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Apple extends iTunes movie rental viewing window to 48 hours

To coincide with the launch of Apple TV 4K and iPhone 8 series, Apple on Friday updated its website with new information regarding movie rentals, saying viewers now have up to 48 hours to complete their rented titles after first pressing play.

Prior to the change, iTunes Store customers had to finish watching, or replaying, a rented movie within a 24 hour period. Today's change, quietly announced through an updated support document covering movie rentals, doubles the previous limit.

As usual, customers can watch and re-watch a rented movie as many times as they like within the 48 hour window. As noted by Apple, users who download movies for offline viewing are still subject to the 48 hour timer.

Not much else has changed beyond the extended viewing time limit. Users still have 30 days to start watching a movie after it is first rented. If a movie goes unwatched, customers must rent the film again, which grants another 30 days of access.

Before today, Apple's most recent change to the iTunes movie rental process came in March, when the company added multiscreen viewing to with iTunes 12.6. The feature allows users to rent a movie once and watch it on any device provisioned with the same Apple ID.

The movie rental change arrives as Apple TV 4K devices reach pre-order customers and Apple store retail locations. An incremental upgrade over last year's fourth-generation set-top streamer, the new hardware features an A10X Fusion processor capable of pumping out 4K resolution content in multiple HDR protocols. Apple this week issued tvOS 11, which delivers a revamped TV app that will allow users to stream live sports later this year.

For more on the new Apple TV 4K, check out AppleInsider's first look at the device.