’s 24-hour rental limit on your 3G iPod nano, iPod classic, iPod touch, or iPhone by pausing the device and not touching it again until you were ready to resume playback. But my work was not done, as I concluded the entry with this:

Is such an option available when you play a rental in iTunes on your computer or with the upcoming updated Apple TV? Beats me, but I’m going to do my best to find out. Stay tuned.

I appreciate your patience. And here’s the answer:

Yep, it is.

And it works pretty much the same way. You’ve rented a movie, you start watching, you bite into an errant unpopped popcorn kernel, and, before dashing off to have your shattered molar reconstructed, you press the Apple Remote’s Play/Pause button.

When, 27-hours later, the percocet wears off to the point where you recall that you were watching a movie before this all started, you press Play on the Apple Remote and your movie takes up where it left off. Should you press Menu, you see a screen that reads:

This movie rental has already expired. This movie will be deleted immediately if you stop watching it. Do you want to stop watching this movie?

And you’re then provided with two options:

Continue Watching

Stop Watching

Choose Continue Watching and the movie returns to the place where you paused it and plays. Choosing Stop Watching makes good on the Apple TV’s threat to delete the movie.

Note: This didn’t work out for me the first time I tried it as I had the Apple TV’s screensaver configured to kick in after two minutes (the default). When pressing Menu to move away from the screensaver I was greeted with a notice that my expired movie had been expunged. On my second attempt I disabled the screensaver, paused the movie, and switched off my TV. When I turned the TV back on the next day, there was the movie, in all its paused glory.

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