Japanese firm to offer Blue-ray downloads

In what appears to be a world’s first, the Japanese firm Tsutaya wil start to offer movies for download, which can be burned on Blu-ray disks and copied to hard drives, From December 19, Japanese will offer viewers a choice of 412 movies and TV series episodes, according to the Asia based news service Tech On.

Tsutaya Online already offers a streaming video service called Tsutaya TV on acTVila. Now, the company has signed agreements with a number of US studios to allow downloading a selected number of titles in HD quality for storage on a range of recording devices including Blu-ray.

The movies will be offered on a Day & Date basis and will cost ¥3,675 (approximately €31) and ¥893 (about EUR 7.50) for single episodes of TV series. The titles will also be available for rental with viewing time limited to 48 to 72 hours. The average fee is ¥735 (€5.30) for movies and ¥368 (€3.10) for TV programmes.

Tsutaya is planning to deliver titles including Desperate Housewives, Heroes, Lost, No Country for Old Men, Cloverfield, Dreamgirls and The Bucket List in December 2008.