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ReelTime movies: yours for keeps

Universal and ReelTime have paired up to launch Australia's first download-to-own movie service.

Current titles feature virgins and vampires.

Want to watch a flick, but can't be bothered traipsing all the way to your local DVD store? Another movie download service has arrived -- and the content's for life, not just for Christmas.

Universal and ReelTime are today launching an Australian-first offering -- the companies have joined forces to provide what they are calling the "first ever major movie download-to-own (DTO) service in the international market to include secure burn technology". In plain English: Once the film has landed on your desktop, it's yours for keeps, and you can burn it to DVD without fearing that police officers will break down your door and bust you for copyright infringement.

The ReelTime.tv service differs from sites like the nine-month-old BigPond Movies, which restricts viewing of downloaded content to a specific period and deletes titles when this timeframe expires.

ReelTime downloads start from $14.98 per title, with new release films maxing out at $33.99. Movies are offered as two Windows Media files, formatted for computer playback or Windows Plays4Sure portable devices. (Sorry Apple aficionados; iPods aren't in that category.) A third file allows the movie to be burned to DVD with no messy copyright implications.

The service launches with 35 Universal titles available, including King Kong, The 40-Year-Old Virgin (those are separate movies, by the way), The Break Up and The Bourne Supremacy. The range will be expanded to around 100 titles by early 2007.