iTunes Movie/TV downloads are frustrating

I often use iTunes for movie rentals and some TV shows on my Windows-based media center PC. I do this because in Australia, iTunes has the best collection of shows available (especially if using the loophole to connect to the US store).

Problem is, iTunes is one tempermental piece of software... At times, movies and shows are downloading at say 1.5MB/s, which is more than fast enough to live-stream HD content without buffering. But then the download speed inexplicably drops to say 200KB/s, and you get stuck half way though the show you're watching.

I had this happen last night, where it got up to 1.25GB out of a 1.35GB show, then the download speed dropped to the point where I had to stop watching. The download then showed an estimated time of 4 minutes to complete, but speeds fluctuated between 140KB/s and 1.5MB/s. It took over 30 minutes to complete.

I ruled out internet connection issues, as I could start downloading a different shown on the same computer on iTunes which would be flying fast, so it seems to randomly happen to specific file downloads. If I restart the computer and re-launch iTunes, the download then gets reset to 0 and starts again from scratch, usually at a high constant 1.5MB/s. For the record, I'm using the latest iTunes build on a fresh install of Windows 8.

This really degrades the whole experience and makes it not worth the cost. It's cheaper to buy a DVD or Bluray of a whole season of whatever show, which you can watch whenever, at a higher quality, without buffering, without encryption lock-in, without PC authorisation limits, etc...

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