Well, prior to these deals, if you bought a movie on iTunes and downloaded it to your laptop, you couldn’t watch it on AppleTV or otherwise download it from iCloud. You could move it to another device, but the AppleTV doesn’t have the hard drive to support such things. It works for TV shows, and the AppleTV would just download that TV show no problem.
This is especially good news for Macbook Air owners, who have smaller hard drives. Currently, my iTunes library is almost 100GB, mostly because of movies we’ve downloaded for my daughter. In theory, I can delete some or all of those movies from my laptop (I mean, really, how many Barbie/princess movies does one man need on his laptop?), freeing up space on my hard drive, which is already almost at capacity.
There are some other functional changes to the new AppleTV that I’ll write about later in the week. But, this is a pretty significant improvement in terms of how valuable iCloud can be for some users.