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Sky Movies becomes Sky Cinema, promises more films, but no 4K yet

Sky's rebrand kicks in on 8 July, and will bring new features and crisper image quality -- though customers will have to wait a bit longer for Ultra HD.


Sky Movies will shortly become Sky Cinema, as the UK broadcaster gives its film offering a revamp.

Sky promises that the rebranded service, which kicks in on 8 July, will feature a new premiere every day, as well as 20 percent more movies available to watch on demand. More international films will be part of the proposition, as well as a new "restart" feature on Sky's movie channels, whereby pressing the green button on your remote will skip you back to the start of the film.

But no 4K yet

Sky states that Sky Cinema will spruce up its sound, as well as its picture quality, via a "new internal master format" that's claimed to bring a third more pixels, and four times more colour shades than its current HD output. We'll judge the new look when Sky Cinema launches, but what's certain is that movies in full 4K will have to wait.

At a London launch for Sky Cinema, Ian Lewis, director of the service in Europe, says it'll be showing movies in Ultra HD before the end of this year, and that an announcement to that effect would be due "in a few weeks." Lewis also said that Sky will be adding Blu-ray to its Buy and Keep service (which sees Sky post you a physical copy of a film when you buy the digital version), but this isn't expected to arrive until early 2017.

Now playing: Watch this: Take a tour of Sky Q's new interface and features

Launched in 1989, Sky was the first broadcaster to popularise dedicated movie channels in the UK, but has seen that head start eroded in recent years by increasingly popular streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Video.

Sky claims it's the biggest on-demand subscription service in the UK and Ireland, and it's certainly true that the company's on-demand and Sky Store rental service is still the No. 1 destination for almost all major Hollywood releases coming to the UK. Customers pay for the privilege, however -- Sky's bleeding-edge Sky Q subscription service starts at £42 per month, with the movies package an extra £17 per month. Those on a budget may be more tempted by Now TV, which is Sky's no-contract streaming service, which gets you access to Sky Movies (shortly Sky Cinema) for £10 per month, £2.50 more than Netflix's cheapest package.