Film buffs will soon be able to download Hollywood blockbusters from the internet on the day of their DVD release.
Universal Pictures and struck a deal to sell files compatible with both computers and MP3 players via the BT Vision website, and the service will launch on 31 July. The scheme is open to all broadband users in the UK, not just BT customers.
It will offer customers a back-catalogue of films in addition to new ones. New releases will cost around £16.99 while older ones will start at £7.99. The price includes a DVD by post as well as two downloadable files – one for a computer and one for an MP3 player.
Dan Marks, chief executive of of BT Vision, said: ‘Customers increasingly expect to enjoy entertainment when, where and how they want it and this agreement will help to make that possible. We are delighted to have concluded this groundbreaking deal with NBC Universal.’
The Universal films will also be able to rent when BT launches its pay-per-view TV and film service in the autumn.
To get access, you’ll have to buy a set-top box, expected to cost around £100, and have BT broadband. The box will combine a Freeview decoder with a video recorder and BT aims to offer a ‘catch-up’ facility whereby you could watch any programme broadcast during the previous week without having recorded it.