M*A*S*H is available for purchase on iTunes. You can buy individual episodes, entire seasons, or the complete series. In order to buy episodes, you’ll need to download the free iTunes software.
Individual episodes are $2.99 in HD or $1.99 in SD (even “Goodbye, Farwell and Amen”). The HD episodes are available in 720p and 1080p. An entire season costs $9.99 in either HD or SD. The complete series box set costs $99.99.
Here are some screen captures of M*A*S*H on the iTunes store (click for larger versions):
Unfortunately, the five hour-long episodes (“Welcome to Korea,” “Bug Out,” “Fade Out, Fade In,” “Our Finest Hour,” and “That’s Show Biz”) are only available as two half-hour episodes. This is how they air in syndication, how they streamed on Netflix, and how they’re currently streaming on Hulu. The only way to watch these episodes the way they originally aired on CBS is on DVD.
Before buying, you can watch a 30-second preview from each episode. Here’s a still from the preview for “M*A*S*H — The Pilot” in HD:
Yes, the episode is in 16:9 widescreen, just like the HD episodes streaming on Hulu. When I tried to watch the same episode in SD, iTunes showed me the HD preview again, so I’m not sure what the episodes look like in SD. Are they also widescreen, just lower quality? Or are the SD episodes in 4:3 full frame rather than 16:9 widescreen?
There’s no reason not to offer fans the opportunity to purchase HD episodes in their original 4:3 aspect ratio. That way, purists like me who refuse to watch M*A*S*H in widescreen can also enjoy the show in high definition.
(Thanks to Dan and John.)