Sky Go Extra has launched, allowing UK subscribers to pay a bolt-on fee that allows them to cache the latest films and television to their mobile, tablet or laptop to watch when there is no internet connection.
Like the already popular Sky Go service, subscribers will be able to access the content that they have subscribed to - so films subscribers will have access to the headlining movie content.
All content will be allowed to remain for offline viewing for 30 days, and the only limit on the downloads is the memory of the device.
The service will be available on computer, iPhone 3GS and up, all iPads, 26 Android handsets (inlcuding new support for the Motorola Razr i, HTC One X+ and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0) and iPod touch 4th generation devices.
Also significant is that subscribers to the package will be able to up the amount of devices that they access Sky Go on from two to four devices - allowing the whole family to take advantage (or just giving your wife a chance to use the service at all).
Holy Grail of subs services?
The download service is the first in the UK to make Hollywood movies available for offline viewing in this way, and potentially hands Sky a real advantage over the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm.
Caching has long been the holy grail of content subscription services and for those with Sky subscriptions the extra £5 fee may well prove to be a popular option, if the movies and television available are of the requisite quality.
The opening salvo in the press release certainly suggests this will be the case; Avengers Assemble, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and Pirates In An Adventure with Scientists will all be available for download through the service, along with all the James Bond back catalogue.
Clearly, if you do not subscribe to the movies package on your main Sky account then the flat £5 fee looks much less of a bargain - although you would still have access to TV programmes.
You'll need to add Sky Go Extra to your package - not the most seamless of processes and one that you would hope is streamlined in the coming weeks. Signing up also doesn't appear to grant immediate access.
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