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BT to launch movie download store

UK incumbent BT has announced that it has teamed up with movie firm Universal Studios to offer movies and TV over the internet.

Consumers may buy or rent the films which can be downloaded direct to either a PC or a portable device.

A BT spokesman explained: “This is not just for BT users. Anyone can go to this site and download a film immediately but they will also get a DVD sent to their home and another copy for a mobile device.”

The spokesman explained that all the content is “wrapped in Microsoft’s DRM” which will run on any Microsoft product but not on an iPod.

BT said content will be available to rent or download by the end of the month.

The service should not be confused with BT’s IPTV offering, also called BT Vision. “This is a movie store that will allow customers to buy and download-to-own movies,” the spokesman said. “It’s not the IPTV service that launches in the autumn.”

BT Vision (IPTV) will initially offer around 150 downloadable films and TV shows that can be accessed on the same day as the UK DVD release date.

According to a statement, the firms intend to offer films such as Inside Man, King Kong, Jarhead and American Dreamz, as well as a range of catalogue films and TV series.

Beth Minehart, senior vice president of international on-demand licensing for NBC Universal international television distribution said: “As the on-demand entertainment experience continues to evolve globally, this agreement underscores the importance of choice and convenience for the consumer. We are very pleased to be in business with BT in the UK, bringing their customers the great titles NBC Universal has to offer.”

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