Sky should in the next few days be launching its Sky by broadband service, which will allow people to download sports and news clips, as well as full length films. The shorter content will be available for streaming, but longer shows will be download only. More details on the Sky by broadband website. For those with a 3G mobile phone there is also the option to download content to your mobile.
The videos are set to be encoded at variable bit rate of 860 kilo bits per second, and a resolution of 540 by 432 pixels. File sizes are of course going to vary depending on the content, but movies are expected to fall into the 300 MegaByte to 1 GigaByte range. The average two hour movie will occupy around 750 MegaBytes, which on a 1Mbps connection running at full speed will take 1.75 hours to download, and half that time on a 2Mbps connection.
The content will be free for existing Sky subscribers who have the Sky Movies 1 & 2 or Sky Sports 1 & 2 packages. The content itself once downloaded will only play on the PC that it was downloaded too, and for once PC is the correct word, since the service will only work with Windows XP. The licence to let you play the film will also expire 30 days after the material was downloaded.
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