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Sky brings Buy & Keep movies to tablets and set-top boxes

Sky's film downloads service becomes a good deal more useful

Sky is expanding the scope of its Buy & Keep movies service. Launched last year, Buy & Keep allowed Sky customers to instantly download and watch a movie on their Sky+ box and also receive a DVD of the film through the post.

Now Sky is expanding the service, so that customers can download or stream their movie collection using a new Sky Store app on their smartphone or tablet. What’s more, non-Sky satellite customers will be able to access the service through Sky’s own Now TV, Roku streaming devices or YouView boxes.

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The new apps will iron out some of the inconsistencies of Buy & Keep. For example, while HD movies are downloaded to the Sky+ box at 1080i resolution, the “keep” part of the deal was obviously restricted to the DVD’s maximum resolution of 720 x 576. Sky will offer HD downloads and streams to tablets, smartphones and set-top boxes, although the maximum supported resolution is obviously dependent on the device itself. The Now TV box has a maximum resolution of 720p, for instance.

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It would also be foolhardy to rely on the digital downloads as a permanent archive of the film. The downloads are locked into the Sky Store app, so if Sky ever decides to pull the service, your movies will go with it. You’ll still need to keep hold of those DVDs for a permanent hard copy. The service is yet to offer Blu-ray, which would offer a true HD hard copy. 

The Sky Store app experience will also vary between Android and iOS. Android users will be able to purchase movies from their device. No doubt because Apple demands a 30% cut on in-app purchases, iOS users will be limited to watching previously purchased films on their iPhones and iPads. Users can register up to four devices for Buy & Keep, but only stream to two of those devices simultaneously.

Customers who’ve previously used the Buy & Keep service will automatically get a copy of previous purchases in the My Library section of the new apps. Prices for Buy & Keep titles range from £8 to £14. 

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