Sainsbury’s has this morning announced a partnership with Rovi Corporation which will see movies and TV episodes available to watch on-demand via a section of Sainsbury’s site.
Debuting online, the Sainsbury’s video on demand service will eventually migrate to smart TVs, games consoles, mobiles and connected Blu-ray players.
Sainsbury’s movies and TV shows will be available to rent and buy on demand to complement its DVD, CD, MP3 and e-book store. ‘Sainsburys Entertainment’ is a possible name for the service, which will act as a one-stop online hub for buying, streaming and downloading movies, TV shows and music.
What is Sainsbury’s on-demand?
Sainsbury’s on-demand service is a forthcoming video on demand service that will supply films and TV episodes on-demand. The software service is supplied by Rovi Corporation which supplies video on-demand technology to the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable in the US.
New releases of Films and TV episodes will be included online the same day they are available on DVD and Blu-ray, making the service similar to Blinkbox, which is owned by Tesco.
Initially launching as an online-only service, Sainsbury’s on-demand will eventually roll out to games consoles (expected to be Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) mobile platforms (iOS and Android) and selected smart TVs and Blu-ray players.
How much does Sainsbury’s on-demand cost?
Prices for movies and TV shows aren’t yet available. New releases will be included online the same day they are available on DVD and Blu-ray – so looking at the current prices of DVD box sets available to order from Sainsbury’s now, we can get an idea of how much things might cost.
It’s also unknown whether or not Sainsbury’s on-demand will be a subscription-based service or whether you pay for movies and TV episodes as and when you watch them.
Sainsbury’s didn’t comment on prices at the time of writing – we’ll update when we have more information.
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What’s on Sainsbury’s on-demand?
Details of what films and TV shows will be available on Sainsbury’s on-demand aren’t yet known. Given that same-day availability is guaranteed (as soon as a film is out on DVD or Blu-ray it’ll be available) you’d expect that titles like The Hunger Games, Battleship and Prometheus (all currently available to buy from Sainsbury’s on DVD and Blu-ray) ought to be available.
Pending official announcements from Sainsburys and Rovi Corporation we won’t know for sure.
Can I watch Sainsbury’s on-demand in high definition?
We won’t know until official announcements are made but it’s entirely possible that HD films and TV episodes will be available to rent and buy.
How fast does my broadband connection need to be for Sainsbury’s on-demand?
There’s no official figures yet available. Netflix requires a minimum speed of 0.5Mbps for standard definition content and at least 3Mbps for HD content.
YouView by contrast needs a minimum speed of 3Mbps for standard definition films and TV and 5Mbps for any HD stuff.
So looking at these speeds as examples we’d say that if you’ve got a speed of 3Mbps you should be OK for Sainsbury’s on-demand.
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Can I watch Sainsbury’s on-demand on my PC or Mac?
From launch Sainsbury’s on-demand will be available online, coming to other platforms later. It’s not yet known whether the service needs a Silverlight or Flash plugin. Windows PC support is a given, but the jury’s out on whether Mac users will be able to sign up from launch.
Yes, Netflix is available to watch on both PC and Mac. You’ll need to install Microsoft Silverlight for PC and Mac for Netflix to work first. Note that Netflix does not support playback on PCs running Linux.
Can I watch Sainsbury’s on-demand on my iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch?
Support for phones has been promised and it’s highly likely that this will include the iPhone. No further information is available yet, so we don’t know if there’s support for iPads or iPod Touches.
Can I watch Sainsbury’s on-demand on my Android tablet or phone?
While Sainsbury’s has confirmed future support for mobiles we don’t yet know if this will include support for Android phones or tablets.
Can I watch Sainsbury’s on-demand on my Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii?
Support for games consoles has been confirmed, though no specific names have been given. Historically, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have been supported by the likes of Netflix, Lovefilm and the rest. The Nintendo Wii might not get a look in due to its non-HD capabilities and the imminent arrival of the Wii U.
If there is Xbox 360 support, you’ll probably have to have an Xbox LIVE Gold account as well.
Can I watch Sainsbury’s on-demand on my smart TV or set-top box?
Eventually there will also be support for Sainsbury’s on-demand on smart TV’s and connected Blu-ray players. Support for smart set-top boxes has not been announced but if this changes we’ll let you know.