Sky is adding the power to buy movies from its Sky Store, offering you a digital download that you can watch as many times as you like, and also dispatching a DVD version of the film to your address.
It's already possible to rent movies from the Sky Store, but the new feature, dubbed 'Buy & Keep' will make them yours to keep. When you agree to buy you'll be asked to type in your Sky pin, at which point the film will download to your Sky box's hard drive, and a physical DVD copy will be put in the post, addressed to you.
Sky says it's aiming for DVD delivery in five working days. You can delete purchased movies from your hard drive if you need to free up space, but the title and film info will remain, so that you can re-download films quickly. There's no need to pay again if you do choose to re-download a film you've bought.
The new service will launch in a few weeks, Sky says, with older films expected to cost £8, and newer movies priced at £14. That price includes both postage and packaging of the DVD. Studios on board so far are 20th Century Fox and NBCUniversal, while Sky also boasts that it will launch with big-budget dwarf-em-up The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug available to buy.
Earlier this year BT added the power to buy movies on, with the promise that it'll send you DVD copies of your purchases should (heaven forfend) you ever decide to leave BT. Sky's plan is similar, but you get sent DVDs as and when you purchase films, instead of when you eventually quit the service.
With DVD not even the most advanced physical media available (take a bow, Blu-ray), Sky's move would, understandably, strike some as technologically backwards. Sky insists however that DVDs are still important to film-consuming Brits.
"If you look at the UK as a whole", Sky's director of Sky Store Nicola Bamford told CNET, "many more people own DVD players than Blu-ray players." Sky also noted that it is "absolutely" looking into posting Blu-ray discs in the future.
Plans for TV box-sets
Sky is also looking at ways to flog you digital and DVD copies of TV shows. "Over time the ambition is to expand into other areas and types of content," Nicola commented. "Box sets is an area we will want to add for customers," Ian Lewis, director of Sky movies and acquisitions said.
Sky also stated it had no plans to add a disc drive to its Sky boxes.
Would you buy a movie from Sky? What do you think of its plans to post you a DVD? Let me know in the comments below.