iTunes movie downloads imminent?

[intro]Will the February launch of the Apple TV video streamer coincide with a new iTunes movie download service in the UK?[/intro]As you'll notice fr

As you'll notice from our recent news story, a Luxemburg policitican has suggested that Apple's iTunes Store movie downloads will launch in Europe this spring.

Could it be that the UK launch will coincide with the availability of Apple's video streaming device, Apple TV, which is due for launch this month?

It makes sense: Apple TV will only stream a specific type of video from iTunes (on PC or Mac) to your TV, so without compelling content, there's hardly likely to be a huge demand for it.

Apple TV won't, for example, allow you to stream AVI or DivX files you're, erm, 'sourced' from the web. It will, however, allow you to stream iPod-formatted video podcasts like the (ahem) brilliant videocast, which is now available through iTunes (this alone should justify Apple TV's £200 pricetag in my books).

The bad news? Having spoken to the folks at Apple, it seems very unlikely US TV shows will be available for download in Europe, because they are licensed to various different broadcasters who are already offering them for download (via C4's 4oD and Sky's Anytime on PC).

Still, a decent selection of movies would be a start. But how much will they cost? In the US, movies range between $10 and $15. What's the betting they'll be £10-£15 over here? 


UPDATE 14:30 Incidentally, the BBC has now been given the provisional go-ahead for its iPlayer service, allowing web streaming of any shows from the past week on BBC channels. But at present it's a Microsoft-powered product. The good news is that the BBC Trust has demanded that the service is also available to Apple and Linux users - which could make Apple TV a whole lot more useful.