Acetrax is closing: Download movies by 21 June or lose them

Movie streaming and download service Acetrax is shutting down -- if you've bought films through it you need to download them pronto.

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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Nick Hide
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Movie streaming and download service Acetrax is being shut down by owner Sky on 21 June -- so if you've bought films through it you need to download them pronto.

The Swiss company was bought by Sky in May 2012, and is best known in the UK for its smart TV apps, which let you stream films directly to tellies from the likes of Samsung, LG and Panasonic. Like many streaming companies it lets you rent movies for 24 hours or buy the right to stream them whenever you want, which will obviously be affected when the service closes.

Your library isn't completely gone for ever, though. You can download films to keep but only with the following draconian restrictions:

  • Standard-definition files only. If you've paid for an HD version, you can't download it.
  • PC only. If you have a Mac, you can't download the thing you've paid for. 
  • That specific PC only. "You will not be able to transfer the movie to another device," its FAQ warns.
  • You'll need up to 2GB of hard drive space for each download.
  • You can only watch it with Windows Media Player (get the latest version here).
  • You need to play each movie for at least 5 minutes, again before 21 June, so Acetrax can validate the licence.
  • Hope nothing goes wrong with your computer. "Resetting the factory settings on your PC will also result in removal of the licence, which can then not be retrieved," Acetrax says.

If by some extraordinary chance you don't fulfil every single one of these stipulations, you can request your money back using this form. "You will need to have an active PayPal or ClickandBuy account to receive a refund," the beleaguered subsidiary says.

Acetrax is still open for business, but only for rentals, helpfully. If you have unused credit, you can still use it up until 20 June, or request a refund afterwards. It promises to delete your personal data after a period of time, in compliance with data protection laws. If you have any other questions, check the FAQ here or contact Acetrax customer services here.

"Having successfully integrated the Acetrax over-the-top technology and capability into our business, we are now managing down the small video-on-demand service still operating under the Acetrax brand," Sky explained in a statement to CNET. "Once that process is complete, our OTT efforts will focus on Sky Go and Now TV, through which we continue to build leadership and scale in Internet TV."

Did you ever use the service? Are you affected by the restrictions? Let us know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.