Sky Go Extra saves movies on your iPad to watch on the go

The latest blockbusters are coming to your phone or tablet, as Sky lets you save movies and TV and watch them wherever you are, without Wi-Fi.

Sky is launching Sky Go Extra, an expansion of the Sky Go catch-up and on-demand service for Sky customers, the Telegraph reports. That means you can save new episodes of Girls, blockbusters like Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, or classic James Bond films on your smart device to watch on the train, on holiday, or anywhere you haven't got Wi-Fi.

For £5 per month extra, up to four users can download stuff per account, and you can download as many movies and TV shows as you want. Each download sticks around for a month. So it's not so much of a download as it is a downloan.

Get it? Downloan! I done made up a word.

Previously, you needed a Wi-Fi connection to stream movies and TV to your computer or portable device. With movies cached on your phone or tablet, you can watch anywhere without having to pay for Wi-Fi or cut into your data allowance.

It's not clear if this will be a standalone app, or just an update to the Sky Go app, which has angered Android fans by only supporting a few Android devices.

Sky has the best line-up of new films and the pick of the latest TV shows, especially from the US on Sky Atlantic. Rivals Netflix and Lovefilm don't do downloads (although Lovefilm does do those old-school downloads you used to get, the ones that take ages to download. What were they called? Oh yeah, DVDs.)

Availability of new releases is a real sticking point for online streaming services: last week it was revealed that to watch a decent selection of recent films you need to pay for both Lovefilm and Netflix.

Sky Go Extra is coming in the next few weeks. If you want to watch the latest blockbusters, but don't want to fork out for a dish and a Sky subscription, you can get films from Sky Movies channels on a pay-as-you-go basis with Now TV, Sky's spin-off app and online streaming service.

[Source: CNET]

HMV gift cards to be accepted again from tomorrow

Attention, shoppers: HMV is accepting gift cards. Yes, the troubled music, video and games shop will this week once again let you use your vouchers to pay for stuff.

Branches of HMV will accept gift cards from tomorrow, Tuesday 22 February. Great news for anyone who got a gift card for Christmas or recently received vouchers as a refund.

More than 50 potential buyers have expressed interest in saving the ailing chain, with Hilco, the restructuring specialist that bought HMV Canada in 2011, currently reported to be the favourite. HMV's suppliers, including record labels and film studios, are reported to be willing to offer Hilco favourable credit terms. It seems HMV could weather this particular storm after all.

If HMV is sold to new owners in the coming months, they could then decide not to honour old vouchers. In that unlikely event, you could try and claim your money back from your credit or debit card provider -- check out our guide to your options.

The question of gift cards caused a right old kerfuffle when administrators Deloitte decreed vouchers had been suspended. One disgruntled customer in Dublin was so short of gruntlement he simply helped himself to games of an equivalent value to his useless gift card and marched from the shop. But as frustrating as it is to be out of pocket, it's not the staff's fault.

Also in trouble on the high street is Blockbuster, currently in administration, and in danger of following Jessops and Comet into oblivion.

[Source: CNET]

HMV extends massive sale to raise cash, stay afloat

His Master's Voice is singing a sad, sad song -- the dog-tricking disc-flogger is selling off a huge amount of stock on the cheap, reportedly to raise quick money for creditors. Extending its 'big sale' for at least another month means a whole basement of bargains, but is the retailer in real trouble? Go to today and you'll see it plastered with 'big sale' banners, which have been up since Boxing Day. Retailers all cut prices on stuff they didn't flog before Christmas, but the sales usually end come the first week of the new year.

HMV this week announced another flog-off -- a Blue Cross Sale -- that starts this Saturday, seamlessly continuing its new year sale for another month with 25 per cent promised off "a wide range of titles and products" Apparently it's "not [its] standard January sale, but trying [a] new tack to generate cash to meet bank covenants", according to ITV News' Laura Kuenssberg. "Not good," she adds sagely.

"We thought we'd freshen our promotional mix up a bit and try something a bit different that will hopefully stand out from all the other sale offers on the high street right now," an HMV spokesman told me.

[Source: CNET - Click here to read the full story]

Sony launches web store for PlayStation games, movies and TV shows

Catching up to Microsoft's own web-based Xbox store, Sony's unleashed a new online store for its movie, TV and video content-- but neglected to mention it. Titled the Sony Entertainment Network, and separate to its own book store we were able to login to the UK site and found that content pricing matched what we've seen on the PlayStation Store and other Sony digital shops. As an example, the complete Mass Effect trilogy rings in at £60 ($96), although Sony is kind enough to offer links to discounted titles, PlayStation Plus highlights and other offers at the top of the browsing sidebar -- Tokyo Jungle is today's holiday deal at £5 ($8). Purchases can be done through the store, with the product downloaded to your game console when it's turned on next. Video content, meanwhile, can be purchased and then played on your PC, as well as on the PlayStation 3, PS Vita,PSP, Sony Tablets and compatible Xperia smartphones. Even if you're balking at some of those early prices, it might be worth browsing through some more palatable festive deals by visiting the source below. We'll have more when we hear the official line from Sony.

[Source: Engadget]

Apple opens iTunes Music Store in 56 new countries, four get movies too

Just days after finally pushing out its redesigned iTunes 11 software, Apple has thrown open the doors to its iTunes music store in 56 new countries today. The list of countries includes Russia, Turkey, India and South Africa where customers can download DRM-free tracks from both major labels and local acts. Additionally, movies from a number of distributors large and small are now available in Russia, Turkey, India and Indonesia, with "select additional countries" gaining access soon. That brings the iTunes store count to a total of 119 countries where it's pushing media, while the App Store offers 700,000 apps in 155 countries around the world. There's a few more details (although oddly not an official list of all the countries, but MacRumors appears to have worked them out if you're interested) in the press release after the break, international listeners can just open up iTunes and see if that buy button is clickable.

[Source: Engadget]

Netflix nabs a million UK subscribers, promises to 'invest heavily' to outbid Sky

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has threatened a bidding war with UK Broadcaster BSkyB for premium movie rights, and he could have the war chest to back it up -- the company also hit the million subscriber mark in the UK only seven months after launching there. Netflix UK boasted that it even got there faster than Twitter or Facebook did globally, and chalked up the success to most British households having at least one household streaming device. Meanwhile, Hastings said the US company intends to pry premium Hollywood movie rights away from BSkyB, promising to be "really aggressive in our bidding." The streaming service will have to overcome more than money, however -- the UK's Competition Commission granted BSkyB a rights extension to protect it from the very likes of Netflix.

[Source: Engadget]