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Brits get iTunes movie downloads, rentals

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Apple has finally allowed UK iTunes users to buy or rent SD oldies and HD blockbusters.

From today, Brits will have access to films from a selection of studios, including Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios and Paramount Pictures. US-based iTunes users already have the service, but it was predicted last week that Apple was close to launching iTunes film downloads over here.

Around 700 flicks are available initially in the UK, and film fanatics can choose how to receive titles. For example, movies can be downloaded directly into iTunes, from where they can be transferred to an iPod, iPhone or to a TV connected up to an Apple TV box.

Once you start watching a film, you have 48 hours in which to watch it all, but if you don’t open the film as soon as it starts downloading then you’ll have 30 days before it ‘expires’.

Apple has split titles roughly according to their release date. So if you want to watch a recently released film, like teen pregnancy flick Juno, then it’ll cost you more than for an older back-catalogue rental of, say, Dangerous Liaisons.

Library titles cost £7 (€9) to download permanently to your hard drive, whereas the latest movies are priced at £11 (€14) each. If you’d rather rent a film then a selection from Apple’s library sets you back £2.50, while blockbuster titles are £3.50.

Some movies can be bought or rented, but others are available on a buy-only or rental-only basis.

The good news is that HD quality films only cost £1 more where available. Sections of each film can also be previewed online. HD downloads have to be acquired using an Apple TV.

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